How Many Computers Can I Install Windows 8 on?

A common question many folks ask is, how many computers can I install Windows 8 on. The answer is in Microsoft’s end user license agreement also know as a EULA. The EULA in Windows 8 is a radical departure from previous iterations but the answer is 1 Windows license is required for 1 computer.

If you have more than one computer that you want to run Windows 8 on, you will need to purchase additional licenses.

You may need another copy of Windows 8 if you have multiple computer stations. This is the upgrade version, which you can use if you already have genuine Microsoft operating system on your computer.

Windows 8 license versions

Microsoft has broken the operating system down into three licenses — OEM, retail upgrade, and personal use also known as system builder.

The OEM software agreement allows you to “install and run one copy only on the computer with which you acquired the software.” In other words, if you buy a PC from Best Buy and it comes with Windows 8, you can use that license only on that computer.

It would be illegal to use it on another computer. With this agreement, you can only use the operating system on the computer that it came with.

Windows 8 Professional System Builder DVD

The Windows 8 Pro System Builder is the best license, which allows you to build a computer and then install this operating system.

indows retail upgrade license
The retail upgrade license allows you to install Windows 8 and “run one copy on one computer, for use by one person at a time.”

The retail upgrade does allow you to switch the license to another computer if one crashes. Let us say, for instance, that your desktop computer, which has the retail upgrade on it, stops working.

With the retail upgrade agreement, you could reuse your key on another computer that has a genuine Windows operating system. The catch is that you must remove the Windows 8 from the broken one.

No sharing operating systems


You can’t share licenses between computers. Remember, one license is good for one computer.

As you can see, although the EULA in Windows 8 is different that previous Microsoft versions, it does still only allow one license for one computer. I
hope this has answered your question about, how many computers can I install Windows 8 on?