Looking to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 in a roundabout way. Can you guys let me know if my thinking here is correct?

What I have:

  • Macbook Pro (nothing but OS X on it right now)
  • Windows 7 Home Premium OEM (never activated)

What I want to end up with:

  • Windows 10 Professional installed on my Macbook Pro

Here's my plan:

  1. Via Bootcamp, install Windows 7 Home Premium to its own partition
  2. Activate the Windows 7 installation
  3. Accept free upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Home
  4. Pay for the upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Professional
  5. Optional: Using the license key (that came with my Windows 7 Home Premium?) and an ISO image of Windows 10 Professional, do a clean install of Windows 10 Professional to the partition.

Would this work, or will I need to just buy an OEM version of Windows 10 Professional right off the bat and install that instead?


That might work.

You can activate Windows 7 with either a retail key or the OEM key for that motherboard, which might be something of a problem considering that no Microsoft key will be bound to a Macbook motherboard. (You can try, though!) Once you get Windows 7 activated, you can use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to perform the upgrade. The upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro will cost you $100; you can get it from the Windows Store like any other app. You will then be left with an activated instance of Windows 10 Pro.

If you attempt to use a Windows 7 Home Premium key to activate a freshly installed Windows 10 Pro instance, however, it will not work. The editions have to match up, hence the need to spend $100 in your planned upgrade path.

The trick will be to get Windows 7 activated; if the OEM key fails, it might be cheaper to just buy Windows 10 Pro (~$200 if I remember correctly) rather than buying a Windows 7 retail key and then spending another $100 for the Pro upgrade.


Since an update released a while after the OS's initial release, Windows 10 can now be activated directly using an existing Windows 7 OEM licence key.

Starting with the November update, Windows 10 (Version 1511) can be activated using some Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 product keys.

All you do is:

(1) Download the Windows 10 media creation tool (scroll down and choose the "Download tool now" option).

(2) Create the install media, such as on a USB flash drive.

(3) Boot the machine from the install media and install Windows 10. When asked about a licence key, choose the option basically saying "I don't have a key at this time". Also, be sure to choose the correct build of Windows 10 to install -- Home for Home, Pro for Pro; 32-bit for 32-bit, 64-bit for 64-bit -- depending on your Windows 7 key type. Note: Do not choose the "upgrade" option telling you to restart into Windows 7. Choose the fresh install option. That is, unless you have a Windows 7 installation you wish to keep the files and programs from.

(4) Activate Windows 10 after installation is completed through the usual route using the Windows 7 OEM licence key.

PS: I did this just two days ago, and it worked just fine. This was using a Refurbished licence to Windows 7 Home.

Whether or not the copy of Windows 7 needs to have been installed and activated before trying this method, I am not sure. In my case, the copy of Windows 7 had previously been installed and activated once on that machine.

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