Tips on how to Switch a Home windows 10 License to One other PC

When you get a new laptop or PC, Windows 10 is usually already installed and activated. However, if your plan is to build a custom PC, it might not, and you might have to spend more money to get a real Windows license.

If your new PC replaces an old one, you may be able to transfer the Windows 10 license to the new PC and avoid paying for a new Windows 10 license. Today we're looking at how to set up a new PC by transferring the Windows 10 license.

Is your Windows 10 license transferable?

Microsoft is pretty strict about license transfer rules and unfortunately not all Windows 10 licenses are transferable. You can only transfer a Windows 10 license if you purchased it through a retail channel. Licenses that are distributed through the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and the Volume Channel for enterprise users are non-transferable.

Each Windows 10 license is tied to the computer motherboard. So if you try to use a product key from a non-transferable license, the Windows activation server will not validate your license. Once you understand the type of your Windows 10 license, this is the proper way to determine whether or not your license is transferable to another PC.

If your laptop or PC was preinstalled with Windows 10, you probably have an OEM license. On the other hand, if you purchased a Windows 10 license from the online Microsoft Store or an authorized reseller, you most likely have a retail license. Volume licensing is distributed to large organizations such as schools, corporations, and governments.

Check the Windows 10 license type

If you're still not sure what type of Windows 10 license you have, here's a quick way to check Command Prompt:

  1. Find Command Prompt on the Start menu, right-click the best match and click Run as administrator.

  2. Type the following command and press Enter and a dialog box will appear with the required information.

slmgr -dli

If Windows Script Host says you have a retail license, you can move your Windows 10 license to another PC. However, if you have a volume or OEM license, you will need to purchase a new Windows 10 license for a new PC.

Related: How to Get Windows 10 for Free or Cheap

Transfer the Windows 10 license via the product key

To transfer a Windows 10 license with a product key, you need to deactivate Windows on your original PC. You can then reactivate it on your new PC using the same key.

How to deactivate Windows 10 on the original PC and transfer the Windows 10 license to a new PC:

  1. Make a note of the existing product key by right-clicking This PC and selecting Properties. You should see the Windows 10 product key in the Windows activation section.

  2. Find Command Prompt on the Start menu, right-click the best match and click Run as administrator.

  3. Type the following command and press Enter to uninstall or disable the product key on the original PC.

slmgr.vbs / upk

  1. On your new PC, enter the product key during the Windows 10 installation process or activate Windows 10 via the settings.

  2. To activate Windows 10 from Settings, navigate to Update & Security> Activation> Change Product Key.

Related: What Are Generic Windows 10 Product Keys? How to use it

As soon as you enter the product key, Windows 10 will be activated automatically on the new PC. You can check that Windows 10 is installed via Settings> Update & Security> Activation.

Activate Windows 10 using the command prompt

Alternatively, you can reactivate Windows 10 using the command prompt:

  1. Start the command prompt as described above.

  2. Type the following command and press Enter to activate your license.

slmgr.vbs / ipk xxxxx- xxxxx- xxxxx- xxxxx- xxxxx

Confirm the Windows 10 license activation via Settings> Update & Security> Activation.

Activate Windows 10 using Microsoft support

You can also activate Windows 10 on your new PC by contacting Microsoft support. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Find Command Prompt on the Start menu, right-click the best match and click Run as administrator.

  2. Type the following command and hit Enter.

Lock 4

  1. In the window that opens, select your country or region and click the Next button.

  2. Call Microsoft Support at the toll-free number provided and provide the installation ID when prompted.

  3. Click the Enter Confirmation ID button and enter the confirmation ID provided by the support staff.

  4. Finally, click Activate Windows to complete the activation process.

Transfer the Windows 10 license with a Microsoft account

With your Microsoft account linked to your PC, you can easily transfer a Windows 10 retail license without using the product key. To check that your Windows 10 license is linked to your Microsoft account, go to Settings> Update & Security> Activation. If you get the message "Windows is activated with a digital license associated with your Microsoft account," you're good to go.

Just log into your Microsoft account on your new PC and Windows 10 will automatically activate your license through your Microsoft account.

If you haven't received the message, you can simply add your Microsoft account and link it to your Windows 10 license:

  1. Open the Start menu and click the gear icon to open it The settings.

  2. Click on Update and security, and then click on Activation.

  3. Link your Microsoft account by clicking Add an account.

  4. Sign in with your existing Microsoft account or create a new account.

  5. Your Windows license will now be linked to your Microsoft account and you can confirm this through the activation message for the digital license.

Transfer the Windows 10 license to another PC

If you're eligible, you can quickly move an existing Windows 10 license to a new PC instead of buying a new license altogether. This is an inexpensive way to activate Windows 10 on a new PC.

Before deactivating your Windows 10 license on the old PC, make sure that the license is transferable. If the license is not transferable, you will need to purchase a new Windows license. Always remember to purchase real Windows 10 licenses and not use cracked or fake licenses.

What if you don't upgrade to Windows 10?

What if you don't upgrade to Windows 10? Here are your Windows 10 update options so you can stay tuned.

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About the author

M. Fahad Khawaja
(20 articles published)

Fahad is a writer at MakeUseOf and is currently studying computer science. As an avid tech writer, he makes sure he stays up to date with the latest technology. He is particularly interested in Windows, enjoys playing soccer and programming impossible tasks.

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By M. Fahad Khawaja

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