New Windows 10 Activation Rules – What You Need to Know

Rafia Shaikh
Posted Aug 13, 2015
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Microsoft has rethought the entire process of Windows 10 activation with the launch of its latest operating system for desktops. The new activation rules make it easier for users to activate their Windows copies significantly. Here is all that you need to know about the Windows 10 activation process and how Microsoft essentially got rid of the product keys.

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Windows 10 activation and product key

Microsoft now stores your activation status in the cloud which means it would no longer ask you for product keys whenever you have to reinstall Windows 10 on your PCs. After every installation, your device will be activated automatically with no requirements of the product key. While the installation process may still ask you for the key once or twice, you can simply skip it and still have your Windows 10 machine activated.

Free upgrade vs clean installation:

When you upgrade your computer from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 to the latest Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer, your activation license will be tied to the hardware and not to your Microsoft account. Microsoft would not ask you for the keys during the entire process. However, when you do a clean installation of Windows 10 using the ISO files, you might be asked (twice) for the key. Simply skip the steps and there won’t be any troubles with activation, whatsoever. Once you have made the upgrade and as soon as you connect to the internet, Windows 10 will be activated automatically as with the free upgrade.

Microsoft achieves this seamless Windows 10 activation process with the help of its servers. When users upgrade to Windows 10, setup checks the activation status of Windows and reports it to the servers. Servers then generate a license certificate that is stored along with the hardware’s unique hash and the details of the Windows 10 edition that was just installed – Home or Pro.

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Here is how you can check your activation status:

  • Go to Settings (Windows + I) Update & Security Activation 
  • Alternatively, go to Control Panel System & Security System

If you need to change the hardware, you will have to contact Microsoft support about the change to get your Windows 10 copy activated on the new device. This is a requirement as the cloud stores your activation details connected with your unique hardware details.

Don’t forget to let us know if you find the new Windows 10 activation process simpler and more convenient as compared to earlier Windows versions.

– Recommended: How to Install Your Favorite Android Apps on Windows

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