I have a Dell XPS laptop which came with Windows 10 Home, which in due course, I have updated to Win 11 Home (this was quite some time back when Win11 came out).

I have the need to run a VM, so I'm using VMWare Workstation for that, and purchased a copy of Win11 pro from Microsoft.

It now occurs to me that I'm using a more fully-featured version of Windows on my VM on the once or twice a week I need to boot that up than I am on the "non-virtual" machine.

I understand that pre-installed licenses are tied to the device on which they were purchased, but is there a way of switching so that I have Home in the VM and Pro on the "real", given that they are both on the same physical device?

  • 1
    "is there a way of switching so that I have Home in the VM and Pro on the "real", given that they are both on the same physical device?" - You cannot run the OEM license, the license that came with your device, on the VM.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


You can upgrade your physical machine to Windows Pro.

Your Windows 10 machine was Home and you upgraded to Windows 11 Home.

So now you will need to purchase the Windows 11 Pro Upgrade in order to upgrade the real machine. But it will work.

You can purchase the upgrade directly from Microsoft.

You should get the extra licence and not try to use the VM license. You could run into issues running both at the same time. It will just be simpler with the added license.

  • Hmmm. I doubt I'll bother. It seems unfair to have to pay for 3 licenses for 1 physical and 1 virtual machine! Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 16:19
  • If you run the VM with its licence and try to upgrade the real machine with the same license running at the same time, I think you could have issues.
    – anon
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 16:27
  • Yes, I'm sure. Ah well. Home it is for me then! And an utterly enhanced Professional experience when I use my VM! Thanks for your help. Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 16:55
  • If you bought a retail license then you should be able to, at least, reuse it. And those used to allow 2 machines but things are probably different now and last time I've dealt with such was in the 90s, since then only volume licenses where applicable and even that not much because I use Linux. @John is certainly more up to date in that regard. Note: Reusing it implies a different VM where said license ISN'T applied so you can use it in the bare metal installation. Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 1:43

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