How to activate Windows 10 with this step-by-step tutorial

Windows 10 remote desktop

With the launch of Windows 10 everything changed and unlike previous versions, everything for the better. Windows 10 was an important change in aesthetics and function Microsoft's operating system for computers, with a design inherited equally from Windows 7 and Windows 8.x.

In order for Windows 10 to quickly become the most used operating system surpassing Windows 7 (yes, Windows 8.x never came close to the numbers of this version), from Microsoft they allowed upgrade completely free from Windows 7 and Widows 8.x to Windows 10, without having to buy a new license.

Methods to activate Windows 10

Windows 10 digital license

Microsoft makes available to us two different methods to activate the copy of Windows 10 that we have installed: digital license or product key.

Digital license

The digital license is the one associated with our team that has been created after upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. This digital license can also be found when buying a copy of Windows 10 online, either directly from the Microsoft Store or from Amazon.

This type of licenses are associated with our Microsoft account, so unless certain requirements are met, we do not have to enter it on the computer every time we install Windows 10.

Product key

The key to the product is the combination of numbers and letters given to us when we buy a physical license (on DVD) in a store, next to a computer where Windows 10 is already installed. We must enter this code in the Windows 10 Settings to activate it.

Upgrade to Windows 10 for free

The grace period to upgrade for free from a previous version of Windows to Windows 10 final in August 2016, one year after its release, however, Microsoft sporadically continues to allow update for free, so if you have not done it yet, you can try it, since you are probably lucky and will not be forced to buy a license, although if we search a little on Amazon, we can find it for very few euros.

If you have not been lucky enough to be able to use the license you bought in your day of Windows 7 / Windows 8.x and you are forced to buy one (the licenses of the computers that were sold with Windows 7 / Windows 8.x reinstalled are perfectly valid), below we show the different Available methods to activate Windows 10.

If you have a computer with a legitimate copy of Windows 7 / Windows 8.x, but you do not have the license numberWe have different ways to find out, since this code will be asked during the installation process.

How to find out my Windows 10 product key

Know Windows 10 Product Key

If the Windows Product Key is found stored in BIOS, natively without installing applications we can know it through PowerShell with administrator permissions following the steps that I show you below:

  • We go to the Windows 10 search box, located to the right of the start button, we type CMD and we open them with Administrator permission.
  • Next, copy and paste the following command line: (Get-WmiObject -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService'). OA3xOriginalProductKey

If it returns an error, we will have to resort to the application Windows Key Finder, a free application When executing it, it will show us the product key of the copy of Windows 10 that we have installed on our computer.

How to reactivate the copy of Windows 10 after changing the hardware

Windows 10 Product Key

By activating our legitimate license of Widows 10, you allow us to verify that our copy is original and that it has not been used on more devices. Each license associates itself with the hardware of the equipmentTherefore, you make any major hardware changes to the computer, such as the motherboard, when you start the computer, the license will not correspond to the computer and will deactivate the copy of Windows 10.

Replace the motherboard in desktop computers it is a fairly common process, so Microsoft allows us to re-associate the license to the new motherboard that we have installed, performing the steps that I detail below:

  • Click on the button Home> Settings (cogwheel found on the left side of the start menu).
  • Then we head up Update and security> Activation and click on Activate account.
  • Then we started session with our Microsoft user account and password.
  • Finally, we select the option I have recently changed the hardware of this device.

By performing this process, the Windows license associated with our computer and our Microsoft account, update hardware related data of the team. If we update the hardware again, we will have to go through the same process again.

Activate Windows 10 from Windows 7

Windows 7

If you plan to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and you do not have the license number at hand, the first thing you should do is know it in order to enter it during the installation phase or later once Windows 10 has been installed on the computer.

If we don't have it on hand, we can skip this step and continue with the installation. Once the computer finishes the installation process, we must check if the message "Copy of Windows 10 not activated" is displayed in the lower right corner of the screen.

If we perform the installation process from a legitimate copy of Windows 7, during the initialization process of the Windows 10 computer for the first time, the Microsoft servers will detect if the product key is valid to use it. If so, the Windows 10 activation message will not be displayed.

If not, we carry out the steps detailed below:

  • Click on the button Home> Settings (cogwheel found on the left side of the start menu).
  • Then we head up Update and security> Activation and click on Activate account.
  • Finally we enter the license number.

If the team shows us in message Invalid license number, it means that we will have to go through the box and buy a new license, Amazon being the way to obtain a license for a few euros.

Activate Windows 10 from Windows 8.x

The process to activate Windows 10 from Windows 8.x it is exactly the same as with Windows 7, since at the end of the process, we will always find Windows 10. If this is your case, you must follow the steps that I have detailed in the previous section.

Why can't I activate Windows

Windows 10 activation error

Product key is missing

If during the update process you have not entered the license key and the device has not been activated, you have do it manually following the indicated steps.

Different version of Windows

Windows is available in Home, Pro, and Enterprise versions. Each version of Windows can only be activate with a corresponding license number to that version. If you have a Windows 10 Pro license you will not be able to activate your copy of Windows 10 Home, on the contrary the same thing will happen.

You have used the same license on multiple PCs

Each Windows 10 license is associated with specific hardware, so you can't use it on different computers. You can only activate the copy of Windows 10 on the computer where you originally activated it, since the license is associated with that hardware.

You are using a counterfeit license

If the license number or the activation of our team we have done through an application, of those that generate license number randomly, you will never be able to activate your copy of Windows to get the most out of it.

Second hand equipment

If you have bought a second-hand computer, it is likely that the seller you have used the associated license on more than one computer, which is against the Windows Software License Terms.

You have updated the components of your team

In this case, you will have to follow the steps that I have indicated in the section How reactivate the copy of Windows 10 after changing hardware

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