Activate Windows with KMS server

If you’ve  installed Windows with a MAK key and now want to change it to KMS or installed OS (never activated), and need to activate WIndows with KMS server, this article will definitely help you.

Activate Windows with KMS Server

Step 1: KMS Client Setup Key

You must change the product activation key to the public KMS Client Setup Key. For each version of Windows, this key is unique.

Run Command prompt with elevated privileges on the machine you are wanting to activate and type:

slmgr.vbs /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX

(XXXXX is KMS for your Windows version key from the table below)

For example, we want to activate Windows Server 2012 R2 using KMS. The KMS Client key installation command will look like this:

kms client key

Step 2

You can skip this step if your DNS has a valid SRV record that allows clients to find the KMS server.

Tip. You can check this DNS entry using command:

nslookup -q=SRV _VLMCS._TCP.theitbros.com

If the client does not find the KMS server automatically, then you can specify the address of the KMS server manually:

slmgr /skms <KMS_server_name_or_IP>:1688

address KMS server

Step 3: Activate Windows on KMS server

To activate Windows with KMS server, run the command:

Slmgr /ato

And wait until message Product activated successfully appeared.

address KMS server

Step 4: Check the Status of Windows Activation

Optionally, you can display information about the status of Windows activation:

slmgr /dli

activation windows KMS server

Most often when users facing following errors when activate Windows with KMS server:

  • 0xC004F074 The key management server is unavailable. It means that the KMS service on the server is not running or access to it from the client is blocked (check TCP port 1688 availability on server);
  • 0xC004F038 You did not have the necessary number of systems to activate (for client versions of Windows minimum number of KMS clients- 25, for Windows Server – 5).

Note. The KMS license activation server (Key Management Service) allows you to activate corporate versions of Windows operating systems and Microsoft Office products within the enterprise network.

The main advantages of KMS activation:

  • KMS clients do not need to access the Internet or the phone to activate the system, only requires network access to the KMS server;
  • In case the KMS server does not work, there is nothing to restore on the KMS server. Just install a new server, install KMS role, enter the key, activate and everything is ready to go!;
  • KMS infrastructure is simple and extensible, one KMS server can serve thousands of clients.

Below are the collection of public KMS Client license keys from Microsoft for all supported Windows versions. They are pretty hard to find using the Microsoft website.

