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    Microsoft Account - Link to Digital License on Windows 10 PC

    Microsoft Account - Link to Digital License on Windows 10 PC

    How to Link your Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Activation Digital License
    Published by
    2016-07-05
    Designer Media Ltd

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    Brink's Avatar
    Administrator

    Posts: 16,593

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    How to Link your Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Activation Digital License

    information   Information
    Starting with Windows 10 Anniversary Update and Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14371, you can link your Microsoft account (MSA) to the Windows 10 digital license (formerly called digital entitlement) on your device. This can help you reactivate Windows using the Activation troubleshooter if you make a hardware change later, such as replacing the motherboard.

    There is not a concept of a primary administrator MSA on a PC. So any administrator MSA that is verified on a PC will show as having the HardwareID associated with their MSA and the OS digital license associated with that HardwareID. Don't think of the license as attached to the MSA, but instead think of the MSA as having the authority to transfer the license. If you have two MSAs verified on a PC and you use one to go through the reactivation process to transfer the digital license, then if you try it with the other MSA you will get told it's no longer possible.

    If you already used an MSA to sign in to your activated Windows 10 Home or Pro PC, your MSA will be automatically linked. You can use this MSA linked digital license to re-activate your Genuine Windows 10 device by running the Activation troubleshooter, if you run into Activation issues caused by hardware changes.

    If you don't sign in to your activated Windows 10 Home or Pro device with your linked Microsoft account, then you will need to add your Microsoft account to link the MSA to the activation digital license on your PC.

    After you add your Microsoft account and link it to your digital license, you can use the Activation troubleshooter to help reactivate Windows after a hardware change.

    If you didnít add your Microsoft account and link it to the digital license on your device, you wonít be able to reactivate Windows after a hardware change using the Activation troubleshooter.

    This tutorial will show you how to add your Microsoft account (MSA) and link it to the activation digital license on your Windows 10 PC.

    You must be signed in as an administrator to add a Microsoft account to link to the digital license.

    warning   Warning
    Linking your Microsoft account to the digital license will switch your local account to a Microsoft account on your Windows 10 PC.






    Here's How:

    1. Open Settings, and click/tap on the Update & security icon.

    2. Click/tap on Activation on the left side, and click/tap on Add an account under Add a Microsoft account on the right side. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    You will not see Add an account if you are already signed in to your Microsoft account since it will already be linked to the digital license.

    If youíve already added your Microsoft account to your device, youíll see Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account on the Activation page automatically.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    3. Enter your Microsoft account (ex: email address) and password, and then click/tap on Sign in. (see screenshot below)

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    4. Select how you would like to get your security code for verification, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)

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    5. Enter the code you received, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

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    6. Enter the password of your current local account, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)

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    7. Your local account has now been switched to your Microsoft account, and your Microsoft account is now linked to the digital license of this Windows 10 PC. (see screenshot below)
    Note   Note
    After you add your Microsoft account, youíll see Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account on the Activation page.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's it,
    Shawn



  1. Joined : Aug 2016
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10
       2016-08-03 #1

    Hey, I have a question.
    Do you think the digital license is saved on my MSA after i changed back to my local account?

    What I mean by that:
    I Added MSA to my Windows 10 and it said in Activation tab "Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account", and my PC was in device list of my MSA.
    But I don't like the fact that I have to type in password every time I boot up. It's my private PC, I don't need password, I never had. So I switched back to my Local account. But now it's back to "Windows is activated with a digital license" only, and the PC is also gone from the device list on my MSA account.
    Do you think it actually unlinked the license, or maybe because I logged in once, it saved anyway, and I will be good with activating in the future on a changed machine?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 16,593
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 14986
       2016-08-04 #2

    Hello Guniu,

    The digital license for your PC will still be linked to your MSA.

    If you still wanted to use your MSA with Windows 10, you could use OPTION ONE in the tutorial below to have Windows automatically sign in to your MSA at startup.

    Sign in User Account Automatically at Windows 10 Startup
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Joined : Dec 2015
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows10
       2016-08-04 #3

    I have done some interesting tests today.

    I had a VM which had an activated version of Windows 10.

    This VM1 was using an MS account, and was showing as activated with a digital licence, and linked to my MS account. I could see the device in my MS account as a device.

    I created a new VM2, and used the activation troubleshooter, and as expected, I could see VM1. I did not actually go ahead to transfer the licence.

    So far, nothing unusual. Now, here is the interesting bit.

