Register device with Microsoft account.


  1. Posts : 2,976
    Windows 11
       #1

    Register device with Microsoft account.


    Is there any benefit to registering my desktop PC as a device in my Microsoft account? Is there any way to do this without creating a Microsoft account on the local PC?
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 7,484
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #2

    The benefit is that you can activate Windows 10 without entering the product key after motherboard change.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 5,829
    Win 11 Pro (x64) 21H2
       #3

    In addition to what Matthew said, you can see some basic info about your PC online. You can also find a PC (desktop or laptop), though accuracy depends - both my laptops show my exact address, but my desktops show near my address.

    If you have subscriptions, it'll show where they are installed. You can also remove a PC from a subscription there. Also if you use BitLocker, your key is automatically defaulted to your user account; thus if you need the key, you can find it there.

    And yes, you do need a Microsoft Account since the info about the PC is supplied by the account for each PC.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 7,484
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #4

    Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License

    After doing the above, you may see basic info about your PC below:

    https://account.microsoft.com/devices/
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 2,976
    Windows 11
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Matthew Wai said:
    The benefit is that you can activate Windows 10 without entering the product key after motherboard change.
    So where is the activation stored then and what exactly am I registering? I can't see why it would register it to the motherboard hardware if were going to on sell the motherboard.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 7,484
    Windows 10 Home 20H2
       #6

    Your Microsoft account will be linked to your Windows 10 digital license, via which Windows can be activated.

    See Link Microsoft Account to Windows 10 Digital License
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 17,369
    Windows 11 Pro
       #7

    Kol12 said:
    So where is the activation stored then and what exactly am I registering? I can't see why it would register it to the motherboard hardware if were going to on sell the motherboard.
    The activation (digital license) is stored on Microsoft's Activation servers. The same edition of Windows 10 (IE: Home or Pro) will always activate on the same motherboard after the first activation, even without a product key because the digital license for Windows 10 is stored on Microsoft Activation servers based upon the unique Hardware ID generated by information from the motherboard. There is nothing the user can do to prevent that. You sell the motherboard, the buyer just has to install the same edition of Windows 10 that was on it before, connect to the internet, and Windows 10 will activate.

    What you get with a Microsoft Account is a link to the digital license stored on Microsoft Activation servers. So if you log onto a new motherboard with the same Microsoft Account, the activation troubleshooter can then see the previously existing digital license via the Microsoft Account (since it won't have access to the unique hardware ID of the old motherboard), and it will copy the old digital license to the new motherboard's unique hardware ID and activate Windows 10 for you. If it wasn't for the common link to the two motherboards being the same Microsoft Account, the activation troubleshooter would have no way of locating the digital license from the old motherboard on Microsoft's Activation servers.

    The alternative is to obtain a full retail product key for Windows 10 and always keep access to it. Then you would use the product key to activate Windows 10 on a new motherboard.
      My Computer


 

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