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How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro

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Windows 10
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For most people, Windows 10 Home is absolutely fine. If you buy or build a new PC and you’re using Windows 10 Home, you’re not really missing out on anything. But, Windows 10 Pro exists, so it must exist for a reason. 

As the name implies Windows 10 Pro is geared more towards the professional crowd. To look at it’s exactly the same as Windows 10 Home, but it has a slightly different feature set. Things like official Remote Desktop and Hyper-V support are just a couple of the features locked behind Windows 10 Pro. 

If you need some of the features you just can’t get on Windows 10 Home then you do have an upgrade path to Windows 10 Pro and it’s pretty straightforward.

How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro

The first thing you need to know is that moving to Windows 10 Pro officially will have a cost to it. Unlike the move from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Home, which is free, moving to Windows 10 Pro has a purchase attached. 

There are various ways you can buy Windows 10 licenses to apply, but you can also flip the switch from your Windows 10 PC and upgrade using the Microsoft Store.

Windows 10 Activation

(Image credit: TechRadar)

1. Open the Settings app

Whether you have a license code to apply or you want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from your PC, you can go through the ‘Settings’ app.

When open, select the ‘Update & Security’ section. Next, click on ‘Activation’ in the side menu. Before proceeding, you’ll be able to see whether or not you’re definitely running Windows 10 Home. 

You now have two options for upgrading to Windows 10 Pro. You can either click the ‘Go to the Microsoft Store’ option to buy an upgraded license on your PC, or you can click ‘Change product key’ to use a key acquired from an outside source.

Microsoft Store

(Image credit: TechRadar)

2. Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro through the Microsoft Store

You should now be taken to the Windows 10 Pro purchase page in the Microsoft Store. Before committing to purchase, the page provides you with a rundown of the feature comparison between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro so you can make sure you definitely want to buy it. 

Once you’re happy, click ‘Buy’ and enter your regular Store authentication method for purchases, and your PC will be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro.

3. Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro with a product key

The one drawback to using the Microsoft Store for upgrading to Windows 10 Pro is that it’s expensive. It’s the simplest method, but you’ll always pay the full price. 

The Microsoft Store isn’t the only place you can get Windows 10 Pro, however. There are plenty of other places to buy a product key for Windows 10 Pro. With one of these, you can skip step 2 by clicking ‘Change product key’ in the Windows 10 Activation settings menu from the first step. 

A word of caution though about buying a product key, though. You should always try and buy from a reputable source, either a well-known retailer with good reviews and customer feedback or from somewhere you’ve used before. Buying a cheap key on eBay might seem like a good idea, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get what you’re paying for and you’ll have less support if it’s a dud.

Summary

For most people, Windows 10 Home will be all they ever need. But there are still some key features that might make an upgrade to Windows 10 Pro the right course of action. 

If you’re building a new PC then the easiest thing to do is to buy the code first, saving yourself any upgrade cost. But, if you have a PC with Windows 10 Home on it already, it doesn’t take much effort to do the upgrade yourself.