When you install or reinstall a Games for Windows, Microsoft Streets & Trips, or Microsoft MapPoint program, you are prompted to enter the product key. The product key is used during Microsoft software installation to "unlock" the product. If you do not enter the product key when you are prompted, the program may not start, or it may work only for a limited number of times.
This article describes where to find the product key. It also describes how to obtain a replacement product key if the product key is obscured or lost.
How to locate the product key
The product key may appear in different places. This depends on how you obtained the product, such as on CD/DVD, by downloaded, by subscription, or the product came preinstalled on a computer that you purchased. To find the product key, check the following locations:
- The sticker on the CD case or on other packaging
- The Certificate of Authenticity that came with the program
- The confirmation e-mail message that you received for an online purchase
- A sticker on the computer
- The user manual or other documentation that was included with your computer
If you cannot find the product key for your product, see the following section.
How to replace a damaged or lost product key
If you cannot find your product key, you can obtain a replacement product key. To do this, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services:
Streets & Trips/MapPoint: (866) 834-8317
Games for Windows: (800) 537-8324
Note There may be a charge to obtain a new product key.
When you contact Microsoft for a new product key, make sure that you have the following items available:
- The product CD or DVD, if the product came on disc
- The computer on which you want to install the product
- The readable parts of your original product key, if this is available
- The "inner circle" number on the product disc
This number is preceded by an "X" and contains seven digits, as shown here:
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