- 9 minutes to read
- Applies to:
- ✅ Windows 10, ✅ Windows 11
This article describes how to deploy Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise E3 or E5 licenses with subscription activation or Enterprise E3 in CSP and Azure Active Directory (Azure AD).
These activation features require a supported and licensed version of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro:
- Subscription activation with an enterprise agreement (EA) or a Microsoft Products & Services Agreement (MPSA).
- Enterprise E3 in CSP.
- Automatic, non-KMS activation also requires a device with a firmware-embedded activation key.
- Subscription activation requires Enterprise per user licensing. It doesn't work with per device licensing.
Enable subscription activation with an existing EA
If you're an EA customer with an existing Microsoft 365 tenant, use the following steps to enable Windows subscription licenses on your existing tenant:
Work with your reseller to place an order for one $0 SKU per user. As of October 1, 2022, there are three SKUs available, depending on your current Windows Enterprise SA license:
SKU Description AAA-51069
Win OLS Activation User Alng Sub Add-on E3
Win OLS Activation User Sub Add-on E5
Win OLS Activation User GCC Sub Per User
As of October 1, 2022, subscription activation is available for commercial and GCC tenants. It's currently not available on GCC High or DoD tenants.
After an order is placed, the OLS admin on the agreement will receive a service activation email, which indicates the subscription licenses have been provisioned on the tenant.
You can now assign subscription licenses to users.
If you need to update contact information and resend the activation email, use the following process:
Sign in to the Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center.
Select Online Services Agreement List.
Enter your agreement number, and then select Search.
Select the Service Name.
In the Subscription Contact section, select the name listed under Last Name.
Update the contact information, then select Update Contact Details. This action will trigger a new email.
Preparing for deployment: reviewing requirements
- Devices must be running a supported version of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro
- Azure AD-joined, or hybrid domain joined with Azure AD Connect. Customers who are federated with Azure AD are also eligible.
For more information, see Review requirements on devices, later in this article.
Active Directory synchronization with Azure AD
If you have an on-premises Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) domain, you need to synchronize the identities in the on-premises AD DS domain with Azure AD. This synchronization is required for users to have a single identity that they can use to access their on-premises apps and cloud services that use Azure AD. An example of a cloud service is Windows Enterprise E3 or E5.
Figure 1 illustrates the integration between the on-premises AD DS domain with Azure AD. Azure AD Connect is responsible for synchronization of identities between the on-premises AD DS domain and Azure AD. Azure AD Connect is a service that you can install on-premises or in a virtual machine in Azure.
Figure 1: On-premises AD DS integrated with Azure AD
For more information about integrating on-premises AD DS domains with Azure AD, see the following resources:
- What is hybrid identity with Azure Active Directory?
- Azure AD Connect and Azure AD Connect Health installation roadmap
Assigning licenses to users
After you've ordered the Windows subscription (Windows 10 Business, E3 or E5), you'll receive an email with guidance on how to use Windows as an online service:
The following methods are available to assign licenses:
When you have the required Azure AD subscription, group-based licensing is the preferred method to assign Enterprise E3 or E5 licenses to users.
You can sign in to the Microsoft 365 admin center and manually assign licenses:
You can assign licenses by uploading a spreadsheet.
How to use PowerShell to automatically assign licenses to your Microsoft 365 users.
Other solutions may exist from the community. For example, a Microsoft MVP shared the following process: Assign EMS licenses based on local Active Directory group membership.
Explore the upgrade experience
Now that you've established a subscription and assigned licenses to users, you can upgrade devices running supported versions of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro to Enterprise edition.
The following experiences are specific to Windows 10. The general concepts also apply to Windows 11.
Step 1: Join Windows Pro devices to Azure AD
You can join a Windows Pro device to Azure AD during setup, the first time the device starts. You can also join a device that's already set up.
