Parallels 11 and Windows 10 product key workaround

Something’s apparently broken but I don’t know if it’s on the Parallels or Windows side. If you don’t provide your product key before installing Windows 10 via Parallels 11 on your Mac, you may run into the problem where the dialog that Windows allows you to provide your product key for activation doesn’t ever get shown. Not being able to get to that dialog means you’re stuck with an unactivated copy of Windows 10 on your machine. There is a way around it though: you can provide your Windows product key via the Command Prompt. 

Here are the steps:

  • Start your Windows 10 virtual machine
  • Click on the Start button
  • Start to type ‘Command Prompt’ and right-click it as soon as it appears in the list
  • Select ‘Run as administrator’
  • Click ‘Yes’ on the UAC dialog
  • Enter the following into the command prompt replacing the X placeholders with your product key:
slmgr.vbs -ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
  • After hitting enter, wait for the confirmation dialog to show up and close it
  • Enter the following to tell Windows to activate using the product key you just provided
slmgr.vbs -ato
  • Once again, wait for a confirmation dialog after hitting enter. Assuming you provided a valid product key, your copy of Windows 10 should now be activated.

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