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How to upgrade 1511 from Home to Pro?

darrenc1 asked on

I'm not having any luck figuring out how to upgrade from Home to Pro with an existing key.  My system has been running Home and is currently running version 1511.  I've decided to go ahead and use an existing key to upgrade to Pro.  I did a clean install, expecting to be asked to specify a version and provide a key during install, but was never asked for either.  The installer simply formatted the hard drive and installed Home and activated it, with no input from me after the install started other than agree to the terms and tell it my language.

OK, no problem I thought, I'll just go to the Activation setting and give it the new key from there.  However, if I tell it I want to change the key it comes back and says the key I'm giving it can only activate Pro and I'm running Home.  If I go the Store route and tell it I already have a Pro key, it gives me the same message - it tells me my key is for Pro but I'm running Home.  Nowhere along the way does it offer to take my key and give me the upgrade, rather it implies that I must somehow magically upgrade it myself before changing the key.  And that would be fine if I could figure out how to do that.

Anyone know how to force an install of Pro when the installer automatically installs Home with no option given to change it?

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The answered status icon Answer
Charles [MSFT] replied on

Hi DarrenC1,

We are going to make these steps more visible and easier to find for folks.  Sorry that has not been the case.  The process is not really straight forward; I guess we were hoping folks would upgrade their 8 PCs to Pro and then upgrade to 10.  Well we have lots of people and lots of scenarios and lots of folks want to start fresh.

From your Windows 10 Home running Version 1511, enter the Windows 10 Pro Default key under change product key.

VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T  This default key will not activate the system, just take you to Pro so you can activate using a valid Pro key that you will provide.

Once you have done this, the system will go through an upgrade process from Home to Pro, but will not be activated on Pro.  You can now enter your Windows 8 Pro key into your Windows 10 Pro system and it will activate.

I hope this helps


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