How to Fix Windows Activation Error 0xc004f025 ‘Access Denied’

Some Windows users are encountering the 0xc004f025 Activation Error (Access Denied) when they attempt to activate a valid License key via SLMGR (Software Licensing Management Tool). Most affected users are encountering this problem with license keys that are confirmed to be valid.

Error Code 0xc004f025

If you have to troubleshoot this error code, start simply by seeing if the included Activation Troubleshooter is not capable of fixing the issue automatically. In case it discovers no inconsistencies with the activation files, ensure that you open Command Prompt with admin access when to avoid permission issues.

However, the problem is caused by a rearm dependency issue, you can only fix it by removing any dependency associated with the Windows license key that’s currently active. After you do this, attempt to reactivate again and see if the issue is fixed.

In case you’re encountering this issue with an OEM license, you will need to get a Microsoft Live agent to do license migration for you. To do this, you can either schedule a LIVE call or you can call the toll-free number specific to your local area.

Method 1: Running the Activation troubleshooter (Windows 10 only)

Before you attempt any of the other fixes below, you should start by investigating whether your Windows 10 operating system is not actually capable of fixing the issue automatically. Activation attempts have multiple failing causes and the latest version of Windows is equipped to tackle these problems.

In case the 0xc004f025 error is a by-product of some kind of licensing restriction that is imposed locally, you should run the Windows Activation troubleshooter and see if it’s capable of correcting the problem automatically.

This utility contains a selection of repair strategies for the most common problems that might cause an activation attempt to fail.

Important: This troubleshooter will only work for Windows 10.

If this scenario is applicable, follow the instructions below to run the Activation troubleshooter and see if it manages to fix the 0xc004f025 error automatically:

  1. Open up a Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R. Next, type ”ms-settings:activation” and press Enter to open up the Activation tab of the Settings app.
    Accessing the Activation troubleshooter
  2. Once you’re inside the Activation tab, move over to the right section of the window and look for the Activate button at the bottom of the screen. Once you’re there, click the Troubleshoot button.
    Accessing the Activation troubleshooter
  3. Once the utility is launched, wait patiently until the initial scan is complete. If it manages to identify any activation issues, you will be presented with a repair strategy. If you agree with it, click on Apply this fix and wait for this operation to complete.
    Apply this fix
  4. After the fix is successfully applied, restart your computer and see if the activation process is successful after your system boots back up.

If you still end up seeing the same 0xc004f025 error, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Running with CMD with Administrative Access

One of the most common causes that will end up triggering the 0xc004f025 error is a permission issue. Activation attempts and SLMGR operation, in general, will require admin access in order to complete successfully. So before trying any other fixes, start by ensuring that the Command Prompt window where you are trying to activate your Windows License key via SLMR has admin access.

If you’re not exactly sure on how to do this, follow the instructions below to run CMD with administrative access:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘cmd’ inside the text box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated CMD prompt.
    Running Command Prompt
  2. When you are prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access to the CMD terminal.
  3. Enter the same command that was previously producing the 0xc004f025 error and see if the issue is resolved.

If you still end seeing the 0xc004f025 (Access Denied) error, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Removing Rearm Dependencies

Another fairly common problem that might spawn this error is a problem with how your OS stores and maintains rearm dependencies associated with the Windows license key that is currently active. One reason that might produce the 0xc004f025 error when you try to use the SLMGR utility to apply a new Windows license key could be some remnant rearm files leftover from an older license key.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the issue by skipping reactivation timers by using the Registry Editor to skip Rearm, then running the rearm command and renaming the main SLMGR script in order to force your OS to create a new instance.

For step by step instructions of enforcing the steps explained above, move down to the next potential fix:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘regedit’ inside the text box and press Enter to open up the Registry Editor.
    Running the Registry Editor

    Note: When you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.

  2. Once you’re inside the Registry Editor, use the left-hand section to navigate to the following location:
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform

    Note: You can either navigate there manually or you can paste the location directly into the navigation bar and press Enter to get there instantly.

  3. Once you arrive at the correct location, make your way to the right-hand section of the screen and double-click on SkipRearm.
  4. Next, from the Edit DWORD menu associated with SkipRearm, set the Base to Hexadecimal and the Value data to 1 before clicking Ok to save the changes.
    Enabling REARM Skipping
  5. Once you successfully manage to adjust the value of SkipRearm, close Registry Editor completely.
  6. Next, press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘cmd’ inside the text box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated CMD Prompt.
    Running the Command Prompt
  7. When you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
  8. Inside the elevated CMD prompt, type the following command and press Enter to execute it:
    slmgr rearm
  9. Wait until you get the success message. This operation might take over 10 seconds in some instances.
  10. Open File Explorer (My Computer) and navigate to the following location manually:
    C:\Windows\System32

    Note: If you don’t have the extensions visible already go to View and check the box associated with Hidden Items.

    Revealing the AppData folder
  11. Once inside, use the search function in the top-right corner to find the slmgr.vbs file. When you manage to locate it, right-click on it choose Rename and replace the .vbs extension with .old. This will end up forcing your OS to disregard this file and create a new one from scratch.
    Editing the SLMGR.vbs file
  12. Once this last modification is complete, restart your computer once again and see if you are able to activate your Windows license using the SLMGR utility and see if you still end up seeing the 0xc004f025.

If the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Getting help from a Microsoft Agent

If you’re trying to activate an OEM license that was previously activated on a different computer, you can expect to get the 0xc004f025 error code when trying to activate via the SLGMR utility.

In case you’re dealing with this particular scenario, the only viable fix that will allow you to migrate an OEM license to this new computer is to get in contact with a Microsoft support team and ask them to activate your operating system.

To do this, you can either schedule a call with a Microsoft Live agent or you can choose to use a local toll-free Phone Number.

Note: Keep in mind that the response times are highly dependent on your region. Even more, if you’re calling during a time-frame where there are no available agents, you can expect to receive a follow-up call several hours later.

When you finally manage to get in touch with a human, you will be asked a couple of questions to confirm that you are indeed the owner of that license key and you got it from a vendor with selling rights.

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Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Fix Windows Activation Error 0xc004f025 ‘Access Denied’

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