• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Activating Windows by SMS

Recommended Posts

Circaflex    3,564

So this is a first for me, but today I activated a friends Vista box using my cell phone.

 

First and foremost, it has been a long time since I have had to activate a Windows box through the prompts/telephone system. It was always frustrating to do this on XP because you had to talk to someone, who generally had a thick accent. Microsoft later moved to an automated system which was nice, because I could enter the ID using the keypad on a phone. I never had an issue with that system and it worked when I needed it to.

 

Today, I had to activate a Vista box for a friend and when I called in, I was asked if I wanted to use my phone to do this. I thought, why not, lets see how this works. Microsoft sent me a text message, with a link. I entered the activation ID and the mobile app spit out the new ID for me to input. This process took maybe 2 minutes or less to do from start to finish.

 

I had no idea this was something Microsoft had started doing, again it has been a while since I have had to activate a machine, but it was cool to see and how easy it was to use.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ian W    2,331

I have not used the cell phone feature, though I have heard of it. The last time the automated phone system was used, the installation ID had to be entered via the phone and the confirmation ID had to be entered into the Aero Wizard, all while making sure the digits were accurate. It was not terribly inconvenient, but the whole process could have been better.

Number.png

The cell phone method that you presented sounds like it is much more efficient, and it is nice of you to share your pleasant experience so that others can benefit from the feature (when necessary) as well.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Circaflex    3,564

Yup, that was how I remembered it. It was cool to see the ID and make a change if I had made a mistake while inputting it into the Activation box. That was also an annoying aspect of the old system, having them repeat the ID was tedious.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Barney T.    2,334

Moved to Windows Support

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
k.d    0

Hopefully you don't mind me digging this thread out, but I wanted to ask - how do I use SMS activation exactly?

If I call the SMS number that Windows tells me to call, I can only hear a pre-recorded message saying "Sorry, this is a text only service".

I tried sending the installation ID to this number but it's dead silence from the other side, no messages.

I guess I'll activate it using the classic phone method, but it would be nice to know how to use this for the next time :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
spikey_richie    226
45 minutes ago, k.d said:

Hopefully you don't mind me digging this thread out, but I wanted to ask - how do I use SMS activation exactly?

If I call the SMS number that Windows tells me to call, I can only hear a pre-recorded message saying "Sorry, this is a text only service".

I tried sending the installation ID to this number but it's dead silence from the other side, no messages.

I guess I'll activate it using the classic phone method, but it would be nice to know how to use this for the next time :)

A lot changes in 3 years, maybe they de-activated it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Steven P.    14,120

@k.d I've used the phone method a few times in the past and it's all automated, one time I couldn't get my PC activated (regular reinstalls resulting in the key getting blocked) on the same phone method I was able to speak to a real person and they were able to complete the activation. This was before the max nr of reinstalls block was lifted on Windows 7 I believe.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.