Anth's Computer Cave

Activate Windows 10 with a Windows 7 product key from another computer

13th July, 2016

With the free Windows 10 offer expiring at the end of this month, it's time to drag out your old broken Windows 7 computers and put their product keys to use.

I've noticed with Windows 10 upgrades that the Windows 7 code you use to activate Windows 10 does not need to belong to the computer you are upgrading. This means you can use the key code from a broken Windows 7 computer to activate Windows 10 on a completely different computer.

Normally you can't transfer an OEM Windows 7 license to a different machine to install Windows 7, but Microsoft seem to be ignoring this for Windows 10 upgrades.

If you have an old working Vista computer and a non-working Windows 7 computer, You can clean-install Windows 10 on the working machine and activate it using the Windows 7 key from the broken machine. Most desktops and laptops that shipped with Windows Vista will run Windows 10. You could also use this method to activate Windows 10 on a new, self-built PC.

Head on over to the Windows 10 download page and follow the instructions under Using the media creation tool / Perform a clean installation. This creates a DVD or USB drive to install Windows 10.

Install Windows 10 on your target machine and skip the option to enter a product key during install.

When Windows restarts after installation, choose to activate Windows and enter the product key from your broken computer. Windows should activate successfully.





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