Key ringer

Corral your software product keys with this unique tool.

How much time have you spent searching through program folders and file repositories for the product key to a piece of software that you need to update or reinstall? Something that seems like it ought to be as easy as finding the tag of your shirt or your car's VIN instead becomes more like unraveling the Da Vinci Code. Help is available in the form of Miscsoftware's Product Key Viewer Professional, a utility that automatically locates the product keys in more than 1,000 Windows and other software products. It quickly returns any user data, activation keys, and license information on your installed apps and utilities. It can help average users keep better tabs on their software, but it can also lighten the load of network administrators who manage software license compliance.

The product's interface is commendably simple, just a tabular list in a dialog box with a few simple command buttons. It searches for and lists your software, displaying the type of data--Product Key, Owner, Activation Key--and the actual information. You can save and print the results.

Software is expensive. You can protect your investment by keeping good records of your purchases. Product Key Viewer Professional can help. It's free to try, but the trial version is limited to a partial key display. The full version costs $19.99, which could be a bargain if it helps keep your stuff safe. It works in every version and variation of Windows going back to NT and 98.

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