Uninstall Your Windows Product Key So You Can Use It On Another PC

Uninstall Your Windows Product Key So You Can Use It On Another PC

Before you sell or recycle an old computer, you might want to take your Windows licence and use it on a different PC. The How-To Geek offers instructions for uninstalling your product key and installing it on a new PC.

You just need to open the Command Prompt in administrative mode and run two commands to uninstall the product key. Installing it is just as easy using the same “slmrg” command.

You should note this fine print from the article before proceeding:

Note: Between Microsoft and your OEM there are a number of different laws that determine whether you are allowed to use your licence on another PC, so follow this tutorial at your own risk. Additionally before you go through the tutorial you will want to check that your product key is still attached to your PC/Installation CD, if it is not, do a quick Google search on how to recover it.

You can also recover the product key using ProduKey, even if your computer is broken.

For the full instructions, see the tutorial below.

How To Uninstall Your Windows Product Key Before You Sell Your PC [How-To Geek]


  • This is all well and good if you are corporate or something but surely just wiping the HDD is all that you need to do. I’ve had no issues putting the OS of an old PC onto a new one. The worst that has happened is you make a call to MS and get it validated that way. They have never baulked at that so long as I assure them that the old PC has been stripped of Windows.

  • From Microsoft’s OEM system builders license:

    “Once a Windows or Server OEM System Builder software license has been installed, it may not be transferred to or installed on another PC even if the PC is no longer in use. The end-user license is permanently tied to the original computer system on which it was first installed.”

    • That may what’s in the licence, but I have removed OEM Windows 7 from one Mobo and CPU to an updated system on several occasions. Usually all you need to do is phone for a new activation, but I have had to call and explain on one occasion, that the old Mobo and CPU are not in use. They had no problems reactivating on the new system. I just told them that the mobo died and I had to buy a new one and new CPU. I then used the old system to upgrade my wife’s system.

      • Um just because you got away with doesn’t mean you are allowed to. As @johnd posted OEM licences live and die with the original system. So you may think you are legit but you are in fact in complete violation of the agreement and unlicensed to use the software. harsh but its the way their licensing works.

        Check the following link:-

        Q: Can a PC with an OEM Windows operating system have its motherboard upgraded and keep the same license? What if it was replaced because it was defective?
        A: Generally, an end user can upgrade or replace all of the hardware components on a computer—except the motherboard—and still retain the license for the original Microsoft OEM operating system software. If the motherboard is upgraded or replaced for reasons other than a defect, then a new computer has been created. Microsoft OEM operating system software cannot be transferred to the new computer, and the license of new operating system software is required. If the motherboard is replaced because it is defective, you do not need to acquire a new operating system license for the PC as long as the replacement motherboard is the same make/model or the same manufacturer’s replacement/equivalent, as defined by the manufacturer’s warranty. (Plus a 2nd paragraph)

          • And that’s why so many people are confused with MS’s licensing. The call centres in India (99% of the 100s of times I have called I have got an Indian, I am not being racist) must not be given any training or something?!? It doesn’t make any sense I know. But by the letter of the licensing agreement you are not licensed.

            Look at how many retailers sold OEM licenses of Windows 7. Have you read the licensing for that? It can ONLY be installed on BRAND NEW equipment by the PC Manufacturer and has to be done so using the OPK (OEM Preinstallation Kit). No end user can install it themselves. How many smaller IT retailers install using the OPK? How many copies are sold to end users? This is all in clear violation of their agreement yet people keep selling it and nothing happens? This just puzzles me.

    • This is clearly wrong because my old HDD was destroyed. I bought all new parts under the answer to my question “I want to load windows 95″.

      However I have the Windows 95 disk sitting in front of me with the product Key but the New Motherboard and Bios calls this iNVALID, NON System Disk!!!

      I suppose you go around destroying Vintage and Veteran vehicles because you do not believe they are valid anymore. I should be allowed to load my new HDD with MY WINDOWS 95, that I purchased legally. Instead I have run up against CRIPPLEWARE built into the new motherboard.

      Until I load Windows 95 I cannot use my old software. I have upgrades to Windows 98 and Windows XP Professional. But nothing will work until I can Load Windows 95.

      I have Windows 7 on another PC but it will not ‘PERMIT” me to load and run my OLD Software. So I have to rebuild from SCRATCH.

  • There is two license’s OEM and NON-OEM OEM is supposed to stay with the original hardware normally defined by the mainboard there is a clause is your mainboard dies you have to replace it with like for like thought whilst with the non OEM license you can remove it from an old computer and install it on a new computer.

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