Windows 10 to be Activated Using Windows 7, 8 Keys

John Lister's picture

Microsoft has released the next set of updates for Windows 10, including improvements for Skype and Cortana. It's also fixed a problem that was stopping some users from activating their copy as being legitimate.

The new set of changes are known as Build 10565 and are now available to people in on the Fast Ring setting of the Insider Program - in other words, those who have signed up to be the first to test any new features or fixes in Windows 10. Assuming the feedback is positive, the changes will likely be rolled out to the general public some time next month.

Product Keys Can Now Be Used To Upgrade Windows 10

One major change is to the activation process, which confirms a copy of Windows 10 as genuine and allows it to run without restrictions or nag screens. That's significant as while anyone running the consumer editions of Windows 7 or 8.1 can get a free upgrade, they needed to show their existing system had Windows 7 or 8 installed and activated in order to get the Windows 10 upgrade.

For some reason, Microsoft chose not to let users type in their old product key (a code written on disk packaging or a label on computers) from Windows 7 or 8.1 and instead relied on an automated checking process. That didn't seem to work in every case, leaving many legitimate Windows users unable to activate or upgrade to Windows 10. (Source:

Once these changes take effect, users will be able to type in a product key to activate Windows 10 if all else fails. The only restriction is that Windows 10 must be installed on the same device as Windows 7 or 8.1 was originally installed on.

While unconfirmed, users may be able to boot from a Windows 10 DVD to perform a Windows 10 installation using their Windows 7 or 8 license. Currently the only way to get a free copy of Windows 10 is from within a Windows 7 or 8 desktop, but this process has had major issues, causing the installation to abort.

Skype Gets Separate Messaging App

As far as new Windows 10 features are concerned, Skype integration is being stepped up and also split apart. Rather than having to launch Skype to perform any Skype-related activity, users will now be able to use built-in Windows tools for specific features.

For example, the messaging tool can be used to message users that are on your Skype contact list. The messaging tool also makes it much easier to find existing contacts; users will no longer have to search for Skype user names but instead can find people via their cellphone number. (Source:

Microsoft Edge Browser Receives Long-awaited Features

Microsoft has also confirmed some widely-anticipated updates to the Edge browser. It will now be possible to sync favorites (bookmarks) and the reading list feature across different computers and devices. Meanwhile, hovering over a tab at the top of the screen will bring up a preview image to show what is on the relevant page.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you had any problems activating Windows 10? Are you satisfied with the pace of updates to the system? Do you prefer having frequent, minor updates or do you prefer waiting to get a large batch of changes, such as with 'Service Packs' in previous versions of Windows?

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gi7omy's picture

I never liked the idea of upgrading over the existing OS (W7 Ultimate in my case) so I set up an empty hard drive, installed 7 on that and then upgraded to W10. That being done, I then ran Magic Jelly Bean to find the key, re-formatted the drive and then did a clean install of W10 using the key provided by Magic Jelly Bean and no prior W7 installation. It installed and activated without a murmur

rdane_5578's picture

I had the problem of my Win 8.1 not upgrading. Had to create the install from the ISO. Then, my key didn't work (also used Magic Jelly Bean to get the key). After 1 1/2 hours with Microsoft chat & remote assistance, I was activated, with a new key.

tmcd's picture

Allowing use of the Win 7 or 8.1 keys is good. I've successfully upgraded one machine from 7 to 10 and attempted an upgrade twice on another. That machine, even though newer, is a disaster with half the apps not working and the new browser not even available. Both times I went back to Win 7 using a Macrium Reflect image.

kitekrazy's picture

BTW upgrading via Windows Update is asking for trouble. A DVD ISO is still the best best next to upgrading via flash drive.

Wagashigrrl's picture

If all you need is your current windows keycode, no need for Magic Jelly Bean when Control Panel/System gives you your current window keys.

Of course MJB and other tools are useful if you have to dig up other registry keys.

durbandon's picture

A year ago I received an HP laptop with Windows 7 installed. I had come from Win XP to Win 8 on my desktop. Since I knew nothing about Win 7 I installed Win 8 on the laptop from the supplied DVD. I became comfortable working with Win 8.1, Last week, I was unable to stop the upgrade of the HP to Win 10. When it first booted I got a blank screen of death. I tried to go back to Win 8 but could not boot from the install disk. The HP came with a Win 8 Disk Recover DVD so I tried that and booted into Win10. Windows 10 is working poorly. Windows Explorer crashes often. I can't create a recovery memory stick. The thing seems to be created but I can't write because Win Explorer quits responding. Microsoft has asked me how the upgrade went so I presume it is activated. How can I get a Win 10 installation disk so I can try a clean install? I can probably create it if I had the .iso file. I haven't tried doing anything like that using my crippled Win 10.

linden56_5312's picture

Hello Dennis,
I was going to add a second hard drive to my laptop & set up a raid array with my Windows 7 Ultimate, but decided to do a dual boot with a clean install of Windows 10 Pro instead & give it a run. If I like it I'll keep it. So far after 4 days I'm still waiting on that automatic activation. I've logged onto my account whenever I use the laptop & try to do a manual activation, w/o any success,but leave open for activation while I go about my online business. So far I think it's one of the dirtiest OS due to the pushing of utility software that costs$$$ which can be had for free elsewhere. Also the excess of running services, some which others would call malware. Other than that it's novel at the moment & quite enjoyable. I wouldn't mind the security updates pushed to me on Tuesdays but as for the other updates, I'll take them as they come or in service packs.