Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update Tweaks Take Hassle Out Of Reactivating After A Hardware Upgrade

Microsoft is cooking up some nifty feature enhancements to Windows 10 that will roll out with the much anticipated Anniversary Update later this summer. One of the newest tweaks will make it easier to perform hardware upgrades, such as a motherboard or hard drive, as you won't have to dial up a support representative and explain why your license should still be valid.

The activation tweak is also being rolled out preview build 14371 to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring. It's part of what Microsoft is calling the "Activation Troubleshooter," which is intended to address user feedback from Windows Insiders who've run into activation issues on Genuine Windows devices after making certain hardware changes. You can launch the tool by going to Settings > Update & security > Activation and select Troubleshoot.

Windows 10

This has the potential to be a big convenience for some users, though it requires linking your Microsoft account (MSA) to your digital license.

"If you already used an MSA to log in to your activated Windows 10 Home or Pro device, your MSA will be automatically linked. You can use this MSA linked digital license to re-activate your Genuine Windows 10 device by running the Activation troubleshooter, if you run into Activation issues caused by hardware changes," Microsoft explains.

By associating a digital Windows 10 license with your Microsoft account, you'll be able to change out hardware and re-activate with little to no hassle. This will also come in handy if you have a Pro license and accidentally install Windows 10 Home, MIcrosoft says. The caveat is that this will only work a limited number of times, though Microsoft hasn't stated what that limit will be.

The activation tweak is by far the biggest change in the most recent preview build, though it's not the only one. Microsoft fixed a plethora of issues, most of them relatively minor ones such as VPN attempting to automatically connect over metered networks even when the option is turned off.