One of my clients wants to purchase some computers (workstations) with windows 7 PRO/ENT. Windows 7 is required because of some specific applications they use. They preferred provider has only product key for windows 10.

Can these product keys for windows 10 used to install windows 7?

  • Holly $h!t, looks like a stupid microsoft certification exam!
    – h2odev
    Sep 1, 2016 at 14:45
  • You have already asked, commented you own question - now you only need to answer to complete it :) Sep 1, 2016 at 14:48
  • haha, lol. I have never licensed a Microsoft product in my life!
    – h2odev
    Sep 1, 2016 at 14:53
  • Have you even confirmed that the application they use doesn't work on Windows 10?
    – Ramhound
    Sep 1, 2016 at 15:10
  • Yes, the custom made applications they use doesn't work with windows 10 (even in compatibility mode). Anyway, even with my suggestion to migrate on windows 10 they want windows 7 pro or ent.
    – h2odev
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:13

2 Answers 2


No, you cannot use a windows 10 key for windows 7.
(from comment by Ramhound).
You have a right to downgrade to Windows 8.1 not Windows 7.

  • But if I buy the workstations with windows 10 OEM (example from HP or Dell) I have the right to downgrade, right? microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/…
    – h2odev
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:47
  • From my understanding, you have to have a Windows 7 OEM key to downgrade: "Perform the downgrade process to the eligible downgrade product using the media/key from a genuine, previously licensed OEM or retail product."
    – jayhc
    Sep 1, 2016 at 16:54
  • Right. I have to call tomorrow our local provider about this. I will update you in any case. Thanks.
    – h2odev
    Sep 1, 2016 at 17:02
  • @philosophickle - You have a right to downgrade to Windows 8.1 not Windows 7.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 1, 2016 at 21:25
  • @Ramhound thank you for the clarification. I'll also note that I thought OP was not talking about rights initially, but can you literally use a Windows 10 key to activate Windows 7. AFAIK, you can never literally use one OS key to activate another OS key.
    – jayhc
    Sep 1, 2016 at 21:54

Think of it this way, when Windows 7 was created (along with its licensing scheme) it had no knowledge of Windows 10 or its licensing scheme (since it did not exist yet) so your Win10 licenses will appear invalid to win7.

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