xf.is blog

Moving from KMS activation to Digital License (subscription)

Published (updated: ) in windows.

At work we are moving everything to Microsoft 365 and Azure AD and removing our on-premises environment.

One of the issue we encountered was that when we removed the computer from the domain and joined Azure AD, Windows was still activated using our KMS host.

In order to convert the computer to use step-up activation (digital license) we had to install the product key that came with the machine (OEM) and then it would automatically change it to digital license subscription.

In order to change product key to the key that came with the computer type in elevated powershell/terminal/cmd prompt:

wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey

slmgr -ipk <product key from last step>

Reboot might be necessary and logon with a user with valid E3/E5 subscription.

After that the Activation should read “Windows 10 Enterprise subscription is active” and “Windows is activated with a digital license”.

It seems that in order to use step-up activation it needs a valid activation /product key before it can upgrade.

When you do

slmgr -dlv

It should say OEM_DM channel (and in our case Windows Pro edition).

When you use


it should say Windows 10 Enterprise.