Obsolete: Microsoft removed the virtual assistant sometime middle of 2021. This is here just as a reference incase the Virtual Assistant is brought back.
How to activate windows XP in 2021 – these steps were used to Activate Windows XP on a VirtualBox / VMWare instance of Windows XP Professional SP2 x64. The guide below only shows how to do it with Virtual Box. This also works on any virtualization platform such as VMware.
These steps worked to activate Windows XP. There is no funny business here, no registry key changes/manipulation, no re-executing trial activations, no downloads from questionable sources.
This does require that you have a genuine product key.
Having trouble with P2V of an existing Windows XP Machine? Check out the guide here.
Step 1 – Start up your Windows XP Virtual Machine
Go ahead and boot up your Windows XP machine. It will take a few minutes after powering on the Windows XP machine before the activation prompt will pop up near the toolbar. Some Windows XP versions also have an “Activate Windows” application in the start up menu.
If you can’t even get to this step and stuck outside of the desktop you are probably in the “Activation Loop”. Read the end of the post here on how to get out of it while you are trying to activate.
Once the “Activate Windows” window is opened, select the “Yes, I want to telephone a customer service representative to activate Windows” option. This will generate your Installation ID. You will need this Installation ID later.
Step 2 – Check Product Key
If you go to “Change Product Key” and its blank or set to XJM6Q-BQ8HW-T6DFB-Y934T-YD4YT, you need to enter your genuine product key otherwise the activation will not work. If you “Change Product Key” and the Activate Windows accepts this change, this is a good sign activation will work.
Step 3 – Go to the Microsoft Website on a Different Computer Connected to the Internet (Such as your Host Machine)
You will need to go to this Microsoft page: https://support.microsoft.com/contactus and and select “Contact Support in the browser instead”. Windows XP will not be able to access the internet page because it is so old, but you can access this website from any other computer or even your phone.
Step 4 – Continue Activation through the Virtual Assistant
The Virtual Agent will greet you with “I’m the Microsoft Virtual Agent. I’d love to help you. Please briefly describe your issue below.”
This is where you type “Activate Windows XP”
The Virtual Agent will mention something about support ending April 8th, 2014 and then asks if you want to activate Online or by phone. SELECT ONLINE
The Virtual Agent will say something about your device being connected to the internet but it doesn’t matter – select CONTINUE
The Virtual Agent will then ask you if you installed this copy of Windows on any other PCs or devices – you can select NO.
After selecting NO the Virtual Assistant will then give you steps to find your Installation ID but these steps are not needed, ignore these steps in the Virtual Assistant.
When the Virtual Agent asks if you found the Installation ID say YES.
Enter in the Installation ID for your Windows XP machine.
The Virtual Agent will say that you need to login, after you login you will get your activation code if you had a genuine product key in the VM.
Enter in this code into your Windows XP machine and you are done – permanently activated.