Windows activation status
Windows 11

Windows 11 Won’t Activate After a Reset, Clean Install, or Update

Get Your Windows 11 Activated and Back on Track

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Several Windows 11 users have complained that the OS won’t activate after they completed a reset, clean install, or an update. This issue causes your PC to unrecognize your copy of Windows as genuine. Significant hardware changes may remove crucial Windows licenses often linked to the original hardware configuration.

This causes the system to appear as a new device on Microsoft’s servers. Temporary problems with Microsoft’s activation servers, using an invalid or incompatible product key, and corrupted system files may also be responsible for the activation process malfunctions.

1. Confirm You are Using the Correct Product Key

Confirming the product key you’re using is correct helps fix Windows 11 activation issues after a reset, clean install, or update because the product key confirms your ownership and grants activation rights.

If your PC perceives the product key as incorrect, even if it’s a valid key for another Windows version or edition, Windows 11 will not. This fix confirms that an invalid product key is the cause and helps you find the correct key or explore alternative activation methods for a digital license.

2. Check the Activation Status When Windows 11 Won’t Activate After a Reset

In addition to the above solutions, fix Windows 11 activation issues by checking the activation status. It provides a vivid diagnosis, helps target solutions, and confirms success. The valuable information it gives helps to analyze and handle the underlying issue.

  1. Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings and click Activation under System.
    activation setting for fixing Windows 11 Won't Activate After a Reset
  2. Then, ensure the Activation state is Active.
    check activation state to fix Windows 11 Won't Activate After a Reset

3. Confirm You Installed the Correct Windows Version

Fixing the issue of Windows 11 not activating after a reset, clean install, or update may require confirming that your Windows version is correct. Windows 11 activation keys are unique to certain versions, and an attempt to use a key for a different version of Windows 11 will cause activation failure.

If the version is a mismatch, update your Windows.

  1. Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings and click About under System.
    about on Windows setting
  2. Then, view details about your Windows 11 edition and version.
    Check windows version to fix Windows 11 Won't Activate After a Reset

4. Restart Your PC When Windows 11 Won’t Activate After a Reset

Restarting your PC can help fix Windows 11 activation issues after a reset, clean install, or update. This is because it can refresh communication with Microsoft’s activation servers, allow system changes to take full effect, remove temporary glitches, and prompt the activation process to check for status.

Simply shutdown your PC and turn it on again. This is a very easy solution. If it didn;t work for yoy, see the next solution.

5. Perform the Activation Troubleshooting

  1. Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings and click Activation under System.
    activation setting for fixing Windows 11 Won't Activate After a Reset
  2. If the Activation state is Not active, expand it and click Troubleshoot to begin the troubleshooting.

6. Roll back Update

If the newly installed Windows update contain errors and seems unstable, I recommend rolling back to a the previous stable build of Windows. The build is more reliable and should work when you can not activate after an update. The following steps will guide you:

  1. Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings and click Recovery under System.
    Recovery option under system setting
  2. Then, click Go back next to the Previous version of Windows option in the Recovery options section.
    Roll back to previous version of Windows  to fix Windows 11 Won't Activate After a Reset
  3. Finally, follow the onscreen instructions to complete the rollback.

7. Remove Recent Windows Update

If Windows deactivation occurs following a Windows Update installation, we recommend uninstalling the update to observe the effect. The infected update will be removed, leaving room for the installation of a fresh copy of the OS. The following steps will guide you:

  1. Press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to open Settings and click Update History under Windows.
    Update history in WIndows update settings
  2. Then, scroll down and click Uninstall updates.
    Uninstall Windows update to fix Windows 11 Won't Activate After a Reset
  3. Finally, uninstall the latest update by clicking the Uninstall option next to it.
    Uninstall Windows update to fix Windows 11 Won't Activate After a Reset

8. Perform a System Restore When Windows 11 Won’t Activate After a Reset

Performing a System Restore on Windows 11 can help when Windows 11 won’t activate after a reset because it undoes recent system changes, including software installations and configuration changes, which can help restore normal system functionality. Here is how to do it:

  1. Press the Windows +key simultaneously to begin the Run dialog on your PC and enter rstrui. Press Enter after to open it.
  2. Select the Choose a different restore point option when the System Restore wizard comes up.
    msoadfsb.exe application error
  3. Then, tap the Next button to proceed. 
    msoadfsb.exe application error
  4. Once the next window opens, select your restore point and click Next
    msoadfsb.exe application error
  5. Allow the process to run and complete.
  6. Finally, click Finish when the restore is complete.

What Are You Waiting For?

If your Windows 11 PC is deactivated after a reset, clean install, or update, don’t worry. Check the activation status, use the built-in troubleshooter, and follow other solutions outlined in our guide. Share your experience in the comments below to help others facing similar issues.

At Fuzotech, we pride ourselves on assisting various PC users navigate technology, so feel free to ask any questions or share valuable tips related to Windows 11 activation. This issue tends to limit access to certain features and personalization options. So, rid yourself of it.

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Richard Omachona
Richard is a techie in providing fixes and solutions for computer issues of various kinds. Among his contemporaries, he is a preferred choice. His experiences are vast in Windows operating systems, and several other skills in programming such as Python, Web Frontend designing implementing at industry standards, best practices in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. and basics in Web Backend. He also loves traveling, gaming and music.