Are you a Windows 10 Home user looking to upgrade to Pro? Using an OEM key is the most cost-effective and convenient way to make the switch.
It can be overwhelming to understand the steps needed, so we’re here to help make it easy! Upgrading your Windows 10 Home operating system to Pro has its benefits, such as extra security features and business-level control over devices connected within the same network.
In this article, we will walk you through all of the necessary steps for upgrading from Windows 10 Home using an OEM key.
How to Find Your Windows Product Key (Windows 10 and 11)
Before you start upgrading your Windows operating system, make sure you have your product key ready. The type of product key you need depends on how you obtained your copy of Windows 10 or Windows 11 (OEM, Retail, or volume license). You either need a 25-character product key or a digital license to activate it. Without either of these, you won't be able to activate your device:
- A digital license, or digital entitlement, is an activation method in Windows that works without a product key. It's the default method for upgrading your system or when purchasing Windows from the Microsoft Store.
- A Windows product key is a unique 25-character code that you use to activate Windows. It looks something like this: XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX-XXXXX.
Depending on the method you used to obtain Windows, your product key may be found in different locations. Here are some common ways to find your product key:
- New devices - Any device that comes running Windows typically comes with preinstalled product keys or they are included with the PC packaging or Certificate of Authenticity (COA) attached to the PC. For further details, reach out to your hardware manufacturer.
- Purchased from reseller - To locate the product key for your Windows 10 or Windows 11 purchase from an authorized retailer, check the label or card inside the box. For additional assistance, contact the retailer where you bought your copy.
- Digital copy - If you have purchased a digital copy of Windows 10 or Windows 11 from an authorized retailer, you can find your product key in the confirmation email that was sent to you after the purchase. You can also access the product key in a digital locker that is available on the retailer's website.
- Free upgrade - Users who upgraded to Windows 10 or 11 from a previous version, like Windows 7 or 8.1, should have a digital license instead of a product key.
- Purchase via Microsoft Store - When purchasing a Windows upgrade (Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro) through the Microsoft Store app, you will receive a digital license instead of a product key in the confirmation email. This email will contain the digital license for activation purposes.
- Volume Licensing/MSDN subscription - Get your product key for a Volume Licensing agreement or MSDN subscription from the web portal of your program. Check out "Volume Activation for Windows 10" for more details.
If you still can't find your product key, contact Microsoft Support for further assistance.
How Much Is a Windows Activation Key?
The price of a Windows activation key varies depending on where you purchase it. The typical cost from Microsoft ranges from $99 for Windows 10 Home to $199 for Windows 10 Pro, with similar prices for the latest Windows 11 systems. Remember that prices may differ based on your location and any ongoing promotions.
Luckily, if you want to get Windows for cheap, many resellers offer cheap prices for Windows upgrades. Just make sure you purchase from an authorized retailer to avoid any potential scams or issues with activation. We recommend shopping at SoftwareKeep, a reputable online retailer. Not only do they offer competitive prices and excellent customer service, but they also provide genuine product keys to ensure your upgrade is successful.
If you don't want to pay for an activation key, you can also consider using Windows 10 or Windows 11 for free, with some limitations. However, keep in mind that a licensed version offers the best experience and access to all features and professional use.
Windows 10 Product Keys for All Versions (2023)
Before we delve into the Windows 10 Pro product upgrade, here are some complimentary keys that you can use to activate your system.
|Windows 10 Professional
|Windows 10 Pro (build 10240)
|Windows 10 Professional N
|Windows 10 Enterprise
|Windows 10 Enterprise N
|Windows 10 Enterprise G
|Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC
|Windows 10 Education
|Windows 10 Pro (2020 version)
|Windows 10 Pro for Workstations
Comparing Windows 10 Home vs. Pro
To make an informed decision about the upgrade, it's essential to understand the differences between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.
Windows 10 Home vs Pro: Which One Is Best for You?
If you're considering upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro, it's crucial to understand the unique features each edition offers. Our detailed examination will assist you in identifying the version that best meets your specific requirements.
Key Features in Windows 10 Home
Windows 10 Home, the base version, includes a comprehensive set of features suitable for general use. Key features include:
- Cortana: This is Microsoft's voice-activated digital assistant. It can set reminders, recognize natural voice without keyboard input, and answer questions using information from the Bing search engine.
- Microsoft Edge: This is Windows 10's new browser and comes as standard with Windows 10 Home. It has a built-in reading list, notes and a sidebar for incorporating Cortana and sharing annotations.
- Continuum: This is Windows 10’s touch and tablet mode. When a touchscreen is detected, apps grow to fullscreen and the start menu shifts to become more touch-optimized.
