How to Check if Windows 7 is Genuine?

So you have a computer with Windows 7 installed, but you’re not sure if you are running a genuine version of the OS. You may have this issue if you downloaded a copy of Windows 7 or if someone installed it for you.

Either way, there are a couple of different ways to check and make sure that your Windows 7 copy is genuine.

Method 1 – Activate Windows Dialog

The first way to validate that Windows 7 is genuine is to click on Start, then type in activate windows in the search box.

activate windows

If your copy of Windows 7 is activated and genuine, you will ge t a message that says “Activation was successful” and you will see the Microsoft Genuine software logo on the right hand side.

check windows 7 genuine

Method 2 – Validate Online

The second way to determine if you have a valid copy of Windows 7 is to use the validation tool on the Microsoft website.

If you ever tried to download updates from Microsoft, you’ve probably noticed that sometimes your copy of Windows has to be validated before it allows you to start the download.

Well, you can use that tool independently of downloading an update by going to the following address:

Then click on the Validate link at the top. Make sure that you visit the site while in Internet Explorer, otherwise it will ask you do download a small program onto your computer in order to validate.

validate windows 7

Method 3 – Control Panel

The third way to check for genuine Windows 7 is to go to the Control Panel. Click on Start, then Control Panel, then click on System and Security, and finally click on System.

genuine windows 7 check

Then scroll all the way down to the bottom and you should see a section called Windows activation, which says “Windows is activated” and gives you the Product ID. It also includes the genuine Microsoft software logo.

genuine microsoft software

So, in conclusion, if you have bought a copy of Windows 7 from a shady local computer dealer or off eBay for a reduced price, you may want to check and make sure the product key is actually valid and not counterfeit!

If you have any other questions about whether your copy of Windows 7 is valid, post a comment here and I will try to help. Enjoy!

Comments [41]

  1. I have a genuine version of Windows, but whenever I try to download anything from Microsoft, it says I am not running Genuine Windows!! Why is that? I bought Windows 7 from a discount website, so did they sell me a fake?

  2. Yes its confirmed a fake. I am also using a counterfeit product. This is because I do not have money to buy the genuine stuff.

  3. Yes it is great information and what i am looking for. Thanks

  4. I have a copy of Windows 7 that was working perfectly for a few months. The copy was activated and I could download updates from Microsoft.

    Lately, on startup, Windows complains that I do not have a genuine Microsoft Windows installation. How can this be?

  5. Thanx a lot for the information!

  6. The following website is helpful to validate your Windows 7:

  7. Hi.

    I checked my Window with all the methods. Methods two and three were OK (Windows is activated and from the website it said that it was fine), but method one still says that I need to activate within 30 days?! What's that about??

    Someone help me please! Do I need to worry?

  8. I used method 1 to check win 7 validation. It showed that windows is not genuine. But, when I used method 3 to check win 7 validation, it showed me that windows is activated. I'm still confused. Can you help me – which was is correct?

    Please reply me on my email:


  9. Pimmy5, hello to you.

    Your problem was my problem before, when I was a new user of windows, until I discovered the easiest solution for that problem.

    You must download Activator for windows 7 here:
    Applications: Windows 7 All in 1 Activator

    Note: You can download that, if you have an account in demonoid.

    Thanks and enjoy.

  10. I did all the checks and the software passed with flying colors. But, I then checked with Microsoft and gave them the Product Key. I was told that the copy I had was "Volume License Software" and I would not receive any support from MS. Nuff said.

  11. If somebody gives you a Windows 7 key and you want to check it's validity before you install windows 7, how can it be done?

  12. Hey zipper.

    It sounds to me like what you have might be an OEM copy of Windows. These are legitimate copies that are generally intended for large PC manufacturers like Dell or HP (or any other company that manufactures new PCs). Microsoft sells these versions at a discount, but does so with the caveat that they do not provide support. Instead, the PC manufacturer is supposed to provide support for those licenses.

    – Toby

  13. AJ,

    It's not possible to validate a Windows 7 key prior to installation. The popular recommendation is to backup your entire hard drive image prior to installation so you can revert back if the key fails. This is good practice during any OS upgrade anyways.

    – Toby

  14. Thank you! This information was useful to me!

  15. I have a windows 7 copy, downloaded from web. I installed the loader and the Windows genuine logo appeared. Now, is it an original one? Now, can I update Windows?

  16. THANKS MAN!! You are too good at this!

  17. Hello,

    I have no any admin rights, but I want to check if windows and software are genuine or not? How will I do that?

    Please reply with the steps.



  18. I booted my machine with an Ubuntu Live Cd and then went to reboot Windows and the activate status chnaged and now gets an error when I try to activate. This is 100% a real copy of windows – an enterprise version through a large university system and have been using it for more than a year already so..Any suggestions?

