Windows deactivated after BIOS or UEFI update

BIOS or Basic Input/Output System, or firmware, helps a computer work with the hardware and the operating system. It also plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and security of the computer. Like any other software, BIOS must be updated occasionally to ensure smooth functioning. However, at times, when the BIOS is updated, it affects the license status of Windows. In this article, we take a look at the probable causes of why Windows deactivated after BIOS or UEFI update, along with possible corrective measures that can be undertaken to resolve the problem.

Windows deactivated after BIOS or UEFI update– Possible causes

The underlying causes of the said error are summarised below:

  1. Changes in Hardware configuration: BIOS or firmware updates can lead to changes in the configuration or settings of the hardware devices, including processor, memory, or hard drives. At times, these changes can lead to Windows deactivation. Also, if the system’s motherboard has been recently replaced, the BIOS updates may yield different results, leading to a possible Windows deactivation.
  2. BIOS update flaws: At times, firmware updates may contain possible bugs or errors that can lead to Windows deactivation.
  3. Security features: BIOS updates might enhance the security of the system, but in a manner that might be in stark contrast with Windows Security protocols. Such situations might call for the deactivation of the OS as well due to possible conflicts that might be ensuing.
  4. Incorrect Product Key: BIOS updates, at times, may deactivate Windows if an invalid product key or pirated version of the OS is being used

Fix: Windows deactivated after BIOS or UEFI update

The suggestion below will help you resolve the Windows activation issue. You will need access to your Windows key or Microsoft account to validate the status.

1] Valid Product Key

If a valid Product Key is available, entering the same can help reactivate Windows. The below steps can be followed to reactivate:

  • Open Settings
  • Go to System > Activation
  • Click on the Change button next to the Change product key

Change Product Key Windows

  • Enter the key to reactivate Windows.

If you signed in using a Microsoft account, you can sign out and then back in to check if it helps resolve the issue.

2] Windows Activation Troubleshooter

  • Select the Start button, then select Settings > System > Activation > Troubleshoot.
  • The troubleshooter will show Windows can’t be activated on your device.
  • Select I changed hardware on this device recently, then select Next.
  • Enter your connected Microsoft account and password, then select Sign in. The troubleshooter will only work with the connected Microsoft account.
  • From the list of devices linked to your Microsoft account, select the check box next to This is the device I’m using.
  • Select Activate.

2] BIOS update rollback

If the reason for deactivation is the firmware update, then the rollback of the same can also be initiated to undo the changes. Users can refer to the motherboard manuals in the BIOS update rollback process details.

3] Installation Repair

Repairing the current Windows installation through an installation media can sometimes reinitialize the activation settings, resolving the deactivation error.

If followed as detailed above, the above-mentioned corrective measures can help resolve the error efficiently. However, ensuring that a genuine version of Windows, with a valid Product Key, can help ensure optimum system functionality.

Sandip Basu
Sandip has worked as an IT solutions consultant for the last 15 years and specializes in troubleshooting software and hardware.


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