With a simple trick, you can remove the Activate Windows watermark on the Windows 10 desktop. Here’re the exact steps to follow.
Unlike previous versions of Windows, you can now download the Windows 10 ISO directly from Microsoft. After downloading, you can create a bootable Windows 10 drive and install it. After installing Windows 10, you have to activate it with a valid license key. One of the good things about Windows 10 is that if you’ve linked your Microsoft account, it will be activated automatically. There is no need to enter the license key manually.
Of course, you can also use Windows 10 without activating. If you don’t activate Windows 10, some features like Personalization are blocked in the Settings app. Other than that, Windows 10 works just fine. In fact, Microsoft provides all the updates even if your Windows 10 copy is not activated. On all unactivated Windows 10 copies, you will see the “Activate Windows. Go to settings to activate Windows” watermark. This watermark is persistent and often appears on top of everything on the screen.
If this watermark is bothering you, you can easily hide or remove the Activate Windows watermark. In this quick and simple guide, let me show the steps you should follow to remove the Windows activation mark.
Steps to Remove Activate Windows Watermark on Desktop
To remove the Windows activation watermark, you don’t have to use any third-party software. All we need to do is edit a registry value called “Start”. It is pretty simple. Backup the registry to be on the safe side and proceed with the steps given below.
- Press the “Start” key to open the Start menu.
- Type “Registry Editor” and click on the result to open the Registry Editor.
- Click “Yes” in the User Access Control (UAC) pop-up.
- Copy the below registry path.
- Paste it in the address bar and press “Enter“. You will be taken to the “svsvc” folder in the registry.
- On the right page, find and double-click on the “Start” value.
- Type “4” in the “Value Data” field.
- Click “Ok” to save changes.
- Close the Registry Editor.
- Restart Windows 10.
After restarting the system, if everything goes well, you will no longer see the “Activate Windows” watermark on the desktop.
Please keep in mind that this will not activate Windows. It just removes the watermark.
As long as Windows is not activated, you cannot change personalization settings. However, you can still use third-party software to manage almost any part of Windows. So, that shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, rather than using shady or pirated copies, using an unactivated Windows is far better as it is secure and you don’t have to worry about bundled viruses or malware by bad actors.
To activate Windows 10 with a valid license key, go to the “Settings → Update & Security → Activation” page, click on the “Activate Windows” link and follow the wizard. Windows should be activated in no time. If you want to, you can verify if Windows is activated or not.
I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.