Microsoft has finally done something in order to help the users who have been encountering activation issues after changing major hardware such as hard drive, SSD and motherboard.
What is Windows 10 digital license?
If you are not aware of the activation issue, Microsoft gives a digital license to a PC when it’s upgraded to Windows 10 from previous versions of Windows operating system using the free upgrade offer. The digital license will be used to automatically activate your copy of Windows 10 when you perform a clean install, reinstall or change PC’s hardware.
Many users were unable to activate their copy of Windows 10 after changing PC’s hardware, especially after changing the motherboard. Up until now, PC users had to contact the Microsoft support team to get their copy of Windows 10 activated after hardware changes.
So with the Windows 10 anniversary Update, Microsoft has decided to link your Windows 10 digital license to your Microsoft account so that users can easily reactivate their copy of Windows 10 after changing hardware.
You don’t need to do anything from your end if you are using a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 10. According to Microsoft, when you use a Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 10, the digital license will be automatically linked to your Microsoft account.
What if I am using a local user account?
If you are using a local user account then follow the given instructions to link your Windows 10 license to Microsoft account.
Step 1: Open Start menu > Settings > Update and Security.
Step 2: Click Activation. Click Add an account link.
Step 3: Enter your Microsoft account ID and password and then click Sign in button. If you’re using a local user account, you might be asked to enter the password of your local user account.
Step 4: Once you add the Microsoft account and the license is linked to your Microsoft account, you will see “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account” on the activation page of Settings.
As mentioned earlier Windows 10 will automatically link your Microsoft account to digital license when you use a Microsoft account to sign in. It is still wise to confirm whether it is actually linked or not.
Step 1: Open Settings > Update and Security.
Step 2: Click Activation. Here, you will see “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account” message next to Activation if your Windows 10 license is linked to Microsoft account.
Activating Windows 10 after hardware changes
If you have linked your Windows 10 digital license to your Microsoft account, you can use the following direction to activate Windows 10 after hardware changes.
Step 1: Settings > Update and Security.
Step 2: Click Activation. If your Windows 10 copy is not activated and you see a link labeled Troubleshoot as shown in the picture below.
Step 3: Click the Troubleshoot link to open Windows 10 activation troubleshooter and get your copy of Windows 10 activated after hardware changes.
Step 4: If the troubleshooter fails to activate your copy of Windows 10, you will see a link labeled I changed hardware on this device recently.
Step 5: Click “I changed hardware on this device recently” link to see a page where you need to enter your Microsoft account email address as well as password.
Step 6: You need to select your Windows 10 PC from the devices list, check the box labeled “This is the device I am using right now” and then click the Activate button to activate your copy of Windows.