Transfer Win 10 license to new PC. What happens with the old PC?

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  1. Posts : 14,149
    Windows10
       #21

    Hoggorm said:
    What is stopping people from buying once license, removing it, adding it to the next computer, while adding a generic key to the first, then do the same on conputer number two and so on?
    Honesty.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 17,806
    Windows 11 Pro
       #22

    Microsoft is not dumb, believe it or not. The global economy has changed. The way Microsoft makes their money from Windows 10/11 is no longer by selling retail licences and carefully tracking product key usage in an attempt to persuade customers to buy Windows 10/11 by refusing activations which creates unhappy customers.

    They make their money through market share and advertising. The more copies of Windows 10/11 they have activated, the higher their market share compared to Linux or Apple, the better the company's reputation is and the more they can charge advertisers to use Windows specific services.

    In other words, Microsoft is going to make more money by making it easier for you to activate Windows on 5 computers and being a happy customer rather than the old method of locking you out if you didn't toe the line and forcing you to use a unique product key for each one.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 14,149
    Windows10
       #23

    NavyLCDR said:
    Microsoft is not dumb, believe it or not. The global economy has changed. The way Microsoft makes their money from Windows 10/11 is no longer by selling retail licences and carefully tracking product key usage in an attempt to persuade customers to buy Windows 10/11 by refusing activations which creates unhappy customers.

    They make their money through market share and advertising. The more copies of Windows 10/11 they have activated, the higher their market share compared to Linux or Apple, the better the company's reputation is and the more they can charge advertisers to use Windows specific services.

    In other words, Microsoft is going to make more money by making it easier for you to activate Windows on 5 computers and being a happy customer rather than the old method of locking you out if you didn't toe the line and forcing you to use a unique product key for each one.
    Totally agree.

    In fact, by far the largest portion of consumer licences are sold on pre-existing installed devices anyway. The portion of people who buy retail licences must be very low nowadays.

    Laptop sales account for roughly 66% of pc sales now, and (certainly in UK), vast majority of desktops are office based, and vast majority of laptops are consumer based although most companies are moving to laptops as well).

    It is actually quite hard to buy a consumer laptop without a pre-installed licence, and even if a company offers a device without a licence, any cost saving is pretty minimal as oem preinstalled licences are only a small fraction of a retail licence cost as the majors buy thousands of licences in bulk.

    The portion of people who actually buy retail licences must be very low nowadays (I would hazard a guess of <10%?).
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  4. Posts : 16,997
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #24

    Hello @Hoggorm,

    I am a bit late to the party, but I thought that I would post this as it might help, although as previously stated, MS have relaxed the rules below on this now.

     License Types and Rules:

    MS offers Win 10 Licenses in many channels governed by different rules, but for most users, you can only acquire a License through the OEM [ Original Equipment Manufacturer ] or Retail channel.

    An OEM License refers to the License that a manufacturer installs on new devices. If this is your case, the Product Key is NOT transferable, and you can NOT use it to Activate another installation [ unless you are re-activating a new installation on the SAME computer ].

    A Retail License refers to the License that you acquire when purchasing a copy of Win 10 from your local store or an online retailer [ such as from MS or Amazon for example ]. If you have a Win 10 Retail License, you CAN transfer the Product Key to ANOTHER computer, as long as you DEACTIVATE the Product Key on the OTHER computer.

    A Volume License is designed for large Businesses, Education, and Government. Usually, a Volume License allows organizations to use one master Product Key to Activate ANY installation of Win 10. Although you can use this License multiple times on different computers, you can NOT transfer it with the device when the system ownership changes, and you are NOT allowed to use the License to Activate devices that are NOT part of the Organization.



    I hope this helps.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 17,806
    Windows 11 Pro
       #25

    Here is what has changed:
    Paul Black said:
    License Types and Rules:
    MS offers Win 10 Licenses in many channels governed by different rules, but for most users, you can only acquire a License through the OEM [ Original Equipment Manufacturer ] or Retail channel.

    An OEM License refers to the License that a manufacturer installs on new devices. If this is your case, the Product Key is NOT transferable, and you can NOT use it to Activate another installation [ unless you are re-activating a new installation on the SAME computer ].
    My laptop came with Windows 10 Home installed from the factory and the product key stored in firmware. I have since upgraded the laptop to Windows 10 Pro. Just a few hours ago I created a brand new VM on a different physical host computer which was built by me so it has no product key in firmware. I entered the OEM product key from my laptop into the Windows setup screen when it asked for a product key. As you can see, it is activated with the OEM product key from my laptop.

    Transfer Win 10 license to new PC. What happens with the old PC?-capture1.jpg

    Paul Black said:
    A Retail License refers to the License that you acquire when purchasing a copy of Win 10 from your local store or an online retailer [ such as from MS or Amazon for example ]. If you have a Win 10 Retail License, you CAN transfer the Product Key to ANOTHER computer, as long as you DEACTIVATE the Product Key on the OTHER computer.
    In order to "deactivate" the product key on the first computer, simply change the installed product key to the generic product key for that edition of Windows 10/11. The first computer will remain activated with its digital license but the original retail product key will now be freed up to activate the second computer with.

    Also, Microsoft now allows you to switch an OEM license to a Retail license simply by changing the product key to the generic retail product for that edition of Windows 10, as I have done below on the test VM that I created.

    Transfer Win 10 license to new PC. What happens with the old PC?-capture1a.jpg

    This means that you can have a computer, like my laptop, that came with an OEM Windows 10/11 installed by the factory, with the product key stored in firmware, change the product key to the generic retail product key, and then transfer (really copy) that digital license to a new computer via a Microsoft Account - and the original computer still remains activated when you do so.

    That's the reality of what Microsoft allows you to do and they are taking no action to attempt to enforce their End User License Agreement (EULA).
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 16,997
    Win 10 Pro 64-bit v1909 - Build 18363 Custom ISO Install
       #26

    Thanks for the detailed and updated information @NavyLCDR, very informative.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 187
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #27

    Although I find it somewhat hard to believe, it will be a smoother transfer than I expected.

    I have three retail licences (two Pro and one Home). All are currently in use on three different computers.

    My priority is to use a valid license on my new computer so that there will be no issues with it.

    I would anyway use one of the three licenses I own so I started this thread to figure out what problems could arise on the computer that would have its license removed.

    Now I understand this will not pose any problems.

    I will use the Pro licence on one of my laptops for this. If I understand this correctly, what I’ll do is to change the product key on that laptop to the generic key for the Windows 10 Pro (without N). My retail licence is now available and can be transferred to the new computer.

    The new computer will have my retail license key and work as normal
    and
    The laptop will have the generic key and continue to work as normal.

    I find it strange, but if it works I can not be any more pleased.
      My Computer


 

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