How to link Windows 10 product key to a Microsoft account?

By Eunice Samson | October 4, 2019 |

greater than 4 minutes

When Microsoft released the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, the tech giant made a lot of improvements to the operating system. One of the new enhancements that users loved was the easier way to activate the OS.

Before, you would need to find a way to secure the product key in case you’ll need it again in the future. Usually, you’d only use it once. However, there are instances wherein you’d need it again, including Windows 10 reinstallation and modification of hardware or software. Let’s say you’re going to buy a new laptop and you’d want to install Windows 10 on that device. Of course, you will need the product key again.

Many will say that activating Windows 10 has always been easy. However, reactivating it after a hardware change is a different story. Thankfully, after the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, your product key is no longer solely attached to your hardware. The great news is that you can link it to your Microsoft account. With this improvement, you can reactivate your operating system without the need to contact Microsoft. Whether you’re replacing the processor, motherboard, or hard drive, OS reactivation has become easier.

Usually, when you sign in to your computer with your Microsoft account, your Windows 10 license will be linked to your account automatically. However, if you’re using a local user account, you would have to submit your product key to your Microsoft account manually.

In this post, we are going to teach you how to link a Windows license to a Microsoft account. By the end of this article, you can expect to make Windows 10 reactivation a simpler and easier process.

How to Link a Windows License to a Microsoft Account

Of course, to do so, you need to have a Microsoft account already set up. Signing up for one is free on Microsoft’s official website. Once you’ve created an account, log into Windows as you normally would. After doing that, follow the steps below:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+I. Doing so will launch the Settings app.
  2. Once the Settings app is open, select Update & Security.
  3. Now, go to the left-pane menu and click Activation.

You will see some information about your Windows edition. You will also learn whether your OS is activated or not. If you are allowed to store your product key/license in your Microsoft account, you should see the ‘Add a Microsoft account’ option at the bottom of the page. You can click Add an Account to include your Microsoft account.

On the other hand, some product keys do not support a digital license. If this is the case, then you’ll just see two other lines, namely the Product ID and Product Key. Moreover, you won’t have the option to add your Microsoft account. Well, if this is what you’re dealing with, you need to keep a copy of your product key. Write it on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere safe. After all, you will need it if you reactivate your operating system in the future.

After activating your Windows 10 copy properly, you must add the Microsoft account where you want to store your product key. Before you proceed, you must know that the process will change your local account to a Microsoft account. Here are the steps:

  1. Launch the Settings app by pressing Windows Key+I on your keyboard.
  2. Select Accounts on the Settings app.
  3. On the left-pane menu, click Your Info.
  4. If you cannot resolve the
    problem yourself, you can
    ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.
    Move to the right pane, then click the ‘Sign in with your Microsoft account instead’ link.
  5. Enter all your sign-in information.
  6. Click Sign In.
  7. Submit your current password.
  8. Click Next.
  9. You also have the option to set up a PIN for your account. To do that, click the Set a PIN button. On the other hand, you can click the ‘Skip this step’ link to complete the procedure.

After completing these steps, you would not need to ask yourself, “How to link my Windows license to my Microsoft account?”

How to Check If Your Product Key Is Linked to Your Account

If you want to verify whether your digital license has been linked successfully to your Microsoft account, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Go to your taskbar and click the Search icon.
  2. Inside the Search box, type “Settings” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. On the Settings app, click Update & Security.
  4. Now, go to the menu on the left and click Activation.

If you’ve successfully linked your product key to your Microsoft account, you should see this message on the Activation page:

“Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account.”

Having Problems Activating Your Windows 10 Operating System?

If you weren’t able to activate your OS successfully, you should be able to see some explanation behind the problem on the Activation page. Usually, there is an error code attached to the message. So, your best course of action is to find the appropriate solution for that error code. However, we still recommend that you try a different network and switch to a wired connection. Once you’ve done that, you can try activating your operating system again to see if that helps.

Before you try other solutions, you should also install the latest updates for Windows 10. Usually, Windows Update downloads the updates automatically in the background. However, you can also trigger the process manually. Here are the steps:

  1. Right-click the Windows icon on your taskbar.
  2. Select Settings from the list.
  3. Once the Settings app appears, click Update & Security.
  4. Go to the left-pane menu and click Windows Update.
  5. Move to the right pane and click the ‘Check for updates’ button.
  6. If Windows Update finds available updates, download them.
  7. Once your system has downloaded all the updates, restart your computer to begin the installation process.

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After updating your operating system, you can try to activate it again to see if the issue is gone. On the other hand, if you have a legitimate license key and yet something seems to interfere with the process, we suggest that you run a deep scan of your computer. In this case, we recommend that you use a reliable tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware. This software program can detect threats no matter how discreetly they run in the background. What’s more, it was designed by a certified Microsoft Gold Application Developer. So, you can be sure that it won’t interfere with any service or process on your system.

Tell us how we can improve this article by sharing your suggestions in the comments below!

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.
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