Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


If I upgrade to Win 8 can I use my Win 7 license on another computer?

  1. #1

    If I upgrade to Win 8 can I use my Win 7 license on another computer?


    I understand that upgrading from Win 7 to Win 8 will keep all my installed programs, no re-installs needed. That sounds really good. Can I then use my Win 7 license key to install Win 7 on an XP computer? They are both Dell computers which probably doesn't make any difference one way or the other. The XP computer has plenty of power as I used it to run the preview version of Win 8.

    My guess the official answer is "no". However, things aren't always restricted to the "official" way of doing things.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 22,565
    64-bit Windows 10


    Hello Dave,

    Technically you are able to if Windows 7 was retail and not OEM, but doing so would violate the EULA of the upgrade Windows 8. Part of the discount for the upgrade Windows 8 is to no longer use the say Windows 7 you are upgrading from.
    Last edited by Brink; 30 Aug 2012 at 15:39.
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  3. #3


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    It depends on a couple of factors:

    a) was your windows 7 license an OEM license or a retail license
    b) is your windows 8 license an upgrade license or a retail license?

    If your windows 7 license is an OEM license, that means it's licensed to the machine it came on and cannot be transferred to another machine.

    If your Windows 8 license is an upgrade license, then you are upgrading your windows 7 and it cannot be used on another computer.
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  4. #4


    Australia
    Posts : 716
    Windows 7 Ult Reatil & Win 8 Pro OEM


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    It depends on a couple of factors:

    a) was your windows 7 license an OEM license or a retail license
    b) is your windows 8 license an upgrade license or a retail license?

    If your windows 7 license is an OEM license, that means it's licensed to the machine it came on and cannot be transferred to another machine.

    If your Windows 8 license is an upgrade license, then you are upgrading your windows 7 and it cannot be used on another computer.
    That's exactly what I was told by Microsoft Australia.

    I have Win7 Ult Retail, and even though it comes with 32 & 64bit discs, I can only have it running on one machine with either 32 OR 64bit but not both on separate machines. I also asked M$ if I could load the 32bit version on my main machine, then remove the HD and keep it as a ready to go back up, and load the 64bit on a different HD in the machine. So effectively I would only ever have one version running. They said they'd get back to me on that one, but haven't had a reply as yet.

    If I upgrade to W8 over either the 32 or 64bit then then that W7 licence cannot be legally loaded on any other machine.

    However, if you've got either XP or Vista that you don't use, you can upgrade W8 over either of those, and keep your W7 as main OS on your main machine.

    To keep up to speed I will probably buy the $40 W8 upgrade, and load it over either XP or Vista on my backup machine, as a virgin installation. I'll do this in the hope a SP may come out with the well documented options I want in W8. But if M$ stay on the set path they're on now, would eventually have to consider whether to use work arounds to get it like W7 on desktop UI, or wait for W9.

    One other small point. You're not locked into W8 if it doesn't turn out to be what you wanted. You can format you HD to remove W8 and reinstall W7, as long as it's the same machine for OEM W7. So at $40 W8 isn't a bad gamble.
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  5. #5


    Redmond
    Posts : 651
    Windows 8.1 x64


    If you don't like Windows 8, the likelihood you'll enjoy Windows 9 does diminish. Given there are workarounds for those who absolutely must have a start menu, I think it's probably a better choice to upgrade to Windows 8, use the start menu workarounds as needed while you get used to the new Start screen, and keep Windows 7 as a backup just in case. Most people get new Windows installations on new hardware, and as we've seen over the past few days, hardware designed for Windows 8 is pretty nifty and takes advantage of some of the things folks using older Vista or Win7-era hardware (or older) will somewhat miss. I personally am not planning on upgrading any of my machines other than my laptop (for battery life and perf issues - much better than Win7 on same hardware - stopgap until I replace it) to Windows 8, simply because it's a good excuse to get new hardware designed for the OS. This wasn't a big deal from XP > Vista > 7, but 8 is a pretty decent shift in focus and design, so getting hardware designed for it seems a good excuse to upgrade this time.
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  6. #6


    Manchester CT
    Posts : 693
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA


