Now You can Activate Windows 10 Using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 Product Key

This news came as a surprise to many people. Today (Oct 12, 2015) with the release of the new Windows 10 Insider Preview build 10565, Microsoft announced an important change in this new build which is related to the activation mechanism of Windows 10.

According to official statement of Microsoft:

We have received a lot of feedback from Insiders on making it easier to activate Windows 10 on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows by using existing Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product keys. If you install this build of the Windows 10 Insider Preview on a PC and it doesn't automatically activate, you can 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 by going to Settings -> Update & security -> Activation and selecting Change Product Key. 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.


Which means now users can use the product key of their Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 versions to activate the new Windows 10 OS successfully. You can enter Windows 7 or 8/8.1 product key either at the time of Windows 10 installation or after installation.

Actually when Microsoft released Windows 10 final RTM version to public, they announced the free Windows 10 upgrade offer which allows existing Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users to upgrade their computers to Windows 10 absolutely free within one year of Windows 10 launch. But to take the benefit of this offer, users need a genuine and already activated Windows 7 or 8/8.1 OS installed in their computers and only after that they can upgrade the existing Windows version to Windows 10.

In this free upgrade offer, when a user upgrades the existing Windows version to Windows 10, the product key of the prior Windows version gets automatically associated with Windows 10 and Microsoft automatically activates Windows 10 as soon as you connect to Internet.

Some people like me prefer clean installation of new Windows versions. To perform Windows 10 clean installation, you need to first upgrade existing Windows 7 or 8/8.1 to Windows 10 to associate your existing product key with Windows 10 and after that you can format and clean install Windows 10. It'll automatically activate itself as you associated your computer machine ID with Windows 10 successfully at Microsoft servers.

Read more: How to Perform Clean Installation of Windows 10 with Activation?

But this activation process didn't work very well for many users. Even after having a qualifying Windows 7 or 8/8.1 PC, when some users upgraded to Windows 10, it didn't activate successfully and users had to call Microsoft help desk to activate Windows 10.

Now Microsoft has announced that users can use the product key of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 versions to activate Windows 10 which means you will not need to first upgrade your existing Windows version to Windows 10. Now you'll also be able to perform a direct clean install of Windows 10 and then activate it using your Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 product key.

BUT this change has been made to the new Windows 10 preview build 10565. All further builds of Windows 10 will also come with this new activation functionality but the public RTM build 10240 doesn't contain this functionality yet. So we'll have to wait for new Windows 10 updates released by Microsoft which will bring this new activation enhancements to Windows 10 RTM build.

UPDATE: Windows 10 November Update (Threshold 2) Available for Download

You can also download and install the new Windows 10 preview build 10565 and then activate it using your genuine Windows 7 or 8/8.1 product key. After successfully activation, you can leave Windows Insiders program and you'll no longer receive new testing builds and will have a stable and activated Windows 10 OS in your computer.

Read more: How to Leave Windows Insider Program in Windows 10?

That's really a welcome move from Microsoft. Thank you Microsoft for listening users...

Share this article: Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Reddit | Tell a friend

Posted in: Windows 10

Other similar articles that may interest you


  • When will this build release as RTM build?
    thanks in advance
    Windows 10 build 10240 RTM

  • VG

    ^^ Microsoft may update the RTM build 10240 files at their download servers containing this new mechanism so that new users who upgrade to Windows 10 will already get this new benefit.

    Or Microsoft will release a feature pack for Windows 10 RTM very soon containing this functionality.

  • Good news. Thanks for passing it on.

    It would be nice to have a link to the official MS statement you quoted.

    You really need to put dates on your articles. It puts them into context.

  • Desperation, desperation... "Ohh, why were we so stupid to announce that we have a goal of 1 billion Windows 10 devices in 2 - 3 years? Why Lord, why?"

  • Is this mean, that windows 7, 8, 8.1 key holders will be free to activate W10 after 1 year period?

  • I want to ask... now im use windows 10 SIngle Language and i want to reformat my laptop.. Can i use this ISO...? My Windows already activated... I want do a clean Install

  • Please add full publishing date information to all of your articles.

    I find it always hard to judge the relevance of an online article that has not publishing information attached.


  • If my copy of Win7 is a retail one (not OEM)... and if I do a clean install of Win10 before the end of the free offer... can I reinstall it on a different PC after the free upgrade period, like I can do with my current Win7 licence when I move to a new/newly built PC?

    Or will my Win7 licence will be turned into a Win10 OEM licence tied to the PC it's installed on?

  • VG

    ^^ The free license will work on the current PC only.

  • In the beginning of the article it says "today", but I can't see "today's" data anywhere on this website. So when is "today"?

  • VG

    ^^ The article was written on Oct 12, 2015.

  • Is this ok for volume licensing serials?

    I have 20 Dell pc's with dual boot (xp and 7). Windows 7 have volume license serial. I made another partition to install windows 10 so to have a triple boot. I tryied to clean install windows 10, but during installation the 7's serial was not accepted. Yes I followed the instructions and I' ve downloaded ver 1511, iso.

    Do I have to install windows 7 and upgrated to 10, or can it be done with clean install for my case?

  • VG

    ^^ Do not enter product key at the installation time. When Windows 10 is installed, then activate it using your Windows 7 product key. It should work. If it doesnt work, then you'll need to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 once to get your machine activated and registered for Windows 10.

  • but how can i actvate ms office of windows 10 after upgradetion from windows 7.

  • Is this function now available on all builds? Trying to figure out how to dual boot windows 7 & 10 quickly but want to make sure this works on all versions of 10. Also, where can I get/create install media? Thanks so much!

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. All newer Windows 10 builds come with this functionality. Check following:

  • Thanks @VG! I used my Windows 7 key to activate my dual-boot Windows 10 Partition!

Leave a Comment