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Published on 03.01.07 by Brent Trahan

Stop Vista from Automatically Activating After Installation

Stop Windows Vista from automatically activating itself after being installed.


By default Windows Vista automatically activates itself 3 days after an install unless told otherwise during the install.

If you’re upgrading to Vista or building a PC with Vista on it I suggest not activating it for the first 30 days to make sure you don’t have any problems. Once you activate Vista it’s married to that computer (in many cases).

This guide shows you how to edit the registry and tell Vista to not automatically activate itself.

Set Vista to Not Automatically Activate Itself

Warning: Edit the registry at your own risk. Editing the registry can cause your computer to crash and a loss of data if done wrong.

  1. Open the registry editor by typing regedit in the search box in the Start menu and press enter.
  2. Navigate to the following location in the registry using the arrows to the left of each folder in the left pane of the registry editor:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SL\Activation


  3. Double-click Manual in the right pane of the registry editor and set its value from 0 to 1 and then click OK.


  4. Close the registry editor and restart your computer.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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One Response to “Stop Vista from Automatically Activating After Installation”

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  1. matt says:

    Hi, i’ve tried to do that, infact i have done that but when i go on System to check how long vista has left before automatic activation it still goes down, i did originally use the vista crack but that appears to have stopped working.

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