Now officially: You cannot use Windows 8 and 7 keys for Windows 11 activation

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Windows 7 and Windows 8 keys no longer work for activation of Windows 10 and Windows 11. Microsoft has now officially confirmed this change in a statement to The Verge.

This upgrade method offered users the opportunity to seamlessly transition from older versions of Windows (such as Windows 7 or 8) to the more recent Windows 10 or 11 operating systems without any cost. Without buying a new key, users could opt for a system update, which would upgrade their existing Windows installation, or perform a clean install, where a fresh installation of Windows 10 or 11 would replace the older version.  As a result, users received an activated system with a digital license linked to the device on a Microsoft server.

It is worth noting that officially this method was supposed to work only for a year after the release of Windows 10 in 2015. However, Microsoft didn't close the loophole. It allowed a large number of users to switch from outdated Windows 7 and Windows 8 to newer versions of Windows for free. But now things have changed.

Windows 7 Key No Longer Works For Activation Of Windows 11
Windows 7 key no longer works for activation of Windows 11. Image credits: TheVerge

This modification specifically pertains to fresh installations of Windows. If you have previously upgraded to Windows 10 or 11 using a Windows 7 or 8 product key, there is no cause for concern as your digital license remains legitimate. But now you must now acquire a new license key.


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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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