I have spent an hour trying to find an answer to this, but I can only find "UPGRADE FREE HERES HOW"-guides.

I actually bought a key, and now I want to activate Windows 10 from my Windows 8.1 Pro OS. Can someone tell me how or point me to a place that can tell me?

EDIT: My windows update:

enter image description here

  • Upgrade to Windows 10, then manually, change the product once Windows 10 is installed. You can also format your machine, used the product key you purchased, when you are prompted for the key. It is not clear what step of the process you are stuck on.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 16:33
  • @Ramhound Where do I start? I cannot find any options to upgrade to Windows 10, I've checked "Windows Update" and tried to find an installer online.
    – Majs
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 16:34
  • Try this This kind of seems like an option from when the free upgrade was out, but I'm not 100% sure. Otherwise download the media creation tool. It will be like a clean installation so back up any files you'll want to keep.
    – DrZoo
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 16:35
  • @DrZoo Ive tried that one, that option does not exist for me. Please see edit
    – Majs
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 16:35
  • @DrZoo - don't run a clean install - it will lose any potential upgrade entitlement. If the OP ends up with a spare key, then they can keep it safe for another machine.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 16:59

1 Answer 1


You do it exactly as the ZDNet 'Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade' article suggests.

Go to the Download Windows 10 webpage from the computer you wish to upgrade and click the 'Download tool now' button. After the download completes, run the Media Creation Tool & select 'Upgrade this PC'.
Don't run a 'clean' install or you will lose any potential upgrade entitlement you may have.

Once upgraded, you can quickly discover whether you got it free or need your new key. It will not be shy in telling you if you need a key & present you with the opportunity to add it [but it won't lock you out, Win10 works without a key, it just nags you a lot]

Anecdotally, I recently tried this method on an old Win7 machine, really just in case it might work… and it did.
MS considers me fully licensed & genuine.

If you didn't get a free upgrade, Windows will present this dialog… often

enter image description here

[I don't license disposable virtual machines I use for testing.]

  • 1
    Worth pointing out any installation upgraded to Windows 10, from an eligible version of Windows, will receive the same generic key (based on the edition of Windows 10). Once Windows 10 is activated you no longer need a product key for that particular machine.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 18:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .