Getting windows 10 cheap: How to Transfer a Windows 10 or 11 License to Another PC

How to Transfer a Windows 10 or 11 License to Another PC

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

If you’re building a new PC (perhaps one of the best PC builds) with Microsoft’s operating system on it, you probably need a Windows product key. Yes, you can run Windows 10 or 11 without a key, but this «inactivated» version of Windows will have an annoying watermark in the lower right corner of the screen and will have some features — the ability to change wallpaper, for example — disabled.

So it really helps to have a Windows product key, but the good news is that, if you are replacing a computer that already has a valid Windows key, you may be able to transfer the key to your new PC. We say «may» because your ability to transfer a Windows license depends on what type of license you have, which we’ll explain below. However, if you need a new key, check out our article on how to get Windows 11 or 10 for free or cheap.

If you have a transferrable product key, we’ll show you how to move it from one computer to another. The method of transfer will vary based on whether you have a «digital» (tied to your Microsoft account) or traditional license (you move the ID key itself). 

Is Your Windows Product Key Transferrable?

When it comes to transferability, there are two types of Windows key:

  • OEM keys: Not supposed to be transferable. These are the keys that manufacturers use to install Windows on any prebuilt PC. They are also the keys you get at discount key vendors such as Kinguin. You can always try, however.
  • Retail (aka «Full Packaged Product») keys: transferrable. These keys are usually the expensive ones people pay more than $100 for. But it’s always possible your computer had one (from a prior upgrade)  you don’t know it.

If you don’t know which type of Windows product key you have, you can find out when you unearth the key itself.

Finding Your Windows 10 or 11 Product Key

Unless you have it meticulously stored from the last time you installed Windows, you probably need to find your product key. To find out what type of Windows 10 or 11 product key you have and the key number, we recommend downloading and running Magical Jellybean KeyFinder .

The key itself will be listed as «CD key» and the version of license will likely be here too under the «Installed from» callout.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Determining if You Have a Digital License

If your key is transferrable and you want to transfer it, you now need to know whether you have a «digital license» or a regular one. With a regular license, you can transfer the product key from one computer to another by deactivating it on the old PC before entering it on the new one. 

However, if you have a digital license, that means that the number is tied to your Microsoft account and, in order to transfer it, you need to follow a different procedure which involves deactivating the old PC via your Microsoft account’s settings menu.

To find out if you have a digital license, you need to visit the activation settings page in Windows. You can get there by searching for «activation» in the search box and clicking the top result.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

If the Activation screen says that you have a digital license, follow the instructions for transferring a digital license below. Otherwise, follow the instructions for transferring a non-digital Windows 10 or 11 product key, also below.

How to Transfer a Digital Windows License to a New PC

If your Windows license is «digital,» which means that it’s tied to your Microsoft account, entering the product key into a new PC will not work. The new computer won’t activate.  Instead, you must deactivate the old PC using the settings Menu of the Microsoft website and then use the troubleshooting function in the activation menu on the new PC. 

1. Reset Windows or completely erase the drive on your old PC. See our tutorial on how to reset Windows 10 or 11. If you don’t do either of these things, the computer will still be seen as registered with Microsoft and could prevent you from being able to activate the same key on the new PC.  

2. Install Windows 10 or 11 on the new PC, without entering a product code during the install process. When prompted, you just click «I don’t have a key.»

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

3. Log in to your account on

4. Navigate to the My Microsoft Account page. You can get there by selecting My Microsoft Account from the pulldown menu under your username or navigating directly to after you have already logged in.

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5. Click View All Devices so you can see a list of all the devices associated with account.

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6. Scroll down to and select the PC you wish to deactivate. 

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7. Click «Info and Support.»

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8. Click Remove this Device in the upper right corner.

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9. Check «I’m ready to remove this device» and click Remove.

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10. Navigate to the Activation settings menu on the new PC. The easiest way to get there is by searching for «activation» and clicking the top result. 

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You will notice that the screen says your copy of Windows could not be activated. If, for some reason, it says it has been activated, you’re already done and can end here.

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11. Click «Troubleshoot.»

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A dialog box will probably appear, telling you that Windows was unable to activate.

12. Click «I changed changed hardware on this device recently.»

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This tells Microsoft that you have made a major upgrade to your computer. Nevermind that you are probably on a whole new PC with a new motherboard (but perhaps some of the same components). Consider the new PC an upgrade in your own mind. 

13. Select the new PC you are using, click «this is the device I’m using right now» and Activate.

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After a few seconds, you should get a confirmation screen saying that «Windows is activated.» 

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Your new PC should now be activated.

How to Transfer Your a Windows Product Key (Non-Digital License)

If you don’t have a «digital license,» for your Windows 10 or 11 product key, you will need to actually enter the alphanumeric key into the activation screen on the new PC. If you haven’t already wiped the old PC, we recommend formally removing the product key, effectively «deactivating» it. This may help Microsoft get the impression that you are no longer using the key.

Here’s how to deactivate Windows 10 or 11 and activate a new PC with the same key.

1. Launch a command prompt as administrator. You can get there by searching for cmd in the search menu and then right clicking the top result and selectin Run as administrator. Click Ok if prompted for permission by Windows’ User Account control.

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2. Enter slmgr /upk at the command prompt and hit Enter.

slmgr /upk 

You will see a window that says uninstalled product key successfully.

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3. Enter slmgr.vbs /cpky at the command prompt

slmgr.vbs /cpky

This will remove the product key from the registry itself, officially deactivating your PC. You will see a message saying. «Product key from registry cleared successfully.»

(Image credit: Future)

5. Enter slmbr.vbs /dli to confirm that the product key is actually removed.

slmgr.vbs /dli

You should see a message saying that there’s no product key. That means it’s gone.

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You will also see a red message on the Windows settings activation screen saying that your copy of Windows is not activated. But you don’t need to check it. 

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6. Now enter your product key on the new PC. If you haven’t installed Windows on it yet, you can enter the key during the install process. If you already installed Windows but haven’t activated yet, navigate to the Activation settings menu  and click «Change Product Key» then enter it.  

(Image credit: Future)

If your key doesn’t work at this point, either you need to wait and try again later in the day or get a new key.

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Avram Piltch is Tom’s Hardware’s editor-in-chief. When he’s not playing with the latest gadgets at work or putting on VR helmets at trade shows, you’ll find him rooting his phone, taking apart his PC or coding plugins. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram developed many real-world benchmarks, including our laptop battery test.

How to Bypass Windows 11’s TPM, CPU and RAM Requirements

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Microsoft has some strict hardware requirements that your PC must meet to install Windows 11, including TPM 2.0 support. This means that not only older computers, but virtual machines will refuse to upgrade from Windows 10, giving you a message that «this PC doesn’t currently meet Windows 11 system requirements.» 

Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can get bypass Windows 11’s TPM, RAM and other requirements. If you’re doing a clean install with a Windows 11 ISO, you can edit the registry in the middle of the setup process and tell it to skip requirement checks. We’ll show you how to modify the registry in the first section below.

If you don’t want to have to modify the registry mid-install, you can create a Windows 11 USB install disk that will bypass Windows 11’s TPM requirement, and its need for 8GB of RAM and a supported CPU. Using a free tool called Rufus and at least a 16GB Flash drive, you can either perform an in-place upgrade of Windows 10 to 11 or a Windows 11 clean install while getting around these minimums. In the second section of our tutorial below, we’ll show you how to use Rufus to create a requirement-free Windows 11 install disc.

If you have Windows 10 or an earlier build of Windows 11 installed on a PC that didn’t meet the requirements (perhaps a VM), you try to update to a new build with Windows Update and you get the «doesn’t meet requirements» error message, there’s a workaround for that. As we’ll detail in the third section below, a script from AveYo’s Media Creation tool github page will allow you to bypass Windows 11’s TPM requirement even with Windows Update. 

Note that Microsoft also has also created an official registry hack to bypass TPM 2.0 and CPU requirements for an in-place upgrade. However, this method still requires at least TPM 1.2 so, if you have no TPM at all, it’s worthless. We’ll talk about this at the bottom, in case you want to try it.

Also note that, by default, Microsoft’s OS wants you to set it up with a Microsoft account. However, we have another tutorial on how to install Windows 11 without a Microsoft Account by using a few tricks.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

How to Bypass Windows 11’s TPM Requirement Using Registry Hacks

If you just have a regular Windows 11 install disk or ISO, you can bypass the Windows TPM and RAM requirements by making some registry changes during the install.  Note that this method only works on a clean install and does not allow you to bypass the requirement for at least a dual-core CPU. 

1. Boot off of your Windows 11 install disk. If you don’t have one, see our story on how to download Windows 11. The first screen should ask you to choose the language of your install (which will probably be correct).

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

2. Hit SHIFT + F10 to launch the command prompt. 

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3. Type regedit and hit Enter to launch registry editor.

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4. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup. 

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5. Create a new registry key under Setup and name it LabConfig. To create a registry key, right click in the right window pane and select New->Key. Then enter the key name.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

6. WIthin  LabConfig, create DWORDs values called BypassTPMCheck and BypassSecureBoot and set each to 1. To create a new DWORD value, right click in the right window and select new DWORD (32-bit) Value then name the key, double click to open it and set it to 1. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

If you also want to bypass the RAM requirement, add a DWORD values for BypassRAMCheck.

7. Close regedit and the command prompt.

You should be able to continue with your Windows 11 installation as normal.

How to Bypass Windows 11’s TPM Requirement Using Rufus

With Rufus, a free utility, you can create a Windows 11 install disk on a USB Flash drive with settings that disable the TPM, RAM and CPU requirements. You can either boot off of this USB Flash drive to do a clean Windows 11 install or run the setup file off of the drive from within Windows 10 to do an in-place upgrade.

For most people, this method is ideal, but there are a couple of disadvantages. First, it requires a 16GB or larger USB Flash drive. Second, because it’s on a Flash drive, it’s more difficult to use for installing Windows 11 on a virtual machine where an ISO file would be ideal.

1. Download the latest version of Rufus and install it on your machine. At the time of writing the latest version is 3.19 which includes the Extended Windows 11 Image support.

2. Insert a blank 16GB or larger USB stick then open Rufus.

3. Select the USB device that you want to install Windows 11 to.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

4. Ensure that Boot Selection shows “Disk or ISO image” and click DOWNLOAD.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

5. Select Windows 11 and click Continue.

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6. Select the latest release and click Continue.

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7. Select the edition and click Continue.

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8. Select your preferred language and click Continue.

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9. Select the architecture (most likely x64) and click Download. A new window will open asking where to save the ISO image. Save it to your Downloads folder. You can also download the image using a browser if you wish.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

The download will take several minutes to complete.

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10. Click on the Image option drop down and select Extended Windows 11 Installation to disable TPM, Secure Boot and the 8GB of RAM requirement.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

11. Double check that the correct drive has been selected and click on Start to begin the installation.

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The write process can take some time, depending on the USB drive being used, but when done the drive can be removed and used to install Windows 11 on an older computer or even in a virtual machine. 

12. Install or upgrade to Windows 11. Run setup on the USB drive, if you ware doing an in-place install from an existing Windows 10 installation.  Boot off of the drive if you are doing a clean install. Note that you may need to disable secure boot in your BIOS (see how to enter your BIOS) if it gives you a problem.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

How to Bypass Windows 11 TPM Check From Windows Update

If you want to use Windows Update rather than creating an install disk, you’ll need a method that runs in Windows and fools the updater into thinking you meet the  requirements.  This may be more important if you are trying to use Windows Update to upgrade to a new build of Windows 11, perhaps an Insider Build, on a computer that already bypassed the requirement. 

For example, when we joined the Windows Insider program on one of our Windows 11 VMs (which clearly did not have TPM), we got the dreaded «Your PC doesn’t meet the requirements» error. But using AveYo’s Media Creation Tool workaround script solved the problem. Here’s how to make it happen.

1. Navigate to the Skip_TPM_Check_on_Dynamic_Update.cmd source code on AveYo’s Media Creation Tool Github.

2. Click the «Copy raw contents» button in the upper right corner of the code box.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

3. Create a new file on your desktop and name it skip_tpm_check.cmd. Make sure that you are able to view file extensions and the file extension is really .cmd, not .txt or else it won’t run.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

4. Open skip_tpm.cmd for editing, using notepad or another text editor.

5. Paste in the code you copied from github.

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6. Save and run the skip_tpm.cmd file.

7. Click Yes if prompted by User Account Control. 

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You will now see a message saying «Skip TPM on Dynamic Update» has been installed. If you run the program again, it will disable the utility. 

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

Windows Update should now be able to either update your existing Windows 11 Build or even perhaps upgrade you from Windows 10 to 11.

How to Bypass Windows 11 TPM the Official Microsoft Way

Knowing that some users will want to install Windows 11 on systems that don’t meet all of its hardware requirements, Microsoft has provided a registry hack that loosens them up somewhat. Using this hack, you can install on a system that has at least TPM 1. 2 and has an unsupported CPU. That said, we recommend the scripts above because they don’t require you to have TPM of any kind.

