In order to use Windows, it is necessary to have the corresponding license key in our possession. When we buy a new computer, it usually comes with an OEM key, linked to the hardware of our computer, which allows us to use Windows without problems. And, if we don’t have a password, we can always buy ourselves an OEM or a Retail one that allows us to use our Windows. But, given the picaresque, surely we have ever thought, what if I share the password with a family member or friend to save expenses? Is this possible to do?
There are programs that allow us to use the same password on several different computers. Even services, such as Netflix, that allow us to create several accounts and have several people use them at the same time. Unfortunately, Windows is not one of these programs.
When we buy a Windows license we are buying a personal and non-transferable key . If the key is OEM, it will be linked to the hardware of the PC, while if it is Retal it will be our property, regardless of the PC in which we use it. If the key is OEM, the only way to transfer it would be to sell the complete computer, with its license. If it is Retail, sell the license as such.
Activate two Windows with the same license or key
If you are thinking of activating two PCs with a Windows key, the first thing you should know is that you cannot. A Windows key can only be activated on one PC at the same time. In the case of OEM keys , as they are linked to a specific hardware, we will not be able to activate it directly on another PC, unless it has the same motherboard (and we fight over the phone with Microsoft support). In the case of Retail keys , we can change them without problems from one computer to another, but only one Windows can be activated at a time.
And what happens if I activate two PCs with the same key? In the case of OEM keys, Windows itself will give us a warning that the key is already used and cannot be re-linked. And in the case of Retail keys, activating one computer will automatically deactivate the other. And if we repeat this process a lot, Microsoft will detect a fraudulent use of the license and will cancel it, having to fight with them to recover it.
In short: it is impossible to use the same Windows key on two or more computers. Each PC must have its own key . A license is only valid for one Windows, no exceptions.
And what about Office?
With Office, Microsoft is a lot more permissive. Although in theory the Office Retail keys are valid for a PC and a single user, we can activate them without too many problems on several computers, without going overboard. The password may be deactivated at some point, but we can reactivate it and spend another time with it.
And we can go one step further. Office 365 , Microsoft’s subscription service, has a family plan that allows us to legally activate Office on 5 different computers. This will allow us to add 5 users (family, friends or not) to the family plan and share the license with them. In total, the same Office 365 Family subscription can be used on 6 different devices. If we share it with 5 friends, and we find a good time to buy it (for example, on Black Friday), we can have Office 365 for a year for less than 10 euros per head. And, we remember, 100% legal.