Is it dangerous for your security to use an unlicensed version of Windows 10/11?
This question is asked by millions of people around the world because Windows is one of the OS with the lowest rate of licensed use. This practice has its drawbacks, of course, so we are going to see if they affect you at a security level.
Since Microsoft changed its activation policy, users of its operating systems -Windows 11 and 10- can use them forever without having to activate them. That’s great news for all those who can’t afford to pay for a license. No doubt.
Of course, using Microsoft’s operating system in this way has its drawbacks and limitations, both in Windows 11 and Windows 10. Here’s what you should know about it.
Under Microsoft’s retail license agreement, users are authorized to use this software only if it is properly licensed and the software has been successfully activated with a genuine product key or other authorized method.
However, you can ignore this warning and start using it without a key or license. If we do this we have to be clear that we face four major disadvantages:
1º The watermark of Activate Windows: Your Windows computer will still display an Activate Windows watermark in the bottom right corner of your screen. Although there are some ways to remove Windows Activate watermark, it always comes back.
Where it’s really annoying is that the branding is visible when you’re taking screenshots or screen sharing with someone remotely (be it on Discord, Zoom or Twitch).
2nd Activation message in Windows settings: A similar Activate Windows message appears all the time in Windows Settings if your copy of Windows isn’t activated.
Whether you are using Windows 11 or Windows 10, you can see the same message. By clicking on the respective link, you would end up opening the Windows activation panel in Windows Settings.
3rd There are no customization settings: If you don’t activate Windows 10 or 11, you can’t change any Personalization settings. That is, you cannot change the wallpaper, theme, title color, start menu color, transparency, etc.
4º Frequent notification to activate Windows: This is probably the most irritating part of not having an activated copy of Windows. Receive countless notifications in a short interval of time asking you to activate your Windows installation with a valid product key.
How long can I use Windows 10 without activating? Technically, you can use Windows without activating for a lifetime. Gone are the days when Microsoft required users to purchase a license to continue using the operating system.
And that’s it, if you were worried about having fewer security updates or that your computer was more vulnerable there is no reason to worry. Windows will keep you up to date with relevant patches and updates.