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How to Upgrade Windows 10/11 Home to Pro

Learn how upgrade windows home to pro with this comprehensive guide. Unlock advanced features, security, and productivity tools for a better computing experience.
David Darlington
David Darlington Originally published Jun 20, 24, updated Jun 20, 24

If you're a Windows Home user, you might have encountered certain limitations that come with this edition. For instance, you can't access advanced features like BitLocker, Remote Desktop, Hyper-V, and more.

Planning for upgrading Windows 11 Home to Pro or upgrade Win 10 Home to Pro? This guide has got you covered.

Upgrading to Windows Pro can unlock these additional powerful tools, providing you with a more robust and secure computing experience. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of upgrading from Windows 10/11 Home to Pro, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free transition.

In this article
    1. Method 1: Use the Settings App (If you have the product key)
    2. Method 2: Reinstall a clean copy of Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro
    3. Method 3: Restore the Pro edition upgrade after a reinstall

Getting Started: Pre-requisites to Upgrade Windows Home to Pro

Before we dive into the update Windows 10/11 home to pro process, there are a few prerequisites you need to consider:

  • Backup your data: It's always a good practice to create a backup of your important files, documents, and settings before performing any major system upgrade. This will ensure that you can recover your data in case anything goes wrong during the process.
  • Check system requirements: Ensure that your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 10 Pro. You can find the system requirements on Microsoft's website.
  • Obtain a valid Windows 10 Pro product key: If you don't already have a product key, you'll need to purchase one from Microsoft or an authorized retailer. Alternatively, you can buy a Windows 10 Pro upgrade key, which is typically cheaper than buying the full version.
  • Have a stable internet connection: The upgrade process may require downloading files from Microsoft's servers, so a reliable internet connection is essential.

Once you've taken care of these prerequisites, you're ready to proceed with the upgrade process.

How to Update Windows 10/11 Home to Pro

There are several methods you can use to upgrade from Windows 10/11 Home to Windows 10/11 Pro. Here's how to update Windows 10 Home to Pro using different methods:

If You can try
You already have a valid Windows 10 Pro product keyMethod 1
You're unable to upgrade using the Settings app or prefer a fresh installationMethod 2
You've previously upgraded to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 ProMethod 3

Method 1: Use the Settings App (If you have the product key)

If you already have a valid Windows 10 Pro product key, you can upgrade your system using the Settings app. Here's how to upgrade Win Home to Pro using the activation key:

Step 1: Open the Start menu and click on the Settings icon (or press Windows key + I). In the Settings window, click on "Update & Security."

windows 10 settings

Step 2: In the left pane, select "Activation." Click on the "Change product key" option and enter your valid Windows 10 Pro product key. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the upgrade process.

windows 10 change product key

This method is straightforward and doesn't require any additional downloads or installations. However, if you don't have a product key or encounter any issues during the upgrade process, you can try one of the other methods.

Method 2: Reinstall a clean copy of Windows 10 or Windows 11 Pro

If you're unable to upgrade using the Settings app or prefer a fresh installation, you can reinstall a clean copy of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro. Here's how:

Step 1: Visit Microsoft's website and download the Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro installation media.

install windows 10 pro

Step 2: Create a bootable USB drive or DVD using the downloaded installation media. Boot your computer from the bootable media (you may need to change the boot order in your BIOS or UEFI settings).

bootable media file

Step 3: Follow the on-screen instructions to install a clean copy of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro. During the installation process, you'll be prompted to enter a valid Windows 10 pro upgrade key. Provide your purchased Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro product key.

enter product key

This method is suitable if you want to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro. However, keep in mind that you'll need to reinstall all your applications and restore your data after the installation is complete.

Method 3: Restore the Pro edition upgrade after a reinstall

If you've previously upgraded to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro, you can restore the Pro edition upgrade without purchasing a new product key. Here's how to upgrade Win 10 Home to Pro:

Step 1: After reinstalling Windows Home, open the Settings app. In the Settings window, click on "Update & Security."

Step 2: In the left pane, select "Activation." Click on the "Go to Store" option and sign in with your Microsoft account (the same account you used when you purchased the Pro upgrade).

windows 10 go to store

Step 3: In the Store, locate the "Windows 10 Pro Edition" or "Windows 11 Pro Edition" listing and click on "Install." Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the upgrade process.

This method is useful if you've previously purchased a Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro upgrade and want to restore it without paying for a new product key.

How to Recover Data When/After Upgrading Windows 10/11 Home to Pro

Upgrading from Windows 10 Home to Pro or Windows 11 Home to Pro is a big step that gives you access to powerful features. However, Data loss can occur during the process. Moreover, you may need to restore data after the installation of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro. Wondershare Recoverit is a reliable solution for you.

