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Here's how to install Windows 10 on multiple PCs

Although there are some technical exceptions (which we will explain below), we must point out that Windows can only be installed on one device. The license agreement put by Microsoft is very clear on this subject. In addition, when you enter the product key during the installation process, Windows locks this copy of the software on the PC in question.

It is entirely natural to think that a purchased product can be used as we see fit, but Microsoft does not necessarily see it that way.

However, there are alternatives for those who want to enjoy Windows 10 on more than one PC.

Microsoft's policy may seem a little harsh, but a Premium product such as Windows requires a lot of work and requires a colossal financial investment. Some might point the finger at Apple, which for several years has offered its OS X operating system for free, but this comparison would not be fair.

Apple is primarily a computer device company that uses its own software and generates revenue from its sales, while Microsoft (essentially) is a software and services company.

Also, this argument is less relevant since Microsoft made Windows 10 available for free during its first year of release.

Install Windows on another PC with your installation CD or DVD

If you bought the Windows pack in box in store (containing CD and DVD of installation), as opposed to the OEM copy which is preinstalled on new PCs, then here are your different options.

Note that Microsoft allows you to transfer its software from one machine to another, note that we said transfer rather than share since the operating system only remains active on one computer at a time.

The only exception to this rule is Windows 7 Home Edition, with which you can enjoy Windows simultaneously on three different computers.

To transfer Windows from one PC to another, you must first uninstall it from the first computer, then install it on the second.

Before you can activate it, you'll also need to contact Microsoft and explain what you plan to do. It is a simple process and you will be up and running in no time.

Here's how to transfer Windows 7 to another new computer:

  • In the menu Dmarrer, right click on Computer.
  • Slectionnez properties. Go to the bottom of the window and click on the option Activate Windows now.
  • In the menu that opens, you are offeredactivate Windows by phone.
  • Select this option and choose your country in the drop down list.
  • Click on next.
  • You will receive a phone number that you can call to confirm your details with Microsoft and activate Windows 7 on the new PC.

Note that as of January 14, Windows 7 disappears, the operating system will no longer have any updates or security patches. We therefore advise you to switch to Windows 10.

Transfer Windows 10 to a new PC

With Windows 10, things are different since it does not have a product key, but a digital license. However, you can still transfer Windows 10 to a new computer as long as you have purchased a retail copy or an upgrade to Windows 8.

Indeed, you are not allowed to transfer Windows 10 if it is preinstalled on a purchased PC or laptop. Also, new copies of Windows are expensive if you buy them directly from Microsoft.

One of the best ways to enjoy Windows without buying a license is to just install it and not activate it. During installation, you can skip the step requiring the product key, and while Windows 10 will harass you and impose some minor restrictions such as being unable to change the wallpaper, you will basically have an operating system.

Windows alternatives

If you have an old PC, but don't have a copy of Windows and don't want to pay for one, be aware that there are alternatives.


Linux has a wide range of impressive distributions that resemble high-end software.

Ubuntu is the most important and probably the best for new users. However, many have a soft spot for Linux Mint, whose layout should be familiar to Windows users.

If you want to revive an old PC, and plan to use it mainly for surfing the web, watching videos, for office tasks, then Linux is a completely free option that is worth the detour.


Similar to Linux, Google's ChromeOS is another great choice for those with simple needs. Plus, converting an old PC to a Chromebook is simple and free.

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