So the other Friday, I received a persistent message when I logged onto my Dell 2020 internet computer, “Your Windows 10 License Will Expire Soon.” The message linked to my Settings menu, without any further explanation or any further links. There were entries for Uploads Pending, Product Code Change, and Activate.
Don’t waste two hours of your precious time and an abortive customer service call—as I did—trying to figure out how to salvage your old Windows 10, whether your old Windows 10 is the home version or the pro version (did you know they have two versions?), what your old product code is. When you find it, the old code won’t work.
Don’t waste time on the customer chat boards with a thousand people saying “You really %&# mean I have to BUY a new Windows 10 License?”
Yes, you do.
Don’t waste time on the Microsoft Office Sales website, either. On the weekend when I was frantically trying how to fix the problem, that website didn’t work on either of the two browsers I used. Oh, and Microsoft needed $200 to purchase a new license.
Instead, go to the Microsoft Download Store (a legitimate website, link below in the comments). There, the Upgrade from Windows 10 home to Windows pro is “only” a hundred bucks. (Wow, what will I buy with the hundred bucks I “saved”!)
Buy the Upgrade, then wait for the email receipt. The receipt will include a link to tutorial video on how to download the upgrade (I have the attention of a gnat for tutorial videos), simple written instructions, the ALL-IMPORTANT new product code, and the ALL-IMPORTANT download link.
Copy the email receipt entirely to a document on your computer (I copied it twice but then I’m paranoid). Mark the email as “unread” or save it into a folder where you can easily find it again.
Log off the Internet. Go to Settings on your computer (Windows key + x will get you there), update any Updates to your present Windows, and Restart your computer.
When your computer restarts, go to Settings again, go to Change Product Code, and paste the new Code (that you’ve saved into a document on your computer) into the box. You will miraculously be prompted to “Activate.” Click on that.
Then go back to the Internet, find your Microsoft receipt, and click on the download link. The download will take about an hour and a half. The instructions inform you can “minimize” and go on to other work on your computer. I prefer to sit there for the duration, get a book or a magazine to read, and watch that progress bar go up and up and up. A lot of downloads have Install instructions at the end, so I watch for that. This one didn’t, so just a quick check-up that the download happened correctly.
I’ve since received an Update from Windows 10. The update pinned the Microsoft Edge browser (which, for various reasons, I hate) to the Start button. I had to right-click on the icon and unpin that SOB.
A Facebook Friend says this a third-party vendor, but the site was working and the Microsoft store was not. The update on my Control Panel says the publisher is Microsoft and my computer is up and running just fine.
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