How to Obtain and Use Your Windows Server 2022 Key

How to Obtain and Use Your Windows Server 2022 Key

Created: Thursday, July 4, 2024, posted by at 11:36 am

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So, you’ve decided to deploy Windows Server 2022 in your organization. Excellent choice! This modern server operating system offers numerous new features in security, application containerization, and hybrid cloud computing. However, to fully utilize these benefits, you will need a Windows Server 2022 key. Let’s explore how to acquire and activate the system.

Windows Server 2022

Windows Server 2022

Where to Get a Windows Server 2022 Product Key

Purchasing a License Directly from Microsoft

The most straightforward option is to purchase a license directly from Microsoft. The company offers several types of licenses:

  1. OEM: comes with a new server and is tied to specific hardware.
  2. Retail: a boxed version that can be transferred between servers.
  3. Volume: corporate licenses for organizations, allowing activation of multiple servers.

Prices vary depending on the edition (Essentials, Standard, or Datacenter) and the number of processor cores. However, this is the most expensive option, so it may be worth exploring other alternatives to save money.

Obtaining a Key Through Microsoft’s Organizational Programs

If you represent a large company, it makes sense to consider Microsoft’s corporate licensing programs. Through the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC), you can obtain product keys for Windows Server and other Microsoft solutions purchased under agreements such as:

  • Open Value;
  • Enterprise Agreement;
  • Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA).

This approach helps optimize licensing costs and simplifies key management at the enterprise level. However, this method is suitable for giant enterprises, so if you are not a major corporation, this option may also be expensive.

Purchasing Through Verified Platforms

An alternative option is to buy a license from a reseller. These partners usually offer more flexible licensing terms and additional implementation services. They also sell keys for other Microsoft products. This is the most affordable option, ideal for those who want to optimize costs and get the product at the best price.

Activating Windows Server 2022 with a Product Key

Online Activation

Now that you have a product key, it’s time to activate Windows Server 2022. The easiest way is to do this online:

  1. Open Settings, and go to SystemActivation.
  2. Click Change product key and enter your key.
  3. Select Activate and wait for confirmation.

If activation fails, check the key’s accuracy and date/time settings. Moreover, ensure your server is connected to the internet and can contact Microsoft’s activation servers.

Offline Activation by Phone

In case of issues with online activation or when deploying Windows Server in an isolated environment, you can activate offline by phone:

  1. In the activation window, select the Activate by phone option.
  2. Call the toll-free number and provide the installation ID to the operator.
  3. Enter the Confirmation ID received to complete the activation.

Note that only Retail licenses can be activated by phone. For OEM and Volume licenses, an internet connection is required.

Activation via Command Line

The most flexible way to activate Windows Server 2022 is through the command line, using the DISM utility. It allows you to specify the product key, OS edition, and other activation parameters. Here is an example command for activating the Standard Edition:

Dism /online /Set-Edition:ServerStandard /ProductKey:XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX /AcceptEula

Replace XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX with your product key. If you want to activate the “Datacenter edition”, use ServerDatacenter instead of ServerStandard.

Managing Licenses and Product Keys

Viewing License Information and Activation Status

After activation, it’s useful to ensure everything goes smoothly. The simplest way is to go to SettingsSystemActivation. Here, the Windows Server edition and activation status will be displayed.

For more detailed information, execute the following command on the command line:

slmgr.vbs /dlv

This command shows the licensing channel (Retail, OEM, Volume), subscription end date, and other license details.

Backing Up the Product Key

It’s easy to lose a product key, so be sure to save it in a secure place! One option is to export the key from the system registry:

  1. Open the Registry Editor (regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to HKEYLOCALMACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform.
  3. Find the BackupProductKeyDefault parameter and copy its value.

Save the key in an encrypted file or password manager. This way, you can quickly recover it if you need to reinstall the system.

Transferring a License to Another Server

Occasionally, you need to transfer a Windows Server license to other hardware, for instance, when replacing a server or migrating to a virtual machine. For Retail licenses, this is not an issue: simply deactivate the key on the old server and activate it on the new one.

OEM licenses are more complex since they are tied to specific hardware. Microsoft officially does not permit the transfer of OEM keys, but, if necessary, you can try contacting support and explaining the situation.

Windows Server 2022 Licensing

Windows Server 2022 Licensing

With Volume Licensing (VL), transferring licenses between organization servers is generally allowed. However, details should be clarified in your licensing agreement.


We hope this article has helped you understand how to obtain and activate a product key for Windows Server 2022. Here are the key points:

  1. Licenses can be purchased directly from Microsoft, from partners, or through corporate programs;
  2. Activation is performed online, by phone, or through the command line;
  3. Be sure to save the product key in a secure place;
  4. The ability to transfer a license depends on the key type.

If you have further questions, refer to the official Windows Server licensing documentation or contact Microsoft support. Happy deployment!

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

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