Looking to switch to a new PC or hard drive and consider transferring the Windows 10 license (also called product key) on your old computer to a new computer or hard drive? The good news is that with the slmgr command, you can deactivate a PC that you no longer intend to use and then move the Windows 10 license to a new computer. We will show you how to disable the current Windows 10 license and activate it on other computers or HDDs/SSDs.
The slmgr command makes Windows 10 license transferring simple, but you need to keep in mind some limitations. This does not work for OEM keys, which are the keys that come with the computer you purchased in the store. If you have a full retail copy of Windows 10, you can transfer as many times as needed.
How to find out if your Windows 10 license is OEM, Retail or Volume
With the help of the Software Licensing Management Tool (slmgr), a command-line tool which can be used for checking the type of Windows 10 license. To do this, open a command prompt and type slmgr /dli and press Enter.
A Windows Script Host Dialogue box will appear with some information about your operating system, including the license type of Windows 10.
In order to avoid activation problems after replacing major hardware such as hard drives, SSDs, and motherboards. It is recommended to link the Windows 10 digital license to a Microsoft account to easily reactivate it after moving a copy of Windows 10 to a new hard drive or computer. Find out how to upgrade your hard drive to an SSD without reinstalling Windows OS.
How to move or transfer a Windows 10 license to a new computer or hard drive
When transferring a Windows 10 license to a new device, you can only activate the same edition of Windows 10. For example, if you uninstall the Windows 10 Pro product key, you can only activate another computer running the Pro version.
1. Find out the Windows 10 product key.
Be sure to write down the license key on paper. If you don’t already have one, you can still use a Product Key Finder to recover your product key.
2. Deactivate the product key on your old PC or hard drive.
Press Win + X, A to run the command prompt as an administrator.
At the command prompt that appears, run the following command and press Enter.
Slmgr.vbs / upk
If you plan to sell the machine or discard it, you may also want to remove the key from the registry. Type the following at a command prompt:
Slmgr.vbs / cpky
If the command is successful, your old PC will be deactivated. You can still use Windows, but it won’t be considered genuine for Windows.
3. Activate Windows 10 on your new computer or hard drive.
Open an elevated command prompt and type the following command:
Slmgr / ipk WINDOWS-PRODUCT-KEY
Alternatively, you can go to Settings, open the “Activate Windows” option, and then manually enter the Windows 10 license.
Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 license still can be used to activate Windows 10, but only through this standard activation process instead of through slmgr. Again, please remember that you can only activate the same edition of Windows. For example, if you have a Windows 7 Pro product key, you can only activate another computer running the Pro version.