How to Permanently Remove Activate Windows Watermark

activate windows watermark on screen

If you are a Windows user, you most probably would have seen the watermark for Windows activation which reads: “Activate Windows Go to Settings to Activate Windows”. This would be displayed on the bottom right corner of your screen. Although it does not cause any direct issues as the watermark get in your way, but just sits at the top of everything being displayed on your screen. This can seem annoying and might even be embarrassing when taking screen shots and screen recording. So, can you get rid of activate windows watermark? Well, yes absolutely. There are multiple ways to permanently remove Activate Windows Watermark from your screen.

Why does the Activate Windows Watermark Appear

This watermark appears on devices which have an invalid or expired Windows License Key. This could happen if somebody got the Windows OS from a pirated or unofficial source. Or maybe his/her Windows activate license has just expired and needs to be renewed or updated.

In order to force users to officially activate their Windows, Microsoft decided to put this watermark on the screens. Although, it might seem to be a proper solution as people still are using their devices, but at least it compels people to do something about it.

How to Remove Activate Windows Watermark

There are multiple ways to get rid of Activate Windows watermark. But remember some of these methods would just remove the watermark from your screen and not activate the Windows. You still would be using an unofficial version with customization limitations. In order to officially activate your Windows, you will be required to purchase the activation key. The method for this is discussed later in this article.

Remove Activate Windows Watermark using CMD/PowerShell

You can use the Command Prompt or even PowerShell app in your computer to engage with your system. Fortunately, there is a script which you can run to get rid of the Activate Windows message.

To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Search for Windows PowerShell application and run it as an Administrator.
running windows PowerShell as administrator

2. Run the following command in it:

slmgr /renew

running slmgr renew in powershell

3. Now restart your computer.

Note that if you used apps not affiliated with Windows or any third party apps to get Windows OS, then this trick might not work for you.

Modify Registry to Remove Activate Windows Watermark:

The registry in your computer is a very powerful tool which enables users to make notable changes and customizations in your system.

You can disable Activate Windows watermark by making edits to your computer’s registry. Follow these steps to do it:

  1. Open the Run application by pressing Windows + R
  2. Inside the Run app dialogue box, type regedit. This will open the Registry Editor on your computer.
opening registry editor from run application

3. Inside the registry editor, expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER and then Control Panel by clicking on the dropdown arrow next to it. Now click on Desktop (see the photo below after the next point).

4. After you click on the Desktop option, a list of items will appear on the right side of the screen. Here locate and double click on “PaintDesktopVersion“.

5. Change 0 written in the Value data field to 1 and click OK.

editing DWORD value for PaintDesktopVersion to remove activate windows watermark

6. Now restart your Computer for the changes to apply.

Remove Activate Windows Watermark with Notepad

Notepad seems to be a simple application, but it can do really powerful stuff. It can be used to get rid of the Activate Windows message. Actually, it is one of the most used and effective ways to do it. All you have to do is paste some text in it, save the file and then run it as an administrator.

To do so, perform the following steps:

  1. Launch notepad and open a new file which was not edited before.
  2. Paste in there the following:

@echo off

taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe



3. Now at the top left corner, click on file and then select Save As. Save the file with the name Activation.bat and change the file type to “All files”.

saving activation.bat file to remove activate windows watermark

4. Right click on the file and run it as an administrator.

running activation.bat as an administrator

5. Restart your computer.

Activating Windows with a Product Key

The most credible and official way to remove Activate Windows watermark is to activate your OS with a valid product key issued by Microsoft. This will also unlock the customization limitations imposed due to having an unofficial operating system version.

If you recently bought Windows, then you would have received an activation key along it. It would be 24-character long alphanumeric code. Check your email and the retailer’s website from where you made the purchase.

Once you have your product key, you can use it to verify your version of Windows. Perform the following steps in order to do so:

  1. Go to Settings, select Update and Security

2. Inside the Update & Security settings, click on Activation and then select Change product Key

3. Now in the dialog box which appears, enter in your product key and hit next. Windows will validate your key and activate your version.

Activating Windows in Windows 11

If you are using Windows 11, then do the following steps to activate windows:

  1. Open Settings and select System
  2. From the options on the right side, click on Activation

3. Now click on Change product key

change product key windows 11

4. Enter your Windows product key in the dialog box and click next. Upon validation, your Windows will be activated.


There are multiple methods to get rid of “Activate Windows” watermark from your screens. Although most of them would only remove the watermark. They cannot be used to actually activate the Windows Software. To do so, you would be required to have a “Product Key” which is actually provided to users when they buy the software.