Join a device to Azure AD the first time the device is started
During the initial setup, on the Who owns this PC? page, select My organization, and then select Next.
Figure 2: The "Who owns this PC?" page in initial Windows 10 setup.(Video) How to deploy Windows 11 22H2 (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit and Windows Deployment Services)
On the Choose how you'll connect page, select Join Azure AD, and then select Next.
Figure 3: The "Choose how you'll connect" page in initial Windows 10 setup.
On the Let's get you signed in page, enter your Azure AD credentials, and then select Sign in.
Figure 4: The "Let's get you signed in" page in initial Windows 10 setup.
Now the device is Azure AD-joined to the organization's subscription.
Join a device to Azure AD when the device is already set up with Windows 10 Pro
Make sure that the user you're signing in with is not the BUILTIN/Administrator account. That user can't use the
+ Connect action to join a work or school account.
Go to Settings, select Accounts, and select Access work or school.
Figure 5: "Connect to work or school" configuration in Settings.
In Set up a work or school account, select Join this device to Azure Active Directory.
Figure 6: Set up a work or school account.
On the Let's get you signed in page, enter your Azure AD credentials, and then select Sign in.
Figure 7: The "Let's get you signed in" window.
Now the device is Azure AD-joined to the organization's subscription.
Step 2: Pro edition activation
If the device is running a supported version of Windows 10 or Windows 11, it automatically activates Windows Enterprise edition using the firmware-embedded activation key.
Step 3: Sign in using Azure AD account
Once the device is joined to Azure AD, users will sign in with their Azure AD account, as illustrated in Figure 8. The Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or E5 license associated with the user will enable Windows 10 Enterprise edition capabilities on the device.
Figure 8: Sign in to Windows 10 with an Azure AD account.
Step 4: Verify that Enterprise edition is enabled
To verify the Windows Enterprise E3 or E5 subscription, go to Settings, select Update & Security, and select Activation.
Figure 9: Verify Windows 10 Enterprise subscription in Settings.
If there are any problems with the Windows Enterprise E3 or E5 license or the activation of the license, the Activation panel will display the appropriate error message or status. You can use this information to help you diagnose the licensing and activation process.
If you use the
slmgr /dli or
slmgr /dlv commands to get the activation information for the E3 or E5 license, the license information displayed will be similar to the following output:
Name: Windows(R), Professional editionDescription: Windows(R) Operating System, RETAIL channelPartial Product Key: 3V66T
Troubleshoot the user experience
In some instances, users may experience problems with the Windows Enterprise E3 or E5 subscription. The most common problems that users may experience are the following issues:
- The Windows 10/11 Enterprise E3 or E5 subscription has lapsed or has been removed.
- An earlier version of Windows 10 Pro isn't activated. For example, Windows 10, versions 1703 or 1709.
Troubleshoot common problems in the Activation pane
Use the following figures to help you troubleshoot when users experience common problems:
Device in healthy state
The following image illustrates a device in a healthy state, where Windows 10 Pro is activated and the Windows 10 Enterprise subscription is active.
Device that's not activated with active subscription
Figure 10 illustrates a device on which the Windows 10 Pro isn't activated, but the Windows 10 Enterprise subscription is active.
Figure 10: Windows 10 Pro, version 1703 edition not activated in Settings.
It displays the following error: "We can't activate Windows on this device right now. You can try activating again later or go to the Store to buy genuine Windows. Error code: 0xC004F034."
Device that's activated without an Enterprise subscription
Figure 11 illustrates a device on which the Windows 10 Pro is activated, but the Windows 10 Enterprise subscription is lapsed or removed.
Figure 11: Windows 10 Enterprise subscription lapsed or removed in Settings.
It displays the following error: "Windows 10 Enterprise subscription isn't valid."
Device that's not activated and without an Enterprise subscription
Figure 12 illustrates a device on which the Windows 10 Pro license isn't activated and the Windows 10 Enterprise subscription is lapsed or removed.
