How to transfer licensed Windows 10 to another computer

Original author: Josh Hendrickson
  • Transfer

If you ever built a computer yourself and bought a license for Windows, you probably won’t want to buy another license for the next computer. But, using the slmgr command, you can deactivate the old PC and activate the new one.

Deactivate your old PC instead of buying a new license

Windows licenses are expensive. Microsoft's official key price, from $ 100 to $ 200, can be compared to the price of a terabyte solid-state drive, 16 GB of RAM or a motherboard. And buying cheap keys from dubious websites is not a good idea. Therefore, paying for the next license when you get rid of the old computer in favor of the new one is not a very interesting idea. But the good news is that you can deactivate a PC that you will no longer use and transfer the license to a new one.

Using the slmgr command, this is quite simple, but there are some limitations to keep in mind. This will not work with OEM keys that ship with pre-built computers. Manufacturers integrate them into the equipment they come with and cannot be transferred to a new device. And if slmgr can deactivate any key purchased at retail separately, it can only activate a key that matches the installed OS.

Keys from Windows 7 and 8 can activate Windows 10, but only through the standard activation process, and not through slmgr. Also, with its help it will not be possible to enter the key from Pro in the Home edition system. To simplify the situation, transfer the key from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Home, and the key from Windows 10 Pro to the key from Windows 10 Pro. Otherwise, you have to make additional body movements.

How to deactivate an old PC

Before you begin, be sure to save the key. If you have a box or digital check, take it there. In other cases, there are ways to restore the key from an old PC, for example, the Nirsoft Produkey program .

To deactivate a PC, you need to open the input line with administrator capabilities. It is not enough just to run it from under the administrator account. You need to click the "Start" button, type cmd in the input field, and then click on the "Run as administrator" menu item.

In the input line that appears, run the following command, after which you will need to restart the computer:

slmgr.vbs /upk

If you plan to sell or give your PC, it would be nice to clean your key from the registry. This is not necessary for deactivation, but it is desirable to protect the key.

Write the following on the command line:

slmgr.vbs /cpky

If successful, your old PC will be deactivated. You can use Windows, but it will no longer be activated, and some features will stop working - for example, personalizing the desktop. Everything will be the same as after installing Windows without a product key. To activate Windows, you can buy a new key and enter it, or buy it in the Windows Store.

How to activate a new PC

To activate using slmgr, open a command prompt with administrator rights and run the following command:

slmgr.vbs /ipk #####-#####-#####-#####-#####

Where, instead of the gratings, enter the key.

If you try to enter a key that has not been deactivated on another PC, then at first everything will look as if the activation worked. But in the end, it will stop working, and you will receive messages about the need to update the license.

I repeat that this will work only if the key matches the version of the OS you are using. If you have a key to Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Home is installed, you will receive an error message.

If you try to enter a key for Windows 7 or 8, you will receive an invalid key message.

In such cases, it is best to open "Settings", select "Activate Windows", and enter the key manually.

If you use the key for Pro and activate a copy of Windows 10 Home, it will upgrade to Pro automatically.

Note that the key for Windows can be used only for one installed copy of the OS. If you want to leave the old computer while assembling a new one, you will need a second license. But if you plan to get rid of it, then save money and transfer the existing license.

Also popular now: