Finding and claiming product keys in Visual Studio subscriptions
This article explains how to locate, claim, and export product keys from https://my.visualstudio.com/productkeys. For more information about activating a product with a key, retail and volume license versions of keys, and daily product key claim limits, please visit the product keys overview.
Locating and claiming product keys
You must be signed in to your Visual Studio subscription to view your product keys. Individual product keys are found by selecting the blue Get Key link for a particular product on the Downloads page as shown below. All keys are also available in aggregate on the Product Keys page. When multiple keys exist for a single product, notes will be displayed on the Notes column for the download to assist you in identifying which key should be used.
Some products bundle multiple editions of the product into a single download. In these cases, the product key entered determines which edition of the product is installed. Some keys are provided automatically, such as “static” keys, which you can use as many times as needed because activation is not required. Other keys must be claimed by selecting the Get Key link for the product.
A variety of key types are available, depending on the product.
Product key types
|Not Applicable||No key is needed to install this product.|
|Retail||Retail keys allow multiple activations and are used for retail builds of the product. In many cases, 10 activations are allowed per key, though often more are allowed on the same machine.|
|Multiple Activation||A Multiple Activation Key (MAK) enables you to activate multiple installations of a product with the same key. MAKs are generally used with Volume Licensing versions of products. Typically, only one MAK key is provided per subscription.|
|Static Activation Key||Static activation keys are provided for products that do not require activation. They can be used for any number of installations.|
|Custom Key||Custom keys provide special actions or information to activate or install the product.|
|VA 1.0||These are multiple activation keys, similar to a MAK.|
|OEM Key||These are Original Equipment Manufacturer keys that allow multiple activations.|
|DreamSpark Retail Key||These retail keys are for DreamSpark and allow one activation. DreamSpark Retail keys are issued in batches and are primarily intended for student consumption.|
|DreamSpark Lab Key||These lab use keys are for DreamSpark programs and allow multiple activations. DreamSpark Lab Keys are intended for use in university computer lab scenarios.|
|DreamSpark MAK Key||These are MAK keys for DreamSpark program customers.|
You can claim a key from the download page for the product, or you can search for the key you need on the Product Keys page.
Claiming product keys
Only subscribers with active subscriptions can download products and claim product keys. You can export your claimed keys from the Product Keys page while your subscription is active.
To claim a product key:
- Sign in to your Visual Studio subscription. You must be signed in to download products or claim product keys.
- Click on the Product Keys tab.
- Product keys are listed alphabetically by the name of the product. You can either scroll down to the name of the desired product, or search for it using the search bar at the top of the page.
In this example, we’ve used the search bar to locate a product key for Visual Studio Enterprise 2019. As you can see, there are several versions listed. One key each has already been claimed for Visual Studio Enterprise 2019 versions 16.0 and 16.1. Additional keys of different types are still available for both versions. Notice that you can record a brief note about claimed keys in the Notes column. You can use this in conjunction with the date in the Claimed column to keep track of the keys you’ve claimed. You might, for example, make notes when you activate an installation of the product using the key.
Exporting your claimed keys
You can export a list of all the keys you have claimed, along with a large selection of static and other keys that are automatically marked as “claimed” for you.
If your subscription expires, you will no longer be able to claim new keys or export your claimed keys.
To export your keys, simply click on the Export all keys link at the far right of the Product Keys page. An .xml file entitled KeysExport.xml will be created, and you’ll have the option to open or save the file. You will need to open the file with an application capable of handling .xml files. For example, you can open the file as a read-only workbook in Excel.