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Activating Microsoft Products via KMS

Number of views : 81
Article Number : KB0011367
Published on : 2021-06-28
Last modified : 2021-06-28 13:25:47
Knowledge Base : IT Public Self Help

The following activation information applies to:

  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 8 Enterprise
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Microsoft Office 2013 Professional Plus
  • Microsoft Office 2016 Professional Plus
  • Microsoft Office 2019 Professional Plus

Activating Windows Products

Once you have installed the Microsoft product on your departmental computer, you'll need to activate your license using the university's Key Management Service (KMS). If you are on the university network (wired or 'utexas' wireless network), this should happen automatically. If you are not directly connected to the UT Austin Network, you will need to connect to the UT Austin Network by VPN once every 180 days.

Verifying Activation

To check the activation status of Windows operating systems:

  1. Click on the Start Menu icon. In the search field, search for and open Activate Windows.

  2. In the Windows Activation window, make sure it says "Windows is activated."

Note: If you see "X days to activate. Activate Window now," select the link to open the activation wizard, then follow the steps to activate your license.

Once Windows has been activated, it will attempt to contact the Key Management Service (KMS) every 7 days to renew its activation. If Windows cannot activate for any reason, after 30 days it stops trying to contact the KMS, but notifies you each time you turn your computer on that the license needs to be reactivated/renewed. If you still have not activated the license after an additional 180 days (210 total), some functionality — including Personalization, Windows-ready boost (USB memory), and optional updates (critical updates will still be allowed) — will stop working until the license is activated. In addition, you will only be able to use the product for one hour at a time. After an additional 30 days, a grand total of 240 days since last successful activation, all of the operating system's functionality, except Notepad, will stop working until the license is activated.


  1. Check DNS resolution. Campus and VPN networks: The KMS address is
  2. Do not attempt to ping the KMS server – ICMP is disabled on that system.
  3. Verify that outbound port 1688 is open on your firewall settings.

Note: If you have questions about activating any of the listed applications using the KMS, please address them to

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