Appendix: Information sent to Microsoft during activation

Applies to

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2008 R2

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When you activate a computer running Windows 10, the following information is sent to Microsoft:

  • The Microsoft product code (a five-digit code that identifies the Windows product you are activating)

  • A channel ID or site code that identifies how the Windows product was originally obtained

    For example, a channel ID or site code identifies whether the product was originally purchased from a retail store, obtained as an evaluation copy, obtained through a volume licensing program, or preinstalled by a computer manufacturer.

  • The date of installation and whether the installation was successful

  • Information that helps confirm that your Windows product key has not been altered

  • Computer make and model

  • Version information for the operating system and software

  • Region and language settings

  • A unique number called a globally unique identifier, which is assigned to your computer

  • Product key (hashed) and product ID

  • BIOS name, revision number, and revision date

  • Volume serial number (hashed) of the hard disk drive

  • The result of the activation check

    This includes error codes and the following information about any activation exploits and related malicious or unauthorized software that was found or disabled:

    • The activation exploit’s identifier
    • The activation exploit’s current state, such as cleaned or quarantined
    • Computer manufacturer’s identification
    • The activation exploit’s file name and hash in addition to a hash of related software components that may indicate the presence of an activation exploit
  • The name and a hash of the contents of your computer’s startup instructions file

  • If your Windows license is on a subscription basis, information about how your subscription works

Standard computer information is also sent, but your computer’s IP address is only retained temporarily.

Use of information

Microsoft uses the information to confirm that you have a licensed copy of the software. Microsoft does not use the information to contact individual consumers. For additional details, see Windows 10 Privacy Statement.

See also