One of our readers has sent this question a long while ago and now I remembered it after seeing it on the Microsoft community forums. Here’s how the issue sounds like. Maybe you found yourself in the same situation and are looking for the answer.
Installing on 2 devices with single key. I have two devices on my own.A laptop and a PC.I had purchased windows 8. Can I install it on both devices with the same key? Is it legal? Does it affect my Windows update process?
Using the same Windows 10 key on two computers – is it possible?
Long story short, here’s the answer extracted from the installation and usage rights sections on the terms and condition page while installing Windows 10 or Windows 10. Of course, nobody reads it until the end, hence the questions.
a. One Copy per Computer. You may install one copy of the software on one computer. That computer is the “licensed computer.”
b. Licensed Computer. You may use the software on up to two processors on the licensed computer at one time. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, you may not use the software on any other computer.
c. Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time.
d. Alternative Versions. The software may include more than one version, such as 32-bit and 64-bit. You may install and use only one version at one time.
So, there you have it – you will need separate keys for every computer. Of course, this is such a pity, especially, if, say, you have one Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 laptop, an AIO and a desktop unit, on top of that. So no, you can’t use the same Windows key on multiple devices.
Another problematic situation is the case where you replaced your computer motherboard. We have a dedicated guide on how to activate Windows 10 if you replaced your motherboard. Do check it out if you need help on this matter.
For additional information on the Windows product keys, you can check out the guides below:
- FIX: This Product Key Cannot be Used to Install a Retail Copy of Windows
- Do I Need a Windows 10, 8.1 Product Key? Here’s the answer
- How to get a cheap Windows Product Key
- How to Find your Windows 10 Product Key
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.