If you’re a skilled procrastinator and have managed to successfully steer clear of the Windows 10 upgrade until now, be aware it will remain free only until July 29, 2016. Nevertheless, others who were more eager to get the new OS and changed their computer hardware might be experiencing issues.
Luckily, it is possible to fix Windows 10 activation problems after a hardware upgrade and such issues can be caused by changing your motherboard or hard drive for example. The problem originates from Windows 10 using digital licenses instead of the classic product keys.
Technically the activated copy of Windows 10 should still be yours even if your laptop breaks and you need to buy a new one, or you decide your computer could use a new and better motherboard for example.
It seems like the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14371 can help us fix Windows 10 activation problems after a hardware upgrade since it bundles a dedicated troubleshooter. It’s called the Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter and its purpose is to help you fix some of the most common activation problems that occur on Genuine (this means non-pirated) Windows devices which are caused by hardware modifications.
Fix Windows 10 activation problems after a hardware upgrade
You can use the Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter if your computer is running Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14371 or once the Windows 10 Anniversary Build is released to the public.
Also, please note the troubleshooter only works for major hardware changes and you will need your Microsoft account to be linked to your Windows 10 license. This happens automatically as soon as you log into your Microsoft account from your already activated Windows 10 device.
However you can link the account with the OS manually from Settings -> Update & security -> Activation and select the Add an account option. After you link your Microsoft account to your digital license, this will also reflect on the above-mentioned page.
If you’re having trouble activating Windows 10 because of hardware changes, you can go to Settings -> Update & security -> Activation and click or tap on the Troubleshoot option.
In the troubleshooter’s window click on ‘I changed the hardware on this device recently’ and log into the Microsoft account that’s linked to your copy of Windows 10.
Now a list of devices which are linked to your Microsoft account will be displayed. All you have left to do is select the one that’s currently in use and then press the Activate button.