Transfer old Windows license to a new computer

When you buy a new laptop or PC, Windows is usually already installed and activated. However, if you are planning to have a custom PC made, this may not be the case and you may need to spend more money to obtain a genuine Windows license.

If your new PC replaces an old one, you may be able to transfer the Windows license to the new PC and not have to pay for a new Windows license.

Microsoft is pretty strict with the licensing rules, and unfortunately not all Windows licenses are transferable. You can only transfer a Windows license if you purchased it through a retail channel. Licenses distributed through the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) channel and the business user volume channel are non-transferable.

Each Windows license is tied to the computer’s motherboard. So if you try to use a non-transferable license key, Windows Activation Server will not validate your license. Once you know what type of Windows license your computer has, you can correctly determine if your license is transferable to another PC or not.

If Windows is pre-installed on your laptop or PC, you probably have an OEM license. If, on the other hand, you purchased a Windows license from the online Microsoft Store or an authorized retailer, you most likely have a retail license. Volume licenses are distributed to large organizations such as educational institutions, companies and governments.

Transfer old Windows license to a new computer

To determine what type of license you have, perform the following. Click the Start button. In the search box, type: Command Prompt. Right-click on the Command Prompt result and click “Run As Administrator”.

In the Command Prompt window, type the following command:

slmgr -dli

A “Windows Script Host” window will now appear stating the type of license installed on your PC.

What Windows license do I have?

If Windows Script Host indicates that you have a retail “RETAIL” license, you can transfer the Windows license to another PC. However, if you have a volume license or an OEM license, you will need a new one Buy Windows license for a new PC.

Deactivate license on an old computer

To begin with, you must first disable the Windows license on your (old) computer. You do this in the following way.

Click the Start button. In the search box, type: Command Prompt. Right-click on the Command Prompt result and click “Run As Administrator”.

In the Command Prompt window, type the following command:

slmgr /upk

You will then see the message: Product code has been deleted.

Product Code was deleted

Then type the following command:

slmgr /cpky

You will then see the following message: Product code has been removed from the registry.

Product code has been removed from the registry

You have now removed the old license key from your computer and removed it from the Windows registry on your computer. You can now install the license key on the new computer in the following way.

Activate license on a new computer

Click the Start button. In the search box, type: Command Prompt. Right-click on the Command Prompt result and click “Run As Administrator”.

In the Command Prompt window, type the following command:

slmgr /ipk {productsleutel}

replace {product key} for the Windows license key.

You have now successfully transferred the Windows license key to a new PC. I hope you have helped with this. Thanks for reading!

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