Figure 12: Windows 10 Pro, version 1703 edition not activated and Windows 10 Enterprise subscription lapsed or removed in Settings.
It displays both of the previously mentioned error messages.
Review requirements on devices
Devices must be running a supported version of Windows 10 Pro or Windows 11 Pro. Earlier versions of Windows 10, such as version 1703, don't support this feature.
Devices must also be joined to Azure AD, or hybrid domain joined with Azure AD Connect. Customers who are federated with Azure AD are also eligible.
Use the following procedures to review whether a particular device meets these requirements.
Firmware-embedded activation key
To determine if the computer has a firmware-embedded activation key, enter the following command at an elevated Windows PowerShell prompt:
(Get-CimInstance -query 'select * from SoftwareLicensingService').OA3xOriginalProductKey
If the device has a firmware-embedded activation key, it will be displayed in the output. If the output is blank, the device doesn't have a firmware embedded activation key. Most OEM-provided devices designed to run Windows 8 or later will have a firmware-embedded key.
Determine if a device is Azure AD-joined
Open a command prompt and enter
Review the output in the Device State section. If the AzureAdJoined value is YES, the device is joined to Azure AD.
Determine the version of Windows
Open a command prompt and enter
The About Windows window displays the OS version and build information.
Compare this information again the Windows support lifecycle:
- Windows 10 release information
- Windows 11 release information
If a device is running a version of Windows 10 Pro prior to version 1703, it won't upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise when a user signs in, even if the user has been assigned a subscription in the CSP portal.
Delay in the activation of Enterprise license of Windows 10
This delay is by design. Windows 10 and Windows 11 include a built-in cache that's used when determining upgrade eligibility. This behavior includes processing responses that indicate that the device isn't eligible for an upgrade. It can take up to four days after a qualifying purchase before the upgrade eligibility is enabled and the cache expires.
If a device isn't able to connect to Windows Update, it can lose activation status or be blocked from upgrading to Windows Enterprise. To work around this issue:
Make sure that the device doesn't have the following registry value:
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\DoNotConnectToWindowsUpdateInternetLocations = 1 (REG_DWORD). If this registry value exists, it must be set to
Make sure that the following group policy setting is disabled: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Don't connect to any Windows Update Internet locations.
Virtual Desktop Access (VDA)
Subscriptions to Windows Enterprise are also available for virtualized clients. Enterprise E3 and E5 are available for Virtual Desktop Access (VDA) in Azure or in another qualified multitenant hoster (PDF download).
Virtual machines (VMs) must be configured to enable Windows Enterprise subscriptions for VDA. Active Directory-joined and Azure AD-joined clients are supported. For more information, see Enable VDA for Enterprise subscription activation.
How do I fix Windows 10 enterprise activation? ›
Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Activation , and then select Troubleshoot to run the Activation troubleshooter. For more info about the troubleshooter, see Using the Activation troubleshooter.How do I fix Windows 10 enterprise subscription is not valid? ›
Re: Windows 10 Enterprise subscription is not valid
Open Settings > System> Shared Experiences and click Fix on the account issue. Log out and back in, see if it has upgraded.
- Start the setup on a running operating system.
- Save the user state locally.
- Wipe the hard disk clean (except for the folder containing the backup).
- Install the operating system image.
- Install other applications.
- Restore the user state.
