In this festive season, many of you might have purchased a new computer system for the home or work. Although modern laptops and desktops mostly come with Windows 10 OS pre-installed on them, some users still assemble different parts from different manufacturers to create a PC.
To activate Windows 10 on your assembled PC, you need to purchase a genuine license, which costs more than $100 for a new one from the official Microsoft Store. However, if you are replacing your old Windows 10 computer with a new one, you can transfer the Windows 10 OS’s license running on the old device to the new device. Although, some limitations need to be considered before that.
This post will guide you on how to transfer Windows 10 license key to a new computer.
Here is a summary of what steps you need to follow to transfer the Windows 10 license to another device
- Check the eligibility of the license.
- Deactivate the license from the old PC.
- Activate the license to the new device.
What is the eligibility to transfer Windows 10 license to another device?
Before jumping to the steps to transfer Windows 10 license key to the new PC, first determine whether your Windows 10 license is eligible for the transfer or not. Here are the conditions for that.
- On your old computer, if you have upgraded to Windows 10 from a retailed copy of Windows 7 or 8.1, then your Windows 10 license is entitled to the license transfer. However, you can transfer it only ONE time.
- Suppose you have purchased and installed the original retail license of Windows 10 on your old PC. In that case, you are eligible to transfer Windows 10 license as many times you want, provided you have correctly deactivated it from other devices. NO SINGLE WINDOWS 10 LICENSE KEY CAN BE INSTALLED ON MULTIPLE DEVICES.
- If your old device had Windows 10 OS pre-installed in it, then it is the case of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) license. In such a case, you CANNOT transfer Windows 10 license key to another device. In this case, the license is linked with the motherboard of the device and cannot be detached from it.
- If you have upgraded your OEM license to a different Windows 10 edition, then your OEM license is converted to the digital retail license and eligible to transfer. For example, if you have transformed your in-built Windows 10 Home edition to Windows 10 Pro edition, you can transfer the new Pro edition to another device.
How to transfer Windows 10 license to another device?
After checking your Windows 10 license eligibility, you can now proceed further to follow the steps to transfer it if it is qualified for it.
Deactivate the Windows 10 License from the Old Device
The first step is to deactivate the Windows 10 license from the old device, as you cannot use a license on multiple PCs. Before proceeding to this step, ensure that you have the product key with you; if not, then find it out.
On the Windows search box, search for the Command Prompt and run it as administrator.
Type the following command to remove the product key from the current device and press Enter: slmgr /upk
You will see the following success message. If you don’t see the product key uninstalled success message, repeat the above command multiple times till you receive the dialog box.
Next, type the following command to clear the license key from the registry and press Enter: slmgr /cpky
You will receive the following success dialog box on the confirmation.
Now you can use the product key on another device and activate the Windows 10 license. The above steps would prevent the detection of product key used in multiple devices. If you don’t plan to use your old system anymore, you can directly format it to deactivate Windows 10 instead of following the above steps.
Transfer Windows 10 License to another device
After deactivating the Windows 10 license from the old computer, you are now free to transfer it to another device.
Here are the ways you can do that.
Activate license using Command Prompt
To activate the license manually, use the Command Prompt.
- Launch Command Prompt with Administrator rights.
- Type the following command to reuse the Windows 10 product key and press Enter: slmgr /ipk XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX. Replace the ‘Xs’ with the product key you want to transfer.
- Type the following command to verify the activation and press Enter: slmgr /dlv
- If you see “License Status: Licensed”, Windows 10 is activated, and the license is transferred successfully.
If you notice “Notification” written next to License Status, restart the device and again check the status by running the command of the 3rd step.
Activate license using Microsoft Support
If you could not activate the Windows 10 license manually using the Command Prompt, you can take help from Microsoft Support for that.
- Open the Command Prompt with the administrator rights.
- Type the following command to activate the copy of Windows 10 and press Enter: slui 4
- Follow the on-screen instructions to call Microsoft support and activate the Windows 10 with your license key.
After completing the steps provided by the support system, your Windows 10 OS would be activated with the old device’s license key.
Transferring the Windows 10 license key is a great way to save a few amounts while buying or assembling a new computer. It is also beneficial when you want to sell your old device. Though the process to transfer Windows 10 license seems restless and confusing, you can do that easily by carefully following this guide.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.