Upgrade from Win11 Home to Win11 Pro with a unused Win8 Pro Key?

Copper Contributor

As the subject says. I found two old Win 8 Pro keys that I never got around to use (actually one is on a physical Win8 DVD and the other is a Win 8 Pro key I bought online back when Win8 was launched). I was wondering if I could use one of these (the digital one looks a better choice, since my laptop doesn't have a DVD reader) to upgrade my current Win11 Home install to Win11 Pro.

Thanks for your assistance. 

6 Replies
The free upgrade offer is available for Windows 10 devices.
In case you already upgrade the Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 and activated it and revert back to the Windows 8.1 , then you may upgrade to Windows 10 and then if activation worked, then upgrade to the Windows 11.
In theory, in case you upgraded to the Windows 10 and Windows has been activated, you may use the product key in upgrading to the Windows 11, but I haven't tried it , so I couldn't confirm this behavior.

@Reza_Ameri :Thanks for your answer.

Actually I never had Win8 installed on that machine - the laptop came with Win 10 Home pre-installed, and I upgraded it to Win 11 Home without issues. My plan was to change the product activation key from Settings and enter the Win 8 Pro key I bought back in 2013.

For what's worth I found a similar question answered in this thread: 
https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/upgrade-windows-10-home-to-pro-using-windows-8... , to the effect that the upgrade from Win 10 Home to Win 10 Pro is possible in Win10 by first supplying the generic Win10 Pro key to switch from Home to Pro, and then a valid Win8 Pro key to activate the Pro license. 

Not sure if this is also the case with Win11 though, so the question is: what is Windows rejects the Win 8 Pro key, will I be able to enter the old Home key (or do a System Restore), or will I mess up my system?  

Follow up: I tried to change my Win11 Home product key to the (Key removed) Win11 Pro generic product key, expecting that the result would be a unactivated copy of Win11 Pro on which I could try my Win8 Pro keys or even a Win11 Pro key from the MS Store.

However that didn't work, because the upgrade procedure starts and immediately stops and tells me that I don't have a valid key. Same thing happens entering the Win8 Pro key directly (which I sort of expected though). So it looks like the upgrade path on my Win11 Home is blocked , to the point that I can't even use a generic key for whatever legitimate usage are generic keys supposed to be used for. Maybe it's a OEM thing?

@andreba57 I dont know what else you try, but if you still have the key , please try to update with the generic key to windows 11 pro, and for it to work you have to be offline, that means before pressing the upgrade button, disconnect from the internet ;)

then when you have a windows 10 / 11 pro version, you change your key to your Pro key! :)

hope it helps, and if it did, and you still have the other key lying around, can you send it to my mail :)

im in need of one myself :)

Thank you! :)

@MaxTheMiracle , thanks for your help!

At the moment the situation is this:

Key 1 (from the CD):  This summer I built a new PC, burned a USB stick with the Microsoft Media Creator, then installed Win11 Pro from the stick. The installer kept nagging me to connect to the Internet, so at the end I connected. When it asked for the key I typed in my Win8 Pro key,  and against my expectations it worked like a charm - the installation ended correctly and I had Win11 Pro up and  activated, just like that.

Key 2 (bought online). Later I bought a new laptop to replace the one I was originally trying to update. It came with Win 11 Home (the sort that installs from the recovery partition when you first turn it on and has its own key hardwired). So I said OK, let't try to upgrade it with the Win 8 Pro Key. When I did that Windows first worked a while, then told me that the key was wrong, then proceeded to crash and reinstalled the whole Win11 Home from scratch.  Not sure what the problem was, unless the key might have been used in the past on an old PC that got recycled some years ago. For what's worth an utility I checked the key with said it's valid, and I don't see it in the list of keys associated to my account either, so maybe the problem is with my laptop's Win11 Home that doesn't want to be upgraded that way. 

However I still have some use for that key for the time present - I'd like to try it in a virtual machine, see if I can get it bound to my account, maybe retry the upgrade. If that doen't work I'll let you know, so you can decide if you want to try your luck against all odds ;) 


The free upgrade from windows 7, Windows 8 to Windows 10 is not available now , but you can still give it a shot, you can try to perform a clean install windows 8 Pro via

then try to upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro, then free upgrade to Windows 11 Pro !

If it cant upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for free , you might need to get a windows 10/11 Pro product key from keyingo Store to activate it