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Windows 10 Licensing and Upgrading



For MSL members appointed through the Faculty of Science and Faculty of Medicine, you qualify for a free upgrade of your personal PC to Windows 10 Education edition.

Windows 10 Education edition is a required upgrade for most personally owned PC's being used for work in the MSL.  This is to enable BitLocker native encryption support that is not present in the Windows 10 Home version usually shipped on these devices.  Windows 10 Professional and Windows 10 Enterprise also support BitLocker encryption and do not need to be upgraded.  This encryption requirement is due to UBC being regulated by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). UBC policy requires that all mobile devices storing personal information must be encrypted.

Using the Faculty of Science or Faculty of Medicine Microsoft Imagine web store you can obtain a Windows 10 Education edition license key and download the installation media.  You will need to do the upgrade yourself.  We can only offer very minimal support for personal systems.  If you need extensive help we will direct you to a local computer shop.

What version of windows am I running?

Follow these instructions to find out what version of Windows you are currently running.  If you are running Windows 10 Education, Professional, or Enterprise you do not need to upgrade.

Getting Windows 10 Education

  1. Using your UBC Campus Wide Login (CWL) login to the appropriate Microsoft Imagine Store based on your faculty appointment:
    1. Faculty of Applied Science: Microsoft Imagine Store
    2. Faculty of Science:  Microsoft Imagine Store
    3. Faculty of Medicine: Microsoft Imagine Store
  2. Click Add to Cart on the language you wish (English or English - United Kingdom).
  3. Click the Check Out > button at the bottom of the page.
  4. Make sure to save the Product Key that gets generated in a text file somewhere.  You can also print the web page to a pdf and save that.
  5. If you are upgrading from Windows 10 Home you can now skip to the next section.  If you are upgrading from a non Windows 10 version you will need to download the installation media.
  6. Click the Download link.
  7. Click Download SDM link to download the Secure Download Manager (SDM).
  8. Install the downloaded Secure Download Manager (SDM) program.
  9. Return to your web browser and click the Download .SDX button.
  10. Double click the .sdx file you downloaded.  This should open the Secure Download Manager (SDM)
  11. Find the Windows 10 Education 64-bit version NOT 32-bit and click the Start Download button.
  12. Once it is finished click the Launch button.  This will open the folder it has downloaded to.  There should be a Windows 10 folder containing the .iso image file.
  13. Create a bootable USB disk or burn the image to a DVD.  This document can help instruct you how to do this.

Upgrading from Windows 10 Home
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on Activation.
  4. Click the Change product key link.
  5. Type the 25-digit Windows 10 Education product key you got from the Faculty of Science Imagine store.
  6. Click Next to complete the process.
  7. If the activation process completes successfully, you will get the "Windows is activated" message.


We couldn’t upgrade your edition. Try upgrading your edition of Windows again or contact your system administrator or Microsoft.

If you recieve this error please try disabling your antivirus program.  Usually this feature is called auto-protect.  If that does not fix it, try uninstalling your antivirus program, rebooting, and trying the upgrade again.  This problem has been confirmed with both Norton and McAfee anti-virus products.

Upgrading from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1

  1. First confirm you have a full backup of the files on your system.  You do not want to lose all of your data if something happens to go wrong.
  2. Prepare for upgrading your system by reviewing this upgrade preparation document.
  3. Have your key ready and boot from the media you created to upgrade Windows.  Here is a helpful walkthrough of the upgrade procedure.