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If you purchased Windows and received a product key by email or in the box Windows came in, there are several ways to install it. (Can't find your product key? See Find your Windows product key.)

Note: Your device will need to meet requirements to run Windows 11. See Find Windows 11 specs, features, and computer requirements.

Choose the scenario that's the best fit for you:

If your PC runs the latest version of Windows 11, and you purchased Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Pro for Workstations, changing editions is as simple as entering a product key.

  1. From the desktop, select Start  > Settings  > System > Activation.

  2. Select Change product key and enter your Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Pro for Workstations product key. If the key is valid, you’ll be asked to confirm the edition change, and Windows then performs it for you.

Like the first scenario, upgrading requires that your PC is running the latest version of Windows 11.

  1. From the desktop, select Start  > Settings  > System > Activation.

  2. Select Change product key and enter your Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Pro for Workstations product key. If the key is valid, you’ll be asked to confirm the edition change, and Windows then performs it for you.

To install Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro on a PC with no operating system, you’ll need to use another PC to create bootable media—like a USB or DVD from an ISO.

  1. Download and install the Media Creation Tool from the software download page on Microsoft.com.

  2. Turn on your PC and insert the media you created.

  3. When you're asked, enter your Windows 11 product key. Setup will select the correct edition to install based on the product key you've entered.

Note: If the PC originally shipped with Windows 11, setup might use an existing license to install Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro and you may not be prompted to enter your product key to upgrade your edition. If that happens, finish installation and follow the instructions in scenario 1 or scenario 2 to upgrade to the correct edition.

To install Windows 11 Pro for Workstations on a PC with no operating system, you’ll need to use another PC to create bootable media—like a USB or DVD from an ISO.

  1. Download and install the Media Creation Tool from the software download page on Microsoft.com.

  2. After turning on your PC and inserting the media you created, you’ll be asked to enter a product key. Select I don't have a product key.

  3. Select Windows 11 Pro.

  4. Wait for the setup to complete, and then select Start  > Settings  > System > Activation.

  5. Select Change product key.

  6. Enter your Windows 11 product key, and Windows 11 Pro for Workstations will install and activate.

Note: If the PC originally shipped with Windows 11, setup might use an existing license to install Windows 11 Pro for Workstations and you may not be prompted to enter your product key to upgrade your edition. If that happens, finish installation and follow the instructions in scenario 1 or scenario 2 to upgrade to the correct edition.

To upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 11 Pro or Windows 11 Pro for Workstations, you first need to upgrade to Windows 11. 

  1. Go to the software download page on Microsoft.com and follow the instructions under Using the tool to upgrade this PC to Windows 11.

  2. After upgrading to Windows 11, follow the instructions in scenario 1 to upgrade to Windows 11 Pro for Workstations.

Get the latest version of Windows 11

To make sure your PC is running the latest version of Windows 11, select Start  > Settings  > Windows Update. Then select Check for updates to install the most recent version of Windows 11. 

If you purchased Windows and received a product key by email or in the box Windows came in, there are several ways to install it. (Can't find your product key? See Find your Windows product key.)

Note: Your device will need to meet requirements to run Windows 10. See Windows 10 system requirements.

Choose the scenario that's the best fit for you:

If your PC runs the latest version of Windows 10, and you purchased Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, changing editions is as simple as entering a product key.

  1. From the desktop, select Start  > Settings  > Update & Security > Activation.

  2. Select Change product key and enter your Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Pro for Workstations product key. If the key is valid, you’ll be asked to confirm the edition change, and Windows then performs it for you.

Like the first scenario, upgrading requires that your PC is running the latest version of Windows 10.

  1. From the desktop, select Start  > Settings  > Update & Security > Activation.

  2. Select Change product key and enter your Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Pro for Workstations product key. If the key is valid, you’ll be asked to confirm the edition change, and Windows then performs it for you.

To install Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro on a PC with no operating system, you’ll need to use another PC to create bootable media—like a USB or DVD from an ISO.

  1. Download and install the Media Creation Tool from the software download page on Microsoft.com.

  2. Turn on your PC and insert the media you created.

  3. When you're asked, enter your Windows 10 product key. Setup will select the correct edition to install based on the product key you've entered.

Note: If the PC originally shipped with Windows 10, setup might use an existing license to install Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro and you may not be prompted to enter your product key to upgrade your edition. If that happens, finish installation and follow the instructions in scenario 1 or scenario 2 to upgrade to the correct edition.

To install Windows 10 Pro for Workstations on a PC with no operating system, you’ll need to use another PC to create bootable media—like a USB or DVD from an ISO.

  1. Download and install the Media Creation Tool from the software download page on Microsoft.com.

  2. After turning on your PC and inserting the media you created, you’ll be asked to enter a product key. Select I don't have a product key.

  3. Select Windows 10 Pro.

  4. Wait for the setup to complete, and then select Start  > Settings  > Update & Security > Activation.

  5. Select Change product key.

  6. Enter your Windows 10 product key, and Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will install and activate.

Note: If the PC originally shipped with Windows 10, setup might use an existing license to install Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and you may not be prompted to enter your product key to upgrade your edition. If that happens, finish installation and follow the instructions in scenario 1 or scenario 2 to upgrade to the correct edition.

To upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, you first need to upgrade to Windows 10. 

  1. Go to the software download page on Microsoft.com and follow the instructions under Using the tool to upgrade this PC to Windows 10.

  2. After upgrading to Windows 10, follow the instructions in scenario 1 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for Workstations.

Get the latest version of Windows 10

To make sure your PC is running the latest version of Windows 10, type about in the search box on the taskbar and select About your PC. Under Windows specifications, confirm that Version is 1803 or later. 

If you're running an older version, select Start  > Settings  > Update & Security  > Windows Update. Then select Check for updates to install the most recent version of Windows 10. 

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