Windows 10, like most Microsoft products, requires a product key to function correctly. When buying a brand new device, the key will usually be included with the device itself, which makes the activation process nice and simple.
However, there are numerous reasons you may need to change the product key.
- As of November 2017, upgrading an older version of Windows requires a new Windows 10 product key to be purchased
- If you’re upgrading the Home version of Windows 10 to Pro or Pro For Workstations – the more advanced versions of the OS – you’ll need to change the product key to reflect this
Thankfully, Windows have ensured that the ability to change the Windows 10 Home key is relatively simple – and, in fact, there are a number of different ways to do it. However, before we outline three popular choices, it’s worth noting that you will need…
- … to be logged in to Windows as the “administrator” for the device
- … a valid internet connection in order to complete the process
You can then choose one of the following options to activate a new Windows 10 Pro key or Home key.
Option #1 – Changing the product key via “Settings”
A simple, straightforward way to change the product key for Windows 10:
- Select the “Settings” app
- Select “Update & Security”
- Select “Activation”
- Select “Change the product key”
- You’ll now need to type the 25-digit product key for your chosen version of Windows 10 into the space provided.
- Select “Next”
- If all goes well, you’ll soon see a message confirming a successful activation of the entered Windows product key, and you’re now able to use the OS as you wish.
Option #2 – Changing the product key via Command Prompt
This is a slightly more complex method of changing the product key for Windows 10, suitable for those who are comfortable using Command Prompt:
- Search for “Command Prompt” in the “Start” menu
- When found, right click on the “Command Prompt” option rather than opening it directly
- Select “Right as administrator” from the menu
- You will then need to enter the following command, replacing the Xs with the provided product key: slmgr.vbs /ipk <XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX>
- You should then see confirmation that the product key has successfully installed, and your chosen version of Windows 10 can now be used.
Option #3 – Changing the product key via Control Panel
Most Windows users are familiar with using the Control Panel, so this is a good all-rounder option:
- Use the following keyboard shortcut to open the Power menu: Windows Key + X
- Select “System” from the menu
- At the bottom of the window, you should see a section that says “Change product key”. Select this.
- Enter your 25-digit Windows 10 product key.
- Select “Next”.
- If all goes as it should, you will see a confirmation of a successful activation, and your chosen version of Windows 10 is now active and ready for use.
Changing the product key for Windows 10 is a relatively simple process, so whichever of the above methods you choose, you should be up and running in no time at all – and are then free to enjoy all the benefits this outstanding operating system provides.