How to transfer my Windows 10 Pro license?

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  1. Jambon28's Avatar
    Posts : 40
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    How to transfer my Windows 10 Pro license?


    Hi everybody,

    I run Windows 10 Pro x64 on my workstation. It's getting too old and I'm about to buy a new one. It comes with a 1TB Gen4 Samsung 980 PRO M.2. NVME disk.

    I have two questions:

    * Will I be able to create 2 partitions on this disk (I have absolutely no experience with M.2. NVME disks)? I plan to create one partition for Windows, and another one for storage

    * How do I transfer my Windows 10 license from my old workstation to the new one?

    Thank you so much in advance for your help,


    My Windows version is 21H1 (OS build 19043.1237)
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  2. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 4,435
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #2

    Windows isn`t preinstalled ?

    Yes, you can make 2 partitions.

    Is your license OEM, Retail ???
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  3. Jambon28's Avatar
    Posts : 40
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thank you @AddRAM,

    Yes Windows is pre-installed but I don't want it as I already own a license (retail).
    So I'm currently in discussion with the store: I'm asking them to not install Windows so I can save some money by not purchasing a license I already have.
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  4. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 33,779
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #4

    a. The easiest way is if you link your activation to a MS Live id:

    Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License

    and the troubleshooter can help if necessary:
    Use Activation Troubleshooter in Windows 10

    Microsoft is introducing the Activation troubleshooter that will help you address most commonly encountered activation issues on Genuine Windows devices including those caused by hardware changes. If you made a significant hardware change to your device (such as replacing the motherboard) Windows 10 might no longer be activated. If you're running Windows 10 (Version 1607) and added your Microsoft account and linked it to the digital license on your device, you can use the Activation troubleshooter to reactivate Windows.
    This tutorial will show you how to use the Activation troubleshooter to help with the most common activation issues including those caused by hardware changes in Windows 10.
    More tutorials available -yes- in the Tutorial section on activation and licensing.

    b. If you have a Win 10 product key, you can use that of course. Plenty of guides on the net if you care to do a simple search e.g.
    How to Transfer your Windows 10 License to a New Computer
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  5. AddRAM's Avatar
    Posts : 4,435
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #5

    Unless the store is building you a PC, it will already have windows on it, that`s just the way it is.
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  6. Jambon28's Avatar
    Posts : 40
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    dalchina said:
    b. If you have a Win 10 product key, you can use that of course. Plenty of guides on the net if you care to do a simple search e.g.
    How to Transfer your Windows 10 License to a New Computer
    Awesome, thank you! I should be fine with that process.
    I just have two questions:

    1/ Using the Bootable Windows 10 USB stick, will I be able to partition the disk I want to install Windows 10 Pro on prior to installing it?
    As my plan is to divide the disk into two distinct sections: one partition for Windows, and another for data. I don't want to be in the situation where Windows is installed, and there's no other separated partition/space available for storage.
    Edit: I just stumbled upon that tutorial, and the answer is YES visibly How to create partition in windows 10 during installation - YouTube

    2/ On that tutorial: How to Transfer your Windows 10 License to a New Computer when arriving at the stage of removing the license from my current PC by uninstalling the product key, will I still be able to use the PC? As I will probably need it to go on internet to read tutorials and so on ... but if I uninstall the product key, I'm afraid I can't use it anymore? (I guess I'm wrong, I hope I'm wrong).

    Thanks again for the help, definitely much appreciated, and thanks for the quality of this website and tutorials: they are really well done and easy to follow and understand

    - - - Updated - - -

    AddRAM said:
    Unless the store is building you a PC, it will already have windows on it, that`s just the way it is.
    Yes: the store is building the PC from scratch
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  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 33,779
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #7

    Hi, 1. If you wish, you can create a data partition.

    Then, following e.g. the tenforums clean install tutorial here:
    Clean Install Windows 10

    (See Tutorials at the top - there's a massive set and this is one first listed)

    then install Win 10 to the remaining unallocated space. It creates its own partitions.

    Or you can clean install to a blank disk, then resize, move and create a new partition.

    It is a great idea to keep personal data off C: as far as you reasonably can for reasons of O/S maintenance (e.g. clean installs, restoring disk images - Macrium Reflect (free or paid) is highly regarded and recommended here).
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  8. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,583
    Windows 11 Pro
       #8

    Jambon28 said:
    2/ On that tutorial: How to Transfer your Windows 10 License to a New Computer when arriving at the stage of removing the license from my current PC by uninstalling the product key, will I still be able to use the PC? As I will probably need it to go on internet to read tutorials and so on ... but if I uninstall the product key, I'm afraid I can't use it anymore? (I guess I'm wrong, I hope I'm wrong).

