Many small businesses don’t have Open Value subscription to simplify their Windows 10 license management. Therefore if you have issues such as hard drive corruption or the needs to replace motherboards, you cannot just re-install Windows 10 to another hardware. You will need to verify which Windows 10 licenses are transferable. Here are the list:
- Full retail Windows 10 license purchased through Microsoft Store or other authorized Microsoft retailers or partners, then it’s transferable
- Pre-installed Windows 10 desktop computer or OEM Windows 10 license is non-transferable
- If you upgraded a retail Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, then you can transfer its Windows 10 license one time only
- If you used Easy Upgrade, you can transfer Windows 10 using Digital Licensing with your Microsoft account
Once you have determined you can transfer your Windows 10 license to another desktop computer or hardware, here are the basic procedures:
- The first step is uninstall the current Windows 10 license from the existing desktop computer. You need to launch elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell then type slmgr.vbs /upk
- Once you see a Windows Script Host pop up with Uninstalled product key successfully message, now you are free to transfer your Windows 10 license to another desktop computer
- The next step is to install Windows 10 and you will need to select I don’t have a product key option toward the bottom when the installation asked to enter a product key for those of you using upgraded Windows 10 from Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 retail. Please note, if you did purchase a full Windows 10 retail license then you enter your product key here.
- The Windows 10 installation will once again prompt you for a product key during the Out of Box Experience stage. You need to select Do this later if you are using upgraded Windows 10 from Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1
- After installation is completed, launch elevated Command Prompt or PowerShell then type slmgr.vbs /ipk xxxxx- xxxxx- xxxxx- xxxxx- xxxxx. Please note to replace the “x”s with your product key
- This should activate your newly installed Windows 10 using your previous product key. If you encountered error to activate, then you need to Contact Support to activate via phone
You need to keep in mind that you can only use Windows 10 product key with one installation at a time. You cannot use the same Windows 10 product key on multiple desktop computers unless you subscribed to Microsoft Open Value.