How to Install Windows 10 after upgrading

We have mentioned here earlier, that if you plan to clean install Windows 10 on your computer, then the way to do it is to first upgrade your Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 to Windows 10, ensure that your upgraded Windows 10 copy is activated, and then re-install Windows 10 afresh.

The way to clean install Windows 10 is after upgrading first

Install Windows 10 after upgrading

This is important as once your computer upgrades and activates, your Windows 10 copy along with your hardware details are registered with Microsoft on their servers.

Once you have upgraded to Windows 10, either via Get Windows 10 app or ISO, open Settings > Update & Security > Activation. Ensure that it says Windows is activated. If not, click on the Activate now button and activate it. An entitlement is registered to your PC’s hardware for your edition of Windows 10.

If you do it this way, you will be able to clean install Windows 10 by booting from an installation media like a USB. You wont even be required to enter a Product Key now, since te operating system will automatically pull your activation details from Microsoft’s servers.

A few important points to be remembered:

  1. Upgrade from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 using the free upgrade offer to Windows 10
  2. Make sure your copy is activated
  3. If not, click the Activate Now button to complete the activation process.
  4. Download Windows ISO and create an installation media for your edition of Windows 10.
  5. When you are asked to enter the product key during Windows 10 Setup, Skip this part. You will see this option when you are booting from an installation media.

During or after setup is completed, Windows 10 will activate itself automatically, online, with the same edition of Windows 10.

If Windows 10 is not activated, click the Activate now button and activate it. If it does not work, click for a couple of times – maybe even after some time has passed.

If it will not activate and maybe give out an error message, you may want to see these links:

This is the only way to clean install Windows 10 on your computer. You cannot use Windows 10 setup and try to use your genuine Windows 8.1 or Windows product key. It will not work.

You might want to know at this point, that if your the hardware configuration of your Windows 10 device changes significantly. You may be required to activate Windows 10 by contacting Microsoft Support. You can Activate by phone or use the Contact Support app to seek support.

How to directly clean install Windows 10 without upgrading first may also interest you.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.