Earlier we wrote about a method for recovering license keys for Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office programs using the ProduKey tool. ProduKey is a great program from Nirsoft that also works with Microsoft products and third party software.
We found another free tool called LicenseCrawler that recovers license keys by looking in the registry to find all license keys and serial numbers for all software installed on your system.
Download LicenseCrawler from
NOTE. We decided to download LicenseCrawler from FreewareFiles. Softonic has an additional download process that you need to go through to get the file. I also checked VirusTotal on their website and setup file and both turned out to be clean for malware / spyware. The program does show ads in it when you search, but you can easily turn it off.
You will receive a .zip file from FreewareFiles. LicenseCrawler does not need to be installed. Just unzip the downloaded file and double-click the LicenseCrawler.exe file to launch LicenseCrawler.
The Select Language dialog box appears. Select your preferred language from the drop-down list and click OK. The LicenseCrawler license dialog box opens. Click “Accept” to continue.
The selected language and the fact of acceptance of the license can be saved in the settings file if you wish. To do this, click “Yes” in the “Save Settings” dialog box.
Find the license keys
The main LicenseCrawler window will open. You can choose to search for license keys on your current computer (Localhost) or on other machines on the same network. To search another computer on the network, click the down arrow in the Computer drop-down list.
The Find Computer dialog box appears when LicenseCrawler searches for other computers on the network.
If there are no other machines on the network, an error is displayed. If other machines are found on the network, they appear in the Computer drop-down list. Select a machine from the Computer drop-down list.
NOTE. You will need a valid username and password for the remote computer that you choose on the network and the ability to access the registry.
You can change the registry path by selecting an option from the drop-down list under the Computer drop-down list. We recommend leaving the default path in the registry, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
To start searching for license keys, click “Search”.
Some advertising dialog boxes may be displayed before searching. Click Disable This Screen. Instead, you can select the Close after timeout checkbox to no longer display ads after the countdown ends.
When the countdown is over, you can click OK to close the dialog.
The keys being searched for appear in the Search edit box as the search progresses. When the search is complete, the Search edit box will indicate that the search is complete. The number of serial numbers appears below the Search edit box, and license keys and serial numbers are displayed in a large text box.
You can save license keys and serial numbers in a text file or in an encrypted text file. To save an encrypted text file, choose Save Encrypted from the File menu.
The “Save As” dialog box opens. Navigate to the folder where you want to save the file.
NOTE. The default folder is the LicenseCrawler folder, which contains the LicenseCrawler.exe file. We recommend saving the file in the LicenseCrawler folder. This makes it easy to back up your license keys and serial numbers to an external drive by simply copying the LicenseCrawler folder. Then you can easily access your license keys and serial numbers after reinstalling Windows if needed.
Enter a file name in the File Name edit box and click Save.
The “Save Encrypted File” dialog box appears. Enter the password in the edit field and click OK. Note that the password is displayed in clear text.
When you open the license key file, you see the cipher text.
To view license keys in clear text, open LicenseCrawler if it is not already open. Choose Upload from the File menu.
The “Open File” dialog box appears. Go to the folder where you saved the text file. Again, the default folder selected is the folder containing the LicenseCrawler.exe file. Select the text file and click “Open”.
In the Open File dialog box that opens, enter the password assigned to the encrypted text file in the edit box and click OK. A list of license keys and serial numbers is displayed in a large text box in the main LicenseCrawler window.
You can change the language used in LicenseCrawler by choosing Language from the Tools menu. If you change the language while working in the program, you can re-save the settings file so that next time the program opens in the new selected language. To do this, select “Save Properties” from the “File” menu.
The Save Settings dialog box reappears. Click Yes to save the new settings.
The settings are saved in the LicenseCrawler.ini file in the same folder as the LicenseCrawler.exe file.
If you open the LicenseCrawler.ini file in a text editor, you will notice that the selected language and the fact that you accepted the license agreement are saved in the file.
You can also run LicenseCrawler from the command line. To see the available commands available for use at the command line, choose Help from the Help menu.
The dialog box displays a list of available commands and examples of using LicenseCrawler in the command line with commands. Click OK at the bottom of the dialog box to close it.
Click Exit to close LicenseCrawler.
If you do not want to encrypt the saved file containing license keys and serial numbers, you can save it as a text file. However, if you choose to store your license keys and serial numbers in a plain, unencrypted text file, we recommend that you encrypt the data in another way to protect your license keys. Enjoy!