KMS & AD Based Activation

How do I setup KMS and/or AD Activation Services?

Setup for both KMS and AD Based Activation is almost identical and follows the steps below:

  • Install the Volume Activation Services role on a Domain Controller
  • Open Server Manager and browse to Tools -> Volume Activation Tools
  • Click Next in the initial window
  • Select either AD Activation Services or KMS
  • Click Next
  • Enter the Host Activation Key (see below)
    • Note: You will want to start with a key for an Operating System. Products like Office can require the installation of a “feature pack” before you can add them to AD Based Activation or KMS. See section below for more details.
  • Activate online
  • Viola! Your activation server is now configured. You can now activate clients for the product that corresponds to the key you input.

Where is my Host Activation Key?

A Host Activation key is used regardless of whether you’re using AD Based Activation or KMS. Traditionally, this key was automatically available via Volume Licensing Service Center. However, Microsoft no longer auto-populates a KMS Host activation. Instead, you have to do the following:

Traditionally, this key was automatically available via Volume Licensing Service Center. However, Microsoft no longer auto-populates a KMS Host activation. Instead, you have to do the following:

  • Call (866) 230-0560
  • Select Option 4, then Option 1
  • Ask for a KMS Host activation key for your product (i.e. Server 2016, Office 2016 etc.)

A key will be generated for you a populated in VLSC. However, it will still be kind of hidden. In order to see the key you need to do the following in VLCS:

  • Click Licenses -> Relationship Summary
  • Select the license agreement
  • Look under the Product Keys tab

How do I add New Office or Server Products?

As products are invented and thus need to be activated by AD Based Activation or KMS you need to install what’s called a Volume License Pack. This essentially tells the activation server about the new product. Follow the steps below to add a new product (Office 2016 in this example):

  • Install the Office 2016 volume license pack on the a DC (for AD Based Activation Services) or the KMS server
    • This is downloaded from VLSC as well as publicly available.
  • The volume license pack automatically opens the Volume Activation Tools.
  • Select AD Based Activation or KMS and click Next
  • Type in the Host Activation key for Office 2016
  • Activate online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.