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Microsoft Tests New Activation Limitations for Windows 11

Image Source: diy13 / Shutterstock

Microsoft is testing new limitations regarding activation on Windows 11, which could affect the functionality of its default web browser, Microsoft Edge.

Windows 11 can be set up without a product key, resulting in an unactivated state. While most features work normally, there are reminders, a watermark, and restrictions on certain customization options like setting wallpapers. However, there are ways around this.

Windows 11 generally functions well enabling program installations, access to the Microsoft Store, system updates, and administrative changes.

In the upcoming days, Microsoft may limit access to specific Microsoft Edge settings.

Changes in Microsoft Edge Settings

Recent reports suggest that Microsoft is testing activation-related limitations in the latest Edge Canary builds. These limits could prevent access to certain settings and show notifications indicating that Windows 11 is not activated correctly.

One simple way to test this is by installing Windows 11 without entering a product key on a virtual machine. Without activating, you will see a message in Edge settings saying: “We notice your Windows is not activated, some customization has been limited”.

This message is displayed on all Settings pages. Currently, only a few settings are restricted. One such limitation is the inability to adjust the “When Edge starts” preference, which stops users from changing how Edge opens.

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This means users won’t be able to change Edge’s default start page or restore the previous session.

This test is ongoing, and more restrictions on browser settings might be added in future updates.

Reasons for the Change

Microsoft has not officially explained the change or its motive. While it could impact individual users, it probably targets organizations.

Since it’s easy to install alternative browsers on Windows 11 like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Brave, Vivaldi, or Opera:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Type cmd and press Enter.
  3. Type winget install Mozilla Firefox and press Enter again.

For organizations, the implications might be more significant, especially if employees are required to use Edge. Displaying activation messages could prompt them to seek clarification or raise complaints.

Image Source: diy13 / Shutterstock

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