Troubleshoot Windows Activation Errors

Windows can show an activation error for a variety of reasons, we include some of the most common error codes below, plus some general troubleshooting steps for you to run through.

  1. (0xC004F050) error code

    How to fix windows 10 0xc004f050 error code

    This is the most common error code we get asked about and it means the key cannot activate the edition of Windows you have installed as they do not match.

    – If you purchased an OEM key, you should perform a fresh Windows installation (guides below) and the key will be accepted during install.
    – If you are trying to do an upgrade from Home to Pro and do not want to perform a fresh install, you can purchase a Windows upgrade key.

    Windows installation guides:
    Windows 10
    Windows 11

  2. Internet connection & system time

    No internet connection

    Make sure your computer is connected to the internet and that the system date and time are set correctly for your timezone.

    If you have no internet connection, you will see the icon shown above and you must restore your internet connection.

  3. Activation troubleshooter

    Activation troubleshooter

    Run the Windows Activation Troubleshooter which will attempt to automatically resolve any issues.

  4. Windows update

    Windows update

    Check Windows Update for any outstanding updates, and download and install any outstanding updates.

  5. Restart your PC


    Restart your PC and retry the activation.

  6. Activate by phone

    Activate by phone

    Try a phone activation by clicking the Activate by Phone link on the activation page (if the option is shown).