Video: How to use the Windows Software Licensing Management Tool

The Windows Software Licensing Management Tool is useful if you need to resolve activation problems or upgrade a PC. Here are three must-know command switches.

The Windows Software Licensing Management Tool is a script file found in the Windows\System32 folder as Slmgr.vbs. The script is designed for a local administrator to run in an elevated Command Prompt window. It might not be useful on a daily basis, but it can come in handy when you're trying to resolve activation problems or upgrade a Windows PC. The secret to using this tool is knowing how the command switches.

If you just type the command, Slmgr.vbs, you get a series of five dialog boxes that list all the switches. Network administrators who manage a Key Management server for Volume Licensing will find a goldmine here.

For the rest of us, here are three switches that make using the tool a snap:

  • Slmgr.vbs /dli Displays basic license information, including the last five characters of the product key.
  • Slmgr.vbs /dlv Displays more detailed license information.
  • Slmgr.vbs /cpky Removes the product key from the registry so that it can't be copied and reused.

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About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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