How to Check a Microsoft Product Key

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Whether you use your computer for typing letters, keeping track of the family finances or sorting lists of names for mailings, chances are you're working with a Microsoft product. If you installed Microsoft software or the entire Microsoft Office Suite, part of your installation process involved inputting a product key. This key is unique to you and shows you obtained your copy of the Microsoft product legally. Product keys, also known as license keys or product IDs, never change and are literally the key to keeping your software even if you change computers or have to reinstall after a crash.

Step 1

Open the Microsoft product of which you want to check the key by double-clicking its icon on your computer desktop or by clicking it off your "Start" button.

Step 2

Pull down the "Help" menu at the top of the workspace screen.

Step 3

Click the "About…" link, which is the same no matter your product, such as "About Microsoft Office Word" or "About Microsoft Office Publisher." An "About…" pop-up box appears on the screen.

Step 4

Look at the middle of the window, which has a bordered rectangle in its center. Under the words "This product is licensed to" is your name, and under that is "Product ID," which is your product key.

Step 5

Click "OK" to close the "About…" window.