Microsoft is adding an Activation Troubleshooter to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. The new Activation Troubleshooter will help users resolve the common issues related to Windows 10 activation. Microsoft is making it easier for users to activate Windows 10 after hardware upgrade.
At present, when you activate Windows 10, Microsoft links the activation to the hardware of the computer. This way, if you reinstall Windows 10 it will automatically activate again by matching the hardware signature. Windows 10 fails to activate if you make some changes to the hardware and Microsoft can no longer recognize the device.
Microsoft wants to change all this with the new Activation Troubleshoot feature. The company wants to make it easier for users to activate Windows 10 after a hardware upgrade. The new feature will allow users to link a Microsoft account to the Windows 10 digital license stored on the device. If you already log in to Windows 10 using a Microsoft account, your account will automatically link to the Windows 10 digital license. Once linked, you should be able to upgrade your PC hardware and then reactivate Windows 10 using the new Activation Troubleshooter.
You can link a Microsoft account to a Windows 10 license by opening Settings app and navigating to Update & security > Activation > Add an account. You can launch the troubleshooter by opening the Settings app and navigating to Update & security > Activation > Troubleshoot.
The Activation Troubleshooter will “help you address most commonly encountered activation issues on Genuine Windows devices including those caused by hardware changes,” said Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar. Sarkar continued, “if your device has a digital license (formerly called “digital entitlement”) for Windows 10 Pro from a previously installed activated Windows 10 build but you accidentally re-installed Windows 10 Home on such a device, the troubleshooter will automatically guide you through upgrading to Windows 10 Pro and activate Windows.”
The hardware upgrade will now cause less problems with Windows 10 activation. The company says there will still be instances where users will not be able to reactivate Windows. These include where the type of device you are activating does not match the type of device you linked to your digital license. Although the specifics about the degree of deviation of the device which is tied to your Windows 10 license for reactivation to fail is not made clear by the company, it seems it would typically need more than a hardware upgrade. Windows 10 reactivation will also fail if Windows was never activated on the device or the device is not running a genuine version of Windows.
Microsoft has made it clear that only Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro editions will be able to reactivate this way. There is also a limit to the number of times you can reactivate Windows 10 on the device using the Activation Troubleshooter. The specifics about the reactivation limit is also not made clear.
Both the new Activation Troubleshoot and attaching Windows license to your Microsoft account features will be made available in an early version of Windows 10, Build 14371, that was released under the Windows Insider testing program. These features will be made available to all users after the release of Windows 10 Anniversary Update in July, 2016. Microsoft has also reminded all that Windows 10 will no longer be available as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users after July 29, 2016.