When you install or reinstall Windows 10 on your desktop or laptop computer, you will have to enter your Windows 10 digital license key during or after the installation to activate your Windows 10. If you lose your key, you will have to go through the troublesome process of contacting Microsoft support in order to activate your Windows 10. So, to avoid such inconvenience, it’s best that you link Windows 10 digital license with your Microsoft account now so that you can use your account to activate your Windows 10 without product key whenever needed in the future.
A reset or reinstall of Windows 10 that doesn’t involve hard disk wiping will not require re-activation of the Windows 10 digital license. If the reinstall involves formatting or wiping your hard disk drive entirely, you will need to reactivate your Windows 10 after installation.
This includes unexpected catastrophe such as sudden hard disk failure or broken motherboard that needs a replacement. When you replace your motherboard or a system hard drive, Windows 10 will not be able to identify your PC properly. You will have to reactivate it with either your Windows 10 digital license key or your Microsoft account that has previously linked with your Windows 10 digital license.
How to link Windows 10 Digital License with your Microsoft Account
If you haven’t already done so, we recommend to link your Windows 10 digital license with your Microsoft account now as a backup of your digital license in case you lose your product key. Here’s how.
- Press Win+i keys to open Settings.
- Select Update & Security.
- On the left pane, click on Activation.
- On the right, click Add an account.
- Enter your Microsoft account’s username and password to sign in. If you Windows 10 wasn’t logged in with that particular Microsoft account, you will also have to enter the password of the local account.
Your current Windows 10 account must have admin privileges in order to link Windows 10 digital license with your Microsoft account using the method above.
Once the linking is successful, you should see a message for Activation that reads “Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account“.
If you see the message before doing the linking, it indicates that the Windows 10 digital license was already linked with the Microsoft account currently logged into the Windows 10. Windows 10 Installation that requires you to enter your Microsoft account, such as when installing the Windows 10 digital copy from Microsoft Store, the Windows 10 digital license will be automatically linked with the Microsoft account you used to log into Microsoft Store to purchase the Windows 10 license.
You may also need – How to Find Windows 10 Digital License Product Key.
How to reactivate Windows 10 after clean installation or reinstall
If you have already linked Windows 10 digital license with your Microsoft account, here’s how to use the activation troubleshooter to reactivate Windows 10 after a clean install or reinstall due to hardware changes.
Press Win+i keys on your keyboard to launch Settings app. Click on Update & Security. From the left pane, select Activation.
If the Activation status is showing Windows is not activated – We can’t activate Windows on this device because you don’t have a valid digital license or product key. Go to the Store to buy genuine Windows. Error code: 0x803F7001, or similar error messages, click on the Troubleshoot button at the bottom.
When the troubleshoot shows Troubleshooting has completed, click on the I changed hardware on this device recently link.
On the next screen, enter your Microsoft account email and password, then click Sign in.
You should then see a list of computers and devices linked with your Microsoft account. Select the computer that you want to reactivate. Tick on the This is the device I’m using right now and then click on Activate. Your Windows 10 should now be activated.
Alternatively, you can click on the See other devices linked to your Microsoft account to have a look at all the devices under your account. It will tell you if there is any device which edition doesn’t match, device type doesn’t match, or Windows 10 isn’t activated.