Windows 10 Version 2004/20H2: Workaround for activation error 0xc004c003 caused by update KB5001692

[German]Windows 10 users may run into activation error 0xc004c003 – the error has been running through various Windows versions for years. For Windows 10 version 2004 as well as version 20H2, Microsoft has now released a workaround for this error, which occurs in conjunction with the January 2021 preview update KB5001692.


Windows 10 users may face multiple activation errors. In the case of activation error 0xc004c003, activation by phone is recommended. But there is a special case, caused by an update, as I've learned.

Activation error 0xc004c003 caused by update KB5001692

Users who have installed update KB5001692 (3rd week of January 2021 preview update) may also run into activation error 0xc004c003. This affects the following Windows 10 versions:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise, version 2004
  • Windows 10 Home, version 2004
  • Windows 10 Pro, version 2004
  • Windows 10 Education, version 2004
  • Windows 10 Pro, version 20H2
  • Windows 10 Enterprise, version 20H2
  • Windows 10 Education, version 20H2
  • Windows 10 Home, version 20H2
  • Windows 10 Pro Education, version 20H2

Microsoft has published the support article KB5001692: Windows Activation fails with error 0xc004c003 on devices which have installed the Windows 10 January 2021 nonsecurity preview release or a later version. In this particular case, the error text from the following screenshot is displayed:

Edition: <edition name>
Activation: Windows is not activated
Product ID <PID>

Product Key <Product key>

We can't activate Windows on this device because you don't have a valid digital license or product key. If you think you do have a valid license or key, select Troubleshoot below. Error code 0xc004c003.

Aktivierungsfehler 0xc004c003

This issue can occur when users attempt to activate the operating system with a digital product key (DPK) for OEM Activation 3.0 (OA3). The cause of the 0xC004C003 error is an attempt by a licensing code component to access a registry structure that does not have proper access. A resulting "Access Denied" error causes the product key to fail to extract correctly.

Microsoft's Workaround: Uninstall the Updates

Microsoft writes that the error does not occur if the security update from January 12, 2021 or an earlier update is installed. So the workaround is to uninstall the optional preview update KB5001692 (and later updates), hoping that the activation will then work.


wusa /uninstall /kb:5001692 

This can happen in an administrative prompt using the above command (insert the kb numers of the updates to be removed). No idea if this issue is fixed with March 2021 update – Microsoft has not published a date for the release of the support article. (via)

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One Response to Windows 10 Version 2004/20H2: Workaround for activation error 0xc004c003 caused by update KB5001692

  1. EP says:

    activation issue possibly fixed with KB5000842 update for Win10 v2004/20H2:

    -Addresses an issue that prevents Windows from activating Windows 10, version 2004 using the OA 3.0 key after installing KB4598291.

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