    Thanks again for the help, definitely much appreciated, and thanks for the quality of this website and tutorials: they are really well done and easy to follow and understand

    - - - Updated - - -



    Yes: the store is building the PC from scratch
    According to the End User License Agreement (EULA) for Windows 10 (and Windows 11), you are only allowed to install, activate and use 1 instance of Windows per license. So, if you are going to use your existing license from the old computer to activate Windows on the new computer, then in order to comply with the License Agreement you must stop using Windows on the old computer.

    That being said, with Windows 10 removing the product key from the computer does not remove the license for Windows 10 (or Windows 11) for that computer. The actual license for Windows 10 on any computer is stored digitally on a server at Microsoft. You, as a user, can do nothing to remove that license. So, in reality, Microsoft has made it impossible for you to completely comply with the EULA.

    Let's say you had Windows 10 Pro on a computer. You get your new computer and use the retail product key that you have to activate Windows 10 on the new computer, or you even "transfer" the license from the old computer to your new computer through your MS Account. You completely wipe the old computer and sell it or give it away with a blank or no hard drive. The new owner installs Windows 10 Pro on your old computer. They enter the generic product key for Windows 10 Pro, VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. Windows 10 Pro will activate on your old computer for them because the digital license for Windows 10 Pro for that computer is still on Microsoft's Activation Servers.
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  9. AndreTen's Avatar
    Posts : 25,636
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #9

    NavyLCDR said:
    According to the End User License Agreement (EULA) for Windows 10 (and Windows 11), you are only allowed to install, activate and use 1 instance of Windows per license. So, if you are going to use your existing license from the old computer to activate Windows on the new computer, then in order to comply with the License Agreement you must stop using Windows on the old computer.

    That being said, with Windows 10 removing the product key from the computer does not remove the license for Windows 10 (or Windows 11) for that computer. The actual license for Windows 10 on any computer is stored digitally on a server at Microsoft. You, as a user, can do nothing to remove that license. So, in reality, Microsoft has made it impossible for you to completely comply with the EULA.

    Let's say you had Windows 10 Pro on a computer. You get your new computer and use the retail product key that you have to activate Windows 10 on the new computer, or you even "transfer" the license from the old computer to your new computer through your MS Account. You completely wipe the old computer and sell it or give it away with a blank or no hard drive. The new owner installs Windows 10 Pro on your old computer. They enter the generic product key for Windows 10 Pro, VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. Windows 10 Pro will activate on your old computer for them because the digital license for Windows 10 Pro for that computer is still on Microsoft's Activation Servers.
    Not completely true.. (of course, as far as I know)

    MS Technet page to do it with command:

    windows-reset-or-remove-windows-activationremove-license-key-using-cmd

    :

    Log in to the system with admin account and open CMD with Run as admin rights.

    slmgr /upk It stands for uninstall product key. The /upk parameter uninstalls the product key of the current Windows edition. Once this command will execute we need to restart, the system will be in an Unlicensed state unless a new product key is installed.

    Enter slmgr /upk and Hit enter then wait for this to complete. This will uninstall the current product key from Windows and will move windows to unlicensed mode.

    The /cpky option removes the product key from the registry to prevent this key from being stolen or taken by malevolent code.

    Now enter slmgr /cpky and hit Enter then wait for this to complete. Once this command will execute, this will remove the product key from the registry if it's still there. Below is the screen shot for the same result would be on the screen:

    Move to the next Enter slmgr /rearm and wait for this to complete. This is to reset the Windows activation timers so the new users will be prompted to activate Windows when they put in the key.

    Once all done above, we can see our Windows actvation properties status as not available.
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  10. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,583
    Windows 11 Pro
       #10

    AndreTen said:
    Not completely true.. (of course, as far as I know)
    However, the slmgr commands for changing product keys and the activation status of a computer have absolutely no affect on the digital license for that computer that is stored on Microsoft's Activation Servers. As I stated, activate Windows 10 or Windows 11 on a computer with a product key, OEM or Retail, it does not matter. Once Windows 10 is activated on that computer, a digital license is created and stored on Microsoft's Activation Servers. Remove your product key from the computer with the slmgr command. Reuse your product key, throw your product key away, sell your product key, it does not matter. Install the generic product key for that same edition of Windows on the same computer and it will activate by retrieving the digital license from Microsoft Activation Servers as soon as it connects to the internet. And there is nothing that the user can do to stop that from happening.

    You can even activate a new computer by "transferring" the license from the old computer via your Microsoft Account, and the old computer will still activate from the digital license stored for it on Microsoft's Activation Servers. There is nothing the user can do about it. You cannot remove digital licenses from Microsoft Activation Servers and only the generic product keys are required to retrieve that digital license.
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