Windows 10: Can I legally use this Windows 10 installation?

  1.    12 Apr 2018 #1

    Can I legally use this Windows 10 installation?

    Hello Everyone

    I have purchased a used laptop from a friend which came with a legitimate Windows 10 install. He stripped it down to bare bones and set up a dummy account called "USER". I have product key. I have found no issues with Windows.

    My question is can I now legally delete the USER account and set it up in my own name? I am registered with Microsoft on another computer. Do I have to notify Microsoft in some manner?

    Any replies appreciated.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    12 Apr 2018 #2

    If the copy of windows has previously been registered and there's been no significant hardware changes, then you can re-activate ok
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  3. Posts : 3,231
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.137 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       12 Apr 2018 #3

    You can create as many user accounts on your laptop as you wish. There is legally absolutely no limit to this.

    Only thing you should check however, since you bought the laptop from a friend, is that your Windows is activated and activated with correct type of key. Laptops usually have the OEM-key embedded in the laptop firmware, for easy re-installation in case of total hard-drive failure.

    You can use the ShowKeyPlus tool to check this.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4. Posts : 2,620
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       12 Apr 2018 #4

    As this is a Windows 10 install you do not need to worry about any Key as this is no longer required for activation.

    Activation is accomplished via a digital licence based on your system's Hardware ID and held on the Servers at Microsoft. This means that even if you did a wipe of the disk and a fresh install if the system is legal then it will activate automatically

    Check the settings pages on the system to see the actual activation status, (Click the windows logo on the taskbar or press the windows key, and type activation to get a direct link), if it's licenced then you are good to go - you can also use Showkey Plus as a confirmation

    When creating a new user and resetting things up you should use the original administrator user to add a new user with your details, ( always better if you use a Microsoft ID as this gives better recovery options, but a local account will work, make sure that this new account is an admin account Log out and back in - to the new account and make your changes ... and use your new system ...

    When after a reasonable time Weeks or months , you are sure that there is nothing left under the old User that you require you can delete the old user, when logged in as your new user, but even then I would select the option to move all the old users files and sittings to a folder on the desktop (if offered), just to be as safe as possible
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    12 Apr 2018 #5

    Thank you so much for the answers. I have been using Linux for years and have only recently come back to Windows on three computers. I am not familiar with recent licensing rules. I have checked as suggested and it is activated with a digital license. I will go ahead and register myself as a new admin user and wait for a while as suggested to delete the USER account. Since I already have a Microsoft account, should I use the Username and password from my original Microsoft account or create a new one?

    Many thanks again. Just wanted to make sure my usage was legit.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Posts : 2,620
    Windows 10 Pro x64 1803 - 17134.5 XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       12 Apr 2018 #6

    Your choice as to which account you use, I think Microsoft would prefer only one account per user but I do not think there are any checks,

    It could be a good idea if you are not sure about your future plans and want to retain you existing account un changed to add a new one
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    12 Apr 2018 #7

    Thank you. It didn't seem to give me much choice. I registered it with my Microsoft account and it automatically applied that to this machine. I now login with the same password as my other computer.

    Either way it was quite simple and I can now start using it worry free.

    Thank you for your help.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8. Posts : 3,231
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.137 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       12 Apr 2018 #8

    I always create local accounts only, and then connect those accounts to my Microsoft accounts. This makes administration a lot easier and it also keeps your Windows machine login credentials separate from your Microsoft online service credentials.

    There is no limit on how many local computer accounts you have connected to the Microsoft account, since they only see the login token you/your computer sends to the servers for credential verification.
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  9.    12 Apr 2018 #9

    Thank you, I will remember that and try to change it later on.

    Many thanks.

      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10. Posts : 3,231
    Windows 10 Pro x64 v1803 Build 17134.137 (Branch: RS4 Release Preview)
       12 Apr 2018 #10

    Sprocket said: View Post
    Thank you, I will remember that and try to change it later on.

    Many thanks.

    After you have created a new LOCAL user account with YOUR desired username and password and also made sure it is part of Administrators group (not Users group), then just login to that new account and open any Microsoft App (Store, Mail, OneDrive ...etc..) and sign in to your Microsoft Account. When the computer asks if you want to sign in and let all apps use Microsoft Services, press yes (this dialog box keeps changing for every new version of Windows so your experience might look a bit different). Just make sure you let all apps sign in to MS and all is good. :)

    Easiest place to make sure your new account has the right credentials, is to use Computer Management, which can be found when right-clicking on the Start Menu icon. Then just navigate to "Local Users and Groups" > "Users" and find your new account and open properties for it. Finally navigate to the "Member of"-tab and add the Administrators group and remove Users group. Save all and everything is done. :)
      My ComputersSystem Spec


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