Generic key to install Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8

There are often times when you need to install Windows 10, Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 for evaluation or testing in a virtual machine like VirtualBox for example. You may not want to activate it every time with your licensed product key that you use on a real machine. For that purpose, you can use generic keys from Microsoft, which will allow you to install the OS, but won't allow you to activate it. As long as you have an ISO image containing Windows Setup files you can install the OS using a generic key. If you used Windows 7, you might remember you could install it without a key. Generic keys for Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8 serve the same purpose.


Generic key for Windows 10

There are two generic keys available for Windows 10 at this moment. One is for the standard edition and the other is for the Enterprise edition.
These keys are as follows:

  • Windows 10 Home:
  • WIndows 10 Pro:
  • Windows 10 Home Single Language
  • Windows 10 Enterprise:

Generic key for Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 has four different editions including Windows 8.1 RT, Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Enterprise. Here are generic keys for basic and Pro editions of Windows 8.1:

  • Windows 8.1 standard/non-Pro edition:
  • Windows 8.1 Pro:
  • Windows 8 Pro with Media Center:

Generic key for Windows 8

The RTM release of Windows 8 was available in the following editions: Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 Enterprise.
Use the following product keys for them:

  • Windows 8 standard/non-Pro edition:
  • Windows 8 Pro:
  • Windows 8 Pro with Media Center:

Remember, these keys can only install Windows for evaluation or testing for a short time. It's not possible to activate it unless you enter a genuine key purchased from Microsoft. Once you decide to activate your installed OS, you will need to change the generic product key to the actual key you purchased. Here is how you do it: How to change product key in Windows 10
That's it.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

12 thoughts on “Generic key to install Windows 10, Windows 8.1 and Windows 8”

  1. Hi i would really like the generic keys for
    windows 8 enterprise so that i could use the windows to go feature.
    I wish to try to put win 8 or win 10 on to a usb 64 gb bootable stick,
    this is to use the usb stick to operate on any computer.

  2. I was really concerned how to get a working Win8 installation to VirtualBox when I bought a laptop with Win8. After some time researching the issue, it started to look like that I can’t use the same key in VirtualBox installation (even if it’s on the same machine). This worked just fine with WinXP.

    Anyways, I found the generic installation key and tried it. Now I’ve been running the “generic” installation of Win8.1 for over 6 months. It’s still working fine. Occasionally there’s OS notifications of “updating” the key to a valid one, but closing the “metro” window of changing the key that opens allows me to continue again normally (and when that notification comes/opens, everything runs just fine in the background, nothing is stopped).

    So, I’m not doing anything illegal AFAIK, and I didn’t have to buy another license for VirtualBox installation (so I can test programs without messing up my “host” computer OS). Happy days.

  3. Dead HDD & no recovery discs. OEM laptop. If I guess the correct version, install with these keys, will it detect it’s true key from BIOS?


  4. Generic 8.1 Product Key Search Brought Me here, And it worked i’m hoping to get some more features in soon like BITLOCKER, Please many thanks to this site and keeping Windows Free Peace Love And Respect hope to hear from you.

  5. It was a nice article. Thank you for your valuable information. visit us if you have further queries regarding on how To Setup Email On Windows 8.1.

  6. hello there! i cant activate my window 8.1 pro :
    I don’t know why this issue come again and again:
    it tells,
    This is Issues >{ this didn’t work please choose different key!}

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