Operating system versionKMS Client License Key
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2016 DatacenterCB7KF-BWN84-R7R2Y-793K2-8XDDG
Windows Server 2016 StandardWC2BQ-8NRM3-FDDYY-2BFGV-KHKQY
Windows Server 2016 EssentialsJCKRF-N37P4-C2D82-9YXRT-4M63B
Windows 10
Windows 10 ProfessionalW269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX
Windows 10 Professional NMH37W-N47XK-V7XM9-C7227-GCQG9
Windows 10 EnterpriseNPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43
Windows 10 Enterprise NDPH2V-TTNVB-4X9Q3-TJR4H-KHJW4
Windows 10 EducationNW6C2-QMPVW-D7KKK-3GKT6-VCFB2
Windows 10 Education N2WH4N-8QGBV-H22JP-CT43Q-MDWWJ
Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSBWNMTR-4C88C-JK8YV-HQ7T2-76DF9
Windows 10 Enterprise 2015 LTSB N2F77B-TNFGY-69QQF-B8YKP-D69TJ
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSBDCPHK-NFMTC-H88MJ-PFHPY-QJ4BJ
Windows 10 Enterprise 2016 LTSB NQFFDN-GRT3P-VKWWX-X7T3R-8B639
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012 R2 StandardD2N9P-3P6X9-2R39C-7RTCD-MDVJX
Windows Server 2012 R2 DatacenterW3GGN-FT8W3-Y4M27-J84CP-Q3VJ9
Windows Server 2012 R2 EssentialsKNC87-3J2TX-XB4WP-VCPJV-M4FWM
Windows 8.1
Windows 8.1 ProfessionalGCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9
Windows 8.1 Professional NHMCNV-VVBFX-7HMBH-CTY9B-B4FXY
Windows 8.1 EnterpriseMHF9N-XY6XB-WVXMC-BTDCT-MKKG7
Windows 8.1 Enterprise NTT4HM-HN7YT-62K67-RGRQJ-JFFXW
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012 CoreBN3D2-R7TKB-3YPBD-8DRP2-27GG4
Windows Server 2012 Core N8N2M2-HWPGY-7PGT9-HGDD8-GVGGY
Windows Server 2012 Core Single Language2WN2H-YGCQR-KFX6K-CD6TF-84YXQ
Windows Server 2012 Core Country Specific4K36P-JN4VD-GDC6V-KDT89-DYFKP
Windows Server 2012 Server StandardXC9B7-NBPP2-83J2H-RHMBY-92BT4
Windows Server 2012 Standard CoreXC9B7-NBPP2-83J2H-RHMBY-92BT4
Windows Server 2012 MultiPoint StandardHM7DN-YVMH3-46JC3-XYTG7-CYQJJ
Windows Server 2012 MultiPoint PremiumXNH6W-2V9GX-RGJ4K-Y8X6F-QGJ2G
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter48HP8-DN98B-MYWDG-T2DCC-8W83P
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Core48HP8-DN98B-MYWDG-T2DCC-8W83P
Windows 8
Windows 8 ProfessionalNG4HW-VH26C-733KW-K6F98-J8CK4
Windows 8 Professional NXCVCF-2NXM9-723PB-MHCB7-2RYQQ
Windows 8 Enterprise32JNW-9KQ84-P47T8-D8GGY-CWCK7
Windows 8 Enterprise NJMNMF-RHW7P-DMY6X-RF3DR-X2BQT
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows Server 2008 R2 HPC EditionFKJQ8-TMCVP-FRMR7-4WR42-3JCD7
Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter74YFP-3QFB3-KQT8W-PMXWJ-7M648
Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise489J6-VHDMP-X63PK-3K798-CPX3Y
Windows Server 2008 R2 for Itanium-Based SystemsGT63C-RJFQ3-4GMB6-BRFB9-CB83V
Windows Server 2008 R2 StandardYC6KT-GKW9T-YTKYR-T4X34-R7VHC
Windows Web Server 2008 R26TPJF-RBVHG-WBW2R-86QPH-6RTM4
Windows Server 2008
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter7M67G-PC374-GR742-YH8V4-TCBY3
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V22XQ2-VRXRG-P8D42-K34TD-G3QQC
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems4DWFP-JF3DJ-B7DTH-78FJB-PDRHK
Windows Server 2008 EnterpriseYQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V39BXF-X8Q23-P2WWT-38T2F-G3FPG
Windows Server 2008 StandardTM24T-X9RMF-VWXK6-X8JC9-BFGM2
Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-VW7VD6-7JFBR-RX26B-YKQ3Y-6FFFJ
Windows Web Server 2008WYR28-R7TFJ-3X2YQ-YCY4H-M249D
Windows 7
Windows 7 ProfessionalFJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4
Windows 7 Professional NMRPKT-YTG23-K7D7T-X2JMM-QY7MG
Windows 7 Enterprise33PXH-7Y6KF-2VJC9-XBBR8-HVTHH
Windows 7 Enterprise NYDRBP-3D83W-TY26F-D46B2-XCKRJ
Windows 7 Enterprise EC29WB-22CC8-VJ326-GHFJW-H9DH4
Windows Vista
Windows Vista BusinessYFKBB-PQJJV-G996G-VWGXY-2V3X8
Windows Vista Business NHMBQG-8H2RH-C77VX-27R82-VMQBT
Windows Vista EnterpriseVKK3X-68KWM-X2YGT-QR4M6-4BWMV
Windows Vista Enterprise NVTC42-BM838-43QHV-84HX6-XJXKV

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  • Laurynas

    Actually, if the installation media is not Retail but Volume, it is not required to execute slmgr.vbs /ipk KEY part. If the newly installed server can find KMS host via DDNS, executing slmgr.vbs /ato activates the server. If a server cannot find KMS host, you can specify it using slmgr.vbs /skms KMS-Server:Port, default Port=1688.
    So, in my case with standalone server this was enough:
    slmgr.vbs /skms KMS-Server:Port
    slmgr.vbs /ato

  • Lain
  • Vivek

    Very useful.. Thank you

  • Rendy Luqman Fauzan

    Thank you,i search everywhere but not working
    -sorry for my bad english-

  • Timanator BBDD

    So when it comes to activating desktops with Windows 7 and 8, do you use the KMS keys on the MS license portal for the product you are activating, or the generic KMS MS provide for KMS activation?

    I Find it very odd that if the KMS server communicates with the MS license server, why the need for KMS key’s for the product, and then a set of generic MS supply’s to perform the same task?

    • If you are activating Windows 7 or Windows 8 desktops the proper way to do this is to activate via your own KMS Server. If setup properly you shouldn’t have to manually activate your desktops. However, I have seen servers need to be manually activated via KMS more often than not.

      But yes I agree with your last statement, seems kind of strange the way they activate with KMS. Totally different than the MAK or VLK keys.

  • seccondee@gmail.com

    Excellent! I just had an issue when virtiualising a server that was licenced via our KMS but come out ‘the otherside’ as not genuine (!). Your web page just got me out of the hole. Thanks

  • hillaray

    i wanna download w8 for free, would this method help me obtain it for free without worrying my pc will crash or any files be corrupted?

    • Sorry Hillaray, this won’t allow you to download W8 for free. This assumes you have a KMS server running.

  • Keith

    I am using Windows 7 Professional and mini-KMS Activator. I rearmed Windows 8 days ago. Yesterday I ran “Key Manager Windows VL” to generate the windows key “FJ82H-XT6CR-J8D7P-XQJJ2-GPDD4”. I then ran “Activate Windows CL” but all the KMS servers were reported as “down”. I tried this again just now with the same result – any suggestions?

  • Lionel Sacrifice

    The english version is there too

    • Damien Robshneider

      The English version you just change the FR with COM