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Microsoft recently released a free Windows 10 Pro product key. Confused as to what it does and how you can take advantage of it? Then this post is for you.

If you’re running version 1511 of Windows 10 Home An Insider Review of the Windows 10 Fall Update An Insider Review of the Windows 10 Fall Update The Windows 10 Fall Update contains many minor improvements, a few feature updates, and a bunch of new settings. We show you what to expect and which default settings you might want to adjust. Read More on a PC, the freely available product key (VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T) allows you to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. It does not give you a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. It just unlocks the Pro edition and initiates the system upgrade from Home to Pro.

You’ll still need to activate the Pro edition by purchasing a license from the Windows store The Ultimate Windows 10 Activation & License FAQ The Ultimate Windows 10 Activation & License FAQ One of the big confusions surrounding Windows 10 concerns its licensing and activation. This FAQ will shed some light, explain what has changed with Windows 10 version 1511 (Fall Update), and translate activation-related error codes. Read More . Until you do this, you’ll face some limitations like unavailable features, grayed out settings, and watermarks.

The good news is that if you have a product key for the Pro edition of previous Windows versions, say Windows 7 or Windows 8, that same key can also take you from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro. In this case, the upgrade is free and saves you about a hundred dollars.

Note that you’ll need to have the November Update (version 1511) of Windows 10 Home installed for the public product key to work. And here’s where you can change the key: Settings > Update & security > Activation > Change product key.

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The Windows 10 Pro edition gives you extra features like Bitlocker Drive Encryption and finer control over Windows Update. Don’t be discouraged if the upgrade takes quite a bit of time. That’s to be expected.

Have you used the free product key released by Microsoft? Did it work for you? Tell us in the comments.

Image Credit: tanuha2001 / Shutterstock.com

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