There are many backup software on the market and some of them does a really good job in making sure that there is an exact copy of the important files available at the backup drive. Although backing up of files is important, many people forget to backup the Windows product key or third party software license that is installed on their computer. When their computer crashes and had to reinstall everything from scratch, they had to go through the trouble of searching for the license number to activate the software that they’ve purchased. If the license key are misplaced and forgotten, they’d have to contact the software support team and provide them with proof of purchase so that they can reissue the license.
The problem is software licenses aren’t stored in one
standard location where you can just copy the whole folder to backup
and then paste it back to reactivate all the software. They are stored
all over the place either in a form of an external file or a registry
key. Fortunately we found 10 software that can scan your computer and
recover the lost or forgotten product key licenses so you can back it up
in case you need to reactivate them again. Computer technicians can
also use these software to help customers recover their software license
numbers from non-bootable drive.
is a portable license recovery tool that is free for private use. It
scans the registry area on local and remote computers located at the
same network for available serial numbers for Windows, Office and third
party applications. The amount of software license that LicenseCrawler
can detect is unknown because there is no such information being
published at their website or program. Since it is free, you can run it
and cross check if it is able to reveal the license for the shareware
installed on your computer. Works on all versions of Windows including
both 32-bit and 64-bit.
2. MSKeyViewer Plus
Plus is free and portable. Although the name of this tool sounded like
it can only view Microsoft key, but it also support Office and third
party applications as well. To view the supported applications, run the
program, click the About button and followed by clicking the Supported
Products button. The list of supported product seems a bit outdated
because this program itself was last updated nearly 2 years ago.
Download MSKeyViewer Plus
3. Product Key Finder
Key Finder is free but take note of the adware installation when
installing this program. It is a very simple program that claims to
support over 200 programs but without a detailed listings. Running the
program will instantly list all the license number and allows you to
backup to a CSV file by clicking the Save button. Only support 32-bit
Windows operating system.
Download Product Key Finder
4. Softkey Revealer
Revealer is free and portable program that is able to support
retrieving licenses from a huge list of software which can be found on this page.
Other than just depending on the signature that they created, it also
seems to list keys with the value username, password, user and etc. The
program is very small in size at only 200KB in size and even comes with
additional tools to decrypt Adobe encrypted key, removing content
advisor password and changing the current Windows key.
Download Softkey Revealer
5. Keyfinder Thing
Thing is probably one of the most popular free tool to help you recover
product keys from your computer. It supports a total of 90 software
titles which can be viewed from the View > Software List. You can
save the results from the File menu. Take note of the installation of
adware during setup.
Download Keyfinder Thing
6. Magic Keyfinder 2012
Keyfinder 2012 is actually a shareware but the you can use it for free
with a huge limitation where only the first 10 digits of the supported
product keys are displayed. The actual amount of supported software are
unknown. Other than using their database signature, you can also use the
deep scan where it detects a certain keywords and determine that it is a
possible license key. During testing, only 5 digits from our Windows 7
product keys are being displayed.
7. Product Key Viewer
Key Viewer is a shareware that supports retrieving license key over
1000 applications from your computer. Only the Pro and Tech version will
report activation keys for third party applications. The Lite version
will only locate the Windows and Office product keys. You can test
Product Key Viewer to identify what software is being identified on your
computer for free except the data are being partially hidden.
8. Product Key Finder by Top Password
name of this software is exactly the same as the one listed under
number 3 except this is a shareware that cost $17.95 and developed under
a different company called Top Password. The amount of supported
software is unknown but the official webpage did mention Windows,
Office, SQL Server, Exchange Server, Visual Studio, VMWare, Adobe and
many other products. The results are displayed instantly upon scanning.
It supports scanning the current system, remote system or even on
non-booting systems. Works on both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.
Download Product Key Finder by Top Password
9. Product Key Explorer
Key Explorer is a shareware that cost $29.50 that supports more than
4000 software and games as well. You can view the complete list of
supported products at this page.
You can scan both local and remote computers with the built-in option
to use a different login credentials. The results can be saved to an
external file or a registry file.
Download Product Key Explorer
10. Recover Keys
Recover Keys is developed by the same company as KeyFinder Thing except that this is their shareware version that supports over 3000 software titles
including games. It cost $24.95 to unlock the program or else it will
only show the first 4 characters of the license number. It also comes
with advanced features to scan multiple computers through IP range or
manually selecting the computers that is available on the network.
Download Recover Keys
After testing the 10 product key recovery software above, the software
that stood out in the tests are LicenseCrawler and Recover Keys. Both of
this tool managed to retrieve additional licenses that weren’t detected
on the other 8. Although some of the software claims to support
recovering license keys from more than a few thousands software, it is
possible that the software installed on your computer is not in the
list. You can definitely make a request by contact them to include it in
Credit to Raymond