Windows Server 2019: Error 0x80070490 When Activating Windows

After installing Windows Server 2019 Standard, I tried to activate it with a MAK key from the Microsoft Volume Licensing Portal. I clicked on "Change product key" and entered the key from the Microsoft Portal. I got the following error message:

The product key you entered didn't work. Check the product key and try again, or enter a different one. (0x80070490)

Searching on Google, this error number mostly refers to Windows Update or Windows Store errors, but not to licensing issues.

I finally tried to activate via the command line, by using these commands:

slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX
(slmgr.vbs -ato)

This worked right away.

Update: Several readers commented that only the first command is needed. I put the second one in brackets for that reason.

So this is just a GUI activation problem on Windows 2019.

24 thoughts on “Windows Server 2019: Error 0x80070490 When Activating Windows”

  1. Hey guys,
    It worked for me as well but the license valid for xxx days message still shows on the desktop.
    When I have run the " slmgr.vbs -ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX" I got the message, "product activated successfully" but the watermark on the desktop still exists.

    I have restarted the server as well and ran the second command as well.

    Any idea?

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