A few days ago, I happened to came across an interesting question while browsing Microsoft support forums. A PC user wanted to know the edition and version of Windows a product key belongs to, so that he can download and install the right version and edition of Windows on his PC.
Let us assume that you have a bunch of Windows product keys but you are not sure the version and edition they belong to. Although it’s possible to try them on virtual or physical machines, the approach doesn’t make sense when you have a bunch of keys, and especially, if you are not sure if they belong to Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10.
That said, if you know that a particular key is for Windows 10, then you can determine the edition of Windows 10 the key belongs to by entering it on a PC running Windows 10 as there are only two editions: Home and Pro. Once the job is done, you can uninstall and deactivate the key if you wish to do so.
Determine the version and edition of a product key
Luckily, there are a couple of ways out there to easily determine the version and edition of Windows a product key belongs to. You can use one of the given below utilities to check version and edition of Windows you can activate using the product key.
ShowKeyPlus is a free software designed to retrieve product key from registry, BIOS/UEFI, and Windows.old folder. In addition to that, the tool can be used check the version and edition of Windows a product key belongs to.
Here is how to use the ShowKeyPlus software:
Step 1: Visit this page, download the latest available version, extract the zip file to get ShowKeyPlus.exe file, and then run ShowKeyPlus.exe with admin rights.
Step 2: Once launched, click the option labelled Check product key.
Step 3: Enter or paste the product key that you want to know the version and edition of Windows the product key belongs to. The version and edition of Windows operating will be displayed just below the product key field.
Ultimate PID Checker
Ultimate PID Checker is another free tool out there to determine the version and edition of Windows a product key belongs to.
Ultimate PID is not as superior as ShowKeyPlus, as Ultimate PID Checker requires you select a version of Windows to know the edition, unlike ShowKeyPlus which easily displays both version and edition upon entering a product key. That is, with Ultimate PID Checker, you might need to do trial and error to know the version of Windows operating system a product key belongs to.
Step 2: Select the version of Windows operating system that you believe the product key belongs to, enter the product key, and then click Go button to know the edition of the product key.
If the product key entered doesn’t belong to the selected version of Windows, you will not see the edition it belongs to. In that case, select another version of Windows, and then click Go button again.