I can't find my old windows product key

Is there any way to find an old product key for windows?
I first upgraded from windows 8.1 to windows 8.1 pro for students through the 'students on the hub' website last week.
When I upgraded to windows 10 using installation media, windows wouldn't accept it. I then did a clean install of windows 10 home using a generic key. I tried retrieving my product key through a keyfinding software, but it only came up with the windows 8.1 pro student key which doesn't allow me to upgrade.

I already checked my sony vaio laptop case for a windows 8 key to hopefully revert and upgrade from there but no dice. Please HELP!


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Unless you have purchased a copy which might come with a key you should upgrade your current install. The install is supposed to check your current install, and if accepted, continue the upgrade to Windows 10, no key involved.

But our experience is based mostly on normal users. Since you are going through an academic environment, I suppose it could be different. As long as you understand, Windows 10 uses the legal status of a current install. Once that install is verified the install will continue and be registered online, no license key is required.

Maybe you school will start selling the Windows 10 version when the install media is released to the public later this month.


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

I have my Windows 8 and 8.1 product key and it wouldn't let me install Windows 10 directly anyway.
It looks like you pretty much have to upgrade at this point.

So I'm going to have to recover Windows 8 update it to Windows 8.1 and then update to Windows 10.

It appears that you can only do a clean install if you already have Windows 10 installed, or you have a Windows 10 product key, which you need to purchase.

What a pain. LOL


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