If you’ve just purchased a new computer and want to transfer the Windows 10 or Windows 11 license from your old computer to the new one, this guide will show you how to transfer your Windows license to another computer.
Can I transfer a Windows license to another computer?
Transferring a license means you will have to uninstall the license on your old computer to install it on a new computer. The same Windows license cannot be used simultaneously on two computers.
Before attempting to transfer your Windows license, ensure that you have a valid retail Windows 10 or Windows 11 license key or product key that you purchased separately from your laptop or desktop computer. If your Windows copy came pre-installed on your laptop or desktop computer, which is called an OEM licensed OS, you won’t be able to transfer the license as it is bound to the hardware.
If the above condition is met and you’re sure your Windows license can be transferred, follow the instructions below.
Transfer a Windows 11 or 10 license to a new computer
Before starting, ensure you have the license key written down or saved somewhere. If you don’t, download and install ProduKey from
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/produkey.zip to find your Windows product key. This software is used by millions of users to back up their Windows product keys. For a detailed guide on how to do so, read: How to Find Windows 10/11 Digital License Product Key.
First, uninstall the Windows license from your existing computer by following these steps:
- On your old PC, go to the Start menu or Windows search.
- Type “cmd.”
- Right-click Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator. This is important, as the command we are about to enter requires admin privileges.
- Enter the following command to uninstall the Windows license from the old computer:
When the command is successfully executed, it will show a message that reads Uninstalled Windows 10 product key successfully.
When the command is executed successfully, a message will appear, stating that the Windows product key has been uninstalled.
Assuming you’ve already installed Windows 10 or Windows 11 on your new computer without a product key (you can install Windows without a product key by selecting “I don’t have a product key” during installation), follow these steps to transfer the license:
- Go to the Start menu and open Command Prompt with administrator privileges, as instructed above.
- Enter the following command and press Enter:
slmgr.vbs /ipk <your windows product key>
This will install the license, completing the transfer of the Windows license to your new computer.
If you prefer not to use the Command Prompt, follow these steps to install the Windows license key:
- Go to the Start menu.
- Click on Settings (the gear icon on the left).
- Select Update & Security.
- Choose Activation from the left panel.
- Under Update product key, click on Change product key.
- Enter your Windows license key in the field provided and press Next to activate your Windows.
Alternatively, you can contact Windows customer support for assistance with Windows activation. They typically respond quickly when dealing with Windows activation issues.
Things to consider
It’s essential to understand that there are different types of Windows licenses available, and each type has its own set of rules and restrictions on transferring the license to another computer. Retail licenses can typically be transferred, while OEM and Volume licenses are more restrictive.
Retail License: This type of license is purchased separately from a computer, either online or in a physical store. Retail licenses can be transferred to another computer without issue, as long as the license is uninstalled from the old computer before being installed on the new one.
OEM License: OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) licenses come pre-installed on a new computer. These licenses are tied to the specific hardware and cannot be transferred to another computer. In some cases, you may be able to transfer the license if you are replacing specific components of the computer, but this is subject to Microsoft’s discretion.
Volume License: Volume licenses are typically used by businesses and organizations that need to install Windows on multiple computers. These licenses usually cannot be transferred to another computer.
How to check your Windows license type
Before attempting to transfer your Windows license, it’s a good idea to check the license type to ensure it can be transferred. Follow these steps to check your license type:
- Open Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell.
- Type the following command and press Enter:
- A window will appear displaying information about your Windows license, including the license type.
If your license type is listed as “Retail,” you can proceed with the transfer process outlined in the previous sections of this article.
In conclusion, transferring a Windows 10 or Windows 11 license to another computer is possible if you have a Retail license. It’s essential to understand the differences between Retail, OEM, and Volume licenses, as each has its own set of rules and restrictions on transfers. Before attempting to transfer your Windows license, check the license type and follow the instructions carefully to ensure a smooth transition. Remember that you must uninstall the license from your old computer before installing it on the new one.