Windows 10 Enterprise, is an add-on that sits on top of Windows 10 Pro for added security and mobile device management benefits. Windows 10 Enterprise can be purchased as a monthly subscription for $7 or $11 per user/month depending on which license you purchase, similar to the other Office 365 licenses.What is enterprise deployment? ›
The term Enterprise Software Deployment refers to all of the activities that must take place to make a software application available to end users. Enterprise Software Deployment technically begins after a software application has been written, tested, packaged and delivered to an enterprise.What happens if Windows 10 Enterprise is not activated? ›
When it comes to functionality, you won't be able to personalize the desktop background, window title bar, taskbar, and Start color, change the theme, customize Start, taskbar, and lock screen etc.. when not activating Windows. Additionally, you might periodically get messages asking to activate your copy of Windows.What happens if you don't activate Windows 10 enterprise? ›
What Happens if You Don't Activate Windows 10/11? If you wish to not activate Windows on your personal computer at all, you can still access it for as long as you want. In other words, you will not be stopped from using Windows even if you choose to never activate the software.What happens if Windows license is not activated? ›
If you don't activate Windows 10, some features will be disabled upon the expiry of the trial period. For instance, you won't be able to customize your PC or laptop, meaning features like themes, lock screen, colors, fonts, and taskbar will return to their default settings (if you customized them).Does Windows 10 enterprise license expire? ›
Question: I'm using Windows 10 that came installed on my computer and got a pop-up saying my windows license is expiring soon. What do I need to do? Answer: Windows 10 retail and OEM licenses (those that come preloaded on name brand machines) don't ever expire.Can you reset Windows 10 Enterprise? ›
reset by restarting your PC from the sign-in screen. Press the Windows logo key +L to get to the sign-in screen, and then hold the Shift key while you select Power > Restart in the lower-right corner of the screen. After your PC restarts, select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC. Select the option Remove everything.
How do I troubleshoot Windows activation subscription? ›
To use the troubleshooter, select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Activation , and then select Troubleshoot .What are the 3 deployment models? ›
Each deployment model is defined according to where the infrastructure for the environment is located. There are three main cloud service models: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service.What are the 3 main steps in the deployment process? ›
Software deployment process mainly consists of 3 stages: development, testing and monitoring.What are the 3 deployment modes that can be used for Azure? ›
Azure supports three approaches to deploying cloud resources - public, private, and the hybrid cloud.What are the 2 types of licensing models of enterprise applications? ›
User Licensing: Named Users vs Concurrent Users. User licensing allows software vendors to set their licensing fees based on the number of people who will use the software at your IT organization. The most common user licensing types are named user licensing and concurrent user licensing.What are the 3 types of Windows licensing? ›
- Full Packaged Product (FPP) or Retail. You can get this type of Windows license from retail merchants or buy from the Microsoft store. ...
- OEM means Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). ...
- Volume license keys for use on PCs associated with an organization.
Windows 10 Enterprise N includes the same functionality as Windows 10 Enterprise, except that it does not include certain media related technologies (Windows Media Player, Camera, Music, TV & Movies) and does not include the Skype app.What are the five stages of deployment? ›
The Five Stages
These stages are comprised as follows: pre-deployment, deployment, sustainment, re-deployment and post-deployment. Each stage is characterized both by a time frame and specific emotional challenges, which must be dealt with and mastered by each of the Family members.
The deployment/redeployment process has four phases: planning; predeployment activities; movement; and Joint Reception, Staging, Onward Movement, and Integration (JRSOI).What are the different types of deployment? ›
- Commercial Deployments. ...
- Internal Deployments. ...
- Hosted Service Deployments. ...
- Single User Deployments. ...
- Concurrent Deployments. ...
- Server Deployments. ...
- Cloud Deployments. ...
- Multi-User Deployments.
