How to Transfer Your Windows Activation from an Old Laptop to a New PC


“As an expert, could you advise if it’s possible to transfer a Windows license from one computer to another? Specifically, I’m planning to acquire a new PC without a pre-installed operating system and would like to avoid the ‘activate windows’ watermark. Is there a method to deactivate Windows on my current laptop and use its product key to activate Windows on the new machine? If this is feasible, could you please guide me through the process?”


When you purchase a new computer, one of the first things you’ll want to do is ensure that your operating system is fully activated to avoid any limitations or persistent watermarks. For many, the question arises: Can you transfer your existing Windows license from an old computer to a new one? The answer is yes, under certain conditions, and this article will guide you through the process.

Understanding License Types

Before proceeding, it’s crucial to understand the type of Windows license you have. There are two main types:


OEM License

: This is typically tied to the first computer it was installed on and is not transferable.


Retail License

: This can be transferred to another computer, provided you deactivate it on the original machine first.

Steps to Transfer Your Windows License

For Retail Licenses:


Deactivate the License on Your Old Computer


  • Open the Command Prompt as an administrator.
  • Type the command `slmgr.vbs /upk` to uninstall the product key, which frees the license for use on another computer.
  • 2.

Link the License to Your Microsoft Account

(if not already done):

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation and sign in with your Microsoft account to link the license.
  • 3.

Activate the License on Your New Computer


  • On the new PC, go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
  • Enter the product key when prompted and follow the instructions to activate Windows.

For Digital Licenses


If you have a digital license (usually obtained through upgrading from an older version of Windows), the process involves using your Microsoft account to transfer the license. Ensure that your digital license is linked to your Microsoft account and use the Activation troubleshooter to help with the transfer.


Transferring a Windows license can save you the cost of purchasing a new key for your new PC. Always ensure that you’re following the legal guidelines set by Microsoft for license transfers. If you encounter any issues during the process, Microsoft’s support team can provide assistance.


: This guide is based on the information available as of 2021 and the process may vary depending on the specific version of Windows and the terms set by Microsoft at the time of your transfer. Always refer to the official Microsoft website or contact their support for the most current instructions and policies regarding Windows license transfers.

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