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Windows 11 Pro: Your Guide to Upgrading and Reinstalling

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If you’ve opted for a new PC equipped with Windows 11 Home straight out of the box, be prepared for some limitations. This basic version lacks the robust features necessary for serious productivity, earning it the informal title of “Windows for Budget Users.”

Previously, a workaround existed for upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro using product keys from older versions. However, Microsoft closed this option in September 2023 with the conclusion of its free Windows 10 upgrade program.

Now, to upgrade to Windows 11 Pro (or Windows 10 Pro), you’ll need a valid product key for the Pro edition. If you’ve been a PC enthusiast for a while, it might be worthwhile to search through old records or previous purchases for a Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro product key. Retail copies are transferable, while OEM versions are not. Alternatively, discounted copies are available online, but be cautious of unauthorized sellers.

For those willing to forego a product key, Microsoft offers a direct upgrade from Home to Pro for $99 via the Microsoft Store. However, this license is tied to the specific device and cannot be transferred.

Once you have a product key, the upgrade process is straightforward. After upgrading, the digital license is tied to your hardware, allowing for future reinstalls without needing the key again.

Here’s how to upgrade and reinstall:

Upgrading a New PC

  1. Navigate to Settings and select Activation.
  2. Enter the Pro product key and follow the prompts to complete the upgrade.

Reinstalling a Clean Copy of Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro

  1. Boot from a USB flash drive containing the Windows setup files.
  2. Choose to install the Pro edition without entering a product key.
  3. Complete the installation and sign in to activate.

Restoring the Pro Edition after a Reinstall

  1. Access the Activation page in Settings.
  2. Enter the generic Windows Pro product key provided.
  3. Follow the prompts to complete the upgrade.

By following these steps, you can ensure a seamless transition to Windows 11 Pro, unlocking its full potential for your computing needs.



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