In the realm of digital efficiency, Microsoft Windows stands undisputed as one of the most prevalent and extensively employed operating systems across the globe. Among its various versions, Windows 10 offers a host of advanced features and a user-friendly interface, making it the choice for millions of users.

However, there’s a common scenario that some Windows 10 users often encounter — a persistent watermark on the bottom-right corner of the screen that reads ‘Activate Windows.’ This watermark serves as a reminder that your copy of Windows 10 is not fully activated, and it can appear for several reasons.

While the watermark does not interfere with the system’s operational abilities, it can be distracting and irritating, especially when working on full-screen applications or enjoying multimedia content. Fortunately, several methods can help you get rid of this watermark, depending on your preferences and level of technical expertise.

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into what the ‘Activate Windows’ watermark is and its impact on your user experience. Most importantly, we’ll walk you through several detailed steps to eliminate this watermark from your screen, providing a cleaner, unobstructed desktop view. 

What’s the Impact of the Activate Windows Watermark?

The ‘Activate Windows’ watermark, while annoying, doesn’t directly impact your system’s performance or security. Even with the watermark present, your Windows 10 operating system continues to function as usual. You’ll be able to use your apps, browse the internet, and carry out tasks without any noticeable slowdowns or restrictions.

However, the presence of the watermark does signify that your Windows 10 is in an unactivated state. An unactivated Windows 10 lacks certain benefits that come with a fully activated copy. As an example, customizing your PC will be unattainable. This means you can’t change your wallpaper, theme, colors, lock screen, and other aesthetics. The watermark can also be a distraction, especially if you use your PC for viewing content, giving presentations, or gaming.

Moreover, Windows Updates will still be delivered to ensure system security, but you may not receive optional updates or feature upgrades that Microsoft periodically releases to enhance system functionality.

Different Ways to Remove the Activate Windows Watermark

Method 1: Activating Windows

The simplest and valid approach to eliminate the watermark is by activating your Windows 10. To do this, you need a valid product key. This key is usually provided when you purchase a genuine copy of Windows 10.

After obtaining your product key, you can input it within the ‘Activation’ settings on your Windows 10 system. This process will activate your copy of Windows 10, and the watermark should disappear.

How to Activate Windows

  1. Choose the Start menu and then pick the ‘Settings’ option.
  1. Within the Settings window, proceed to the ‘Update & Security’ section.
  1. On the left-hand menu, pick ‘Activation.’
  1. On the right side, you’ll see the ‘Change product key’ option. Click on it.
  1. Input your authentic Windows 10 product key in the window that appears, then click ‘Next.’
  1. Follow the directions shown on the screen to complete the activation process. Once done, the watermark should disappear.

Method 2: Using Registry Editor

Another way to remove the watermark is by making specific changes in your Windows Registry. The Registry Editor stands as a potent utility responsible for overseeing settings across various aspects of your PC.With careful navigation, you can reach the specific registry that triggers the watermark and disable it.

How to Use Registry Editor

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the ‘Run’ dialog box.
  2. Type ‘regedit’ and hit enter to open the Registry Editor.
  1. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop.
  1. Look for ‘PaintDesktopVersion’ on the right side. Double-click on it and modify its value to 0.
  1. Reboot your computer to apply the alterations.

Method 3: Using Command Prompt

The Command Prompt is a command-line interpreter application present in the majority of Windows operating systems. It’s a versatile tool that can be used to perform a wide range of tasks, including removing the ‘Activate Windows’ watermark.

This method involves entering specific commands into the command prompt that will stop the Windows activation reminder from appearing. 

How to Use Command Prompt

  1. Press the Windows key + S and type ‘cmd.’
  1. Right-click on ‘Command Prompt’ and select ‘Run as administrator.’
  2. In the Command Prompt window, type bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF and hit Enter.
  1. Reboot your computer. The watermark should now be no longer present.


Although various methods exist to eliminate this watermark, each approach comes with its own set of implications. Activating your Windows with a genuine product key is the most recommended method, as it doesn’t just remove the watermark but also ensures that you’re running a legitimate copy of Windows 10. 

On the other hand, removing the watermark through the Registry Editor or Command Prompt are temporary fix that doesn’t activate your Windows. While these methods can clear your screen of the watermark, they should be carried out with caution to prevent unintended system alterations.