Windows activation

*Note: These instructions apply only to computers built with the University of Waterloo Windows 10 image.

Due to the licensing agreement between Microsoft and the University of Waterloo in order to activate your volume Windows license, your machine must be connected to the UW network when Windows is installed and at least once every 180 days thereafter in order to keep the Windows license activated. If your computer is not connected to the UW network for longer than 180 days, you will get the following error:

Error code: 0x8007232B
“Windows is not activated. We can’t activate Windows on this device as we can’t connect to your organization’s activation server. If you continue having problems with activation, contact your organization’s support person. Error code: 0x8007232B.”

To connect your machine to the UW network:

  • Connect to the campus VPN (for more information see Campus VPN)


  • Take your machine on campus

Your Windows activation client should find the campus license server and activate it automatically after connecting to the UW network.

Issues or concerns? Please contact the Science Computing Helpdesk.