Upgrade Windows 10 Home to Pro

A simple way to upgrade Windows 10 from Home to Pro while keeping your data and apps.

Recently I had the opportunity to transfer data from one computer to another. Since the first one was already running Windows 10 in the latest version and everything worked perfectly (only the hardware was a bit lagging behind), I decided to clone the disk from the first one to the second one.

Using dd as a method (a little slow but effective) I ran the same system on the new hardware, with one difference. The target hardware was licensed with Windows 10 Pro compared to the old hardware with Windows 10 Home.

Therefore, I decided to do an upgrade.

According to information on Microsoft forums, it would be enough to change the product key to a Pro key for the system to detect and upgrade itself.

In my case this did not work because the product key that was assigned to the hardware originally corresponded to the Windows 8 Professional version (originally read from BIOS using RWEverything ACPI button, MSDM tab) .

The system, instead of changing and upgrading to Pro, accepted the new key and activated remaining in the Home version.

I decided to try a different approach, namely using the Microsoft Store.

Of course, I did not intend to buy a key that I already have, so I chose the “…I already have a key…” option (I have in Windows 10 Pro product key).

Unfortunately, after entering the product key, the system still did not see the need to upgrade and stayed with the Home version.

Finally, I found a discussion on the Microsoft forum 1 in which you need to change the parameters in the system registry and reinstall Windows to upgrade it.

The entire procedure requires (depending on the hardware) about an hour+, but fortunately it does not involve the loss of any data, including applications. Everything remains as it was.

First of all, I needed Windows 10 ISO image saved and unpacked locally (we can use 7-Zip for this purpose)).

And so we open the system registry.

We can do it in two ways, although my favorite method is the keyboard shortcut Windows Logo + R, typing regedit in the newly opened Run… window and confirming with the Enter button.

Windows 10 Run regedit

This is how we will open our registry editor.

Windows 10 Registry Editor

It is worth noting here that the changes we make are temporary and they will be restored to their original values after restarting the computer (some of them anyway). So if we decide to upgrade, we have to do it in one go.

It is also worth making sure that we have all available Windows updates installed, as this will significantly speed up the entire process.

And so we go to our base folder HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE.

  1. Then to Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version

Here, in the right part of the window, we change the values of EditionID to Professional and ProductName to Windows 10 Pro.

Windows 10 Registry change 1st

  1. Return to the basic folder and go to WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version and make the same change as above.

  2. Go to our unpacked Windows 10 installation image and run setup.exe.

If we have done everything correctly, after a shorter (or longer) analysis, the installer will ask us whether we want to install Windows 10 Pro with Keep Files and Applications.

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If the installer still informs us about Windows 10 Home, then we close it and check our system registry again, in particular Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version.

Now just wait and enjoy the effect.

If we have not previously entered our new product key for Windows 10 Pro (or we were not asked for it during the upgrade), go to Windows Settings, in the Update and security > Activation section, select the option to change (update) the key product.

If we have done everything correctly, the key will be entered and our system will activate automatically via the Internet.

With this method you can change the Home version (EditionID: Core) to the Professional version (EditionID: Professional) as well as to the Education version (EditionID: Education).

In the case of the Windows 10 Education version, in the second step of changing the registry, EditionID will show Enterprise and ProductyName: Windows 10 Enterprise.

Windows 10 Registry change 2nd