If you are looking to make a new rig for yourself or are planning to upgrade your laptop, you might want to move your Windows 10 (licensed version) to your new machine to retain access to a genuine Windows OS. However, before you jump in and transfer the license key to a new machine, it is essential that you first determine whether the product license key is transferrable or not. And then, move forward with the process depending on your license key.
The reason you need to check whether your Windows 10 license key is transferable or not, is to identify the type of product license key on your machine. Essentially, at a consumer level, the Windows OS license key can be of two different types: Retail and OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Between the two, the Retail license keys are the ones that are usually obtained through a retailer or Microsoft Store online, whereas OEM keys come pre-installed on a machine where the license key is embedded in the UEFI/BIOS firmware.
Check for the type of Windows OS License Key on your machine
1. Click Start. Search for command prompt, right-click on it, and select run as administrator.
2. In the command prompt window, type slmgr /dli.
3. Now, a dialog box with your license key and license key type will appear. Here, check to see if the license key type is Retail or OEM.
If your machine shows a Retail key, it means you can transfer your license key to a new computer. However, if it turns out to be an OEM key, your license key cannot be transferred to a new machine since it is embedded in the UEFI/BIOS firmware of your device.
Besides checking the kind of license key on your machine, the other thing that you need to make sure before moving further with the transferring process is that the version of Windows that you want to transfer should be the same on both machines, ie. if your old computer has a license key for Windows 10 Pro, you can only activate Windows 10 Pro on your new computer with that license key.
Now that you are all set, let’s begin.
Windows License Key transferring guide
I. De-activate Windows 10 License Key from Old Computer
1. Open start and search for command prompt. Right-click on it and select run as administrator.
2. In the command prompt window, type slmgr.vbs /upk to de-register the product key from the current machine. And then, restart your computer.
Using this command uninstalls the license key from your computer and frees it to be used on a new machine. Additionally, you can also remove the license key from the Windows registry to ensure that no part of the computer is linked to the license key in any way. To do this, in the command prompt window, simply type slmgr.vbs /cpky. And, the license key should now be removed from the registry files on your computer.
II. Activate Windows 10 License Key on New Computer
1. Open command prompt in privileged mode using run as administrator.
2. Here, type in slmgr.vbs /ipk #####-#####-#####-#####-#####. (Replacing hash with your license key)
3. Finally, type in slmgr /dlv to verify if the activation was successful.
Once done, you will see a Windows Script Host window that contains all the details for your license key. Here, find the line that says, License Status and checks that the status next to it shows Licensed. If it does, you should now have Windows transferred and activated on your new machine.
However, in case the status still shows Unlicensed, you might need to contact Microsoft support and get the license key activated at their end. Here’s how –
1. Click Run and open the command prompt as administrator.
2. In the command prompt window, type slui 4.
3. Next, in the activation wizard, select your region and hit Next.
4. Call Microsoft support using any of the toll-free numbers mentioned in the activation window and provide them with the Installation ID.
5. Now, click on Enter confirmation ID and type in the confirmation ID provided by the Microsoft support.
6. Finally, click on the Activate Windows button.
That’s it. After this step, you should now finally have a licensed version of Windows running on your new machine. While performing this license key transfer, make sure that you have de-activated the key on your old computer before re-activating it on your new computer, since you can have a Windows OS license key activated on only one machine at a time.