Question Removing windows 10 key from old computer before selling

Zyphercap

Honorable
Jan 9, 2014
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I own a retail license for windows 10, the type you can transfer to a different computer. I've recently built a new computer to replace my old computer, so I reinstalled windows 10 on my old computer (thinking that would remove the license, and because I intend to sell it) and activated the license on my new computer. However, I found out a few weeks later that the license had not actually been removed from my old computer after reinstalling windows 10. So I am now using the license on 2 different computers, which I did not know was possible, but it has been working fine for weeks now without any complaints from windows about duplicate use of my license or anything like that.

I still want to remove the license from my old computer though, because I am planning to sell it and I do not want to give my license away to a random stranger. I've tried the following things to remove the windows license, none of which have worked:
  • Clean reinstall of windows 10 (from USB).
  • Used the 'reset' feature in windows 10, selecting to remove all personal files and clean drives (to make deleted files harder to recover).
  • Uninstalled the product key as described here. It does say 'Uninstalled product key successfully', but I can still use the computer without any kind of notifications about using an unregistered version, and when I use the 'reset' feature again it automatically reactivates my old license somehow after reinstalling windows.
  • Removed the device from my Microsoft account.
Am I doing something wrong here, or are there any other ways to remove a windows license from?
 
Last edited:

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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  1. Disassociate that license from your MS account
  2. Do a clean install on the old system, not a "reset". When it asks for the license key, skip that part and continue.
 

Zyphercap

Honorable
Jan 9, 2014
21
1
10,515
0
  1. Disassociate that license from your MS account
  2. Do a clean install on the old system, not a "reset". When it asks for the license key, skip that part and continue.
Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately this does not seem to work either; I do not get prompted to enter an activation key during the clean install, it just finds my old license key again automatically...
 

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