If you don’t know how to transfer a Windows 10 license to a new PC, we are going to help you out. If you have Windows 10, it is very likely that you have a license on your PC. However, if you buy a new laptop, that license won’t work on the new computer, since it is associated with the motherboard of the original computer. Fortunately, there’s a method that you can use to change it.
Windows 10: Retail key vs OEM key
We can buy Retail keys, or receive OEM keys if they are included with the device. Retail licenses, even if we have used a Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license, can be used on as many computers as we want as long as it is deactivated on the original computer.
Unfortunately, if you use an OEM key, like the one a laptop may come with when you buy it, you can’t move that license from one computer to another, since it is tied to the motherboard.
It is important to note that if you have a Windows 10 Home license, you have to install Windows 10 Home on the computer you want to activate, as a Home license will not work on a Pro.
How to transfer a Windows 10 license to a new PC?
Recover the Windows 10 key
You can use Windows Powershell for this task, therefore, we must type Powershell in the search box of the taskbar and run the tool with administrator permissions.
Once we are in front of the command line, we must type:
wmic path softwarelicensingerservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
and press Enter to execute the command. In a few moments, we will see how the Windows 10 license number will be displayed and we can write it down or save it elsewhere.
Deactivate Windows 10 on the old PC
We already say that no matter what kind of license you have, we recommend you try if you have nothing to lose. This process should only be carried out if the old computer will continue to be used. Disabling it will prevent Microsoft from detecting the same key being used on multiple devices.
First, we have to deactivate Windows 10 from our PC. To do this, we go to Command Prompt (CMD), and run as administrator. There, we enter the command slmgr /upk to deactivate the installation, where we will be warned with a window saying that “The product has been successfully uninstalled”. If you do not see the window, run the command several times until it appears. In addition, we have to execute the command slmgr /cpky to remove the license from the registry.
Activate Windows 10 on the new PC
Once we have deactivated the original computer, we move on to activate Windows 10 on the new PC. This can be done in two ways. The easiest is to go to Settings – Update and Security – Activation. There, we click on the Change product key and we can enter the code manually.
If for whatever reason this method fails us, we have a second option, go to Command Prompt, open as administrator, and type the following command:
slmgr /ipk xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx
Surely, you should enter the key instead of using the letter x. If we press Enter, we should see that the key has been installed correctly. To verify if the system is activated, we write slmgr /dlv and at the bottom, we will find “License status: with license”.
How to reactivate Windows 10 license?
If on the other hand you have not changed your computer, but you have made a hardware change, most likely you have lost the license, because when you install Windows 10 the digital license is associated itself with the hardware of the device.
To reactivate Windows 10 after a hardware change you must make sure that the device is connected to the internet and follow the steps for a digital license or a product key.
If you have a digital license you will need to run the Activation troubleshooter. The first thing to do is to add your Microsoft account and link the digital license on the device. Once you have done the linking run the Activation troubleshooter to reactivate Windows 10.
To run the troubleshooter you must perform the following steps:
- Log in as administrator.
- Follow the path: Start > Settings > Update and security > Activation > Troubleshoot problems. The troubleshooter will tell us that Windows cannot be activated on the device.
- Select “I have recently changed the hardware on this device” and click next.
- Next, you must enter the credentials of the connected Microsoft account and then Sign in.
- In the list of devices that are linked to your account, you must select the box next to “This is the device I am currently using”.
- Select “Activate” for the changes to take effect.