Building a new PC and using copy of current Windows 10

May 11, 2020
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Hi there!

I am going to be building a new desktop PC soon, which I am looking forward to! I am trying to avoid buying a new OS, as I have a laptop with Windows 10 Home. Can I somehow make a copy of it, put it onto a USB and install it on my new computer? Thanks!
'Ownership' of Windows isn't the installation, it's the licence that lets you perform the installation.

The exact terms of what MS let you do with a copy of Windows are, well, not always clear. For instance, the free upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 was, according to MS, only for 1 year after Windows 10 came out. But people have been upgrading for free well into 2020. MS's activation servers still allowed it, and it was widely publicised by (legit) PC websites.

As long as you are only using the licence on one system, you may be able to transfer it, e.g. by linking it to your MS account.

In general, it's not been allowed to do that with OEM licences. Which is the kind of licence you almost certainly have for Windows on your current laptop.

However, it's possible MS may allow you to tie the licence to your Microsoft account and transfer it that way:

I don't have an OEM key to try it, so that may not be something they allow.


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