Are you sitting on an activated copy of Windows 10 Home, but wish that you could give Windows 10 Pro a try instead before coughing up some extra dough? Microsoft is providing its customers a quick shortcut that will allow you experience Windows 10 Pro in all its glory, albeit with one big string attached.
Before proceeding, you’ll need to have Windows 10 Home version 1511 up and running on your system. Once that requirement is take care of, you’ll want to navigate to Settings —> Update & Security —> Activation —> Change Product Key. Once prompted, you’ll enter in the following Microsoft-provided product key:
Microsoft forum moderator Charles describes the process, stating, “This default key will not activate the system, just take you to Pro so you can activate using a valid Pro key that you will provide. Once you have done this, the system will go through an upgrade process from Home to Pro, but will not be activated on Pro.”
So you will be treated to all the goodies from Windows 10 Pro — including Windows Update for Business, Domain Join Services and BitLocker Drive Encryption — but you won’t have a fully activated or licensed copy of the operating system to use. If you like what you see with Windows 10 Pro, you can later enter in a valid Windows 7 Pro, 8 Pro or 10 Pro license key using the same process described above.
Charles posted the Windows 10 Pro key and how to initiate the upgrade process in a Microsoft Community discussion thread after a user encountered numerous roadblocks when trying to upgrade from an activated copy of Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro using a valid Pro key. Charles apologized, explaining:
We are going to make these steps more visible and easier to find for folks. Sorry that has not been the case. The process is not really straight forward; I guess we were hoping folks would upgrade their 8 PCs to Pro and then upgrade to 10. Well we have lots of people and lots of scenarios and lots of folks want to start fresh.
We appreciate it when further clarity is provided surrounding Windows 10, after all, Microsoft could use all the help it can get these days in combatting negative vibes surrounding the operating system.