How to Remove the Windows XP Serial Key

By Felix Ofiwe

To install and activate Microsoft Windows XP, you need a serial key. This is a set of numbers and digits supplied by Microsoft Corporation when you buy a copy of its Windows operating system. You also receive this key when you buy a new computer system from any retailer. There are many reasons to change your Windows XP serial key including legitimizing your copy.

Step 1

Remove your Windows serial key through the activation wizard. Click Start on the taskbar, then Run and type "regedit" in the box. Click Ok. In the new window, click HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\Current Version\WPAEvents on the left side of the screen. Click OOBETimer on the right side. Click Modify. Change one number in the values shown on your screen and close the window.

Step 2

Click Start on the task bar. Select Run from the list. In the box, type "%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a". Click Ok. In the new window, choose "Yes, I want to activate Windows by telephone." Click Next, then Change Product key. Type the new product serial number and click Update. Close all windows and restart your computer.

Step 3

Verify that your copy of Windows XP is activated. Click Start, Run and type "%systemroot%\system32\oobe\msoobe.exe /a". Click Ok. You will receive an on-screen message confirming that your serial key has been changed and your copy of Windows XP is activated. Click Ok and close all windows.

Step 4

Use free software to remove your Windows XP serial key. Log on to the Internet and go to Magical Jelly Bean. Download the Keyfinder to your computer. Go to the location of the Keyfinder, click Open and install the program. After installing, start the program, select Microsoft Windows, then Windows XP. The program reveals your current Windows XP serial key.

Step 5

Go to Options and select Change Windows Key from the drop down menu. Enter your new serial key in the window that opens. Click Change to change your serial key. Click Ok and close the window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Every step outlined here is legal and approved by Microsoft Corporation for removing or changing the serial key of your copy of Windows operating system.
  • Don’t remove your Windows XP serial key unless you have another serial key. Removing the serial key can cripple Windows XP and render your computer inoperable.
  • Editing your Windows XP registry is dangerous. You can cripple your computer. Have a professional perform these steps for you if you are not computer literate.