Is W10 free to multiple computers by one owner?


  1. Posts : 304
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.19041 Build 19041
       #1

    Is W10 free to multiple computers by one owner?


    I recently purchased a new laptop to replace my aging one that has slowed to a snails pace. Maybe also has a virus - I dunno. The new laptop has W10 installed. I also have 10 installed on a couple of desktops.

    I plan to move all of my data from the retired laptop to a large external HDD and then reformat it. Another problem with the older laptop is that it is bloated with many programs that are no longer needed. I'll reinstall only programs now needed.

    The first thing that I plan to do is to reinstall W10 on the retired laptop. Will I have a problem with too many copies of W10 already registered to me? Should I instead erase everything except the OS? I'm thinking that if my problem is basically too many bad programs or other malware then I'm okay. If my OS is infected then I'm defeating my objective of returning my older computer to its virgin state.

    Mostly I don't want to brick my old laptop w/o an OS or needing to purchase W10 because I'm only allowed e.g., 3 copies with my free personal license.

    Any advice is appreciated.
      My Computers

  2. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 18,617
    10 Home x64 (20H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    lbeck said:
    Mostly I don't want to brick my old laptop w/o an OS or needing to purchase W10 because I'm only allowed e.g., 3 copies with my free personal license.
    No need to worry, Windows 10 licences don't work like that.

    When it was activated each machine had a digital license for the edition installed (Home or Pro) stored on the Microsoft activation severs and linked to the unique hardware ID of the PC.

    You are free to wipe the retired laptop and do a clean install of the same edition it had before (Home or Pro). If asked for a key click the 'I don't have one' link. It will activate automatically from its own digital license as soon as it can contact the activation servers. The drive is not part of the hardware ID, so if that needs replacing it won't affect the digital license for the PC.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 304
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.19041 Build 19041
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Bree said:
    No need to worry, Windows 10 licences don't work like that.

    When it was activated each machine had a digital license for the edition installed (Home or Pro) stored on the Microsoft activation severs and linked to the unique hardware ID of the PC.

    You are free to wipe the retired laptop and do a clean install of the same edition it had before (Home or Pro). If asked for a key click the 'I don't have one' link. It will activate automatically from its own digital license as soon as it can contact the activation servers.
    Great! That's what I was hoping for.
    Thanks
      My Computers

  4. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 10,489
    Win10 Pro Versions 2004 and 2009/20H2, Win10 Pro IP_Dev, Win10 Home 1909
       #4

    I'd add that Local Account or Microsoft Account shouldn't be a hindrance, I have 4 with the Microsoft Account and 6 without using Owner as the user [no E-Mail address used], just pay attention to the prompts. I set up the used computers as Owner as they have been rehabbed and are intended for future low-cost sale or give-away to a need.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 304
    Windows 10 home Version 10.0.19041 Build 19041
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thanks - Still open to comments or advice even though I marked this as solved.
      My Computers


 

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