I recently upgraded the hardware of my PC and afterwards my Win 10 was deactivated. I do not have it linked to a Microsoft account.

Which options do I have to activate it again?

Further information: The Win 10 license is an upgraded Win 7 license from which I still have the key

2 Answers 2


Upgrades from Windows 7 receive a Digital License.

If you ever entered a Microsoft account, your digital license may have been associated with that account automatically. If this is the case, then you might be able to use the Activation Troubleshooter to reactivate (assuming you have Windows 10 Anniversary or above). Otherwise, you may need to call Microsoft Customer Support.

Additional Information

Starting with Windows 10 Version 1511, it's apparently (potentially) possible to use a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 key to activate Windows 10 in upgrades (though this excludes Volume, Multiple Activation or Enterprise Licenses).

  • I never had a microsoft account which it could have been connected with. So only option is the customer support? Nov 28, 2017 at 11:04
  • I've seen it being used in kinda every guide now and I haven't found any other solution myself. Do you know the time in which I can reach out to the support? I live in Germany (GMT+1) Nov 28, 2017 at 11:10
  • If my math isn't too off, you should be fine (assuming you call the US toll free number) in a little over an hour (5AM PST/ 2PM CET) at +1-800-642-7676. They also have an online contact page at partner.support.services.microsoft.com/en-us/contact/menu/… Nov 28, 2017 at 11:50
  • Windows 7 isn’t a digital license at least not like Windows 8 or the digital entitlement that Windows 10 has
    – Ramhound
    Nov 28, 2017 at 12:15
  • @Ramhound So if OP upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, he can re-enter the Windows 7 key to reactivate Windows 10? Nov 28, 2017 at 12:36

Recently I came across this and got the following info from Microsoft for anyone with the same issue:

  • Right click Start and run PowerShell.
  • Type slmgr.vbs /upk and hit Enter

This will disassociate the product key from your old machine. Then, go back to the Windows Activation and enter your same product key and it should now work.

  • Would this need to be executed on the old machine? Sep 12, 2019 at 6:04
  • This worked flawlessly for me. I ran it on the PC after replacing the motherboard (Windows was then asking for activation). I then used "Change product key" under Activation settings, entered my Window 7 Pro Retail key and chose to activate.
    – G-.
    Jul 6, 2020 at 16:35
  • Didn't work for me. However it turned out that this has been a Windows 8 key. They can be used for Windows 10 but not for reactivation after a hardware change. At least that's what the MS Support told me.
    – scai
    Dec 13, 2021 at 10:31

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