Wondershare Recoverit is a user-friendly and powerful data recovery tool that can retrieve deleted files, lost partitions, and even data from formatted or corrupted drives. With 98% success rate, it supports 1000+ file formats, like NTFS and FAT.

Using Recoverit, you can recover any type of data, such as images, videos, audio files, documents, and whole folders, in a few clicks.

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Here's how you can use Recoverit to recover lost data while or after upgrading Windows Home to Pro:

Step 1: Launch the software and switch to the "Hard Drives and Locations" tab from the left sidebar. Select the disk drive for recovery. Click on the "Start" button to initiate the scanning process.

wondershare recoverit interface

Step 2: Once the scan is complete, Recoverit will display a list of recoverable files. You can even filter the search results based on file size, type, file tag, and so on.

list of recoverable files

Step 3: Preview the files and select the ones you want to recover.

preview and recover files

Step 4: Click on the "Recover" button and choose a safe location to save your recovered files.

choosing a location for the saved file

More Information: Windows 10/11 Home vs Pro Edition

Here's a quick comparison table comparing the Windows 10/11 home edition to Windows 10/11 Pro for better understanding:

FeatureWindows 10/11 HomeWindows 10/11 Pro
BitlockerNot availableSupported
Remote DesktopView onlyRemote access and control
Hyper-VNot availableSupported
Windows SandboxNot availableSupported (Windows 10 Pro only)
Windows Subsystem for LinuxAvailable in Windows 10, limited supportFull support
Group Policy EditorNot availableSupported
Assigned AccessNot availableSupported
Remote Desktop Web AccessNot availableSupported
Business Store for Windows 10Not availableSupported
Enterprise Mode Internet ExplorerNot availableSupported
Kiosk ModeNot availableSupported

So, the primary distinction between the Windows 10/11 Home and Pro editions lies in the advanced features and capabilities offered by the Pro version. While the Home edition is designed for personal use, the Pro edition caters to the needs of businesses, power users, and professionals.

The Windows 10/11 Pro edition equips users with robust security features like BitLocker for disk encryption and advanced networking tools like Remote Desktop for remote access and control. Additionally, it includes virtualization support through Hyper-V, enabling users to run multiple operating systems simultaneously.

While the Windows 10/11 Home edition may suffice for basic personal computing needs, upgrading to the Pro edition unlocks a wealth of advanced features, security enhancements, and productivity tools, making it the preferred choice for power users, businesses, and professionals.

Conclusion

Upgrading from Windows 10/11 Home to Windows 10/11 Pro can unlock a wealth of advanced features and capabilities, enhancing your computing experience. Whether you choose to use the Settings app, perform a clean installation, or restore a previous Pro edition upgrade, this guide has provided you with the necessary steps and expert tips to ensure a successful upgrade.

Remember, backing up your data, ensuring compatibility, and following best practices are crucial to avoiding any potential issues during the upgrade process. With the added functionality and security features of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro, you can enjoy a more powerful and productive computing experience.

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FAQ

  • What if I encounter issues during the upgrade process from Windows 10 Home to Pro?
    If you face any issues during the upgrade process, you can try running the Windows Update Troubleshooter or contacting Microsoft Support for further assistance. Additionally, you can perform a clean installation of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro using the installation media.
  • Is it free to upgrade Windows 11 Home to Pro?
    No, upgrading from Windows 11 Home to Windows 11 Pro is not free. You will need to purchase a valid Windows 11 Pro product key or a Windows 11 Pro upgrade license from Microsoft or an authorized retailer. The cost of upgrading varies depending on the source and any available promotional offers.
  • Is it worth upgrading from Windows 11 Home to Pro?
    Whether it's worth upgrading from Windows 11 Home to Pro depends on your specific needs and usage scenarios. The Pro edition offers several advanced features and capabilities that can be beneficial for power users, professionals, and businesses. However, if you primarily use your computer for basic tasks like web browsing, media consumption, and light productivity work, the Windows 11 Home edition may suffice.
  • Are there any specific hardware requirements for upgrading to Windows 11 Pro?
    The hardware requirements for running Windows 11 Pro are the same as those for Windows 11 Home. Microsoft recommends the following minimum specifications:
    Processor: 1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
    1. RAM: 4 GB
    2. Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
    3. System Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
    4. TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
    5. Graphics Card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
    6. Display: High definition (720p) display, 9" or greater monitor, 8 bits per color channel
    It's important to note that while these are the minimum requirements, Microsoft recommends having more powerful hardware, especially for resource-intensive tasks or running multiple applications simultaneously.
David Darlington
David Darlington Jun 20, 24
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