1. Open Regedit

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

3. Create a DWORD (32-bit) Value called AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU if it doesn’t already exist.

4. Set AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU to 1.

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

5. Close regedit and restart your PC. You should now be able to upgrade to Windows 11 from within Windows 10 by using installation media (provided you created it).

More Windows 11 Tutorials:

  • How to Get a Windows 11 ISO File and Do a Clean Install
  • How to Enable God Mode in Windows 11 or 10
  • How to Uninstall Windows 11 and Return to 10
  • How to Clean Install Windows 11, No Product Key Required
  • How to Install Windows 11 in a Virtual Machine

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Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom’s Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program «Picademy».



Operating Systems

How to get a licensed Windows 10 for free

This material was written by a site visitor and has been rewarded.

Often you can see advertisements for the sale of license keys to activate all versions of Windows for 10-15% of the real cost. Have you ever wondered how this is possible? Microsoft has never officially sold keys at such a low price. But they are. There are hundreds of similar offers on any trading platform. There is no big secret in this. There are special OEM keys designed to activate thousands and tens of thousands of systems. There is another option — corporate keys, also for activating hundreds of computers. But that’s not all. A regular key from the box can also be used several times. But this is all poetry … I want to activate Windows 10 without attachments and SMS


All options described below are not 100% guaranteed methods. It happens that 9 times the method worked, but 10 times it does not want to. There are times when the activation crashes (it’s funny, but my laptop has an official license and activation has already crashed 3 times). There are other extraordinary cases as well. All of the following has 2 goals.

1. Never use homemade assemblies. Only official releases


2. Never use activator programs

In today’s world there is such a thing as «Computer Viruses». For many — a horror story from the last century that has remained in the distant past. I often see remarks from the category «I have not seen viruses for a hundred years, my built-in antivirus has already forgotten when it worked the last time.» Such opinions carry great danger. Modern system hacking is not aimed at disabling computers. Modern hackers steal information. Credit cards for payments. Logins and passwords from mail. From shops. Banal program keys are copied from your mail and resold. Did you receive an activation email? It is automatically deleted, and a copy goes to the attacker. Are you visiting the site? A couple of lines in the registry and all traffic is redirected to the left servers. There are a million options and you will never know about them. nine0004

Free Windows 10

On July 29, 2015, a new operating system from Microsoft appeared. An interesting feature was the free activation of the system in the first 3 years of its existence. That is, anyone could install the system on their computer and get it, connect it to the Internet and activate it for free. The promotion has officially ended. But she has two not advertised offshoots. You can still activate the system if you are disabled or a student. You need to go to a special Microsoft page, register and get a free copy. There are no instructions on the Internet, so it’s long and dreary. Do you know English well? This option is for you. Just make sure you enter your correct location. nine0004

Upgrade from Windows 7

The very first and easiest way. Installing the old system. Maybe a pirate. Officially install the update on Windows 10 from the official distribution. As a result, you get officially activated Windows 10. Now let’s talk about magic. You can format your hard drive and install Windows 10 on this PC from scratch. It will automatically activate. If you do not change hardware, you can reinstall Windows as many times as you like. It will automatically be activated. The method is labor intensive. Success Rate 90-95%. A couple of years ago, this was the only way I installed the system

Activation with a key from Windows 7

To be honest, I did not find a pattern in this method. Some keys pass, others give an error. For starters, you should find the key to the licensed Windows 7. This is easy to do. We go to any large flea market. We go to the section with sales of laptops. We are looking for photos from the angle from below. Often come across photos of stickers from a licensed system. In addition to laptops, there are branded PCs and monoblocks. Did you find such a key? Copied and set aside. I’m not specifically looking for such options. You can use a sticker from your laptop. nine0004

Activation of branded devices

Laptops, monoblocks, system blocks from European and US manufacturers almost always come with an OEM activation key written in the BIOS. Devices from China and Taiwan come with some exceptions. For 100% identification, we are looking for a sticker on the device. Brown or blue with a holographic sheen. On such devices, automatic activation

Activation through branded devices

The method is not often used, but it does take place. Insert the hard drive into a branded device. Install the system on it. Connect to the Internet. Activate the system. Remove the hard drive from the device and insert it into the one you need. I can’t say anything about the activation rally. I don’t have much experience with this method. I regularly change brooms between devices and everything works. nine0004

Activation with OEM key

Regularly used this method for a long time. We need to get an activation key from a branded device with Windows 8.1/10 preinstalled. In 2014-2020, Chinese (and not so) Windows tablets gained immense popularity. Unlike system units, their number in the post-Soviet space is over the top. If you have such a tablet, then you can remove the key.

