How to Convert OEM Windows 7 to a Retail License

Written by peter thomas
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Windows 7 comes in a number of different licensing styles. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer, is permanently locked to the original manufacturer's equipment and will cease to function if you change motherboards or attempt to heavily customise your system. If you have purchased a new retail license for Windows 7, you can change your product key and alter the licensing restrictions placed on your operating system.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Click the Start button and right-click the "Computer" label.

  2. 2

    Click the "Properties" option from the pop-out dialogue.

  3. 3

    Click "Change Product Key."

  4. 4

    Give administrative permission to the application if requested. You must click "Yes" or enter an administrative user's username and password.

  5. 5

    Supply your new key when requested and click "Next." Your new key will be processed and you will no longer be using an OEM edition of Windows.

  6. 6

    Activate your copy of Windows online when asked. Your system will lock down at some later point if you do not activate Windows to verify your new license is valid.

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