    I went back to VM1, and changed it to a local account. As expected, the device disappeared from my MS account.

    Now I used the activation troubleshooter on VM2 again, and as I feared, it could not see VM1 anymore!

    So I set VM1 back to an MS account, and guess what - I could see VM1 again both in my MS account and iv VM2 via the trouble shooter.

    So the inescapable logic is that there is NOT a separate list of linked devices i.e. it is the SAME list as in the MS Account (attached devices).

    The implication of this is quite important i.e. you must ALWAYS remain logged in via an MS account for the digital licence to remain linked. You cannot link it, then revert to a local account.

    Brink - You might want to add a warning in main text accordingly (even as a possible caveat until somebody else verifies my conclusion).

    Of course, you could revert to an MS account later but if your mobo fails whilst on a local account, you would be goosed.

    Additional, it gets more complicated now if you have a dual boot pc with a home digital licence and a pro digital licence on same pc (how I am setup), as I have also discovered you can only link the last one setup to you MS account, even though both have a valid digital licence on the server.

    The only way round this as far as I can see is to link each digital licence to a separate MS account. I do not know (yet) what would happen if you logged in to the other account ie cross matching.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Joined : Oct 2013
    Posts : 16,593
    64-bit Windows 10 Pro build 14986
       2016-08-04 #4

    cereberus,

    Interesting. You would think that the digital license for each device would remain linked to the same MSA.

    As a test, if you deactivate VM1 and try to activate again with the same key or license, does it automatically get activated from MS activation servers despite the device not being listed for your MSA?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Joined : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 12,388
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 14393 Multiprocessor Free
       2016-08-04 #5

    Something interesting happened to my systems.

    I had my Insider VM linked to my Microsoft account(and everything but Themes synced), and after the Anniversary update/upgrade, both my desktop, and my laptop, which both are on Current Branch, were automatically set up and link to the account to, without me having to do anything.
    I'm guessing it has to do with "syncing settings"(which I finding more & more awesome all the time).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Joined : Dec 2015
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows10
       2016-08-04 #6

    Brink said: View Post
    cereberus,

    Interesting. You would think that the digital license for the device would remain linked to the MSA.

    As a test, if you deactivate VM1 and try to activate again with the same key or license, does it automatically get activated from MS activation servers despite the device not being listed for your MSA?
    Not actually tried it specifically as it is harder to wipe OS in a VM and reinstall in same VM (keeping the same virtual mobo id). I am 99% certain it will work, as that you do not even need an MS account to activate a digital licence.

    I will see if I can do it, but not at the expense of losing a licence (unless you are willing to underwrite the loss - only joking).

    Well, I tried clean installing OS in VM1 which and ran into issues and could not do it but VM1 licence was still on device. So I put it in a new VM3 and tried to transfer licence from VM1.

    VM1's digital licence had been previous transferred from another VM (say VM0) which has now been deleted and device removed from MSA.

    Now what was interesting here is it refused saying I could not transfer digital licence from VM1 to VM2 as it had been transferred before (correct from VM0 to VM1). This was a surprise - I know the MS blurb said you could only move it a limited number of times but once only?

    This is going to cause some upsets for sure if I am right.
    Last edited by cereberus; 2016-08-04 at 13:35.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Joined : Aug 2016
    Posts : 6
    Windows 10
       2016-08-04 #7

    Ok, that's bad news if the device couldn't be seen on VM2 after the MSA was unlinked.

    What if I link my MSA, then unplug my internet cable and change back to my local account ? I'm assuming that the process of reverting to a local account wipes the device from MSA, so if I'm offline maybe it will stay on MSA device list. The question is, if I go online later on is it going to update the MSA automatically.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Joined : Dec 2015
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows10
       2016-08-04 #8

    guniu said: View Post
    Ok, that's bad news if the device couldn't be seen on VM2 after the MSA was unlinked.

    What if I link my MSA, then unplug my internet cable and change back to my local account ? I'm assuming that the process of reverting to a local account wipes the device from MSA, so if I'm offline maybe it will stay on MSA device list. The question is, if I go online later on is it going to update the MSA automatically.
    Interesting question - I will try it.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Joined : Dec 2015
    Posts : 2,288
    Windows10
       2016-08-04 #9

    cereberus said: View Post
    Interesting question - I will try it.
    Couldn't do it tonight - activation servers seem to be inaccessible. Will try tomorrow.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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