A number of PC users who upgraded to Windows 10 have encountered activation issues. Although Windows 10 gets activated automatically upon upgrading from previous versions of Windows operating system using the free upgrade offer. The license gets deactivated after performing a clean install of Windows 10 or hardware changes. Microsoft has pushed out a new windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter tool. Which will help ensure that Windows 10 users won’t run into any activation issues with the OS going forward.
In Windows Insider Preview build 14371, Dona Sarkar and her Microsoft team introduced a new feature called windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter. Activation Troubleshooter makes it easier to fix activation issues caused by Windows 10 installations. The Activation Troubleshooter will be available officially as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update coming next month. And is currently available for Windows Insiders with the new Preview build 14371.
The tool is designed to deal with activation issues which may crop up for Windows users. Most commonly when they perform a major hardware upgrade such as swapping out the motherboard. (a big change like this could potentially mean the PC is detected as a ‘new’ machine.). In addition to that, the troubleshooter can be used if you accidentally installed Windows 10 Home edition on a PC where you had activated copy of Windows 10 Pro previously. In that case, the activation troubleshooter will guide to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and activate your copy of Windows 10.
Activation Troubleshooter to fix activation issues after hardware changes. Before this, users had to contact Microsoft support team using the built-in Contact support app. To troubleshoot and fix Windows 10 activation problems. PC users running Windows 10 Anniversary Update builds (stable build coming in July or August) can now address most of the common activation issues using the new activation troubleshooter built-in to Windows 10 Anniversary Update builds.
What is Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter
According to this blog post by Microsoft, the new activation troubleshooter will help you fix common activation issues. This will work only on Genuine Windows devices which caused by hardware changes. In simple words, if your Windows 10 is not activated after changing hard drive, SSD, or motherboard. You can use the built-in activation troubleshooter to address the issue and get your copy of Windows 10 activated without having to contact the support team.
Dona Sarkar and her Microsoft team found that in some installations, users would have trouble using Windows 10 on their devices.
“For example – if your device has a digital license (formerly called “digital entitlement”) for Windows 10 Pro from a previously installed activated Windows 10 build but you accidentally re-installed Windows 10 Home on such a device, the troubleshooter will automatically guide you through upgrading to Windows 10 Pro and activate Windows.”
Sarkar and her Microsoft team decided that after looking at Windows Insider feedback, they would allow users to link their Windows 10 activation digital license to their Microsoft account (MSA). If Windows 10 users already use their MSA to log into their activated Windows 10 Home or Pro device, their MSA will be automatically connected to the Windows 10 digital license. Using the Windows Refresh Tool to clean install Windows 10 will not help your device.
The Windows 10 activation troubleshooter is available in Windows 10 build 14371 or later only. So if you plan to change your PCs hardware. We advise you change the hardware only after upgrading to Windows 10 anniversary Update stable build which is expected to be released in a few weeks.
Using the Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter will only work on Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro editions. And there will be a limited number of times that you can re-activate your digital license. Although Microsoft does not indicate the maximum number of times. Microsoft also indicates that there will be a few cases where users will not be able to re-activate Windows 10 at all. In these cases Windows 10 will not re-activate. Because the type of device you’re activating doesn’t match the type of device you linked to your digital license. Microsoft does not go into details to what degree a device would have to deviate.But if you change out most of the hardware in your device, Windows 10 might perceive it to be a completely different device, and thus, not re-activate Windows 10.
If you decide to make hardware changes to your device in the future, you can always use your MSA connected to your Windows 10 digital license to re-activate your device with the Windows 10 Activation Troubleshooter.
Fix Problems using Windows 10 Activation troubleshooter
To access the Activation Troubleshooter, you need to go to Settings > Update & Security > Activation and select Troubleshoot.
Important: The Windows 10 Activation troubleshooter link will only appear. If your Windows 10 installation is not Activated.
The troubleshooter will try to detect activation problems and will fix issue in a few seconds.
Note that the activation troubleshooter might not fix all activation problems or errors. The Windows 10 activation troubleshooter is meant to fix activation issues caused after changing PC’s hardware. If the activation troubleshooter fails to fix the issue. You can contact the support team using the built-in Contact support app. Using the app, either have a chat with Microsoft support team or schedule a call back.
Since there is no way out there to backup Windows 10 activation. The troubleshooter will come in handy for users who plan to change Windows 10 PC’s hardware.