Can you install Windows 10 on multiple computers? In case you happen to be a Windows 10 user, this question must have popped into your head at some point: how many computers can we simultaneously run using the same copy of Windows?
Well, in this article, we are going to cover all about running Windows 10 on different computers and if that is even possible in the first place.
Can you install Windows 10 on multiple computers?
Types of licenses
First off, we’d like to mention that your operating system may come with two different types of licenses: OEM and Retail.
What makes them distinct is the fact that the former is embedded in your computer’s hardware and it’s more affordable, while the latter doesn’t have any relation with a specific machine and it’s more costly.
Moreover, checking the license type of your system is also rather easy. You just have to access the command prompt as an administrator. Once there, typing “slmgr /dli” and pressing Enter should do the trick and return your license type. As you can see in the image above, this is the retail version of Windows 10 installed on the system:
How many computers can I install Windows 10 on with one key?
As you might have guessed, Windows 10 with an OEM license can only be used on a single computer since that type of license is linked to the computer’s hardware. As for the Retail license, the buyers would be given the activation key which they can use on any computer of their choice.
However, there’s a bummer: you can’t use the same retail license on more than a single PC. If you attempt to do it you may end up with both your systems blocked and an unusable license key. So, it’s best to go legal and use one Retail key for just one computer.
On the bright side, unlike the OEM license, its Retail counterpart does give users some leverage, allowing them to transfer their copy of Windows 10 from one system to another.
Windows 10 Pro: how many computers can it be used on?
Windows 10 Pro; how many computers? Is it different from other Windows editions? It makes sense to clarify what Windows 10 Pro has in store for us and whether the version of Windows 10 makes a difference when it comes to running it on multiple systems.
Essentially, Windows 10 Pro is geared toward individuals who are in the working industry. Accordingly, this version assists them to carry out their daily operations with features such as Remote Desktop, Windows Sandbox, Hyper-V, trusted boot, and overall better security, which you might be missing by choosing other versions of Windows 10.
With this, we can say that Windows 10 doesn’t have the ability to run on more than one computer regardless of its version, since Windows 10 Pro doesn’t come with any such feature too.
Is there a way to install Windows 10 on multiple computers, legally?
If you’re a singular individual, no. Unless you’re willing to go for a pirated copy of Windows 10, which is not only illegal but can also jeopardize the security of your computer, you shouldn’t try to install your operating system on multiple computers.
Even if you go ahead and do so with a Retail key, chances are that all your efforts will go in vain once Microsoft detects its fraudulent use.
But, said, if you happen to be a part of a large business, education, or government, there is another type of Windows 10 Pro license called the volume license. What makes this license different from OEM and Retail is the fact that it has been specifically made to be used on several computers of the same organization.
However, this type of license has its limitations. For instance, its master product key will stop working once the system changes ownership. Other than that, it’s the most viable option for those who own a business and just have to run multiple PCs with the same product key.
Don’t forget to check the Microsoft Licensing Terms.
There could be some cases where you’d want to install a single copy of Windows 10 on multiple computers. However, it is certainly not possible if you’re a home user or if you have an OEM or Retail license.
Nonetheless, if you own a company or an organization, your best bet is to get your hands on the Volume license of Windows 10, which will help you set up several PCs of your organization with the same master product key.