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When Windows 10 was first released, Microsoft made it available as free upgrade for existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. At first, users only had the option to upgrade their existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 operating system to Windows 10. With the release of Windows 10 Threshold 2 (Build 1511), Microsoft changed this cumbersome upgrade process. Threshold 2 allowed users use their existing genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key to clean install and activate Windows 10. But all this is going to change with the expiration of the Windows 10 Free Upgrade offer program on July 29, 2016.

Let’s see one by one, what to expect once the free upgrade offer expires. What are your options available? Will you be able to activate Windows 10 using Windows 7 or Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key after July 29, 2016? How can you reinstall Windows 10 and activate it?

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.

If you follow the Windows 10 upgrade process, you can keep your old files, settings, and programs from your earlier Windows edition. What if you want a completely fresh Windows 10 system? What are your options then? If you want a completely fresh system, you have a few options available. These options are also useful if you have purchased a new Windows 10 PC and you want to get rid of all the bloatware included by the manufacturer. Or, if you want to clean install Windows 10 on your existing PC.

Before Microsoft released Windows 10 Threshold 2 version 1511, which allowed users to activate Windows 10 with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key, the company used to force users to upgrade to Windows 10 before they could do a clean install. The whole process was very annoying, time-consuming and complicated for most users. As everything is easy now, here’s the various options you have, to do a clean install of Windows 10.

Microsoft allows Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10 free of cost. Although, to successfully activate Windows 10, users are required to upgrade directly from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. Once Windows 10 is installed, Microsoft activates it automatically. From the next time users can clean install Windows 10 as the product key gets attached to the Microsoft Account and the hardware configuration.

The free upgrade system sounds perfect for both Microsoft and Windows users willing to take advantage of the free Windows 10 offer. But there are reports that suggest otherwise. Sometimes, either due to technical reasons or hardware issues, Windows 10 failed to activate after an upgrade, leaving users in a difficult situation. Also, some users may not want to take the upgrade path and may like to clean install Windows 10. How to get Windows 10 to activate after a clean install the first time? For all these reasons, Microsoft seems to be getting ready with a solution. Users will soon be able to activate Windows 10 using their existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key.

Windows 8.1 has changed a lot of things in the Windows world. Windows 8.1 fixed a few things which were present in Windows 8. Starting from the user interface to a number of features Windows users were accustomed to. Microsoft has also made few changes in the way Windows 8.1 activates. So, here we will show you how to change Windows 8.1 product key and activate Windows 8.1 using the new product key. Follow the steps below to enter a new Windows 8.1 product key replacing your existing Windows product key to activate Windows 8.1.

Note: Using this process you cannot interchange product keys of different Windows 8.1 edition. So, if you have Windows 8.1 installed you cannot use a Windows 8.1 Pro product key, or the other way round. You have to use the product key of the same Windows edition which you have installed.