Most of us know how annoying unactivated Windows can be. And I’m not talking about the limited features, but that pesky “Activate Windows” watermark that occurs after 30 days of usage. Whenever you’re gaming or working, the bottom right corner will always remind you to activate it – even in fullscreen apps. And it’s not the only disadvantage of not activating Windows.
It’s not limiting the system’s functionality in any way, but plenty of desired options are simply unavailable. Although you can use it in this state forever, unactivated Windows can do more harm than good in the long run. Here are a few disadvantages you must deal with if you decide not to activate Windows. But first, you must know that Windows 10 key is not as expensive as you think, especially in the RoyalCDKeys store.
Disadvantages of Not Activating Windows 10
A pesky watermark isn’t the only thing you’ll have to deal with if you don’t activate your system. For example, all premium features and optional updates will be locked, among other smaller things like the inability to change the desktop wallpaper. Alone, these limitations aren’t a hassle but combined, it’s quite an irritating experience. Here are all the disadvantages of using the unactivated version of Windows 10.
Lack of Personalization Options
Windows 10 is a clean and intuitive system with plenty of personalization settings. However, after the first month of usage, the unactivated version of Windows will revert every cosmetic change to its default state. The limited customization is truly a hassle, especially if you want to make your PC feel unique and yours. You must activate Windows before you can personalize your PC again, which is one of the main reasons most users decide to activate it.
Here are all options you can’t change on the unactivated version of Windows:
- Desktop background. You won’t be able to change the wallpaper after the trial period. Even if you’ve done that before, Windows will replace it with the default one or replace it with a black screen.
- Customize colors. Different color palettes are locked, and you’re limited to the default settings only.
- Windows 10 themes. Many Windows 10 original themes are released by either Microsoft or other users. However, you won’t be able to use any of them if you won’t activate the system.
- Lock screen background. Some users like setting a lock screen with a password while not using their devices. Without activation, you can’t change the default lock screen background.
- Taskbar. Everything regarding the taskbar, including the Start Menu, can’t be customized without activating Windows. You’ll be unable to view the most used apps or app suggestions.
When you enter the Personalization tab, you’ll notice a message: “You must activate Windows before you may customize your PC.” Apparently, there’s no other workaround than a properly licensed copy of Windows.
Limited Windows Updates
Windows will update just fine every now and then, even if unactivated. However, Windows 10, without activation, will only download critical updates. It means you’re still eligible to use the latest version of Windows but forget about additional security updates and other features present in the activated version.
Activate Windows Watermark
The most annoying feature of unactivated Windows is definitely the Windows activation watermark. It will stay there whenever you’re working, gaming, watching a movie, or whatever, reminding you of your unactivated copy of Windows 10. This message will be present on your screen from the very first day you install the system without activating it. While the reminder can be removed with some tricks, it’s only a half-measure solution since it won’t activate your system.
Activate Windows Reminders
Besides having a watermark, Windows will occasionally remind you about its state with a big, fullscreen message. It’s incredibly annoying when you’re playing a game or working, and suddenly everything minimizes to show you a pop-up message. And it stays there even when you installed Windows recently. It tells you that your “free trial” is ending soon, and if you wish to continue using it without limitations, you must activate it. Of course, you might completely ignore it, but It’ll most likely return at the worst possible time.
No Access to Windows Insider Builds
Probably the least important feature for most Windows users, but we have to point it out. Windows has a special program where you can access and test development builds of Windows 10. Microsoft uses Insider data and user-submitted feedback before releasing it to the public. Anyone can download and test such builds, but only if you have an activated copy of Windows.
Legal Problems for Companies
This section is directed to organizations and businesses since they are more prone to show licensing information about their software. Microsoft License Terms state: “You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed, and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method.”
If you or your employees are working on an unactivated or pirated copy of Windows, you risk fines of as much as $250,000 per title infringed and imprisonment of up to five years in the US. As a regular user, you probably have nothing to worry about since the chances of your personal computer being controlled are near zero. However, company owners should provide their employees with activated versions of Windows asap if they don’t want to bankrupt.
How to Get Windows 10 Product Key?
There are two ways of activating the Windows operating system legally:
- Upgrading to Windows 10 from an older system.
- Buying the valid product key.
Free upgrade is the best if you have an older system, but going for this option if you already have Windows 10 installed is quite a hassle. It’s better to activate Windows 10 using a valid activation key. When we look at the official prices, Windows 10 official prices range between $139 for Windows 10 Home and $199 for Windows 10 Pro.
In comparison, you can get Windows 10 Home RETAIL Key on RoyalCDKeys for around $4. It’s a fully working, legitimate software you can activate by simply copy-pasting the activation key. And $4 is not an excessive price for a genuine product key and properly activated Windows.
How to Activate Windows 10?
First and foremost, you should get a proper license key either from Windows Store or a trusted reseller like RoyalCDKeys. Remember that installing Windows 10 without a license isn’t illegal, but using a key from an unauthorized source is. Thus, we provide a trustworthy alternative for only a fraction of the retail price.
Follow these steps after acquiring a proper license key:
- Head to the Start Menu, then go to Settings > Update and Security > Activation.
- Press “Change Product Key.”
- Enter your product key into the pop-up box and press Next.
- Press Activate.
And that’s it! You have a fully working, legitimate copy of Windows 10.
Can I Use Unactivated Windows 10 Indefinitely?
You can use unactivated Windows 10 for as much as you like. However, given the restrictions and limitations set to the system, the user’s experience is far from ideal. You won't be able to personalize the system to your liking, and Windows will constantly remind you to purchase it.
How to Activate Windows 10 for Free?
You can upgrade from older versions of Windows like 7 or 8.1. In this case, download Media Creation Tool from Microsoft’s website and follow the instructions shown on-screen. However, it will work only if your previous system is activated. This is the only legal way of doing it for free. You can attempt to use a random key from the internet, but you’ll get caught eventually, especially if you run a company.
Can I Activate Windows 10 Cheap?
You don’t have to buy Windows 10 from the official distribution to get fully working, legitimate software. RoyalCDKeys is a trusted key shop that buys product keys in bulk, thus getting a huge discount. For example, Microsoft Windows 10 Home Retail Key is available for less than $3 at the time of writing.
How to Check if Windows 10 is Activated?
Go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation to check the status of your system.