Change Windows XP Product Key Without Re-Installation

Change Windows XP Product KeySometimes it becomes necessary to change the product key of Windows XP, but by default XP doesn’t provide any option to do that. As a result, many people may decide to re-install the operating system itself which is often a tedious and time consuming task .

However, here is a small hack using which it is possible to change the Windows XP product key without the need for re-installing it. This makes it possible to input a new product key and make your OS genuine. Here is a step-by-step procedure:

  1. Open the Registry editor (Go to Start menu -> Run -> type regedit and hit Enter).

  2. In the Registry editor navigate to:

  3. In the right-side panel open “OOBE Timer”

  4. Edit/Change at least one entry there, press OK and close registry editor. This will temporarily deactivate your Windows.

    Deactivate Windows

  5. In “Run” type the following command and press Enter:

    %systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe /a
  6. Activation wizard appears as follows:

    Windows Activation Wizard

  7. Select the option “activation by phone” and click on “Next”. In the next page click on “CHANGE PRODUCT KEY” button, enter a new valid product key, press OK and close the wizard.

    Activate by Phone

  8. Reboot the computer. After the restart type the same command (as shown in step-5) in the “Run” box.

  9. Activation wizard appears again and it shows the message WINDOWS IS ALREADY ACTIVATED.

That’s it! You have now successfully changed the product key of your Windows XP computer.


  1. Biswajit Das
    February 20, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    this is fine concept. i will try but conuse to work or not

  2. Moudi
    April 11, 2009 at 4:06 AM

    You just know too mush 😛

  3. Moudi
    April 11, 2009 at 4:35 AM

    Oh umm btw .. i cant find this WPA EVENTS :(

  4. dave
    April 24, 2009 at 7:04 AM

    hi srikant i ve done as per your guidance manually and by downlding genuine maker but that dindnt help me,after rebooting a message says that the grace period is over,please click here to activate.
    please help

    • Srikanth
      April 24, 2009 at 12:38 PM

      @ dave

      This trick works only for Corporate editions (VLC) of XP. It does not work for the retail copies.

    • wolf
      January 26, 2013 at 5:54 PM

      But pls tell me why would we need to change the product key , if it has already been activated.

  5. Achilles
    June 7, 2009 at 6:03 PM

    then we have to format if that happen?

  6. AKL
    November 11, 2009 at 10:16 PM


    What about Vista?
    Any way to do that?


  7. alish shrestha
    July 19, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    its nice site

  8. mangesh
    July 25, 2011 at 1:29 AM

    you are genius

  9. Madhukar
    August 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    i did above all setting but notheing happen when i punt systmroot command in
    run just showing your windows alredy activated…

Leave A Reply