Fix: Activation Error 0xc0020036 in Windows 10

Since you are here, you must be struggling with the activation error 0xc0020036 on your device. This bug becomes pretty common after the May 2020 Update as Microsoft is removing non-genuine access to its new feature update. Well, if you were on an activated Windows 10 PC with an official Microsoft account, you don’t need to worry much. Just sign in to your Microsoft account and start exploring the new features and refinements of Windows 10 2004. In the meantime, the company automatically activates your Windows 10 copy given you are connected to the Net. 

However, in case you are encountering this error for more than 3-4 hours despite signing in, read this guide in detail and follow the fixes sequentially. If you purchased a genuine product key sometime back in the past, just contact Microsoft Support. Sometimes, this bug arises due to the digital license becoming corrupt. In such cases, just you need to clean system files using SFC and DISM. If none of the fixes work, try configuring the registry as discussed in this article –

Imp – If you are running a pirated copy, the below methods won’t be effective in bypassing the error 0xc0020036.

Ways to Fix Activation Error 0xc0020036 in Windows 10

To solve the Activation error 0xc0020036 on Windows 10 PC, use the following methods –

Solutions List

1] Install the pending update

If there is a pending update on your computer, this may lead to such activation errors. Therefore, check whether there is any cumulative patch pending on your device or not. If indeed, download and install the update to the Windows 10 OS. After applying the update, re-check whether the error 0xc0020036 is still there or vanishes. 

To do so, all you need is to reach out to the below location and hit “Check for Updates” –

Settings (Win + I) > Update & Security > Windows Update

2] Re-use Product Key/ Digital License

If you have access to your 25-digit product key, you may try to put this in the required field. Here’s how to proceed –

  • Right-click on the Windows icon and hit the Gear icon.
  • When the Settings UI comes into view, go to Update & Security > Activation.
  • Move to the right pane and hit “Change Product Key“.
  • On the succeeding screen, fill in with the genuine product key, and press Next.


  • Microsoft will take care of the remaining steps automatically.

Many a time, Windows OS gets activated with digital licenses that you were actually using before. To use this, just sign in to your official Microsoft account and wait for 3-4 hours. However, make sure to remain connected to the Internet. Believe us, this is very effective as long as you were on an activated Windows 10 OS before.

If your PC doesn’t get activated even after waiting for the above time period, try the below suggestions –

3] Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

Sometimes, just running the Windows Update Troubleshooter fixes different activation issues. Hence, we suggest using this in-built utility to get rid of the 0xc0020036 error. Here’s how to proceed –

  • Press WinKey + I to invoke the Settings app.
  • Select Update & Security thereafter Troubleshoot.
  • Click “Additional Troubleshooters” on the right pane.

Additional troubleshooters

  • Next, choose to expand “Windows Update” and hit Run the troubleshooter.


  • Follow the onscreen instruction to complete the remaining steps.
  • Once the troubleshooting finishes, head back to the Windows Update section and hit Check for Updates.
  • If there is any pending update available, download and install the same. 

4] Scan and Repair corrupt system files 

Sometimes, the activation error may appear because of corrupt or missing system files. So, you must check whether there lies any corruption inside your PC or not. To do so, open Command Prompt as Admin and run the below code –



This process usually takes a few minutes to scan and repair corrupt files, so wait accordingly. When the scanning and repairing task finishes, Reboot the PC to implement the above changes. 

5] Perform DISM scan

If the activation error still occurs on the computer, run the following DISM codes on the Command Prompt –

Note: Make sure to open Command Prompt with administrative privileges. 

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

DISM codes

  • Once over, Reboot your system so as to incorporate the recent changes.

If you’re still receiving the activation error 0xc0020036, try the next solution –

6] Contact Volume licensing activation center

If none of the above fixes work to resolve the Activation error 0xc0020036, visit the Volume licensing activation center and reactivate your device. Or, you may get in touch with the Support team and ask them to help you out with the digital license. 

All you need is to connect to the experts via toll-free numbers specific to any country or region. If they find the details genuine, they will soon activate your Windows 10 copy remotely.

7] Clear the existing license key

If the Activation wizard sees any inconsistency on the activation key, this may cause the error 0xc0020036. To get rid of this bug, you need to run a few codes on the Windows Console clearing a few entries on the registry. Here are the essential steps to work upon –

  • Hit the Search button and type “cmd” inside the text box.
  • Right-click on the top result and select the “Run as Administrator” option.
  • When the UAC window comes into view, click YES to access the CMD window.
  • On the elevated command prompt, run the below codes one after another –

slmgr /upk

slmgr /cpky


  • If you successfully execute the above two commands, reach out to the Run dialog using Win + R hotkey.
  • Type “ms-settings:activation” inside the text field and hit Enter to launch the Activation tab inside Settings.
  • You may now insert your Windows 10 license key to activate the new Windows copy.
  • Make sure to Restart your PC so as to incorporate the above changes.

8] Modify the sppscv key using Registry

If you are using Windows 10 since the time of its arrival (free upgrade), the registry must contain a digital license. Changing OS Build versions or installing feature updates don’t delete the sppscv file. In such cases, all you need is to configure this file inside the registry editor –

  • Jointly press Win + R.
  • Type Regedit in the void and hit Enter.
  • When the UAC window prompts, tap Yes.
  • Now, browse to the below path –

Modify sppscv key

  • Head over to the right wing and click twice on the Start Key.
  • Put “2” inside the Value data field and select the “Base” to Hexadecimal.
  • Close the registry window and Restart your PC so as to implement the recent changes.
  • From the next login, you may activate Windows 10 without receiving any activation issues.

That’s it. In case you have any queries or suggestions, drop a message in the comment box.

Soni Aryan

Soni Aryan

Soni Kumari is a tech enthusiast known for her expertise in how-to type topics and Windows troubleshooting articles. She loves exploring how to do things or tweaks in Android, iPhone, and other operating systems.