What Happens if You Don’t Activate Windows 10 or Windows 11?

Windows is the most popular operating system in the world, and it’s no surprise why. It’s user-friendly, stable, and has a vast library of software available for it. However, not everyone activates their Windows 11/10 operating system on their PC, and this can lead to some significant disadvantages. In this article, we will explore the various disadvantages of not activating Windows 11/10 on your PC.

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How Long Can You Use Windows 10/11 Without Activation?

Despite not being an ideal solution, and far from being flawless, it is possible to continue using Windows 10/11 without activation. Microsoft offers users the option to download, install, and use the operating system without having to provide a valid product key or digital license. Moreover, for the first month after installation, an unactivated Windows 10 can be used without any limitations. During this grace period, the system functions as if it were activated. However, after the 30 days have elapsed, the limitations associated with an unactivated system will be imposed.

Not Activated Windows 10/11 Disadvantages

  • “Activate Windows” Watermark
    If you don’t activate Windows 11/10, you’ll see an irritating watermark at the bottom right of your screen that says “Activate Windows. Go to Settings to activate Windows”. This watermark will persist unless you activate Windows 11/10. Furthermore, you may receive occasional reminders to activate your Windows copy after the 30-day trial period.
  • No Security Updates
    When you activate your Windows operating system, you receive security updates and patches from Microsoft that protect your PC from the latest threats. However, when you don’t activate your Windows operating system, you won’t receive any security updates, leaving your PC vulnerable to attacks. This is especially dangerous if you use your PC for online banking, shopping, or other sensitive activities.
  • Annoying Notifications
    If you don’t activate your Windows operating system, you’ll receive constant reminders to activate it. These notifications can be distracting and annoying, especially if you’re in the middle of an important task. Furthermore, some notifications may even cover up important information, making it difficult to work.
  • Limited Customization
    When you activate your Windows operating system, you have access to a wide range of customization options that allow you to personalize your PC to your liking. However, when you don’t activate your Windows operating system, you’re limited in terms of customization. For example, you won’t be able to change your desktop background, and you won’t be able to customize your taskbar.


In conclusion, not activating your Windows 11/10 operating system on your PC can lead to several significant disadvantages. Limited functionality, no security updates, annoying notifications, limited customization, and legal issues are just some of the problems that you could face. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you activate your Windows operating system to ensure that you have access to all the features and security updates that it provides.