  19. thank you, this information is useful for me… but my problem is when i turnon my pc its takes nearly 5 to 10 minutes to open homepage… can u pls send reason behind that problem? pls send your reply to my mailid

  20. i have purchased an upgade of windows 7 ultimate from a local dealer and it is not genuine so is there anything I can do to hold them responcable? i contacted the BBB and they had no luck as well i hope microsoft will check into it and stop selling him stuff. any way please advise and inform me how to get my computer up and legal.

  21. hey , i hv purchased laptop 6 months ago. my windows is working good.

    but how can i know my windows is legal or illegal . also i have updated windows many time . but when go in my computer properties in windows activation details r shown in following way

    Status not Available

    Product id: Not available

    is my windows 7 is legal? plz help me ….

  22. could anyone of you please tell me how can i get the genuine softwares, i have re-installed windows. i want to get the genuine softwares which were pre-installed when i bought my laptop. can i? if yes…. then how??


  23. hi!

    i purchased a laptop n the windows seem to be fine!! but after a month its started showing as –

    windows 7

    build 7601

    this copy of windows is not genuine

    at the bottom right corner of the screen n the wallpaper goes completely black!! i checked the control panel n there is a product key but even when i tried activating it n installing all the updates its not working!!! please help me out!!!

  24. I have a windows 7 copy, downloaded from web. I installed the loader and the Windows genuine logo appeared. Now, is it an original one? Now, can I update Windows? Bcoz i am having a plan to install windows security essentials (requirment says original windows needed)…..
    send to

  25. hi! method 2 and 3 says that i have a genuine windows 7 version but method 1 says i only have 2 days left to use full features of windows 7. need some help. :)) thanks

  26. mine was windows 7 home basic..

    i just tried a key from a list of keys on web sand got upgraded to win 7 ultimate ..

    all tests to check genuine are positive…

    shall i think it is genuine????

  27. shortcut to method 3 click start right click my computer and select properties takes you right to system readout just scroll down to see if your activated.

  28. Hi, I got a laptop with win 7 home premium on it but I like to install virtual pc [xp mode]. So I upgrade it to ultimate [win7] and enter the product key which I got online and activated the windows. Now while I am trying to install virtual pc in my laptop, windows ask me genuine test and I accepted it. It shows “I failed the test cant install virtual pc”. How can I install virtual pc with xp mode in my system????

  29. On your pc it should have a recovery console with the pre-loaded oem software when initialy booting up during or after post test it should give you a function key to press allowing you boot from recovery, also note that the recovery boot loader is located in your partitioned drive, so if that was formatted then there is no way to load your factory o/s.

  30. When i bought my pc a guy installed my PC with windows7 ultimate. he said that it was genuine OS. but now when i try to update my OS from windows it says that it is not a genuine software..please tell me what to do . you can mail me to []

  31. yeah I was able to do all of this and everything said the copy is valid except for the phone activation.

    I can download and install the updates normally.

    However every now and then I get your windows is not genuine pop up …

    What is happening?

  32. I cloned my drive using Macrium Reflect. I have a HP-DV6 which I purchased brand new.

    I just needed a larger hard drive.

    Now it is saying something has changed with the files so its not genuine.

    It shows that it has been activated though.

    Now I cant get updates, etc.

    I do have an extra license of windows 7, can I do an install that would leave all my programs and settings intact?


  33. Okay, so I have done all the steps that you have set out only to show that my windows does not seem to look genuine but when I go to download and install it says that it is already on my computer. What do I need to do there is no where to put a validation code, no screen pops up to ask for such. Please help

  34. I’ve purchased a laptop from the Microsoft store online that has windows 7 home premium preinstalled yet I still received a pop-up message stating that I’ m not running genuine windows. tried calling Microsoft support but they just transferred me to Samsung (the make of my laptop) saying that since the brand is Samsung, that Samsung can figure out what’s wrong. The only thing Samsung customer support told me to do was to restart my system and reset my laptop…hopefully this work. if not, anyone else know what I can do?

  35. Just wait for it. Hit refresh several times. you’ll see it appear. reboot if it doesn’t.

  36. Just so you know, Upgrade keys can be shared. They could be used by a number of people. But Activation keys are not. I have this Windows loader application. This application will generate your own product key depending on your laptop brand and all details about your laptop. So, this will avoid having troubles. Do not use windows genuine validator here. If you didn’t get your key from microsoft, it will say your OS is not genuine.

  37. thank u…I have genuine windows 7..thank a lot :)

  38. Faster control panel way

    1) start menu
    2) right click “computer”
    3) scroll to the bottom

    tells you there

  39. I have a genuine windows 7 with my hp laptop. Can i use that windows 7 product key for another machine, after removing windows 7 from my hp laptop? Thank you.

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