Finding and claiming product keys in Visual Studio subscriptions

This article explains how to locate, claim, and export product keys from For more information about activating a product with a key, retail and volume license versions of keys, and daily product key claim limits, visit the product keys overview.

Locating and claiming product keys

You must be signed in to your Visual Studio subscription to view your product keys. Individual product keys are found by selecting the blue Get Key link for a particular product on the Downloads page as shown below. All keys are also available in aggregate on the Product Keys page. When multiple keys exist for a single product, notes will be displayed on the Notes column for the download to assist you in identifying which key should be used.

Get Key from Downloads Page

Some products bundle multiple editions of the product into a single download. In these cases, the product key entered determines which edition of the product is installed. Some keys are provided automatically, such as “static” keys, which you can use as many times as needed because activation is not required. Other keys must be claimed by selecting the Get Key link for the product.

Various key types are available, depending on the product.

Product key types

Key Type Description
Not Applicable No key is needed to install this product.
Retail Retail keys allow multiple activations and are used for retail builds of the product. In many cases, 10 activations are allowed per key, though often more are allowed on the same machine.
Multiple Activation A Multiple Activation Key (MAK) enables you to activate multiple installations of a product with the same key. MAKs are used with Volume Licensing versions of products. Typically, only one MAK key is provided per subscription.
Static Activation Key Static activation keys are provided for products that do not require activation. They can be used for any number of installations.
Custom Key Custom keys provide special actions or information to activate or install the product.
VA 1.0 Multiple activation keys, similar to a MAK.
OEM Key Original Equipment Manufacturer keys that allow multiple activations.
DreamSpark Retail Key Retail keys for DreamSpark allow one activation. DreamSpark Retail keys are issued in batches and are primarily intended for student consumption.
DreamSpark Lab Key Lab use keys for DreamSpark programs that allow multiple activations. DreamSpark Lab Keys are intended for use in university computer lab scenarios.
DreamSpark MAK Key MAK keys for DreamSpark program customers.

You can claim a key from the download page for the product, or you can search for the key you need on the Product Keys page.

Claiming product keys

Only subscribers with active subscriptions can download products and claim product keys. You can export your claimed keys from the Product Keys page while your subscription is active.

To claim a product key:

  1. Sign in to your Visual Studio subscription. You must be signed in to download products or claim product keys.
  2. Select the Product Keys tab.
  3. Product keys are listed alphabetically by the name of the product. You can either scroll down to the name of the desired product, or search for it using the search bar at the top of the page.

Search for Product Key

In this example, we’ve used the search bar to locate a product key for Visual Studio Enterprise 2019. As you can see, there are several versions listed. One key each has already been claimed for Visual Studio Enterprise 2019 versions 16.0 and 16.1. Additional keys of different types are still available for both versions.

Notice that you can record a brief note about claimed keys in the Notes column. You can use this with the date in the Claimed column to keep track of the keys you’ve claimed. You might, for example, make notes when you activate an installation of the product using the key.

Exporting your claimed keys

You can export a list of the keys you've claimed. This includes a large selection of static and other keys that are automatically marked as “claimed” for you.


If your subscription expires, you'll no longer be able to claim new keys or export your claimed keys.

To export your keys, select the Export all keys link at the far right of the Product Keys page. An .xml file entitled KeysExport.xml will be created. You can choose to open or save the file. You'll need to open the file with an application capable of handling .xml files. For example, you can open the file as a read-only workbook in Microsoft Excel.


Visual Studio subscriptions support

See also

Next steps

When you're ready to download software and use keys, visit For more information about downloading software, see the downloading overview.