Microsoft revealed a simple solution that allows users to turn their Windows 10 Home Edition into Windows 10 Pro, and all it takes is a key. Alas, there's a catch.
Let's start at the beginning. Windows 10 is Microsoft's latest operating system. It brings a slew of changes and improvements to the table, arriving as a free update to users of older Windows versions.
Windows 10 launched in no less than seven editions, giving users more options to choose from. As expected, the Windows 10 Home and Pro editions are the most popular among desktop users, while Windows 10 Mobile stirred quite a frenzy on the mobile front.
The more powerful Windows 10 Pro boasts several benefits over the Windows 10 Home edition, including BitLocker, domain privileges, remote desktop tools, and more. One problem, however, surfaced when it came to updates.
As previously mentioned, Microsoft made Windows 10 available as a free update. The problem was that some users who upgraded from the Windows 7 or Windows 8 Pro editions do not have access to the Pro features of Windows 10 Pro even if they should. Users tried entering a product key, but to no avail. They still could not upgrade to the Pro version of Windows 10 and unlock its advanced, exclusive features.
It's been a while since this issue first surfaced, but Microsoft has now finally addressed the matter. The company has come up with a simple and quick solution that should fix the problem in no time, acknowledging that it had some lapses in the process.
"We are going to make these steps more visible and easier to find for folks. Sorry that has not been the case. The process is not really straight forward," a Microsoft representative explained on the company's support forum. "I guess we were hoping folks would upgrade their 8 PCs to Pro and then upgrade to 10. Well we have lots of people and lots of scenarios and lots of folks want to start fresh."
Head over to the Settings menu on your device, go to Update & Security, select Activation, and then tap Change product key. In the field where you have to submit the activation key, enter VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. This is the default Windows 10 Pro key and it will upgrade your system to Windows 10 Pro.
Entering this default key will upgrade your system to Windows 10 Pro, but it will not officially activate it. From here on, you will be able to enter your previous Windows 7 or Windows 8 Pro key and activate the system as it should have in the first place.
"Once you have done this, the system will go through an upgrade process from Home to Pro, but will not be activated on Pro. You can now enter your Windows 8 Pro key into your Windows 10 Pro system and it will activate," the post further details.
In other words, this fixes the issue of users not being able to activate Windows 10 Pro even with a key.
Now, if you are a Windows 10 Home user and want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro using the default key, without having an actual Pro key to activate it later, here's the deal. You will be able to do so, but not activating the system with a Pro key means that you will have to face some limitations. More specifically, the Settings' personalization menu will be locked, you may not get all updates, and you may see watermarks here and there to remind you to activate your copy of Windows 10.
Bottom line, Microsoft did not publish this key to give Windows 10 Pro Editions away to all users, it offered the key as a solution to fix the previous upgrade issue.