How to Deactivate Windows 7/8/10 Product Key

Most of us may think Windows license key can be only used on one computer. This is not true. In fact, Windows product key is reusable. This means you can use the same product key on another computer. So you don't have to purchase another license key when you build a new computer. Sometimes the situation becomes quite worse when you need to sell the old computer but want to keep Windows license key. This problem is faced by most of the users as someone wants to migrate Windows product key from one computer to another but failed. Whilst deactivating the key, you must be familiar with Windows license types such as OEM or Retailer.

Moreover, you also need to know about the relation between Microsoft and OEM. If you are clear with these concepts, you will come to know whether it is possible to remove the digital license key or not.

At present Microsoft offers pre-installed Windows that contains a built-in license key known as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The other one is Windows OS without a pre-installed license key, called Retail license. In shot, OEM license key is non transferable as it is bound to hardware. Retail license is transferable but can be only used on a computer at the same time. You have to deactivate it from old computer if you really want to use it to activate Windows on another device.

Windows License Key Types

How to Find Windows License Type

You won't be able to find out Windows license type from visual user interface. You can only see the product key when navigating This PC -> Properties.

To check out Windows license type, we need help from Command Prompt. Press the Start key, type CMD on the search bar, and then click on run as administrator. A command prompt box will open and you need to type the command and press the Enter key:


Windows Script Host box will open that will show the details of the Windows license key. If it shows OEM _DM Channel, it means your product key is OEM and can not be used on another computer.

Check License Type on Windows 10

Now you are familiar with the Windows License key that you are using. If you are using OEM, then your next step is to deactivate it from the OS. Well, before that you must be familiar with the digital license key.

About Windows Digital License Key

Windows Digital License Key is embedded in the firmware of motherboard. This type of license is tied to a single hardware. Even after uninstalling Windows OS, the license key is still saved on the hardware. It means, whenever you will install Windows again, Windows will get activated by automatically. This means you can't get rid of OEM license key.

The disk drives are excluded from the license key, which means even after wiping all the hard drives, the digital license key will remain intact. So, if you have tried to uninstall Windows OS followed by clearing the hard drives, the license key will remain on your computer. When you changed the internal drive of computer, you will be prompted to enter product key when using Windows 10 on a new drive.

Possible to Deactivate Windows OEM License Key?

As stated earlier, it is quite hard to deactivate such a license key. But, if you have a desktop, then you can change your motherboard because it contains BIOS. Once it is replaced, then you can easily install another version of Windows OS with the respective license key.

However, if you are using a Laptop, it is quite hard or nearly impossible to deactivate OEM license key. As it is associated with firmware chip and if any mishap happens to this section, your Laptop will get damaged.

How to Deactivate Windows Product Key from Retail Channel

As you are clear that, you can't deactivate OEM license key, but can take a chance to deactivate Windows retail license key that is not pre-installed. Retain license key is much expensive than OEM so it has more features. One notable feature is that Retail license key is totally transferable! There is no limit in replacing the hardware or new computer. To activate Windows on a new PC with retial key, you have to deactivate the key on old computer first.

Windows Retail License

Step 1: Check the license key and to do so, click on the Start menu, type CMD in the search box, and then click on run as administrator.

Step 2: A command prompt box will open and you need to enter the below-given command:


Step 3: A Windows Host Script will open that will show the details of the License key, just note down the key.

Step 4: To deactivate the license key, go through the below-mentioned command carefully.

slmgr/upk [Your Retail Key]

In the place of [Your Retail Key], you need to enter the license key that you noted down previously.

Step 5: Once the task is completed, a pop-up window will appear stating the product key is uninstalled successfully.

Step 6: Now, restart your computer, and this time, your computer will be unlinked to this license key. And you can use it to activate another copy of Windows 10 on another computer.

This method is applicable for Retail product key.If you had a retail license key, and need to sell your computer but keep the product key, this process will help you to achieve the goal.

The Bottom Line

In this article, you get to know about the unique method to deactivate Windows license key. The deactivation of retail key is possible and can be performed easily. But in the case of OEM, even after removing the product key, Windows will get activated once you install the OS. Hence, in no way you can deactivate Windows OEM license key.