For six months now I’ve been searching for an inexpensive Windows 10 Home to Pro upgrade key and have finally taken the plunge. This all started when I purchased a brand new Dell XPS8940 six months ago at a fantastic price — an offer too good to refuse. The only drawback being that it came with Windows 10 Home pre-installed rather than Windows 10 Pro. Not that I have anything against the Home edition, under normal circumstances it would suit me fine. However, being a tech writer I often need access to the additional features afforded by the Pro edition — such as the Group Policy Editor and Windows Sandbox, for example — for the purpose of writing associated articles/guides.
I bought the Dell machine at such a good price that I had enough wiggle room in the budget to pay for the upgrade from Home to Pro — or so I thought. Unfortunately, I made a rookie mistake. I failed to check the price of the upgrade beforehand. Not long after I got the new machine I started the upgrade process through the Microsoft Store and nearly fell off my chair when I saw Microsoft was demanding a whopping $300.00AU for the upgrade license. No way I was going to pay that much. And so began the search for a less expensive alternative.
Mr Key Shop
Over the past six months, I’ve researched numerous online stores selling Windows and Office license keys at reduced prices and finally came across one that met my criteria, namely Mr Key Shop. I wasn’t looking for a super cheap price — following the tried and true adage that if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. All I wanted was a reasonable price from an established source. When I delved into Mr Key Shop, which sells discounted license keys for a variety of Windows and Microsoft Office editions, my research only uncovered positive results:
- Mr Key Shop is based in the U.K and has been established for more than 18 years
- The vast majority of customer reviews on Trustpilot are positive (1614 reviews averaging out at 4.9 out of 5)
- Provides multiple secure payment options including PayPal and Amazon Pay
- Great communications with instant delivery via email
One thing I do not like to do under any circumstances is provide my credit card details online, so the PayPal option was a major plus for me. No sooner had the transaction been completed than I instantly received several email messages from Mr Key Shop, including a detailed invoice plus a comprehensive guide on how to proceed which also included the license key. If you purchase a Windows license key (as opposed to the upgrade key) the email contains not only comprehensive instructions but also a direct link to download the Windows version (ISO) associated with your key.
I paid $70.00AU for the Windows 10 Home to Pro upgrade key, not super cheap but a very reasonable price and less than a quarter of the $300.00AU demanded by Microsoft. The upgrade proceeded smoothly with no hiccups and my Windows 10 Home machine has now been successfully upgraded to Windows 10 Pro.
- Check out prices for all products: Mr Key Shop
I am not necessarily recommending Mr Key Shop, because that could potentially leave me in a vulnerable position. I am merely providing you with the results of my research and details of my first-hand experience dealing with the company. The rest is entirely up to you.
I must add that I would never recommend buying super cheap license keys off eBay where many of the vendors are fly-by-nighters. It’s all very well to provide great-sounding guarantees but if the vendor leaves eBay and/or becomes uncontactable, those guarantees are worthless. That’s why it’s important to look for a well-established source.
NOTE: Right now, I am unable to guarantee that the license I purchased will not stop working at some time down the track, that’s something only time will tell. However, based on my findings and experience to date, I am very confident that will not be the case.
- Disclaimer: Neither myself nor DCT are in any way associated nor affiliated with Mr Key Shop and we derive no benefit from or as a result of this publication
20 thoughts on “Where to Buy Cheap Windows & Office License Keys”
As you are probably aware, most of these keys come from corporate accounts. Companies buy 1000s of keys at discounted rates. Then someone at a company trying to make a few extra bucks sells keys not being used to a site like this. So it will work….3, 4, 5 mos down the road, MS might find out and pull it, and it will stop working. Or, it might never be caught and keep on working. Like you said, “unable to guarantee that the license I purchased will not stop working at some time down the track”.
Your readers should just realize that they are technically purchasing a “stolen” key and it is a chance they take. Some of these sites will guarantee the key will work for X months. If it stops during that time, they will issue you another key. Not sure what Mr Key Shop has for a guarantee, but they have been around for 18 years so they probably will probably be around in 3 – 4 mos if your key stops working and you need a new one.
Yep, there is a certain risk involved with purchasing these types of discounted keys. That said, “stolen” is a bit strong. This from Mr Key Shop on how they source their license keys:
“We purchase and resell Microsoft licenses, Microsoft operating systems and Microsoft Office packages unused by businesses and companies for reasons of migration to cloud or subscription services, thus restoring value to these unused assets by reintroducing them into the international market at affordable prices” ~ source
I always do my due diligence and am sure that, if there were ongoing problems with the keys, it would almost certainly be reflected in customer reviews… which it isn’t.
Yeah, well, Microsoft should have lower prices anyhow!!
You already paid for the Home version, no reason that the upgrade to Pro should be that much. Luckily, the laptop I bought a few months ago came with Pro already (It is cheaper to get Pro when it is included by Lenovo, Dell, etc in the package. But most laptops, PCs etc come with Home.
Sites like this give a chance to get the software at what is probably the price it should have been sold at from MS to begin with. As long as your readers understand that they are not puchasing from MS, and there is some risk (whether big or small with this specific vendor) when purchasing these 3rd party licenses, all is good.
You are not going to believe this….but….Ebay is where I have bought close to 40 keys since Windows 7 (including MSO) all Pro versions. I have never paid more than $4.99 and as cheap as $2.25. I just checked and they have a different way of purchasing them now (you can bid or pay now) and the price has doubled to around $9.00. They have all worked and updated for years, not one problem w/any of them. Most of the Keys were for friends and family, a few were for clients. The ones for clients I gave full disclosure and to date no problems. PS For experimental purposes I used several of the keys multiple times with success.
