Microsoft offers "free" Windows 10 product key to upgrade (but not activate) from Home to Pro

Kellogg Brengel

Microsoft has announced (although rather quietly) a new and easy way to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro if you were having troubles upgrading your Windows 7 or 8 Pro license. The new upgrade path was discovered, in Microsoft’s community forums in response to a user’s troubles with the upgrade process. It allows a user to enter a free key to initiate the upgrade process. However, it is important to note this free key does not give you a free activated Windows 10 Pro license. It merely triggers the upgrade process and still requires final payment for the upgrade to become active, or an authentic Windows 7 Pro, 8 Pro or 10 Pro license key.
The new product key, which will trigger the upgrade, is VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T. To begin an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, you first need to change the product key to one posted in the community forum by a Microsoft representative. To do this go to Settings > Activation > Change Product Key or simply search “Change Product Key” with Cortana. Once clicked, you will then be prompted to enter the new key.
The free key provided by Microsoft will initiate the upgrade process, but it is not an activated key. Once the “free” key is entered and you complete the upgrade process, you will then need to activate your new Windows 10 Pro. The community forum response by Microsoft also said that the user had to be running Windows 10 Home Version 1511 in order for this upgrade process to work.
While Windows 10 Pro is $80 more expensive than Home, for many the upgrade is well worth it. The Pro version enables features like Domain Join Services, BitLocker Drive Encryption, Remote Access Services, Group Policy editor, and Windows Update for Business (one of the few ways to have more control over which Windows updates are installed on your system). So if you had troubles upgrading to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 7 or 8, hopefully this new upgrade method will help you get your copy of Windows 10 Pro running the way it should be.