How to fix Windows activation error 0xC004F213?

Issue: I have been using my laptop with a digital license since the release of Windows 10 and everything worked fine up till recently. I now receive a Windows notification with the error code 0xC004F213. I tried to reinstall the operating system but that did not change anything, I still receive the error. Any help please?

Solved Answer

Many people were happy what Microsoft offered a free upgrade[1] to Windows 10 if a valid license is already in their possession. At the release in 2015 (surprisingly, you can still upgrade free of charge even today), many users used this opportunity and took the offer. This is where a digital license from the previous operating system version is used – it is applied automatically without people having to do anything.

Unfortunately, this creates some issues, and activation error code 0xC004F213 is one of them. Users claimed that they received a notification suddenly, although, in most cases, it is a result of a hardware[2] change of the most recent Windows update. 0xC004F012 is a very similar error that users may encounter under similar circumstances.

In other cases, some said they experienced a 0xC004F213 error during the Windows upgrade process. Regardless of the circumstances, the error can also occur to those who did not use a digital license but rather a product key for Windows 10. The problem is universal, however, as in both cases, users receive a notification that reads:

Windows has reported that no product key was found on your device.
Error code: 0xC004F213

Since the message reports about the product key, many of those who used the digital license are baffled about this error, as they never used it to activate Windows but rather used the free upgrade.

However, it is important to note that a digital license describes the activation method, although it is not a license itself – it can't replace the product key entirely. Therefore, in order to fix 0xC004F213, you need to apply the key that was used to activate your original copy of Windows OS.

How to fix Windows activation error 0xC004F213?

Some users reported that they also get additional errors when using Windows, such as Blue Screen of Death[3] crashes. If that is the case for you, it might be that Windows system files are corrupt, hence it can not correctly identify your license. FortectMac Washing Machine X9 can repair those corrupted files for you if you want a quick solution to this problem. Otherwise, refer to the fixes below.

Fix 1. Install all the available Windows updates

Make sure that all updates for your operating system are applied first:

  • Right-click on Start and pick Settings
  • Go to Update & Security section
  • Here, select Check for updates and wait

Update Windows

  • Choose to install everything available, including cumulative, security and optional updates
  • Once done, reboot your system.

Fix 2. Run activation troubleshooter

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Built-in troubleshooters can resolve many issues, including those that relate to licensing process.

  • Open Settings > Update & Security as explained above
  • Select Activation from the left menu
  • Below the error message, you should see several links you can click – choose Troubleshoot

Use activation troubleshooter

  • Proceed with on-screen instructions and apply the suggested fixes.

Fix 3. Use a built-in command in Command Prompt to check your key

You can use the following commands to check what your activation key is (instructions for digital license).

  • Type cmd in Windows search
  • Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
  • When User Account Control shows up, click Yes
  • Once Command Prompt opens, copy and paste the following command:

    slmgr /xpr

  • Press Enter.

Use Command Prompt to activate

If you are using a product key, use the following instructions instead:

  • Right-click on Start and pick PowerShell (Admin)
  • When the new window shows up, copy and paste the following command:

    wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey

  • Press Enter.

With the key available, go to Settings > Updates & Security > Activation > Change Product key and enter it there.

Fix 4. Wait

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In some cases, Windows servers might be very busy. If you have just upgraded your operating system and the error 0xC004F213 showed up immediately, you should wait a few days in case the servers are down or busy. If that does not work, try applying other suggestions listed here.

Fix 5. Activate Windows via the local phone support

If for some reason you are unable to activate Windows while you have your product key available, you can always contact your local Microsoft support branch. Here's how:

  • Have your Windows product key ready
  • Press Win + R, type Slui 4 and press Enter
  • Select your country and click Next

Use phone activation

  • You will be provided with the local phone number – dial it
  • Proceed with instructions your are provided.

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About the author
Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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