I believe you mate, no problem. Although I am somewhat surprised to hear of your positive experiences with the keys off eBay.
Being a tech writer I always have to err on the side of caution but appreciate your comment here for others to read. Thanks.
As a person who won a Microsoft OFFICE version in a contest, I received everything – software and license, and it all worked, for about 3 years. Up until the time I had to phone Microsoft Support. ( going from win 7 to win 10 and Win 10 wouldn’t recognize m/s Office!)
They checked the license and my access to a license was revoked immediately. It appears that about 20 people had the same license. ( Unknown to me) So be aware that just because it works now, doesn’t mean it will in the future. Phone Microsoft Support and ask them to check the validity of your license. I didn’t believe the first M/S Support person, so I phoned back, next day, & got a different person. They confirmed the same thing the previous person said!! I got the support for Win 7-Win10 but lost Office in the process. I went to an alternate software ( WPS OFFICE) and I’ve been quite happy with it.
***I even phoned the company that gave me the product and license, and they were adamant it was a valid license, and refused to issue another!! Microsoft still said it was a stolen license , (3rd call to verify.)
As I said in the article Clarence:
“Right now, I am unable to guarantee that the license I purchased will not stop working at some time down the track, that’s something only time will tell.”
Sorry to hear of your bad experience.
Easy & legit way?
Look for broken Win 7 computers advertised on buy & sell sites, (or during kerb/curbside clean-up week) for parts. The 7 key will activate 10, for sure (not sure about 11 as I don’t have it).
Provided the key hasn’t already been used to upgrade.
Tracy…Full version (retail) product keys can be transferred but OEM keys can’t be. In my experience, the “junked” PCs have mostly OEM keys
In my own experience, as a residential PC support person for the past 15 years in AU, I find that most end-users don’t know about that & only know their PC is now, “slow & old” and buy new. In fact, they leave the carcasses w/me- lol.
For businesses, not my area to speak about keys.
Nothing is free and that is why I NEVER purchase any of these discount keys. Also, there are NO LEGITIMATE keys found on Amazon. NEVER purchase a software key from anyone advertising on AMAZON. and just about ALL of the original companies will tell you so. Most of them have some sort of disclaimer on their page stating as much. Most of the scams have already been discussed by others here and that should suffice.
Microsoft only charged $99.00 USD for the Home-to-Pro upgrade of my late husband’s Lenovo desktop last year, and provided good, prompt tech support when the upgrade ran into an issue. I’m surprised you were charged so much.
I believe that will be down to the difference in locations, I am in Australia and I’m guessing you are in the U.S. Part of the difference is down to the exchange rate but we always seem to have to pay more here in Australia.
I downloaded what I thought was a Windows 10 Pro ISO file from Microsoft. I made a SNIP of the png image of the properties Windows Explorer (WE) provides of the alleged ISO file, which is actually a folder containing many sub folders. What is it that I got?
Unfortunately I cannot include the snipped png image in this comment.
However, it describes a “Disc Image file (iso)” 4.28 GB in size which, when looked at using WE, reveals 4 sub-folders, one named “boot”, and 5 files ,including one called “setup.exe”.
I imagine that to install this “iso” on a drive I want to make bootable I must use the setup.exe file to start the process. I don’t yet know how to set anything up to make this install the iso on some drive or other, but will explore that further. before trying.
This iso “file” cost me nothing to download.
Can anyone refer me to some guide or tutorial which describes this process in detail? By the way, the download cost me zero $$.
Windows 10 ISOs are free for anyone to download but a license key is still required to activate. People do not pay for the operating system, they pay for the license key to activate it.
“I imagine that to install this “iso” on a drive I want to make bootable I must use the setup.exe file to start the process.”
Correct. However, the process is slightly different depending on whether you are clean installing or upgrading from an earlier Windows version. This article might help: https://davescomputertips.com/how-to-create-windows-10-installation-media/
Hi Jimbo, wasn’t looking for it but remembering this article I thought I would post this link. It sure looks legit am not easily fooled but and wanted your opinion.
Would definitely not buy from them Jimbo. The site is very young (created 25th June 2021), you can read everything you need to know about keysbuff.com here:
I agree. I wasn’t so savvy as you and bought 3 “Microsoft Windows 10 Pro OEM CD-KEY GLOBAL-Lifetime” from Keysbuff.com. 6 months later I tried to activate them but got an error message that they were invalid. So I contacted Keysbuff and after getting the run-around, they finally said, “The key cannot be kept for too long, if the time is exceeded, the key will become invalid.” When I said that license keys should not expire, they said, “Our key has no storage function, the key needs to be activated in time, if it is not activated for a long time, the key may be invalid. Your order took too long and has already exceeded our 6 months compensation time period,so we cannot compensate you now,SORRY.But we can compensate you with a discount code.” I pointed out that it had only been 184 days since I bought the keys. Only after I threatened to leave reviews about their poor product and service did they relent and provide me 2 new license keys that worked, but not the 3 that I bought. If Keysbuff had told me when I bought the keys that I needed to activate them within a certain period of time (instead of calling them “Lifetime” keys), I would only have bought the keys I could activate right away. I do not recommend this seller.
Thanks for sharing your experience with KeysBuff, appreciated. Sorry to hear of your bad experience.
I’ve never heard of keys that need to be activated within a certain period of time, sounds like bs to me.