Windows OEM keys explained as well as detailed software license key activation instructions.

What is Windows OEM?

OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer, a Windows OEM license is available for computer manufacturers and IT companies that build or rebuilds computer systems in order to resell them. It is intended only for new builds and as such, it cannot be used to activate Windows on your current Windows system, using an OEM key requires a completely fresh installation so any data existing on that device will be lost.

OEM versions of Windows are not limited and will provide the full end-user experience and features. It can only be installed on one motherboard or device. OEM versions must be activated within 30 days via the internet or using Microsoft's phone activation system, however, OEM versions do not include full phone support by Microsoft, the manufacturer is expected to provide product support. 

Activation Instructions

OEM Keys cannot be used to upgrade or activate Windows on your existing system, it will require a fresh installation.

Download / Installation

Before you can activate your Windows you will need to download and install the OS, this can be done using the instructions found here on the Microsoft website. Start by selecting the Windows version you require and follow the onscreen prompts.


Here we provide two methods which can be used to activate the OS on your new system:

Activation over the internet:

This activation method differs slightly depending on the version of Windows you are trying to activate. Choose your version below for detailed instructions:

Windows 7

Windows 8.1

Windows 10

Activation by phone:

  1. Dial the phone number for your country, for South Africa these are the numbers to call: 
    Phone:(27) (11) 361 7000         (0) (801) 43 43 43
  2. Follow the prompts and enter your activation key when required.

More information regarding phone activation can be found here.