To view the activation keys, you can use all kinds of scripts, of which there are a great many on the Internet. There are also several utilities. I myself use ShowKey Plus. Download exclusively from GitHub. Before use, check on the site VirusTotal

KMS activation

The easiest and most effective activation option. Originally intended to use «Generic Volume Keys (GVLK)», but craftsmen have expanded the functionality of this method.

Consists of 4 simple steps

0052 Start — Tools Windows — command line — right click — select «run as administrator»

2. Install the desired key under the desired system. Copy the line below and paste. press Enter (the key is for Windows 10 Pro, but you can install any)

slmgr/ipk W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX

3. Set the KMS server address. They often stop working, so google «KMS to activate slmgr» to the rescue. Just copy and paste. nine0004

slmgr /skms

4. Give the «Activate» command. If the server is live, get an activated system. If dead, get a failure response. Return to point 3, change the server and repeat points 3 and 4

slmgr /ato


software is official site

O&O ShutUp10++ — makes system setup easy there is an official site

The most powerful and most advanced tool in existence Sophia Script for Windows and its successor SophiApp. Original source on GitHub. Russian speaking developer. Huge community.

This material was written by a site visitor and has been rewarded.

How to get cheap and original Windows 10 licenses?

nine0005 Windows 10 is the operating system with the largest market share, built into hardware by manufacturers and even by users themselves. When we buy a Windows 10 computer, it is usually already validated with the original license. However, when installing from scratch, you need to buy a new one. Alternatives that promise to activate Windows for free by cracking it are not an option. Therefore, we want to talk about how to get cheap and original Windows 10 licenses.

This will allow you to avoid the high prices of Windows licenses by purchasing them at discounts that are worth taking advantage of to have an original installation. This is the first step of best practice to have a stable operating system and optimal conditions.


  • 1 Why do I need a genuine Windows license?
  • 2 Types of Windows licenses
  • 3 Where and how can I get cheap and original Windows 10 licenses?
    • 3.1 Keysfan
    • 3.2 Keys Off
    • 3.3 GoDeal24

Why do I need a genuine Windows license?

As we know, Windows is an operating system sold by Microsoft under a license-based business model. This means that in order to use it with all its features and benefits, we will need to buy to activate the installation. This will allow you to have access to all the functions of the operating system, as well as access to very important updates. nine0004

The latter is vital to the stability and security of any Windows system, so it is one of the most important reasons to purchase a license. . Also, when we activate the operating system, you will not be able to customize the wallpaper and you will have an annoying message at the bottom right that the copy is not original.

It’s also worth noting that there are several types of Windows licenses, but here we’ll cover the ones that might be of interest to you as a home user. nine0004

Types of Windows licenses

As home users, we can access two types of Windows licenses:

  • OEM : These are licenses created for manufacturers and designed to test those Windows 10 systems that are pre-installed on computers and laptops. In that sense, if you bought a Windows PC, you will typically have an initial install based on these types of licenses.
  • Commercial : these are the ones that we can buy in physical stores via DVD or in an online store that sends us an activation code. nine0126

So the ones we can buy anywhere are assumed to be retail while OEM seems to be reserved for manufacturers. However, the latter are also available on the market, as many people seek to acquire them in various ways, putting them up for sale at a lower price. So, if you have been wondering how to get cheap and original Windows 10 licenses, this is the way to go and then we will tell you where to find them.

Where and how to get cheap and original Windows 10 licenses?

Earlier we mentioned that there is a market where we can find cheap and original licenses for Windows 10, since OEMs are usually sold in some places. In this sense, we are going to show you which ones we think are the best alternatives.


Keysfan is a website dedicated to selling activation keys for a wide range of software, including Windows. So, if you have installed an operating system on a new computer, you can get cheap and original licenses on this website without much hassle. nine0004

If you follow this link, you can see all Windows 10 licenses available for purchase at a glance. You can appreciate that they have a crossed out price and a current sale price that you can use to see your savings.

At Keysfan you will find licenses for one computer, as well as packs of 2 or more codes for activating multiple computers.