I bought 2 Windows 8 upgrades, 1 for my PC and 1 for my notebook. I added Windows Media Center to my notebook using the free offer in November (side note: the key was emailed to me within 5 minutes, I see many people have been complaining that it takes a few days).

Today I decided to add WMC to my PC as well, so I went onto the Microsoft website, same like last time, and I received the email within a few minutes. Once I added WMC, entered the key and the computer rebooted, my activation is now broken:

This product key is already being used on another PC. Try a different key or buy a new one.

After rereading the product key email, I realised that the WMC key was exactly the same as the one I had received in November for my notebook (I used the same email, i.e. my Microsoft account Outlook email, for both). I didn't think this would be a problem, as on Microsoft's feature pack page it states:

...is limited to five licenses per customer per promotion.

So then I decided, I'll just remove WMC from my PC and go back to Windows 8 Pro. So I turned off the WMC feature, PC restarted, activation still broken because my key has been replaced. I then tried to activate it with my original Pro key. The error it gave was that this key cannot be used with this version of Windows, as it is now Windows 8 Pro with Media Center and not Windows 8 Pro anymore.

I've searched a bit and it seems the only way to remove it is do a clean install. I tried the Windows 8 Downgrade Helper, which told me I was already running Win 8 Pro when I tried to downgrade, and that I was running Win 8 Pro with Media center when I tried the other option.

To sum up: How do I remove Windows Media Center from Windows 8 Pro without having to do a clean install?

  • Have you tried getting a second (different) key for Media Center, if you have two Win8 keys, you should be able to get two WMC keys, maybe use a different email address. Dec 23, 2012 at 17:24
  • The thing is, I honestly don't want WMC on the PC now, I just want to remove it. And if they say that I can get up to 5 keys, why are they simply resending me the same key? Dec 23, 2012 at 17:55
  • Here's a somewhat complicated way of downgrading your copy of Windows 8: tech-stew.com/post/2012/09/07/… Looks like a pain to do :( Feb 5, 2013 at 3:16

3 Answers 3


Set-Edition is not supported with /online - only usable on offline images

On my system, there is no sign of a restore point (surprising) but it is only a short while since I did the addition (earlier today) and I certainly haven't removed any restore points/cleaned up.

So I don't think the above answer works.

  • I also noticed that there was no restore point, so I ended up reinstalling and just leaving WMC completely. Jan 29, 2013 at 5:05

Here is what worked for me:

  1. Edit Registry
  2. Run setup file

Or as you can see in this tutorial:

  1. Go to your Windows Registry and locate : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion
  2. Change EditionID(Professional) and ProductName(Windows 8 Pro) values
  3. Close Registry, Restart Computer
  4. Download the Windows 8 Setup.exe file from the following link.
  5. Enter your valid Windows 8 Professional key that you purchased from Microsoft.
  6. Run the install and choose to keep all existing apps and settings.

Try this command from an elevated command prompt:

Dism /Online /Set-Edition:Professional

if it doesn't work, try to use the system restore point which is created before the upgrade.

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