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On occasion I've had to re/activate and Windows or Office license via phone.  I've had to do this less in recent years (circa. Windows 10).

For some reason I keep forgetting the order of options to choose, which can lead to requiring to speak to someone and convince them you aren't doing anything shady.

Reactivating over the phone

The following steps and options should be selected via phone touch-tone buttons:

  1. Call microsoft activation hotline (number will be given);
  2. Select product family will be activating (Windows or Office);
  3. Select "installing on same pc";
  4. Select "have uninstalled from previous PC";
  5. Enter current product ID (given on screen);
  6. Enter new product ID given on your machine.

Activating Windows 10 over the phone

This method is useful if you install Windows 10 with a standard/default license.

For a more in-depth guide on activating Windows 10 over the phone see this article.

Anyway, here's what worked for me:

Open a command prompt and execute


Follow directions given and call the number provided for your country.

This part is kind of annoying in that you'll need to select options to get to where you can enter your product ID to receive a confirmation ID (which you'll enter on your machine).

For Australia, the phone options that worked for me were:

  • press 1
  • press 1
  • press 1 (no seriously, keep choosing 1)
  • press 1
  • press 1 (now stop, next option is not 1)
  • press 2

Spoke to someone there and they provided the confirmation ID and waited until it activated.