Tutorial: Bypass "Can't update to Windows 10 Pro" error message on Win10 Home


Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
If you have:

1. A Windows 10 Home machine

2. And you want to upgrade it to Windows 10 Pro with a Pro license key

3. And you're using the Microsoft public upgrade key: VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T (note: this is NOT an activation key, it's the key that tells Microsoft that you want to do an OS version upgrade, and once complete, you then have to punch in your legitimate Pro license key)

4. And it's giving the "Can't update to Windows 10 Pro" error message


5. Before you hit "Start" to do the upgrade, disable access to the Internet (forget the Wi-Fi network, turn off the Ethernet adapter in Control Panel, unplug the Ethernet cable, etc.) & then go ahead with the upgrade (after doing the upgrade, be sure to re-enable the Internet & punch in your purchased Pro 10 license key)

It's a simple & stupid solution to an annoying problem. I often buy cheapo laptops that have Windows 10 Home Edition activated from the factory (BIOS SLIC or whatever they're using these days), so then this happens:

1. You use a USB stick to upgrade to say 64-bit Windows 10 Pro (prepared using the MCT Tool), and after the initial account setup...it's Windows 10 Home, surprise!

2. You enter your Windows 10 Pro license key to do the upgrade, but it won't take it

3. You enter the Windows 10 Pro public upgrade key to do the upgrade, but it won't take it

So then you're just stuck with Windows 10 Home edition. So the trick is to pop in the public upgrade key, hit next, turn off Internet access, and THEN click start to let it do an in-place upgrade. Once it does the upgrade, then you can go in & punch in your Windows 10 Pro license. My guess is that Microsoft pings their online server, sees that the computer has a Win10 Home Key registered online and/or checks against the BIOS' OEM table information, and then says "nah, you've got 10 Home, bro". So when you cut off Internet access, it doesn't do the online check, and gives you a pass to do the Pro upgrade. Super annoying!
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Chiefcrowe Operating Systems 6