Using Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 Product Keys to Activate Windows 10

The free upgrade offer to Windows 10 is very nice but only if it works flawlessly. Microsoft listened to many feedback from Insiders and finally made the activate process very easy on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows. With the latest build 10565, released only to Fast ring at the moment, Microsoft will now let customers enter a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 product key to activate Windows 10.

2 scenarios here:

If you upgrade to this build of the Windows on a PC and it doesn’t automatically activate, enter the product key from Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 used to activate the prior Windows version on the same device to activate Windows 10.

And if you do a clean install of Windows 10 by booting off the media, you can also enter the product key from prior Windows versions on qualifying devices during setup.

To activate manually, go to Settings → Update & security → Activation, and select Change Product Key.

Settings - Update - Activate

A prompt will appear to ask you to enter the product key. From here you can enter any previous valid Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 keys

Activate Windows 10

Once you have entered a valid Windows key your Windows 10 will be activated. Click Next to finish.

Activate Windows 10 with previous version of Windows Key

This is definitely a major improvement that will address an issue that many early upgraders have been experiencing.

Now here comes a big question, what happens on July 29, 2016 when the free upgrade period ends? I guess we will see…but for now, take great advantage of this free upgrade opportunity and enjoy the journey.

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/17/2015

Posted in: Windows 10
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