So if you’re already on Windows 10 Threshold 2 and want to activate your computer, the process is a lot easier than before, when Microsoft first asked users to upgrade via Windows Update, wait for automatic validation, and only then perform a clean install.
How to activate
Basically, if you plan to activate with a previous Windows version product key, you most likely want to perform a clean install from the very beginning and thus avoid the pain of manual upgrades and then reinstall.
To do this, all you have to do is skip entering a product key when installing Windows 10 from scratch. If you do this, Windows 10 will be installed as an evaluation copy, and you’ll be allowed to provide a product key when all files are copied and you can log into your desktop.
Once you reach the desktop, go to the following path:
Settings > Update & security > Activation and selecting Change Product Key
And enter the product key that came with your Windows 7 or 8.1 computer. The activation process should then be performed automatically, and if everything’s alright, you should be running a fully legit version of Windows 10 activated with a Windows 7 or 8.1 key.
We’re receiving messages from our readers who claim that the process really works smoothly, and no problems should be experienced.
Microsoft first introduced this option in Windows 10 preview build 10565, and the company said at that time that it was all based on consumer feedback.
“We have received a lot of feedback from Insiders on making it easier to activate Windows 10 on devices that take advantage of the free upgrade offer to genuine Windows by using existing Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product keys,” Microsoft announced.
Fortunately, this feature seems to be working really smoothly, so go ahead and try it yourself if you want to avoid the pain of upgrading and only then performing a clean install.