- Windows Hello: This is a biometrics-based technology that enables Windows users to authenticate secure access to their devices, apps, online services, and networks with just a look or a touch.
- Windows Ink: Windows Ink is all about stylus input. You can use a pen to doodle on screenshots, create sticky notes, or draw on a sketch pad.
Key Features in Windows 10 Pro
Windows 10 Pro includes all of the features of Windows 10 Home plus additional features such as:
- Domain Join: This gives network administrators an easy and speedy way to add new PCs to a network. This feature is critical for businesses that have a network set up and require user management.
- Group Policy Management: This allows an IT admin to control the working environment of user accounts and computer accounts. Group Policy provides the centralized management and configuration of operating systems, applications, and users' settings.
- Bitlocker: This is a kind of encryption software that allows you to secure your devices from potential threats fully. Bitlocker offers organizations the tools they need to encrypt entire hard drives and individual files.
- Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE): This allows IT admins to create a more stable browsing experience for IE 11 on Windows 10 devices. It's useful for businesses that use older web apps and need backward compatibility.
- Assigned Access: This allows a system admin to assign specific user accounts with access to a particular application. It’s very useful for setting up kiosk-like devices.
By comparing these elements, you can determine the features that are essential for you, guiding your decision on whether to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro.
How to Upgrade Windows 10 Home to Pro
Upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro is a simple process. Once you upgrade, the Pro license takes precedence over the Home license. You can either pay for a Windows 10 Pro upgrade or, if you already have an OEM key for Windows 10 Pro, follow the steps outlined below to upgrade and activate your Pro system.
Warning: Before starting the upgrade, make sure to save all your work and close any open applications on your computer to avoid interruptions. Rebooting during the upgrade is normal and expected.
Begin by pressing the Windows key + R combination on your keyboard simultaneously. This action will open the Run window. In the dialog box, type "slui.exe," and then click OK.
- Once you've completed the first step, a dialog box will appear. This is where you should enter your Windows 10 Pro product key. Make sure to type it accurately to avoid any issues.
- If your OEM key is not accepted, don't worry! Microsoft offers a Windows 10 Pro product key specifically designed for users who want to upgrade their systems.
Use these steps to upgrade your Windows 10 Home to Pro to unlock enhanced features and capabilities on your system. Activation comes later.
How to Change Windows 10 Product Key
You can change your Windows 10 product key by following these steps:
- Press Windows key + I to swiftly open Windows Settings. This key combination serves as a shortcut.
In Windows Settings, navigate to "Update & Security" > choose "Activation" > locate and click on "Change Product Key."
- If a User Account Control dialogue box appears, requesting permission for the app to make changes, select "Yes" to proceed.
- In the provided space, input the following Windows 10 Pro product key: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. If the key didn't work, try one of the other keys listed above.
- Follow the on-screen instructions, and your upgrade will commence. If your computer reboots during this process, there's no need to worry; it's a normal part of the upgrade.
- After the upgrade, activate Windows 10 Pro with your OEM key. Access the Settings window by clicking the Start button or using the shortcut Windows key + I.
- Inside Settings, navigate to "Update & Security" > "Activation" > "Change product key." Enter your Windows 10 Pro OEM key and click "Next" to activate it.
That's it! Your computer is now upgraded from Windows 10 Home to Pro and is fully activated. You can now enjoy all the enhanced features and capabilities of Windows 10 Pro.
How to Find Windows Product Key via Command Prompt
A simple way to check or retrieve your product key is through Command Prompt. Here’s how you can do it:
- Open Command Prompt by typing "cmd" in the search bar and selecting "Run as administrator."
Type in the command "wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey" without quotes.
- Press Enter.
Your product key will be displayed on the screen. Make sure to keep it secure, and do not share it with anyone!
TLDR: How to Upgrade Windows 10 Home to Pro Using an OEM Key
- Press the Windows key + R shortcut.
- Type "slui.exe" and hit Enter.
- Input your Windows 10 Pro product key.
- Once you have your Windows 10 key ready, select "System."
- Navigate to "About" > "Change product key" or upgrade your edition of Windows.
- Click "Yes" if User Account Control comes up.
Upgrading your Windows 10 Home to Pro using an OEM key is a simple process that can unlock a wide range of advanced features and capabilities. With just a few steps, you can enjoy enhanced network management, encryption tools, internet browsing stability, assigned access for specific applications, and more.
So, why wait? Upgrade your system today and take advantage of all the benefits that Windows 10 Pro has to offer! Remember, always keep your product key secure, and don't share it with anyone and enjoy your new and improved Windows 10 Pro system.
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