How to upgrade Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro

Windows 10 S has limited usability, but you can always upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, and here's how.

Surface Laptop four colors
Surface Laptop four colors

Windows 10 S is just a variant of Windows 10 Pro with a set of specific configurations to offer better security and performance. However, as a result, you’re limited to run only Windows Store apps and use Microsoft Edge as your default web browser.

However, if you just purchased a new Surface Laptop, which is Microsoft’s flagship for Windows 10 S, you can easily upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to run traditional (win32) apps, Google Chrome as your web browser, and use other tools, such as Command Prompt, Linux Bash console, and others.

In this guide, you’ll learn the easy steps to upgrade Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro from Windows 10 S

While there are a number of ways to proceed with the upgrade process, here are the easiest steps to jump to Windows 10 Pro.

Important: It’s always recommended to make a full backup of your data before making significant changes to your system’s installation.
  1. Use the Windows key + R to open the Run command.

  2. Type cmd and click OK. This command will try to run Command Prompt, which is a desktop application and can’t run on Windows 10 S. As a result, it’ll trigger a security message.

  3. Under “Still want to run this unverified app?”, click the See how link.

    Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro
    Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro
  4. The Windows Store will open in the “Switch to Windows 10 Pro” page.

  5. Click the Free button, which will then switch to an Install button.

  6. Click the Install button.

  7. Under “Have you saved all your files?” message, click the Yes, let’s go button.

Once you completed the steps, a “Preparing to switch” dialog will appear, and at this point, the process will simply remove all the restrictions and reboot your Surface Laptop or type of device you have to finish the conversion.

The entire process is done in less than five minutes, because Windows 10 S is Windows 10 Pro, and there is no need to reinstall anything.

It should be noted that initially only for Surface Laptop owners the upgrade is free. Usually, the upgrade cost $49.

Alternatively, you could also simply open the Windows Store and search for Windows 10 Pro to start the upgrade.

Upgrade Windows 10 S using a Windows 10 Pro product key

If you happen to have a Windows 10 Pro product key, you can upgrade Windows 10 S with these steps.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Update & Security.

  3. Click on Activation.

  4. Click the Change product key link.

    Change product key on Windows 10 S
    Change product key on Windows 10 S
  5. Enter your Windows 10 Pro product key, and follow the on-screen direction to complete the upgrade.

    Enter new product key
    Enter new product key

After upgrading to Windows 10 Pro, you won’t be able to downgrade to Windows 10 S. However, you can always roll back by using the recovery image provided by your device manufacturer (e.g., Surface Laptop).

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 15 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 21 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].