Upgrade from Windows 11 Home to Windows 11 Pro using an old Windows key

I have a Windows laptop that came with Windows 10 Home. Unfortunately, Home is missing two features I wanted to use — Remote Desktop (so I could connect to this machine from elsewhere) and Bitlocker (so I can encrypt the hard drive). Those features require upgrading to Windows 10 Pro.

I was able to do the free upgrade to Windows 11 Home, but upgrading to Windows 11 Pro was a $99 charge in the Microsoft Store. That’s quite a bit of money for two minor features I wanted to use.

Fortunately, over on the Sub-Etha Software Facebook page, Jason D. had a solution.

“If you have an old key for Win 7 Pro, it should work. Seeing as how the system has an OEM key on it now, though, who knows… You could always just bite the bullet and upgrade, I had to do that on my Surface.”

– Jason D.

I recalled I had Windows 7 Pro in the past, which I ran on my Mac under the Parallels PC emulator. I looked through my old registration files and found my activation key for Windows 7 Pro. Using it, I was able to upgrade my Windows 11 Home version to Windows 11 Pro.

Thank you, Jason, for the great idea! I’d never run that old Windows 7 install again, so this was a great way to re-use a license I already paid for. (I also have a Windows 10 Pro license, but I have to keep that one for running it on my emulator.)

Hopefully Jason’s suggestion also helps someone else…

Until next time…

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