- It is possible to use Windows 11 without license activation but you will see watermarks and “Activate Windows” reminders and you will lose the possibility of various personalization settings
- In which cases is it advisable not to activate and why does Windows allow Windows to be used without a key?
Windows 11 has been here for several months now, in which a good percentage of users have managed to access this update with many things better and some worse than Windows 10. In general, we can say that the experience is worth it, and If you want to enjoy the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, here is a guide to use Windows 11 without a product key.
In fact, it is possible to use Windows 11 indefinitely without license activation but you will see watermarks and “Activate Windows” reminders and you will lose the possibility of various customization settings. As long as that is not a problem for you, you can enjoy this version with all applications.
This is because the days of necessarily requiring a valid product key to install Windows are long gone. Now, what happens if you never activate them? Can you use it without paying?
How to download Windows 11 for free?
You can download Windows 11 from Microsoft without signing in if you meet the installation requirements. Installing it is not difficult at all because there are several ways you can do it as a bootable drive.
So you can create an installation drive with a USB stick and install Windows by following the steps. Immediately after the process is complete, Microsoft will inform you that Windows 11 has not been activated with a key. To activate it you should go to Settings, System, Activation, although in this case it is not what we want to do.
And what happens if you don’t activate it?
The truth is that just like in Windows 10, nothing really serious happens if you never activate the operating system. Other than the Activate Windows watermark in the bottom right corner that could affect a screenshot, you won’t lose much. You will be able to run all the games and applications desired without major problems.
From time to time, messages will also appear warning you that Windows 11 is not activated and you should activate it. Nothing too annoying so far, except that you will resign most of the customization options available in Settings, Personalization. You will not be able to switch to dark mode, choose colors, etc.
Even so, you will still have changes to the lock screen and modifications to the Start menu, among others.
Can you use Windows normally without activating it?
Given the above drawbacks, Windows will not be greatly affected by not being activated. Eventually you will be able to install games, applications, surf the Internet and check your Mailbox.
And, probably most importantly, you won’t miss any of the new stuff from Windows Update. Thanks to that, you will be able to keep your PC updated and you will avoid headaches with security breaches.
Unfortunately, It is possible that Microsoft could reverse its decision to allow Windows users who have not activated access to updates in the future. But for now, they enjoy it.
When is it not worth activating Windows 11?
There are all sorts of hypothetical reasons why one might not want to purchase a license, but some reasons are especially valid. If you just bought a bare-bones PC for hundreds of dollars, you might want to wait a few months before splurging on a Windows 11 license.
On the other hand, those from Redmond are interested in allowing users who do not have Windows to try it for free. This is one of the devices through which they try to convince fans of Linux and MacOS. In particular, Mac users running Windows in virtual machines are another audience.
What happens if you continue with Windows 10?
If you have a valid copy of Windows 10 and your PC meets the requirements, you can easily upgrade to Windows 11. Go to Settings, Update and security, Check for updates and click on the Download and install button. The system should automatically detect the availability of Windows 11 and suggest the update.
If you prefer to stick with Windows 10, that’s fine. Microsoft has promised security updates until October 2025, and to be honest, there aren’t huge differences in the daily experience between Windows 10 and Windows 11.
Should you activate Windows 11?
If you use Windows on a daily basis as your computer’s operating system, then you’ll want to activate it. officially getting rid of that invasive Windows Activate watermark and unlocking customization options.
But Windows is not free in its most recent versions, and you must evaluate if the expense enters your budget. Remember that there is nothing illegal about installing Windows 11 on your computer without officially activating it.
Microsoft has designed it that way for a reason, and although we cannot guarantee that they will do the same with upcoming updates such as Windows 12, which is expected for next year, for now the rules are as discussed.
Are you using Windows 11 without a product key? Do you plan to activate it later or will you leave it as it is?