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New Microsoft tool solves Windows 10 activation woes

by Killian Bell | June 23, 2016June 23, 2016 5:25 am PDT

Surface Pro 4-12

Microsoft is adding a new tool to Windows 10 that will make it easier than ever to solve activation issues. Its new Activation Troubleshooter is already in testing with Windows Insiders and will be available to all this summer.

There are times when you might have to reactivate Windows even though you’ve been using a completely genuine version of the operating system for months — or maybe even years. The process is usually required after big hardware upgrades.

Unfortunately, reactivation doesn’t always go smoothly, leaving you with a Windows install that thinks you may be a pirate. Now Microsoft wants to change that with a new tool called Activation Troubleshooter.

Activation Troubleshooter will streamline the reactivation process by doing the hard work for you. As Microsoft explains on its Windows Experience Blog:

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.

Another change Microsoft is making to simplify Windows 10 activation is the ability to link your Microsoft Account (MSA) to your digital activation license. Once linked, activating a PC again is as easy as logging in to your MSA.

The Activation Troubleshooter can be found inside the “Update & security” section of the Settings app in Windows 10. You won’t see it yet if you’re not a Windows Insider running the latest preview build, but you will get it in the Anniversary Update this summer.


Killian Bell

Killian Bell is a 20-something technology journalist based in a tiny town in England. He has an obsession with that little company in Cupertino...

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