I've taken advantage of the 'free upgrade offer' and went from Windows 7 to 10.

Now, my question is this: If I downgrade to Windows 7 now and decide to upgrade back (via a clean install) to 10 after July 29th, will I still be able to do so and get an activated Windows?

  • 3
    I'd tell you to ask Microsoft but, knowing their support, you'd probably get several contradictory noncommittal answers that they'll deny later when they turn out to be wrong.
    – Bob
    Jul 2, 2016 at 4:05
  • No one really knows. In theory the licence is locked into your hardware and should still work, but MS dosen't really want people downgrading back. In your shoes, backing up/imaging a working windows 10 install feels like a good idea.
    – Journeyman Geek
    Jul 2, 2016 at 6:20
  • Once a machine has had Windows 10 installed on it. It will automatically activated for the lifespan of that device. This digital entitlement is tied to the motherboard of the machine, if you replace your motherboard, you will have to call Microsoft in order to get your installation activated.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 2, 2016 at 7:23
  • Yes you can. Downgrade now and you will be able to upgrade later again without a key. Jul 2, 2016 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


When you now activate Windows 10 the ID of your hardware is submitted to the MS activation servers that you are allowed to use Windows 10. During installing Windows 10 again, skip the product key and Windows will detect again that you updated to Windows 10 before and activates Windows.

With the latest Windows 10 preview builds, you can also link the activation status to your Microsoft account and here Windows will also detect later that you are allowed to use Windows 10.

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