How to Install Windows 8 without a Product Key

By  · Saturday, Nov 3, 2012 4 Comments

If you are one of those users who have not bought windows 8 license but want to try it or are in a situation where you do not have a product key and want to install windows 8, follow this tutorial to learn how to install windows 8 without a product key.

When you start installing windows 8, it will ask for the product activation key which cannot be skipped in the final release of the operating system. For installing without product key, Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation ISO was designed but with the final release, this option of skipping at start is gone.

So to install windows 8 without a product key, simply burn the windows 8 ISO to a USB device. Once this process is completed, navigate to <FlashDrive>:\Sources\ and create a new file named as ei.cfg with following text in it:


Note that if you want to install the pro version of windows 8, simply replace Core with Professional. You can also set [VL] (Volume Licensing) to 1 (for true) and [Channel] to OEM/Retail.

Now install windows 8 from this usb stick as normal and setup won’t ask for the product key. Note that this method will work for every copy of Windows 8 despite of the location from where you obtained it.

Note that using this method you can avoid entering product key while installing windows 8 but it will not make your installation a valid copy. You still need to enter the product key at later stage and eventually register your copy.

Related Post

Download Windows 8 Official ISO from Microsoft
Windows 8 Uses BIOS to Store Your Product Key

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  1. sarim_xyz says:

    What happens if I install this Windows 8 Professional without a product key? How long can I use it? Or does it require to be activated (by entering a key) as soon as it is installed?

    Also should I use [VL] = 1 or 0?
    Also [Channel] = ?

    Please explain.

    Thank you again.

    • Please note that these are values given as:

      [EditionID]=Core (replace with Professional)
      [VL]=0 (use this as 0)

      You will be able to use the windows with limited features before activating it.

  2. jinson says:


  3. Sharat says:

    Very very excellent post


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