Troubleshoot Azure Windows virtual machine activation problems

Applies to: ✔️ Windows VMs


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This article helps you troubleshoot an activation issue that occurs when you create a Microsoft Azure Windows virtual machine (VM).

Understanding Azure KMS endpoints for Windows product activation of Azure VMs

Azure uses different endpoints for Key Management Services (KMS) activation depending on the cloud region in which the VM resides. When using this troubleshooting guide, use the appropriate KMS endpoint that applies to your region.

Region KMS endpoint
Azure public cloud regions
Azure China 21Vianet national cloud regions or
Azure Germany national cloud regions
Azure US Gov national cloud regions

Note for Azure public cloud regions was updated to in July 2022. For more information, see KMS endpoints - new endpoints.

Troubleshoot Windows activation issues

To troubleshoot a Windows activation issue, follow these steps:

  1. Get the error message and the error code:

    1. Open a command prompt as an administrator, type slmgr.vbs /ato, and then press Enter.

      This command will try to activate Windows using the current product key and display the result.

    2. If the activation fails, you'll receive an error message and error code. For example,

      Error: 0xC004F074 The Software Licensing Service reported that the computer could not be activated. No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted.

      The error code and message will help identify the possible cause and solution to the activation issue.

  2. Search the error message and error code online for possible solutions or check the following known errors and issues:

    Known error codes Error messages or issues
    Error 0xC004F074 "No Key Management Service (KMS) could be contacted"
    Error 0xC004FD01 "Windows isn't running on a supported Microsoft Hyper-V virtualization platform"
    Error 0xC004FD02 "Windows isn't activated on the host machine. Please contact your system administrator"
    Error 0xC004F06C "The Key Management Service (KMS) determined that the request timestamp is invalid"
    Error 0xC004E015 "On a computer running Microsoft Windows non-core edition, run 'slui.exe 0x2a 0xC004E015' to display the error text"
    Error 0x800705B4 "A problem occurred when Windows tried to activate. Error Code 0x800705B4"
    Error 0x80070005 "Access denied: the requested action requires elevated privileges"
    N/A Windows activation fails in forced tunneling scenario
    N/A Windows activation - duplicate Client Machine ID

More information

Azure Windows virtual machine activation FAQ

Contact us for help

If you have questions or need help, create a support request, or ask Azure community support. You can also submit product feedback to Azure feedback community.