Microsoft Restricts Activation of Windows 11 with Older Keys

Microsoft has recently taken a significant step by prohibiting the use of Windows 7 and Windows 8 activation keys to activate copies of Windows 11. This measure comes after a well-known loophole allowed individuals to upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 or Windows 11 for free.

Last month, Microsoft announced this change, rendering active keys from Windows 7 and Windows 8 invalid for activating Windows 10 or Windows 11. A specific commencement date for implementing this measure has not been disclosed.

In September 2023, Microsoft commenced rectifying the loophole that enabled the upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8 to Windows 10 or Windows 11. It took more than eight years to conclude this offer, which was initially slated to last only 12 months.

Currently, Microsoft completely prevents Windows 7 keys from activating new installations of Windows 11. When attempting to activate a Windows 7 key on Windows 11, the user will receive an error message stating: "We can't activate Windows on this device because you don't have a valid digital license or a valid product key."

The activation status will not change if you upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8 to Windows 11 or use older Windows 7 keys, provided that the digital license remains valid.

Older Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 license keys can still be activated and used, and Microsoft will not revoke system activation due to the use of historical license keys.

In contrast, Windows 10 license keys are still capable of activating Windows 11, as Windows 11 allows for a free upgrade from Windows 10.

This change is part of Microsoft's efforts to increase the number of Windows 11 users and to provide free upgrades for Windows 10 users, encouraging them to transition to the new operating system.

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