If you purchased a new computer with preinstalled Windows 10 Home, you may encounter unpleasant features of this edition. This is a stripped-down version that lacks many of the really sought-after features: access to the remote desktop server, BitLocker drive encryption, support for group policies, control over installing updates, etc.
Of course, you can pay about 100 to upgrade to Pro, but you can get by with a more economical option.
Have you ever lost your old key from Windows 7 Pro, Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 8 / 8.1 Pro? These keys can be reused to activate the upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro at no additional cost. In fact, you can use the product key from any of these versions of Windows to perform a clean installation or upgrade to Pro.
Thus, it makes sense to rummage through your email archives or hidden corners of your hard drive to find one of the old keys. You might even have the key to Windows 8 Pro at a very affordable price when Microsoft introduced big discounts due to a failed product launch in 2012.
Maybe you still have the boxed version of Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate, the license of which you no longer use?
It is important to clarify that the old product key will need to be applied only once. After upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Pro, the digital license will be tied to specific computer hardware. Thanks to the digital binding, you can reinstall Windows 10 Pro on your computer any number of times without having to enter the product key.
For the first time, a new feature appeared in Windows 10 version 1511. Since then, the binding process has been greatly simplified.
Upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Pro
Suppose you purchased a new computer with a preinstalled OEM version of Windows 10. Some vendors offer an upgrade option as part of the purchase, but many PCs are sold in a retail channel with a pre-loaded Home edition.
If you have an old device running Windows 7 or Windows 8.X, then you should initially use the offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10.
In other cases, the upgrade process to Pro takes a matter of minutes. Go to the menu Parameters Update and Security Activation, and you will see the following screen:
If you do not have a Pro product key, then you can purchase it for yourself by selecting the option “Go to Store” in the section Update this edition of Windows. The update will cost 6929 rubles (or about 100).
However, if you still have a key for Windows 10 Pro, Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate or Windows 8 / 8.1 Pro, you need to select the “Change product key” option.
When using the key from the old version to upgrade to Pro, before you had to go through only two steps. However, in the latest feature updates, this process has been greatly simplified.
After entering the product key, accept the offer to start the update procedure. The operation progress page will appear on the screen and the system will reboot. After the update procedure is completed, you will see a notification about the successful completion of the operation. Go to the Activation page again to make sure that you are using an activated version of Windows 10 Pro.
After successfully upgrading from Home to Pro, you can safely throw away or delete the product key from the old Windows. You will not need it anymore. Your license is digitally linked to specific equipment. If you reinstall Windows, the Microsoft activation servers recognize the hardware and activate Windows 10 automatically.
This update scenario was tested on the HP Specter x360 test laptop, which originally shipped with Windows 8.1 Home. The device was successfully upgraded to Windows 10 Pro, after which a clean installation of Windows 10 Pro was launched using a bootable USB drive.
Twice during installation, the program asked for a product key. Both times the option was selected. I do not have a product key. You need to make sure that you are installing the edition of Windows 10 Pro.
After the installation is completed and the account is logged in, on the page Parameters Update and Security Activation it was reported that system activation was successful. Microsoft servers recognized the hardware and used a digital license.
Clean reinstall with version upgrade
One of the incorrect scenariOS occurs when your system has digital licenses for both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. In this case, you may inadvertently restore the version of Windows 10 Home.
This scenario just happened during testing, when the system recovery image was used for the computer that was originally shipped with Windows 8.1 Home. The recovery disk used was Windows 10, and after the recovery procedure was completed, Windows 10 Home was installed on the computer.
If you encounter a similar problem, then you do not need to look for the source product key. Instead, use the Microsoft product key to force the upgrade.
Go to the menu Parameters Update and Security Activation, select the “Change Product Key” option and enter the public key of Windows 10 Pro:
Follow the instructions to upgrade from Home to Pro. Since your device already has a digital link, the system will be activated automatically.
This public product key cannot do wonders. If your device does not have a digital binding for Pro, then you will encounter an activation error and will be forced to provide the correct product key or pay for the update.