ServiceMicrosoft Key Management Service (KMS)

Automated license and key distribution for Microsoft products

The Microsoft Key Management Service, KMS for short, can be used to automatically activate volume licenses for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office on workstations and office laptops over the University network. The Computing Centre operates its own KMS server for this purpose.

Target group

  • IT representatives


IT representatives

  • Automated license and key distribution for Microsoft volume licenses on computers within their area of responsibility

Access and requirements

In order to activate a Windows or Office installation through the KMS server, the computer in question must be connected to the University network locally via Wi-Fi/LAN connection or remotely via VPN.

Before activation, please ensure that a valid Windows or Office volume license is available or has been purchased for the client. IT representatives are responsible for the legal licensing of all software installations in their area of responsibility.

The installed software must be a volume license version; other versions (retail, MSDN/MSDNAA, OEM, etc.) cannot be activated via KMS. All ISOs from the URZ download portal are already preconfigured for the University KMS server and should connect automatically after installation.

Automatic activation

As a rule, activation takes place automatically when the client connects to the University network via an SRV record in the DNS domain. Should this not be the case, you can perform a manual activation.

Manual activation

Only a few steps are required for manual activation. First, check that port 1688 (outbound) is allowed through your firewall. On the client, open the command prompt (cmd.exe) as administrator and execute the following commands:

For Windows:
slmgr.vbs -skms vl-kms.uni-heidelberg.de
slmgr.vbs -ato

For Office:
cscript “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\ospp.vbs” /sethst:vl-kms.uni-heidelberg.de
cscript “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\ospp.vbs” /act

(The path under which the script can be found is dependent on the Office version and has to be adjusted).

Technical information

Currently, the following versions of Windows or Office can be activated using the KMS server:

Please note: Before activating, please ensure that you have a valid license for the product you want to activate. Only upgrade licenses for Windows desktop versions as well as Office licenses are available through the current campus agreement. Windows base licenses and Windows server licenses must be bought separately.

  • Windows 10 / 11 Education
  • Windows 10 / 11 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 / 11 Enterprise LTSC
  • Windows Server 2012/2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server 2022
  • Office 2016
  • Office 2019

Frequently Asked Questions


I have a work computer with installations that need to be activated, but it cannot currently be connected to the University network. Is there a solution that will allow for activation?
In such exceptional circumstances, activation with a Multi-Activation Key (MAK) is also possible. Please contact the IT Service for more information on how to do this.