Can I use SSD with windows 10 on new machine


Aug 21, 2015
Hi guys.
I want to get a new build but I was planning on using my old SSD with win 10 on it so I don't have to purchase win again is that possible ?


Since the anniversary update Microsoft has allowed us to link a digital license with a Microsoft account. This then allows you to re-activate a computer through your Microsoft account after what they describe as a "significant" hardware change. This includes "replacing" the motherboard. If you sign in using a Microsoft account on your current PC then chances are your Win10 license has already been associated with your Microsoft account.

It's unlikely that the install of Windows on your SSD will successfully boot with drastically different hardware. BUT, if you install a fresh copy of Win10 in your upgraded machine (make sure it's the same version of Win10, 64Bit Home for example), then you *might* be able to successfully activate it by entering your Microsoft account and attempting to use your existing license.

Overview from Microsoft is here:

Just to be clear, Microsoft has said from the outset that buying an entirely new computer requires a new Windows 10 license. This feature has been introduced for re-associating your license after a "significant hardware change". So quite where the line is drawn in a legal sense between "entirely new computer" and "significant hardware change" I don't know. The support page above clearly states that you need the same "type of device", and there's a limit to the number of times you can do this. But I don't believe they're telling anyone specifically exactly how this works or where they're drawing the line.

In any case, it might be worth a try if this is a "significant hardware change". I can't guarantee it will work.

**EDIT: I forgot to mention. If you reinstall Win10, do NOT enter a product key. Just "skip" that bit, and then once installed, go to Activation, enter your Microsoft account, and see if it will agree to associate your device with the license that should be there.
Of course - you'll also need to make sure you've linked your license with a Microsoft account BEFORE you start. That's the first section in the support page I linked above.
Hey there, @Daysher!

It's highly recommended to get in touch with MS support for this. Just like @rhysiam mentioned a significant hardware change requires you to purchase a new genuine Windows activation code/product key from MS. This is due to the fact that the motherboard is where the operating system is tied. Having a whole new computer would cause you a lot less trouble if you have a new OS with it. Using your old SSD with the old Windows Install won't work, because storage drives are just a carrier for the system files, but it's not where the OS is really stored.

Hope this was helpful. Best of luck! :)

Actually, that's not what I said at all. This is a fairly recent development from Microsoft, it came with the anniversary update (early August). The above page I linked provides instructions directly from Microsoft about re-applying your current license after what they describe as a "significant hardware upgrade", which includes, according to the page, "replacing" the motherboard. That's all legal and legit, right from Microsoft.

My hesitancy comes from the issue that it's not entirely clear to me whether OP's upgrade falls into Microsoft's understanding of a "significant hardware upgrade" - and thus legitimate for license reuse, or not.


Jun 30, 2016

I've recently swapped motherboard+cpu+ram+psu (old motherboard died) and Win10 were comfortable with that so you should be as well I guess.