Skip to main content

Someone just used ChatGPT to generate free Windows keys

ChatGPT is an incredibly capable piece of tech, with a huge number of interesting uses. But, perhaps inevitably, people have put it to use for less noble purposes. Now, someone has used it to generate valid Windows license keys for free.

The discovery was made by YouTuber Enderman, who used ChatGPT to create license keys for Windows 95. Why Windows 95? Well, support ended for it 20 years ago, so this was essentially an exercise in curiosity from Enderman rather than an attempt to crack more modern versions like Windows 11.

Activating Windows with ChatGPT

As well as that, Windows 95 uses a simpler key validation method than later versions of Microsoft’s operating system, meaning the likelihood of success was much higher.

Ordinarily, ChatGPT will reject attempts at piracy. We tried asking it to “generate a valid Windows 11 key,” only for ChatGPT to respond: “I’m sorry, but generating a valid Windows 11 license key would be illegal and unethical. It is also not possible for me to do so as I am an AI language model and do not have access to such information.”

Surprisingly easy to do

A MacBook Pro on a desk with ChatGPT's website showing on its display.
Hatice Baran / Unsplash

Still, fooling ChatGPT into generating the keys appears to have been pretty straightforward for Enderman. Once they knew the format Windows 95 uses to generate keys, they simply asked ChatGPT to give them a set of text and number strings that matched the rules used in Windows 95 keys. That required some basic math, but not much else.

Because this request was not an obvious attempt to create a registration key and do something illegal, ChatGPT had no problem complying. After a few refinements to the request from Enderman, the chatbot was able to provide 30 sets of registration keys for Windows 95, of which at least a handful were valid. Interestingly, the only thing stopping ChatGPT from creating a greater number of usable keys was its faulty math ability.

While this application of ChatGPT is sure to raise a few eyebrows, it would be much harder to pull off for more recent Windows versions given the increased complexity of their keys. Still, it’s an indication of just what ChatGPT can do if you get a bit creative with your prompts. From writing malware to composing music, people have been keeping OpenAI’s chatbot busy, and we wouldn’t be surprised if more key-generation attempts come to light after this latest escapade.

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
Best Wyze Prime Day deals: cordless vacuums, video doorbells, and more
Wyze Cordless Vacuum

Wyze is known for affordable home devices, and many of them appear in our lists of the best Prime Day cordless vacuum deals, router deals, and Prime Day security camera deals. You'll be able to enjoy amazing value if you're able to take advantage of any of our favorite Wyze Prime Day deals that we've gathered here, but you shouldn't wait until the last minute of the shopping holiday before you make your purchase because stocks may not last until then.
Best Wyze cordless vacuum Prime Day deals

You'll gain a valuable cleaning companion if you go for any of these Wyze cordless vacuum Prime Day deals. They may be affordable -- and even cheaper during the shopping event -- but these cordless vacuums have what it takes to pick up dirt, debris, pet hair, and anything else on your floor. They're also capable of cleaning every nook and cranny because of their portability, and by using any of the attachments that come with every purchase.

Read more
AMD is uncharacteristically restricting its awesome new CPU feature
amd curve shaper ryzen 9000 david mcafee series

AMD "Zen 5" Tech Day in Los Angeles, California, Wednesday July 10, 2024. (Photo by PaulSakuma.com Photography) AMD

AMD is introducing an exciting new feature for Ryzen 9000 CPUs called Curve Shaper -- and only to Ryzen 9000 CPUs. Curve Shaper is an additional layer of control over AMD’s Curve Optimizer, which can help you quickly dial in an undervolt or overclock on AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPUs and newer. Curve Shaper is a new cutoff point.

Read more
I saw AMD’s Ryzen 9000 CPUs in action, but I still have one big question
A hand holding AMD's Ryzen 9 9950X.

AMD's Ryzen 9000 CPUs are mostly a known quantity. They were a surprise announcement last month, and they're arriving soon -- AMD confirmed the lineup of four CPUs is arriving on July 31. But after seeing them in action this past week at AMD's Zen 5 Tech Day, I still have one lingering question -- how much will they cost?

That's been top of mind in recent weeks as we inch closer to the release of these CPUs. Some recent leaks suggest AMD could lower the price of its upcoming desktop chips, but we haven't heard anything official from Team Red yet. We may not, either, at least not until reviews go live.

Read more