How to activate a Windows Server 2022/2019/2016 Remote Desktop Services key?

3 min. readlast update: 03.11.2024

Activating a Windows Server 2022/2019/2016 Remote Desktop Services key is really simple, just follow those steps:


Install the RD Licensing role

  1. Sign into the server you want to use as the license server using an administrator account.
  2. In Server Manager, click Roles Summary, and then click Add Roles. Click Next on the first page of the roles wizard.
  3. Select Remote Desktop Services, and then click Next, and then Next on the Remote Desktop Services page.
  4. Select Remote Desktop Licensing, and then click Next.
  5. Configure the domain - select Configure a discovery scope for this license server, click This domain, and then click Next.
  6. Click Install.

Activate the license server

  1. Open the Remote Desktop Licensing Manager: click Start > Administrative Tools > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Licensing Manager.
  2. Right-click the license server, and then click Activate Server.
  3. Click Next on the welcome page.
  4. For the connection method, select Automatic connection (recommended), and then click Next.
  5. Enter your company information (your name, the company name, your geographic region), and then click Next.
  6. Optionally enter any other company information (for example, email and company addresses), and then click Next.
  7. Make sure that Start Install Licenses Wizard now is not selected (we'll install the licenses in a later step), and then click Next.

Your license server is now ready to start issuing and managing licenses.


*Activate the RDS Cals over Phone.*

The final method to install and activate the RDS licenses on a Windows Server 2016 or on a Windows Server 2019, is to use your telephone. To do that:

  1. Right-click on the Server's name and select Properties.
  2. Change the Connection Method to Telephone and then select your country/region. Copy Product ID and License Server ID, you will need them later. When done, click OK.
  3. Right-click on the Server's name and select Install Licenses.
  4. Click Next at the first screen.
  5. Now, dial the displayed telephone number and then follow the instructions you listen to speak to a person at Microsoft Technical Support.
  6. When you do, provide all the necessary information that will be requested (Email, Name, the RDS Authorization Number and License Number) and then provide the license server ID (35-digit number) that appears on your screen.
  7. Finally type the license pack ID provided to you and click Next to complete the RDS Cals activation.

Note: For the most current list of telephone numbers, see


After installing your software please use this command in CMD to convert the version to the correct one:

  • For server standard 2016/2019/2022: Open the command prompt as administrator and then write the following: "dism /online /set-edition:serverstandard /productkey:
  • For server datacenter 2016/2019/2022: Open the command prompt as administrator and then write the following: "dism /online /set-edition:serverdatacenter /productkey:


The key is not working 

If you have activated the key according to the guide but the code appears not to work, please check what type of error message you receive and depending on it follow the appropriate instructions:

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