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.
This auditing program can cover a wide range of Windows systems, from Windows NT to Windows 10. Free PC Audit is excellent at getting a wide range of product keys from a group of systems or software programs. That said, one major flaw in this product is that while you can collect a vast amount of data, you likely will have to sort through tons of unnecessary information to find the specific product key you’re looking for. This product is a professional tool that may work best when several kinds of product ID information are needed to run your product.
Game Key Revealer
Suppose you lost or ran out of space for some of the old-school paper game keys that were delivered with your game when you bought it. If you’d like to review those game keys again, but in digital form, that could be possible. The Game Key Revealer is excellent at searching for specific game keys that may have been written on the physical materials that came with your game. This product can scan the game that is installed on your computer and then recalls CD-Keys and serial numbers linked to that game. With this tool, you can prove you’re the valid owner of a specific game, and it’s beneficial if you have many games downloaded to your device over the years. With the Game Key Revealer, you will never have to comb through data, looking for keys like a needle in a haystack.
We want to point out that Revealer’s software is specifically optimized for games launched in or before 2014. Fortunately, those older games tend to be the ones that you’ve most likely lost the product key information for, so this software remains pretty useful.
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