Do you need to move your Windows OS to another computer? Or you bought a new laptop and want to transfer your Windows OS from your PC to laptop? To be able to transfer your Windows license, you will need to deactivate the software from the previous device first. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t provide the option to uninstall product keys directly within the user interface of its software, so you will need to uninstall the software product key with the help of Command Prompt (cmd.exe).
What is Command Prompt?
Command Prompt, also known as cmd.exe or simply cmd, is the in-built command-line console of Windows. It can be used to run various commands and scripts, to perform advanced administrative functions and to fix some types of Windows issues.
Attention! Before uninstalling a product key, make sure the original license with the product key is safely stored somewhere (in digital or physical form) – for example, if it’s an electronic license, upload it to a secure cloud storage, send it to your email, put it on a USB drive etc. After uninstalling the software product key, it will no longer be in the system files, so you risk losing it.
So how to uninstall Windows product keys?
In order to open Command Prompt, go to the Start menu search box and type:
When Command Prompt shows up in the list, right-click on it and choose Run as administrator. It’s essential to open cmd.exe as an administrator, otherwise some commands will not work.
Windows might ask if you want to allow the program to make changes to your computer – click Yes and continue.
1) Once Command Prompt is open, type the following command:
A small window will pop-up, showing the current license status of your operating system:
- If the system is not activated or deactivated, the result will be similar to this image:
In this case you don’t have to do anything else.
- If the system is activated, the result will be similar to this image:
The line Partial Product Key shows the last 5 characters of the currently installed product key.
Note: Throughout this article we use blue Xs on top of the original characters in the illustrative images for security reasons. Click OK to close the pop-up and continue with the product key uninstallation.
2) To uninstall the product key from the current computer, start by typing the following command:
You should receive the following pop-up:
After this the operating system will be in an unlicensed state (deactivated) unless a new product key is installed.
3) After removing the key, continue with the following command:
The pop-up will contain the following message:
This command removes the product key from the system registry to prevent it from being stolen or taken by malevolent code.
4) Next enter this command:
You need to restart your computer after this command. This will reset the licensing status of the Windows OS – it will give you 30 additional days in which you have to activate the system with a genuine product key, if you decide you want to continue using it.
And you’re done! Now your Windows is deactivated. You can transfer the key you just uninstalled to another computer or install another product key to the currently deactivated Windows.