Microsoft has released the official Windows 10 activation guide

Today, Microsoft has rolled out a new document which might be useful for Windows 10 users. This document covers various aspects of activation of their operating system. Since the activation methods for Windows 10 are different from previous Windows versions, this is worth paying attention to.


license activation banner logoFrom the released guide, it is clear that at least one new method of activation is available for Windows 10. While it is possible to activate Windows 10 using a traditional product key, the free upgrade offer reveals another method of activation called digital entitlement.

According to the document, once you upgrade from a genuine copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, it can always be activated later without entering a product key on the same device. In certain scenarios (mentioned below), you can just skip the product key page of the setup program and enter nothing. Specifically, skipping the product key is possible when you use one of the following scenarios:

  • You upgraded to Windows 10 for free from an eligible device running a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and you reinstall Windows 10 on the same device where you had genuine Windows 7 or 8.
  • You bought genuine Windows 10 full edition or Pro upgrade from the Windows Store and successfully activated it. Then install it on the same PC.
  • You're a Windows Insider and upgraded to the newest Windows 10 Insider Preview build on an eligible device that was running an activated previous version of Windows and Windows 10 Preview.

Windows 10 stores online information about your hardware. Once it detects that you activated Windows earlier on the same PC, it will become activated automatically. There will be no need for you to go through the re-activation process again.

If you make significant changes to your hardware like replacing your motherboard, then Windows 10 might no longer remain activated. In that case, you must call Microsoft customer support.

The document covers the various scenarios in detail. Interested users can read it HERE.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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