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Upgrade Home to Pro in Windows 10 or 11

The easiest upgrade… with one small catch.

Windows Pro upgrade in the Microsoft Store.
Windows Pro upgrade in the Microsoft Store. (Screenshot: askleo.com)
It's easy to upgrade Windows 10 or Windows 11 Home to Pro. There's just one thing you need.

Many new machines arrive with Windows 10 or 11 Home edition pre-installed. In some cases, aside from no operating system at all, the Home edition might be your only option.

Fortunately, upgrading Windows Home to Pro is super easy.

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TL;DR:

Upgrading Home to Pro

  • Purchase a product key.
  • In the System About box, select the option to change the product key.
  • Enter the new key.
  • Windows will update itself from Home to Pro.

The upgrade is not free

I want to be clear from the start that the upgrade from Home to Pro is not free. You need to purchase a product key for the Pro edition of whichever version of Windows — 10 or 11 — you’re planning to upgrade.

Any hacks you might find to do it free are at best illegal and at worst malicious, and could result in malware on your machine or worse.

Find a legitimate source and get a legitimate product key.

The Microsoft Store, shown at the top of this page, is one obvious place, but you may be able to find it at slightly lower prices elsewhere.1

Upgrading your current edition

Right-click on the Start menu and then click on System. Scroll down, and you should see your currently installed version of Windows listed.

Windows Version.
Windows Version. Click for larger image. (Screenshot: askleo.com)

Click the “Change product key or upgrade your edition of Windows” link.

Upgrade your edition of Windows.
Upgrade your edition of Windows. Click for larger image. (Screenshot: askleo.com)

There are two options:

  • Go to the Store. This opens the Microsoft store, as shown above, and allow you to purchase and install the new product key.
  • Change product key. This allows you to enter a product key you’ve purchased previously.

If you have a legitimate product key from a third party, click Change product key.

Enter your product key.
Enter your product key. Click for larger image. (Screenshot: askleo.com)

Enter (or ideally, copy/paste) the new product key into the box and click Next.

About to upgrade.
About to upgrade. Click for larger image. (Screenshot: askleo.com)

This warning confirms what’s about to happen. Save all your work, exit other programs, and plan not to use your computer for a little while. Click Start to begin the process.

The upgrade is an order of magnitude comparable to one of the half-yearly feature releases, so it may take some time. Your computer will reboot a few times.

When it’s all complete, you’ll need to sign in again. The original “out of box experience” may be run, asking you to confirm a few settings,2 and you’ll be up and running in Windows Pro edition.

Windows 10 Pro edition.
Windows 10 Pro edition. (Screenshot: askleo.com)

Do this

If you feel the need to upgrade, the process is simple. Just get yourself a Pro product key and follow the steps above. (Back up first, maybe. You know, just in case.)

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Footnotes & References

1: Of course, if the price is too good to be true — say 10% of the expected price — run away. That suffers the same risks as the free hacks.

2: Or not. I’ve seen it both ways.

8 comments on “Upgrade Home to Pro in Windows 10 or 11”

  1. For the everyday user is the Pro version worth the upgrade from the Home version? What would I get that makes the upgrade worthwhile?

    Reply
  2. Most of the features on the Pro versions of Windows have replacements that perform similar functions.
    On Alternativeto.net, I found PolicyPlus which is a Group Policy Editor replacement, and I use Veracrypt to encrypt my system drive.
    Check out Alternativeto.net for alternatives to many paid products.

    Reply
    • Oooo! I really miss the Windows Policy Editor!!! Does Policy Plus work under 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium??? (Even better still: Does it have an actual 64-bit version…?)

      Reply
  3. For people who still have their Windows 7 (or 8.x) Pro (or higher) edition CD/DVDs, keep your product key(s). If you have Windows 10/11 Home edition on your computer now, you can upgrade for free using your old product key from Windows 7/8.x Pro or higher editions. I have done this recently, and it still seems to work O.K. Unless I am mistaken, if Microsoft allows this free upgrade in the Windows 10/11 ‘change product key’ feature, it is legal because you are not trying to ‘get over’ or mislead anyone.

    Disclaimer: I have not done this in Windows 11 Home edition, but I was able to do so in Windows 10 Home edition successfully within the past year.

    I hope this helps someone,

    Ernie

    Reply
  4. Hi Leo, I still use Windows 10, 64 bit. I really don’t need Windows 11, but I’m concerned about updates.
    What are the update expiration dates for Win 10 & 11?

    Reply
    • Windows 10 will stop receiving updates on October 14th, 2025, but you should be able to upgrade it to Windows 11 any time before that and probably after. By then, it should be stable with the kinks all ironed out.
      Microsoft hasn’t announced an end of life date for Windows 11, although the have an end of life for each release when they are rolled out.

      When I did a search for “Windows 11 end of life” one of the search results was for a suicide prevention hotline. :-)

      Reply

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