windows 10 devices

Most new PCs come with Windows 10 Home, but you can pay for an upgrade from within Windows 10 to upgrade from Home to Pro. If you upgraded from the Professional editions of Windows 7 or 8.1, you already have Windows 10 Professional.

If you decide to upgrade to the Professional edition of Windows 10, you’ll get BitLocker drive encryption, integrated Hyper-V virtualization, a built-in remote desktop server, and other business-targeted features like domain join.

How Much Does The Upgrade Cost, and How Does It Work?

RELATED: Should You Upgrade to the Professional Edition of Windows 10?

This upgrade costs $99.99 in the USA. Microsoft sets other prices in the rest of the world, but the price should be comparable.

You can buy the upgrade right from the Windows Store, like you’d buy an app, music, or a movie. After you do, Windows 10 will be automatically upgraded to the Professional edition and the Professional-only features will be enabled.

The upgrade will be licensed only to a single PC. So, if you purchased a retail Windows 10 Home license and you purchase a Windows 10 Pro upgrade, that upgrade will only work on a single computer. While you’re entitled to move the original Windows 10 Home license to another computer, that Windows 10 Pro upgrade won’t follow you to another PC.

If you’re buying your own Windows 10 license to build your own PC instead of buying a PC that comes with Windows 10, it’s more cost-effective to just purchase Windows 10 Professional upfront. Microsoft sells Windows 10 Home for $119 and Windows 10 Professional for $200. Buying Windows 10 Home and then upgrading it to the Professional edition will cost you a total of $220, and you won’t be able to move the Professional upgrade part of that to another PC. None if this matters if you just purchased a PC with Windows 10 Home included, of course.

Note that you can’t upgrade Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Enterprise — that will require a complete reinstallation with an Enterprise product key. There’s also no Ultimate edition of Windows 10 with the Enterprise features available for Home users as there was with Windows 7 and Vista.

How to Upgrade From Windows 10 Home to Pro

You’ll need to start the upgrade from the Settings app. To open it, open the Start menu or Start screen and select “Settings”.

Select “Update & security”, and then select “Activation”. You’ll see the edition of Windows 10 you have displayed here.

To upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Professional, click or tap the “Go to Store” button in the Activation pane.

The Windows Store app will open to a special “Upgrade to Windows 10 Pro” screen. From here, you can click or tap the “$99.99” button to purchase the Windows 10 Professional upgrade form the Store like you’d purchase anything else from the Store. You’ll have to provide your Microsoft account information and payment details.

If you have a Windows 10 Pro product key, you can select the “I have a Windows 10 Pro product key” and enter the product key to upgrade.

These features aren’t really necessary for most people. Even features like Hyper-V virtualization and remote desktop can be replaced with third-party virtualization and remote-desktop-access tools. If you don’t need business features like the ability to join a domain, the most compelling feature restricted to Professional editions of Windows 10 remains BitLocker drive encryption.

Image Credit: DobaKung on Flickr

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Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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