What is the difference between Windows activated and unactivated? ›
An "Activate Windows" watermark appears in the bottom-right corner of the non-activated OS screen. Essentially, it reminds users to activate Windows when they get a chance and not use a non-activated version. A downside of this watermark is that it blocks your screen and even appears when you take a screenshot.How do I activate my Windows enterprise free? ›
Step 1.1: Open Command Prompt as administrator. Click on the start button, search for “cmd” then run it with administrator rights. Step 1.2: Install KMS client key. Use the command “slmgr /ipk yourlicensekey” to install a license key (yourlicensekey is the activation key that corresponds to your Windows edition).What happens after 30 days of not activating Windows 10? ›
Well, they will continue to function and receive updates but you won't be able to customize the operating system. For instance, lock screen and background and wallpaper settings will be grayed out.Is it safe to use unactivated Windows? ›
Really, just no. The only difference between activated and unactivated Windows 10 is the watermark - and the nags urging you to activate. Regardless of what others will incorrectly tell you, Windows 10 can and does install security updates without activation. I've done it.How do I manually activate a Windows license? ›
Select the Start button, and then select Settings > Update & Security > Activation . Select Change product key. Type in the product key found on the COA and follow the instructions.Can you activate Windows without a product key? ›
One of the first screens you'll see will ask you to enter your product key so you can “Activate Windows.” However, you can just click the “I don't have a product key” link at the bottom of the window and Windows will allow you to continue the installation process.What happens if Windows Server 2022 is not activated? ›
After 30 days of running Windows without activating it, you'll notice a watermark appear at the bottom-right of the desktop. The watermark simply says “Activate Windows. Go to Settings to activate Windows”. This is a constant reminder that Windows needs activation.Is Windows 10 enterprise better than pro? ›
The biggest difference between Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise is the type of license you get. Windows 10 Pro follows the traditional licensing model, where you pay a one-time fee for the license and own it forever. Windows 10 Enterprise is an OS-as-a-Service license.How many times can you use a Windows 10 license? ›
If it's a retail license you can move it from computer to computer as many times as you want to, as long as you don't have it installed on two computers at once. But if it's an OEM license, it's permanently tied to the first computer it's installed on and it may never be moved to another.Is there a lifetime Windows license? ›
Microsoft Office Professional 2021 lifetime license: $30
This wildly popular offer for a Microsoft Office lifetime license is live once again for just $30. It's available for both Mac and Windows, so be sure to grab the right one for the computer that you use regularly.
How do I wipe Windows enterprise? ›
- Stop Service. Press the Windows Key and type “Services” ...
- Delete Service. ...
- Remove Enterprise Database. ...
- Remove IIS Website. ...
- Delete Enterpise Folder. ...
- Delete Enterprise from AppData. ...
- Uninstall Enterprise Setup Utility. ...
- Enterprise is now fully removed from the computer.
Enterprise Reset is a feature that allows a device to be factory reset and user data wiped while still maintaining Workspace ONE enrollment and specified content such as corporate apps, files, or Wi-Fi settings.Will I lose my operating system if I do a factory reset? ›
A factory reset effectively destroys all data stored in the unit. Factory resets can fix many chronic performance issues (i.e. freezing), but it does not remove the device's operating system.Why is my Microsoft activation failed? ›
Activation can fail if you have multiple copies of Office installed. Let's uninstall any versions of Office you aren't using before we continue to troubleshoot. Open Control Panel using the steps below for your operating system.Can I activate Windows with the same product key? ›
You're allowed to reuse such a key on different computers. (However, you can't use a single license on multiple computers simultaneously.) So if you build a whole new PC, you can move the license over to it with no hassle.What is the best deployment strategy? ›
The most common strategy is to use a blue-green deployment. The new version (the blue version) is brought up for testing and evaluation, while the users still use the stable version (the green version). When ready, the users are switched to the blue version.What is the most common deployment model? ›
The most common and well-known deployment model is Public Cloud. A Public Cloud is a huge data centre that offers the same services to all its users. The services are accessible for everyone and much used for the consumer segment. Examples of public services are Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn.What are deployment methods? ›
You can consider multiple deployment strategies and variations for rolling out new versions of software in a continuous delivery process. This section discusses the most common deployment methods: all at once (deploy in place), rolling, immutable, and blue/green.What is the most important deployment step? ›
Systematic communication is an important part of deployment management. Check point meetings need to include decision makers, so that decisions can be made at the spot. With these steps you will avoid many common issues in deployments.Which comes first release or deploy? ›
Once the changes in the software are approved, the release management begins. The next step is to plan and build the releases and test them for user acceptance. Lastly, releases are deployed in the target environments.
