Microsoft Announces Fix for Windows 10 Pro Activation Problems

An activation problem that affected some Windows 10 Pro edition users this week will get automatically fixed in one day, Microsoft suggested on Friday.

Here's Microsoft's latest update on the issue as of the morning of Nov. 9:

Any affected customer can continue to use Windows 10 Pro as usual, and the watermark will disappear within 24 hours as activation is automatically restored.
To manually resolve the issue: Select the Start button, select Settings > Update & security > Activation, and then select Troubleshoot to run the Activation Troubleshooter. (If the device is already activated, the Troubleshoot option will not appear.)

The so-called "watermark" is a message on the screens of Windows 10 users suggesting that they are running improperly licensed software. It'll go away for properly licensed users, Microsoft explained.

Windows 10 Pro users earlier this week had reported getting such activation problems. They complained in a Reddit Windows 10 discussion forum and a Microsoft community forum, for instance. Some users reported that their Windows 10 Pro editions were getting flagged as being Home editions.

Microsoft acknowledged the problem on Thursday, adding that such users may have received error codes 0X803F8001 and 0xC004C003. Microsoft promised a fix in "two business days."

The glitch was "a problem with the activation servers," according to Microsoft's early description in the community post. It affected users in "Japan, Korea, American and many other countries," the post indicated. While forum participants had described the problem early on as affecting the Pro edition of Windows 10, Microsoft later suggested the glitch may have affected "some customers' Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise machines."

The extent of Microsoft's service activation problem for users isn't clear. However, the count at Microsoft's community forum listed 1,224 respondents as saying they had the same question about the problem. So far, there's been no explanation about why Microsoft's activation servers failed to work properly.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


  • Microsoft Sweetens Windows 7 Extended Security Updates for E5 Licensees

    In a promotional offer, organizations that have E5 licensing can get a year of free access to Microsoft's Extended Security Updates program for Windows 7.

  • Rollout Begins for HoloLens 2

    Microsoft started shipping the new version of its mixed reality headset, the HoloLens 2, on Thursday.

  • The 2019 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From the next major update to Windows 10 to the next generation of HoloLens, here's what's on tap from Microsoft this year.

  • 2019 Microsoft Conference Calendar: For Partners, IT Pros and Developers

    Here's your guide to all the IT training sessions, partner meet-ups and annual Microsoft conferences you won't want to miss this year.

RCP Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.