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

    The (0xC004F050) error code means the key cannot activate the edition of Windows you have installed on your PC because the edition of the key does not match the edition installed.

    – The license cannot be used to upgrade an existing installation, e.g. going from Home to Pro edition without performing a fresh Windows install.

    – Perform a fresh Windows installation using the ISO (see guides below).
    – Purchase a Windows product key that matches the Windows edition you have installed.

    Windows installation guides:
    Windows 10 installation
    Windows 11

  2. (0x80070490) error code

    The 0x80070490 error code is most commonly seen when attempting to upgrade an existing Windows edition, follow these steps to resolve.

    – Press the Windows key + X
    – Go to Settings
    – Click Update and Security
    – Click Troubleshooter then Additional Troubleshooter
    – Look for Windows Update and run the troubleshooter
    – Download this tool to reset the Windows Update Components (Works for both Windows 10 and 11):
    – Restart your PC
    – Press the Windows key + X
    – Go to Settings 
    – Click Update and Security
    – Check for Updates and install all updates available.
    – Restart your PC

    Attempt the upgrade to Windows Pro by entering your product key in the Activation window.

  3. 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.

  4. Activation troubleshooter

    Activation troubleshooter

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

  5. Windows update

    Windows update

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

  6. Restart your PC


    Restart your PC and retry the activation.

  7. 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).