Windows 10 November Update: Activate OS using your Windows 7 and 8 Product Keys

Richard Hay, Senior Content Producer

November 17, 2015

6 Slides


One of the most challenging aspects of Windows 10 leading up to and following its launch in late July of this year was that Windows 7/8 product keys could not be used to directly activate the freshly installed operating system.

This meant users had to initially upgrade their Windows 7/8.1 system and then verify it was upgraded before performing a clean install using upgrade media and ISOs. This process insured the hardware had a digital entitlement and from that point a fresh install was possible on that same hardware.

Last week, with the release of the November Update for Windows 10, users no longer have to go through that initial upgrade process and obtaining that digital entitlement  to perform a clean install on a Windows 7 or 8.1 system.

All users have to do now is initiate the clean install using the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft and Windows 10 will now accept a Windows 7/8 product key to activate the system in this latest release.

The product key can be entered during the installation process or afterwards through the Settings app. This gallery will walk you through those steps for activating Windows 10 with your Windows 7 or 8 key in the Settings app.


About the Author(s)

Richard Hay

Senior Content Producer, IT Pro Today (Informa Tech)

I served for 29 plus years in the U.S. Navy and retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in November 2011. My work background in the Navy was telecommunications related so my hobby of computers fit well with what I did for the Navy. I consider myself a tech geek and enjoy most things in that arena.

My first website – – came online in 1995. Back then I used GeoCities Web Hosting for it and is the result of the work I have done on that site since 1995.

In January 2010 my community contributions were recognized by Microsoft when I received my first Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award for the Windows Operating System. Since then I have been renewed as a Microsoft MVP each subsequent year since that initial award. I am also a member of the inaugural group of Windows Insider MVPs which began in 2016.

I previously hosted the Observed Tech PODCAST for 10 years and 317 episodes and now host a new podcast called Faith, Tech, and Space. 

I began contributing to Penton Technology websites in January 2015 and in April 2017 I was hired as the Senior Content Producer for Penton Technology which is now Informa Tech. In that role, I contribute to ITPro Today and cover operating systems, enterprise technology, and productivity.

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