With Windows 10, Microsoft is introducing a new way to activate your copy of Windows 10 that they are calling digital entitlement. Because digital entitlement is new and moves away from the traditional product key activation process, the company has provided guidance on how and when each method is used.
Posted below is the guidance that Microsoft has provided with Windows 10 that should cover nearly all of the scenarios you may see.
How you got Windows 10
You upgraded to Windows 10 for free from an eligible device running a genuine copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
You bought genuine Windows 10 from the Windows Store and successfully activated Windows 10.
You bought a Windows 10 Pro upgrade from the Windows Store and successfully activated Windows 10.
You’re a Windows Insider and upgraded to the newestWindows 10 Insider Preview build on an eligible device that was running an activated previous version of Windows andWindows 10 Preview.
You bought a copy of Windows 10 from an authorized retailer.
Read the Best Personal and Business Tech without Ads
Staying updated on what is happening in the technology sector is important to your career and your personal life but ads can make reading news, distracting. With Thurrott Premium, you can enjoy the best coverage in tech without the annoying ads.
You bought a digital copy of Windows 10 from an authorized retailer.
(In the confirmation email you received after buyingWindows 10 or in a digital locker accessible through the retailer’s website.)
You have a Volume Licensing agreement for Windows 10 or MSDN subscription.
(Available through the web portal for your program.)
You bought a new device running Windows 10.
(Pre–installed on your device, included with the device packaging, or included as a card or on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached to the device.)
Microsoft says that a ‘significant hardware change’ means that Windows 10 may no longer be activated. Unfortunately, they don’t list explicitly what may cause Windows 10 to be no longer activated but they do state that changing your motherboard can cause Windows 10 to no longer activate.
If you had any questions about if you should have a digital entitlement or a product key, hopefully this chart will help. Microsoft’ new digital entitlement feature is designed to help make the activation process easier for those who are upgrading or re-installing the OS but did raise quite a few questions when the OS was launched.
If you question is not with this chart, Microsoft has a few more bits of information about the activation process that you can read here.
Brad Sams has more than a decade of writing and publishing experience under his belt including helping to establish new and seasoned publications From breaking news about upcoming Microsoft products to telling the story of how a billion dollar brand was birthed in his book, Beneath a Surface, Brad is a well-rounded journalist who has established himself as a trusted name in the industry.
!Already a Petri.com member? Login here for 1-click registration.
Petri.com thanks ourgold sponsor
Podcast: First Ring Daily
The Best of Tech. No Ads.
Stay updated on what's happening in the technology sector with Thurrott Premium. The best coverage in tech, without the annoying ads.
GET-IT: Advanced Microsoft 365 1-Day Virtual Conference - Live August 24th!
Join us on Tuesday, August 24th and hear from Microsoft MVPs and industry experts about how to take advantage of Microsoft 365 at a technical level and dive deep into the features and functionality that will make your environment more secure and compliant.