Windows 10 Activation explained..

Discussion in 'Windows 10 Upgrade and Installation' started by kemical, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Recently the process of Windows 10 activation and what happens in terms of activation keys has been a little vague. We now understand that Microsoft has changed the activation process significantly so much so that the need for actual keys has almost been done away with.

    If one now installs Windows 10 (this also applies to Windows 7 and 8.1 too) on a new device you need only input the activation key once. Any installs after that whether they be a clean install or not won't need an activation key. This is because your status is stored on an 'Activation Database'.

    Many users who upgraded from Windows 7 or 8.1 will notice their Windows 10 is also activated but no mention of a key.
    What happens when you upgrade to Windows 10 is this:

    As long as your current install whether it be Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is genuine and activated then the information regarding the activation will be stored online on the Activation Database.

    When you upgrade to Windows 10 the set up will check online about your status and as long as your previous windows is genuine as well as activated a Windows 10 licence is issued. This will also be stored online with your other activation details. Microsoft calls this 'Digital Entitlement'.

    Once this information has been stored one can then go right ahead and perform a clean install without having to input an activation key as of course it's stored online. Just keep pressing 'skip' when asked to input a key.

    So if you want a free copy of Windows 10 then one must upgrade first of all simply because of the process described above and of course have a genuine activated copy of either windows 7 or 8.1.

    One can of course simply buy a copy but once again when installing the key only needs to typed in on the first install.

    Further reading can be found here:
    Microsoft quietly rewrites its activation rules for Windows 10 | ZDNet

    Today Microsoft announced that users can use their old keys to activate windows 10:
    Reference
     
    #1 kemical, Aug 15, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2015
    maybe likes this.
  2. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Some users have also wondered if Windows 10 can be transfered to another machine like a new computer especially if the licence they upgraded from was full retail.

    Unfortunately the answer is no.

    The upgrade is tied to the machine you upgraded on.

    If you know your going to upgrade your computer soon then don't upgrade to windows 10 yet. The upgrade offer is open for a year so you have time yet.
    Wait until you get the new machine, pop your full retail copy of either win 7 or 8.1 on and then upgrade to Windows 10.

    Once upgraded as outlined above the install will then be tied to that machine and that machine only.
     
    #2 kemical, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  3. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Something I'd missed, thanks to Neemobeer for the info.
    Reference
     

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