How to fix Windows activation fails after 23H2 update?

Issue: Hello. I updated Windows to 23H2 and now the license is not valid anymore. When I try to activate I get the “We can not reactivate Windows on this device, please try later or pay” error. Is there a way to fix this?

Solved Answer

For certain customers, the Windows 23H2 upgrade has resulted in an unforeseen problem, specifically with activation. Several reports have surfaced suggesting that some users are experiencing difficulties activating Windows after the upgrade. It appears that the update is the source of the issue, since it invalidates licenses that are already in place, making it impossible to activate Windows. Users attempting to activate their operating system post-update are confronted with an error message stating, “We cannot reactivate Windows on this device, please try later or pay.”

This problem has a big effect on users since it not only interferes with their systems' regular operations but also makes them wonder if their licenses are still valid. Several consumers have described their interactions with Microsoft support, citing a range of replies. In certain cases, users were informed that the activation failure is a known bug that Microsoft is actively working to resolve. Others, on the other hand, claimed to have been informed that buying a new license was their only option.

This issue can cause frustration and inconvenience for users who rely on a valid Windows license for their daily computing needs. The uncertainty surrounding whether the problem will be resolved through updates or if users will need to invest in new licenses adds to the overall dissatisfaction.

Although Microsoft is purportedly working on a patch, impacted users are left in the dark as there is no firm timeframe for resolution. The problems users have with the 23H2 upgrade are exacerbated by the possible financial strain of needing to buy new licenses. Users might look into other options as things develop or wait for official word from Microsoft on how to handle this activation problem and restore the full functioning of their Windows operating systems.

In this guide, you will find 6 steps that should help you fix Windows activation issues after 23H2 update. You can also try running a maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9 that can fix most system errors, BSODs,[1] corrupted files, registry[2] issues, or clear cookies and cache.[3] Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to fix Windows activation fails after 23H2 update

Solution 1. Fix Corrupted System Files

Use Command Prompt commands to repair system file corruption:

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator
  • Use the following command and press Enter:
    sfc /scannow

Fix Corrupted System Files

  • Reboot your system
  • If SFC returned an error, then use the following command lines, pressing Enter after each:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Solution 2. Use the Activation Troubleshooter

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect Mac Washing Machine X9.
  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Go to Updates and Security and click Activation.
  • If you keep seeing the error, you should see the Troubleshoot button.
  • If any problems are found, follow the instructions to fix it.

Use the Activation Troubleshooter

Solution 3. Use the Key on One Computer Only

Even with a valid activation key and license, it's not permissible to utilize them for multiple computers. Once the key has been used, deactivating Windows 11 requires uninstalling the product key. If this isn't a preferred option, acquiring a new key for each computer intended for Windows 11 use is necessary.

Solution 4. Use System Restore

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect Mac Washing Machine X9.

System Restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows that allows users to revert their computer's state to a previous point in time. This can be helpful if you have made changes to your system that are causing problems.

  • Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run box.
  • Type SystemPropertiesProtection and press Enter.
  • Go to the System Protection tab.

Use System Restore

  • You will see the System Restore… button. Click it to run System Restore.
  • Follow the prompts until you can select a restore point.
  • Select the one you want (ideally before the issue started occurring) and go ahead with the process.

Solution 5. Contact Support

  • Click the Start button.
  • Navigate to the All Apps list.

Contact Support

  • Click the shortcut for Get Help.
  • A Get Help window will appear.
  • In the window, a virtual agent will attempt to address your issue.
  • Type a description of the problem you're experiencing.
  • Press Enter to submit your message.

Solution 6. Perform a Clean Install

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To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect Mac Washing Machine X9.

Perform a Clean Install

  • Click the Download button.
  • Select the installation language.
  • Click the Confirm button.
  • Download the Windows 11 ISO file to your device by clicking the Download button.
  • Right-click the ISO file and choose the Mount option. Select the virtual drive from the left navigation pane.
  • Double-click the Setup file to initiate the Windows 11 installation.
  • Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.
  • Follow the on-screen steps to complete the process.
  • Once these steps are completed, the clean installation process will begin.

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Protect your online privacy with a VPN client

A VPN is crucial when it comes to user privacy. Online trackers such as cookies can not only be used by social media platforms and other websites but also your Internet Service Provider and the government. Even if you apply the most secure settings via your web browser, you can still be tracked via apps that are connected to the internet. Besides, privacy-focused browsers like Tor is are not an optimal choice due to diminished connection speeds. The best solution for your ultimate privacy is Private Internet Access – be anonymous and secure online.


Data recovery tools can prevent permanent file loss

Data recovery software is one of the options that could help you recover your files. Once you delete a file, it does not vanish into thin air – it remains on your system as long as no new data is written on top of it. Data Recovery Pro is recovery software that searchers for working copies of deleted files within your hard drive. By using the tool, you can prevent loss of valuable documents, school work, personal pictures, and other crucial files.

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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