Just about everyone's had that moment when your computer becomes sluggish from a year or two of use and it's time to reinstall Windows and start over.
Unless your computer came with a recovery partition that will easily reinstall the OS and return your computer to factory condition, hopefully you have the ISO or a CD that has Windows on it so you can do it yourself.
But do you have the activation key for your copy of Windows? Without it, you won't be able to activate Windows and have to deal with a crippled OS with a watermark saying your copy isn't registered and might be fake.
If you don't, all is not lost because there's a way out!
Before you begin reinstalling Windows, do this to recovery your activation key (not to mention keep it in safe place).
Go to the Search box on your taskbar (usually on the bottom left, next to the Start icon/button.
Type in "Powershell" and press Enter.
The Powershell command line window will pop up.
Type in the following command into the Powershell command line:
wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
You'll see your 25-Digit Microsoft Windows Activation Key! Write it down, take a picture, or whatever you need to do to keep it safe.
Now that you've recovered your key, you can go about reinstalling Windows!
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