Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro with Windows 8.1 Pro key  


  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
       #1

    Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro with Windows 8.1 Pro key


    I've got two laptops:
    • the old one, with Windows 10 Pro (1909) installed after a free update from Windows 8.1 Pro
    • the new one, with Windows 10 Home (1909) installed


    I've got the Windows 8.1 Pro product key, and I want to transfer it to the new PC. Microsoft support tried to help me, but here's the conclusions we reached:

    • I can't use the 8.1 Pro product key in the setting to upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Pro
    • I could use it if I had Windows 10 Pro installed instead of Home
    • I can't use the generic Windows 10 Pro product key to start the upgrade, because the new PC doesn't have a Pro licence
    • I could upgrade directly from Windows 10 Home to Pro if I had a Windows 10 Pro product key instead of a Windows 8.1 Pro product key
    • I can't upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro and activate it later, because the installer (from the media creation tool) automatically understands that I have a Home licence and not a Pro licence, and doesn't let me choose


    So, according to the support guy, my only option is to clean install Windows 10 Pro, and then it will recognize my Windows 8.1 Pro key and activate it.

    It seems so weird to me that, having a valid Pro licence (in the form of a Windows 8.1 Pro product key), I can't directly upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Pro. Like, I have the licence, it will only work if I enter it after the upgrade, but I can only start the upgrade after entering the licence ??

    So here I am, asking if there's a workaround that would allow me to simply upgrade my Windows 10 Home to Pro without losing any files, programs or settings, just like if I had a Windows 10 Pro product key instead of a Windows 8.1 one.

    Is there any way to convince the media creation tool or whatever else to download an iso/anything that would upgrade Home to Pro?

    Whatever the answer is, thank you :)


    EDIT: Okay so I had a weird idea and I have no idea if it would work, but basically: what if I clean installed Windows 8.1 Pro on another partition on the new PC, activated it to with the product key, updated it to Windows 10 Pro (is that still possible?)... Would that link a Windows 10 Pro licence to my Microsoft account as a digital licence for the new PC, that I could then use to upgrade the other partition to Pro for free through the Microsoft Store?
    Last edited by Remiscan; 14 Jan 2020 at 10:37.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 30,421
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #2

    Remiscan said:
    I can't use the generic Windows 10 Pro product key to start the upgrade, because the new PC doesn't have a Pro licence...

    You can't upgrade Home to Pro with the generic key because it checks online to see if you already have a digital licence for Pro....

    Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro with Windows 8.1 Pro key-home-pro-online.png

    ...so just disconnect from the internet. Then it will upgrade with the generic key. Of course, once back online it will say it's not activated, but you say you have a 8.1 Pro key you can use for that.

    Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro with Windows 8.1 Pro key-home-pro-offline.png

    I'd make a system image with something like Macrium Reflect Free before you try, just in case you need to go back to the original Home system. While you can upgrade Home to Pro, you cannot downgrade. It would require a clean install to go back to Home.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 1,192
    W10-Pro 22H2
       #3

    I may have misunderstood wht you want to do, but it seems (to re-phrase what you wrote) that you used the W8.1 key to activate W10-pro on the old laptop, and you now want to use it again to upgrade W10-H to -pro and then activate. Why do you think you get two activated W10s from one W8 licence?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    mngerhold said:
    I may have misunderstood wht you want to do, but it seems (to re-phrase what you wrote) that you used the W8.1 key to activate W10-pro on the old laptop, and you now want to use it again to upgrade W10-H to -pro and then activate. Why do you think you get two activated W10s from one W8 licence?
    The goal is simply to transfer the licence from the old PC to the new one. It is a retail licence, not OEM, so the support guy assured me it would work.

    Bree said:
    ...so just disconnect from the internet. Then it will upgrade with the generic key.
    I can't believe it was that easy thank you!
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 18,377
    Windows 11 Pro
       #5

    Once again, we prove that we know more about Windows 10 than MS support technicians do.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 30,421
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #6

    NavyLCDR said:
    Once again, we prove that we know more about Windows 10 than MS support technicians do.

    TBH, that's a fairly low target to achieve
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #7

    To be fair to the Microsoft support guy, the Windows 8.1 Pro product key he assured me would 100% work after upgrading to Pro doesn't actually work after I upgraded to Pro that way, so maybe there was some truth in the need for a clean install.

    I tried the "I changed hardware" thing in the activation troubleshooter just in case, but I just get a "we can't reactivate Windows on this device, try again later" message.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 30,421
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #8

    Remiscan said:
    To be fair to the Microsoft support guy, the Windows 8.1 Pro product key he assured me would 100% work after upgrading to Pro doesn't actually work after I upgraded to Pro that way, so maybe there was some truth in the need for a clean install...
    If the 8.1 Pro key won't activate your upgraded system, then it won't activate a clean install either.

    One thing MS support are good for is, if they think you should be entitled to use that key, providing phone activation.
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Bree said:
    One thing MS support are good for is, if they think you should be entitled to use that key, providing phone activation.
    Well, a second chat support guy told me that key can't be transferred, because upgrading from a retail Windows 8.1 Pro licence to Windows 10 Pro transformed it into a digital licence that can't be transfered.

    So I guess I've been bamboozled!
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 30,421
    10 Home x64 (22H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #10

    Remiscan said:
    Well, a second chat support guy told me that key can't be transferred, because upgrading from a retail Windows 8.1 Pro licence to Windows 10 Pro transformed it into a digital licence that can't be transfered.

    So I guess I've been bamboozled!

    A retail key can be transferred to another machine provided you have uninstalled it from the old machine. If you upgraded the old machine to W10 it's digital licence is based in it having had a licence for 8.1 from your key. Therefore that key is still 'in use' on the old machine. If that is the case then no, you are not entitled to use that key again on a second machine while the first machine is using it.
      My Computers


 

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