How do I prepare for a deployment checklist? ›
- Update or create essential legal documents.
- Organize your finances.
- Prepare your family and children.
- Create a family care plan.
- Consider a contingency plan in case things change.
- Public cloud.
- Private cloud.
- Hybrid cloud.
- Community cloud.
There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.Can I download Windows 10 enterprise? ›
Where can I download Windows 10 Enterprise? If you have Windows volume licenses with Software Assurance, or if you have purchased licenses for Windows 10 Enterprise volume licenses, you can download 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 Enterprise from the Volume Licensing Service Center.Can you install Windows 10 enterprise from USB? ›
Downloading Windows 10 Enterprise
Select the ISO option if you want to continue and customize/preinstall drivers, if you simply want a bootable USB with stock Enterprise you can select it here and you are done! When asked for a key, you can use an official KMS key from Microsoft.
To do so, open the Settings app from your Start menu, select “Update & Security,” and select “Activation.” Click the “Change Product Key” button here. You'll be asked to enter a new product key. If you have a legitimate Windows 10 Enterprise product key, you can enter it now.Is Windows 10 enterprise still available? ›
|Listing||Start Date||Retirement Date|
|Windows 10 Enterprise and Education||Jul 29, 2015||Oct 14, 2025|
The Enterprise edition is designed to meet the demands of medium to large organizations. This edition comes packed with even more sophisticated security features such as Device Guard to lock down devices, secure intranet connectivity, and domain-based credential protection.What is the difference between Windows 10 and Windows 10 enterprise? ›
Windows 10 Pro is the business version of Windows 10 that comes pre-installed on most PCs when you buy them from Dell, HP, Microsoft, etc. Windows 10 Enterprise however, is an add-on that sits on top of Windows 10 Pro for added security and mobile device management benefits.How to make bootable USB Windows 10 Enterprise? ›
To create a Windows 10 bootable USB, download the Media Creation Tool. Then run the tool and select Create installation for another PC. Finally, select USB flash drive and wait for the installer to finish. Connect a USB to your Windows 10 PC.
How do I install Windows 10 enterprise from an ISO file? ›
- An ISO file with the Windows 10 Setup. ...
- Windows 10 Setup - Choose the language, time, currency, and keyboard. ...
- Press Install now. ...
- Enter the Windows 10 activation key. ...
- Choose the Windows 10 edition you want to install. ...
- Accept the license terms. ...
- Click or tap on Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)
- Download Rufus.
- Choose File System as New Technology File System (NTFS format).
- Partition scheme as UEFI (GPT).
- Select the location of Windows* operating system image (. iso)
- Click the Start button.
You can deploy Windows Enterprise in your organization without keys and reboots. Devices with a current Windows Pro edition license can be seamlessly upgraded to Windows Enterprise.Where is my Windows 10 enterprise product key? ›
The product key is on a label or card inside the box that Windows came in. For more info, contact the retailer that sold you Windows 10 or Windows 11.What is the benefit of windows Enterprise? ›
- Advanced protection against modern security threats.
- Flexible deployment, update, and support options.
- Comprehensive device and app management and control.
Windows 10 Enterprise E3 in CSP is a new offering that delivers, by subscription, exclusive features reserved for Windows 10 Enterprise edition. This offering is available through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) channel via the Partner Center as an online service.What is latest version of Windows 10 enterprise? ›
The Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021 release includes the cumulative enhancements provided in Windows 10 versions 1903, 1909, 2004, 21H1, and 21H2.Why do I need Windows 10 enterprise? ›
Windows 10 Enterprise is designed to address the needs of large and midsize organizations by providing IT professionals with: Advanced protection against modern security threats. Flexible deployment, update, and support options. Comprehensive device and app management and control.