Around a year ago, Microsoft released a new subscription called Windows 10 Enterprise E3. This subscription allowed users to connect their workstations to Azure AD and upgrade a valid Windows 10 Pro license to Windows 10 Enterprise.

The license can be used on up to 5 machines per user and is strictly for performing upgrades. Due to the ambiguous nature of the name and the originally poor communication Microsoft released relating to this SKU, many individuals believed that this was a full license of Windows 10 Enterprise. Microsoft even added into the Office 365 Admin Center, the ability to create a bootable ISO image which lead many to believe that this was more than an upgrade option. 

I have received numerous service desk requests for assistance to properly license this subscription with workstations. Many users are making the honest mistake of wiping a machine and attempting to use this license on a bare metal install. This as I have alluded to, will not function in this capacity. If a valid Windows 10 Pro license activation is not discovered on the workstation, the upgrade will not proceed.  

Below are the steps Microsoft would like you to follow to properly use this license: 

1. Purchase the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 subscription or Microsoft 365 subscription which includes this SKU within the Office 365 Admin Center or with your appropriate partner

2. Within the Office 365 Admin Center, click on Users on the left-hand pane and then Active Users

3. Search for the appropriate user, this can be done using the search bar on the top right

4. Once the user is located, click on their account. On the new blade that opens on the right, click Licenses and Apps

5. Locate the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 or Microsoft 365 subscription, and if there are available licenses, click the box to the left of the name to select it

6. Click Save Changes to assign the license to the user

7. Once assigned, go to the user’s PC and click on the Windows icon on the bottom left corner

8. Click the Settings gear icon to open the PC settings. 

windows 10 enterprise e3, Tech Tip: How to Properly Activate Windows 10 Enterprise E3

9. On the new pop-up screen, click Accounts.

windows 10 enterprise e3, Tech Tip: How to Properly Activate Windows 10 Enterprise E3

10. On the left-hand pane, click Access work or school

windows 10 enterprise e3, Tech Tip: How to Properly Activate Windows 10 Enterprise E3

11. Click the Connect

windows 10 enterprise e3, Tech Tip: How to Properly Activate Windows 10 Enterprise E3

13. Enter in the users Office 365 password

Once entered this will link the users Azure AD account in the Microsoft Cloud to the user’s workstation. This will then cross refence with the users assigned licenses and confirm they have Windows 10 Enterprise E3 connected on their account. If the PC has a valid Windows 10 Pro license, the machine will automatically elevate to Windows 10 Enterprise. There is nothing the user will have to do, and no reboot required for the OS to upgrade. Windows 10 Pro actually has Windows 10 Enterprise already installed within the code and just needs a valid license to unlock its features.

 

If you are unsure of what version of Windows your machine is on, you can do the following:

1) Click the Windows icon on the bottom left of your screen

2) With the icon clicked, type PC

3) An icon called This PC will appear, right-click it and select Properties

windows 10 enterprise e3, Tech Tip: How to Properly Activate Windows 10 Enterprise E3

4) At the top you will see the Windows version that is currently installed on the PC. And at the very bottom will show if Windows is activated

windows 10 enterprise e3, Tech Tip: How to Properly Activate Windows 10 Enterprise E3

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