Multiple Activation Key

What Does Multiple Activation Key Mean?

A multiple activation key (MAK) is a software licensing and activation tool that provides one-time activation of a software product via a hosted authentication/activation server. This software product activation and authentication technique is used by Microsoft for validating single or multiple computers.


Techopedia Explains Multiple Activation Key

A multiple activation key requires a computer to connect and authenticate itself only one time to activate the software or operating system. The product activation via MAK can be achieved by either:

  • MAK Independent Activation – A single computer connects, authenticates and activates via Internet or telephone. This process installs a MAK product key on the computer, which activates with Microsoft servers.
  • MAK Proxy Activation – Activation requests from multiple computers are sent through the volume activation management tool (VAMT) that establishes a single Internet or telephone connection to Microsoft. VAMT collects installation IDs from multiple computers, sends them to Microsoft and installs the confirmation IDs back on the client computers to activate the product.

MAK has predefined activations allowed, meaning that MAK does not activate the product beyond its available limit.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…