In this guide we’ll show how to transfer Windows 10 license to another hard drive or new computer.
Transferring Windows 10 license to another hard drive or new computer depends on the type of Windows 10 license you are using. Microsoft distributes Windows in various form like Retail, Volume License, Upgrade licenses, Academic and OEM license (PC’s that come pre-installed with Windows 10/8/7).
A regular user might not think of transferring Windows 10 license to a new hard drive or computer until certain situations like – switching to a new PC and thinking about purchasing new Windows 10 license even when you have a license key or working with a macOS device and want to work with Windows 10 using Boot Camp but don’t want to buy another license key arise.
Here’s how to do it. But before that we need to know if the key is transferable or not.
How to tell if Windows 10 product key is transferable?
Windows 10 as described by Microsoft is a free upgrade, but it does have some restrictions.
- If you’ve upgraded from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Windows 8, 8.1, 7 (i.e. it was pre-installed) then your license has OEM rights. This means that you’re not allowed to transfer product key to another device. The same is when you’re upgrading device that came with Windows 8/7 pre-installed as they are OEM licenses. Once you upgrade to Windows 10 machine gets OEM rights.
- Whereas if you are using retail copy of Windows 10 then you can transfer Windows 10 key to multiple devices. This means retail license can be transferred as many times as you want. But sometimes you may receive activation error depending on the situation and number of times the product has been transferred.
Now that we know how to determine if a Windows 10 license key is transferable or not, we need to learn how to remove the license and transfer it to another hard drive or Windows 10 PC.
Here, transferring, means Windows 10 license key will be uninstalled from the old computer so that it can be used on a new one. Windows 10 license key cannot be used simultaneously on two computers.
How to transfer a Windows 10 product key to a new PC?
If you are running Windows 10 retail version, you can transfer the product to a new PC using steps below:
Using Command Prompt to uninstall Windows 10 license
To uninstall Windows 10 product key from your existing device, follow the steps below:
- Right click on Windows button and select Windows PowerShell (Admin). Or press Windows key + and select PowerShell (Admin).
- Here, in Windows PowerShell type vbs /upk command to uninstall the product key and press Enter.
This will uninstall the license key, meaning Windows 10 product key can now be used on another PC.
Quick Tip: There’s a possibility that you do not see “Uninstalled product key successfully” message at once. Hence, we recommend you to run the command multiple times until you see the message.
Now you can freely transfer your Windows 10 license key to another hard drive or computer.
Note: If older PC on which Windows 10 was running no longer works, you don’t need to follow above mentioned steps.
How to install Windows 10 license key using Command Prompt ?
To install Windows 10 using Command Prompt follow the steps below:
Note: Since we are reinstalling Windows 10 you need to click on “I don’t have a product key” when prompted during Windows 10 setup. However, if you have full version of Windows 10 (you bought it from the store), you can enter the key in the box shown below:
Next, select Windows 10 edition based on the one you were using earlier. As the product key will work on same edition only.
Users using Windows 10 Home, Windows 8.1 Core, Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Home Basic, should select Windows 10 Home.
Users using Windows 10 Pro, or Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate or Professional should select Windows 10 Pro.
Next during Out of Box Experience you’ll again be prompted to enter Windows 10 product key. Here click on Do this later if you are using Windows 8.1/8/7. However, if you have full version of Windows 10 (purchased from Windows store) you can enter the product key to activate Windows 10 license.
Next you’ll see desktop screen here enter the license key.
Alternatively, you can use Windows PowerShell (Admin) to reactivate Windows 10.
To do so, follow the steps below:
- Press ‘Windows’ key + X from the context menu select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Here enter slmgr.vbs followed by Windows 10 product key.
- Once Windows 10 license key is entered, press Enter key to proceed. You’ll now see a message with product key was updated.
- To verify if your Windows 10 is activated type slmgr /dlv in Windows PowerShell and press Enter.
- Here, under “License Status,you’ll see the status as “Licensed” this means your Windows 10 is fully activated.
- Now, exit Windows PowerShell and use Windows 10.
However, if you do not see the status as Licensed you’ll need to contact support or call them to get Windows 10 reactivated.
Activating Windows 10 manually
To manually activate Windows 10 license key use the steps mentioned below:
- Press Windows key + X.
- Next from the context menu select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
- Here type slui4 to re-activate the copy of Windows 10 and press Enter
- Next, choose your country or region and click Next.
- Here, you’ll be able to see a toll-free number, use it to call Microsoft support line, and provide then with the installation IDnumber when asked for.
- Next, click Enter confirmation IDbutton and enter confirmation ID provided by Microsoft agent to reactive Windows 10
- Click the Activate Windows
After completing the steps, Windows 10 should be activated on the new computer.
Using these steps you can transfer Windows 10 license to a hard drive or a new computer. the only important thing you need to keep in mind is that you should install the same version of Windows for which you have the key.
If you face any problem or have any questions please leave us a comment.