Can I transfer my Windows upgrade license from an old PC to a new one? [Ask ZDNet]

If you’re a network administrator managing a Windows deployment in a large enterprise, be extra cautious here. 

Microsoft

Welcome to the latest installment of Ask ZDNet, where we answer the questions that make your IT guy go ‘Huh.’

In the mailbag this week: A reader wants to use the Windows 10 Pro license on an older laptop to upgrade Win 11 Home to Pro on a newly purchased PC. Any gotchas?

Can I transfer my Windows upgrade license from an old PC to a new one? I have several older PCs/laptops running Windows 10 Pro (version 21H2). If I buy a PC or laptop that has Windows 11 Home edition preinstalled, can I use one of those Windows 10 Pro licenses to upgrade Win 11 Home to Pro?

The short answer is: Yes, that upgrade scenario should work. The longer answer has a few conditions and caveats. 

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I assume you have a Windows 10 Pro product key. If so, that key will work to perform an upgrade because all Windows 10 and Windows 11 product keys are interchangeable. In fact, product keys for Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8 Pro will also work to upgrade a Windows 11 Home installation. That was true when I first started looking into these upgrade scenarios back at the dawn of the Windows 10

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