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[UPDATED] How to Get Rid of the "Activate Windows" Watermark

We’ve all been there, whether you obtained Windows legally, or applied some tricks to install it on your computer without paying a penny. The notorious “Activate Windows” watermark has made many people’s experience with their computer rather unpleasant. It may block your view, embarrass you when trying to record your screen, or distract you when watching movies or playing videogames.

Today, we’re going to show you how to remove the “Activate Windows” watermark on Windows 10.

watermark on Windows 10.

What is the “Activate Windows” watermark?

Microsoft, just like any other company, doesn’t like it when their hard work gets pirated, exploited, and re-distributed for free. In an attempt to stop the piracy of their newest operating system, Windows 10, they came up with the idea of placing a watermark in the corner until the user legally activates Windows.

This might not seem like a huge issue, as the watermark doesn’t really get in your way. Instead, it sits on top of every window, app, and even your cursor.

While it’s not a ground-breaking method of stopping piracy, it was enough to drive you here and look up how you can get rid of it. Don’t worry — other than telling you the obvious solution, we’ve compiled some methods to help those who don’t want to spend money to remove the watermark.

It’s worth noting that most of these methods simply remove the “Activate Windows" watermark, and don’t actually activate your system. You still won’t be able to lift limitations such as not being able to customize your PC at all.

With that clarified, let’s get to work and remove the “Activate Windows” watermark on your Windows 10 system.

How to remove the “Activate Windows” watermark permanently

Do the Notepad trick

One of the easiest and most recognized ways of removing the pesky little watermark in the corner of your screen is doing a simple trick with the pre-installed Notepad app. Yes, the Notepad app you use on a daily.

By pasting some text and using an administrator account, you can easily remove the “Activate Windows” watermark from appearing on your screen. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Launch the Notepad application and create a new, blank note.
  2. Copy and paste the following block of text into your Notepad
    @echo off
    taskkill /F /IM explorer.exe
    explorer.exe
    exit
    remove windows watermark using notepad trick
  3. Go to File, then click on Save as. Name the file Activation.bat and change the file format to All files.
    bat file
  4. Choose the location where the file becomes easily reachable, and click the Save button. We recommend saving files like this on your Desktop to maximize accessibility.
  5. Right-click on the file and choose Run as administrator. If you don’t have this option, you’re not signed into an account with admin permissions.
    run file as administrtor
  6. Restart your device and enjoy life without watermarks!

 

Modify your Registry

The registry is something casual Windows users generally don’t meddle with unless it’s instructed in an online guide like this one! It’s a powerful way to customize your Windows 10 experience on a deeper level, allowing you to meddle with system configuration and application settings. 

If this approach suits your style more, follow the next simple steps to remove the “Activate Windows” watermark using registry edits.

  1. Press down the Windows + R keys on your keyboard. This will bring up a window called Run.
  2. Type in regedit and press the OK key to bring up the Registry Editor. We’ll be using this tool to modify registry values.
    regedit
  3.  You can navigate the Registry Editor by clicking on the arrow symbol next to the name of a folder to expand it. Using this technique, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop.
    HKey
  4. On the right side of the window, you’ll see a list of values appear while the Desktop folder is selected. Double-click on the PaintDesktopVersion value.
    PaintDesktopVersion
  5. Change the Value from 1 to 0, and click the OK button to save this modification in your system.
  6. Restart your PC and enjoy having no watermarks!

Change Ease of Access settings

Did you know that changing a simple setting in your Windows 10 will immediately get rid of the watermark? If you answered no, you’re not alone. By simply disabling background images with Ease of Access, you can also remove the watermark that comes with Windows 10.

  1. Press the Windows + S keys on your keyboard to bring up the Search feature, then type in Control Panel.
    search for control panel
  2. Click on the matching result to launch the classic Control Panel app.
    Windows control panel
  3. Click on the Ease of Access Center. Make sure your view mode is set to Large icons to see this menu.
    Easeof Acces icon
  4. Click on the Make the computer easier to see link under the Explore all settings section.
    Make the computer easier
  5. Scroll down until you see Remove background images (where available) and place a checkmark in the box to enable the feature.
    emove background images
  6. Click Apply and enjoy your watermark-free desktop.

Use a Windows 10 Watermark Remover

Many applications are available online that quickly remove the Windows 10 watermark for you. These applications are often shady and come from all corners of the internet — make sure you download with caution when searching on your own.

Our watermark remover app recommendation is Universal Watermark Disabler. We picked a program that can ensure you never have to see “Activate Windows” in the corner of your screen ever again. When you download it, simply launch it and follow the on-screen instructions.

Tip: Universal Watermark Disabler works for earlier versions of Windows as well. Make sure to give it a recommendation to your fellow tech-gurus who use an older OS.

Activate your OS

Yes, it’d be unprofessional to not include the true, best way of getting rid of the “Activate Windows” watermark — activating Windows. If you already have a way to validate your copy of the operating system, rejoice! You can activate your system, remove limitations, and never see “Activate Windows” ever again.

You can purchase Windows 10 from the official website, or get a hold of it through various third-party resellers, online stores, and individuals selling a license or product key.

Here’s how you can actually activate Windows 10.

Activate using a product key

  1. Locate your product key. It’s a 24-character long alphanumeric code, which you can find depending on where and how you purchased Windows 10. Look for it:
    1. In your email inbox.
    2. On the retailer’s website where you purchased Windows 10 from.
    3. On a physical piece of paper or sticker.
  2. Press the Windows + I keys on your keyboard to quickly bring up the Settings window.
  3. Click on Update & Security.
    Update & Security
  4. Choose Activation from the menu on the left, then click on Change product key.
    Change product key.
  5. Enter your product key and click Next. Wait for Windows 10 to activate and enjoy your operating system without any watermarks or limitations!

Activate using a digital license

  1. Press the Windows + I keys on your keyboard to quickly bring up the Settings window.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Choose Activation from the menu on the left, then click on the Go to Microsoft Store option. If you can’t see this button, search Microsoft Store in your search bar.
  4. If the product page is not opened automatically, search for Windows 10 in the store.
  5. You’ll see one of two messages on this page:
    1. Install. Click on the button to get Windows 10 on your computer with a digital license activated.
    2. Buy. Purchase Windows 10 and have it activated right away. If you’ve already made a purchase, log into your Microsoft account which was used.
  6. Complete the installation and enjoy an activated, watermark-free system!

We hope this guide was able to successfully remove the “Activate Windows” watermark from your system. Please note that it’s possible for this watermark to periodically reappear — in this case, just come back and repeat any of these processes.