Have you ever had your computer crash beyond repair? When this happens, the natural response is to purchase a new one, but what happens to your important software? You downloaded your software years ago, and you have no clue what the product key is.
The product key is what technology companies employ to inhibit the theft of their product. To help get you up and running again, we have compiled a list of the best product key finders available right now.
Belarc Advisor is overkill for finding product keys, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The comprehensive utility is an industrious system information tool that will quickly pull together a summary of your system’s hardware and software, providing you with a detailed report that includes various information about your machine’s RAM, processor, motherboard, and other hardware components.
It also includes a list of software licenses for Microsoft Office, Windows, antivirus programs, and heaps of other applications and software installed on your system. Despite being more than just a key finder, the program leaves a relatively small footprint on your computer, which is always a plus.
The Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder
The Magical Jelly Bean’s Keyfinder is another great piece of shareware, but you will have to opt for the premium version (called Recover Keys and costing $30) if you want a more extensive list of product keys and serial numbers for programs like Adobe Photoshop and the rest of the Adobe CS suite. The premium version of Magical Jelly Bean supports over 10,000 different applications.
The free version of Magical Jelly Bean can retrieve your Windows product key from your computer’s registry and copy it to your clipboard, save it as text or print a hard copy. The software also supports over 300 diverse programs and features in an editable configuration file, meaning you can manually add support for other keys that aren’t as easily recognizable. The program also includes several advanced tools for the more tech-savvy user — such as the ability to retrieve product keys from unbootable Windows systems — but the basic key finder will suffice for most users with little to no hassle.
Mac Product Key Finder
The Mac Product Key Finder functions in the same way as the Magical Jelly Bean’s Keyfinder for Windows, albeit on MacOS, whether you’re running the latest MacOS build or not — at least, as far back as MacOS 10.6 Snow Leopard. The freeware will scan your Mac for any software and allow you to save any associated product keys as a text, CSV, or PDF file, among a host of other formats, though it is limited compared to the premium version.
The freeware version supports 69 programs, while the $30 Professional version now supports over 860 different applications. It also adds support for deep scanning, command-line operation, and specifically timed backups on the local machine and across a network of Mac computers. If you’re unsure whether it’s worth it, you can try out the Professional version, but it will only reveal the first four characters of your serial keys, as in the image above.
Both versions, however, can locate product keys for your iPad, iPhone, or any other iOS device you’ve previously connected with iTunes.
A free creation from Martin Klinzmann, LicenseCrawler is a speedy way to crawl your Windows registry and retrieve all found product keys for the operating system and any compatible apps (including non-Microsoft programs). The interface is particularly useful: You can choose which computer on the network to scan, filter out programs, limit results to file-based licenses only, and much more. The program appears to cover Windows 10 (even though it’s not listed in the OS section), Windows 7, and many related products. It’s also completely portable if you’re working with multiple computers.
Free PC Audit
Free PC Audit does a robust audit of both hardware and software, collecting all key information in one spot. It’s free, incredibly lightweight software, with no installation necessary if you just want to keep it handy on a flash drive for troubleshooting or product key retrieval.
The auditing program also covers a broad range of Windows systems, from Windows NT to Windows 10. It’s an excellent tool for getting a broad range of product keys from various systems and software programs. A significant downside to such a vast source of information is that you may be sorting through a ton of extraneous product keys before finding the specific one you’re looking for. It’s a more professional tool that’s useful when many types of product ID information are required to activate your product.
Game Key Revealer
Perhaps you lost or just didn’t have space for old-school paper game keys that came with the game when you purchased it, and would instead like to revisit them in digital form. If you’re looking for specific game keys that may have been on physical materials back when you bought the game, the Game Key Revealer was made just for these situations. It scans the games installed on your computer and retrieves the CD-Keys and serial numbers for those games. This allows you to prove you really do own a legal copy of the game for whatever reason may come, and it’s beneficial if you’ve downloaded many games over the years and don’t want to dig through a bunch of old data looking for keys one by one.
It’s worth noting, though, that Revealer’s software caters to games that debuted in or before 2014. On the other hand, you are more likely to have lost product key information for older physical media, so Revealer still keeps much of its usefulness.
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