    I have no idea what the official rule is but if you have a retail copy of Win7, you are usually able to use it with several Win7 updates (EDIT) without any problem. I would assume that this will also be the case when you use it for upgrading Win8. It should free up the win7 license to be used again.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that any Technet or retail version will keep working unless you use it in many different locations (say another state for instance). that I think is the flag that MS uses.
    Last edited by johnpombrio; 01 Sep 2012 at 11:37.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by johnpombrio View Post
    I have no idea what the official rule is but if you have a retail copy of Win7, you are usually able to use it with several upgrades without any problem. I would assume that this will also be the case when you use it for upgrading Win8. It should free up the win7 license to be used again.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that any Technet or retail version will keep working unless you use it in many different locations (say another state for instance). that I think is the flag that MS uses.
    There's a difference between what is legal, and what will work. Yes, you can use a single copy of Windows 7 and upgrade multiple PC's to Windows 8 with it, but that would violate the license. It works, but is not legal.

    We should not advocate illegal behavior.

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  8. #8


    Manchester CT
    Posts : 693
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by johnpombrio View Post
    I have no idea what the official rule is but if you have a retail copy of Win7, you are usually able to use it with several upgrades without any problem. I would assume that this will also be the case when you use it for upgrading Win8. It should free up the win7 license to be used again.
    I have a sneaking suspicion that any Technet or retail version will keep working unless you use it in many different locations (say another state for instance). that I think is the flag that MS uses.
    There's a difference between what is legal, and what will work. Yes, you can use a single copy of Windows 7 and upgrade multiple PC's to Windows 8 with it, but that would violate the license. It works, but is not legal.

    We should not advocate illegal behavior.

    Forum Rules - Please Read!
    Sorry! EDITED MY POST. I said that wrong. What I meant was that Win7 Retail usually allows you to reactivate Win7 on a computer after changing your computer or changing components of your PC (that is what I meant by multiple activations). One operating system, one computer. After you upgrade to Win8, you REMOVE the Win7 operating system from a computer. That SHOULD allow you to use the Win7 product key on another computer, again one computer, one copy of the Win7 operating system.
    I highly doubt that you could buy multiple Win8 upgrades and use them with only one Win7 product key, and it would assuredly break the rules big time. NOT RECOMMENDED.

    As for retiring the Win7 license after using it for an upgrade to Win8, I have yet to see any rules about that. If anyone sees MS verbiage about it, please post as it will affect a lot of people here. It might also be a mute point as MS may just turn the Win7 product key OFF after using it to upgrade to Win8.
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  9. #9


    Manchester CT
    Posts : 693
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64 bit GA


    Interesting. from the blurb about upgrading a newly purchased Win7 machine to Win8 for $14.99:
    Do I have to install the Windows 8 upgrade on the eligible PC, or can I install it on another PC?


    The upgrade offer is tied to a Windows 7 PC purchased from June 2nd, 2012 through January 31, 2013, but you can choose to redeem the offer and install the upgrade on any compatible Windows-based PC with a qualifying base operating system.

    So you can use the upgrade on another machine as long as it has a "Valid" OS INSTALLED.

    https://windowsupgradeoffer.com/en-US/Home/Faq
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  10. #10


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by johnpombrio View Post
    As for retiring the Win7 license after using it for an upgrade to Win8, I have yet to see any rules about that. If anyone sees MS verbiage about it, please post as it will affect a lot of people here. It might also be a mute point as MS may just turn the Win7 product key OFF after using it to upgrade to Win8.
    It's unlikely that MS would turn the Win7 product key off. Largely because some product keys are licensed for multiple installations, and I doubt MS would be able to accurately track any of this.

    I can't find a copy of the Windows 8 Eula, but from the Vista EULA, and I would imagine Windows 8 has similar terms:

    13. UPGRADES. To use upgrade software, you must first be licensed for the software that is eligiblefor the upgrade. Upon upgrade, this agreement takes the place of the agreement for the software you upgraded from. After you upgrade, you may no longer use the software you upgraded from.
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If I upgrade to Win 8 can I use my Win 7 license on another computer?
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