Windows 10 Pro users can now 'sidegrade' to Windows 10 S easily

Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper
Windows 10 Cloud Wallpaper (Image credit: Microsoft)

If you're interested in Windows 10 S but don't have a dedicated Windows 10 S device on hand, Microsoft is making it easier for you to try out the latest edition of Windows 10 on your already existing hardware. If you've got a device running Windows 10 Pro, you can now use Microsoft's Windows 10 S upgrade tool to switch to S from Pro.

The upgrade tool works on Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Pro Education, Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 10 Education, and will automatically activate your PC once the upgrade is complete. You don't need to purchase a separate Windows 10 S product key to get activated. The installer won't work, however, on Windows 10 Home since Windows 10 S is technically a version of Windows 10 Pro with some advanced networking features.

This tool is aimed at those who wish to test Windows 10 S on their existing hardware, however it can be used as a way of putting Windows 10 S on any device you wish. Check out the upgrade tool here (opens in new tab) and let us know if you're going to be switching to Windows 10 S!

Zac Bowden
Senior Editor

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

  • IS it also possible to switch back again to Pro at no extra cost?
  • Sure.
  • Is this one way? Can we convert S to Pro later?
  • But why?
  • Security
  • yeah and lighter, faster
  • Rubbish, it is not lighter it is still windows 10 but restricted in that you can only use the store and have to use their awful edge browser.  
  • Unless you install Chrome prior to switching to S version...
  • But you can not make it default, so if you click on a link say from an email, Edge will still open.   
  • No but the system has way more control over an app that come from the store than a traditional x86 program.
  • I prefer to have control over the software on my computer, to be honest. some newer software is not as good as some older stuff. It is bad enough windows 10 deciding to install drivers that are useless.  
  • Ah the marketing ploy. For a decent user, I do not agree with this. If you take care of your OS and easily verify what you install, this "better security " is just a gimp. And most guys I know would never need this. Maybe (just maybe) I see a point in installing this for grandma. But am I the only that sees 10S as useless if you got pro?
  • It's primarily intended for schools
  • Honestly, my sister who is above average smart with computers had accidentally installed a lot of adware on her old device because she kept clicking Next to install things (as most non-power users do) so she got bundled crap. This is helpful for her and for average users.
  • Additionally, this protects you against Win32 based exploits and apps that lie to you, mine bitcoin, and use your resources. Store apps are less likely to be malware as they're reviewed. Even if something slips through, they'll remove it once found.
  • So not that smart then.
  • Settings App > Apps > Apps & features > Installing apps > Allow apps from the Store only Still don't see a reason for Windows 10 S when this can be already be accomplished with Windows 10.
  • Exactly this!
  • > But am I the only that sees 10S as useless   You can stop at that. It's useless regardless of the version you're already running
  • Will other hardware gain the "instant on" and streamlined operation of S? Or is that just specific to certain hardware like the Surface Laptop? My old tablet could use something like S, tbh.
  • You need to have a specific processor for Instant On, I think. Kaby Lake maybe? Theoretically, it should be faster as there are less services to load but I doubt they have removed a lot of low level or OS level things from S yet.
  • LOL, who in their right mind would gimp their PC from a Pro version to Win10 S.hit version?    
  • Asking the right questions here!
  • No average person would do this "sidegrade".
  • It's useful for some people, you are clearly not part of the population it's for
  • delusional fanboys...Nutella @$$ kissers.
  • How much $?
  • Has anyone tried w10s on any nuvision tablet? I bought the solo 10 draw and it lags a bit. I think w10 is to heavy for nuvision tablets.
  • I have Home on mine, so presumably this won't work for me. However, I recently reset to factory, then immediately set to accept store apps only. It works much better this way. Better performance and battery.
  • I bought a surface tablet and gave my old laptop to my mom.
    I had it running with windows 10 Pro with a free update from 7 Pro.
    Windows 10 S would be must useful for that computer as it would require less maintenance and anything it uses on it is from the store or windows update... except for the remote client i have installed on it... when windows provides a more straightforward solution to remote into it, cause RDP sucks, i will install windows 10 S on it
  • Linux users wishing RDP was theirs. Clueless Windows users saying it's sucks. 
  • I'd do this just to try it. For fun. My education. As long as I can come back.
  • The sidegrade would be a pain because of your existing win32 apps which would not be functional in Win10S.....Unless you clean install or uninstall all of your win32 apps prior to sidegrade!
  • Is Windows 10 S really that different from that setting that was introduced in Win10 a while back to limit .exe's from running and only downloading apps from the Store? It's as if someone who saw that feature came up with the idea of marketing it but some exec took it further and said it should be its own version of Windows lol
  • You misspelled "downgrade". 
  • Would make more sense for Home users not Pro.
  • "sidegrade"? I believe the word you're looking for is downgrade.
  • Not as concerned about accidentally installing win32 exe apps via attachments as much as the rogue website click. I know a few sites that automatically seize your browser once you navigate into them (the bogus 'your PC is infected, call this number' scam). It's safer using Edge on Xbox because of these. So will Win10S protect a PC from these types of malware infections?
  •  Yes. Also, Edge on Windows now lets you close a tab that those scam websites try to "seize" even if a popup is present.
  • Upgrade?? Win central is more delusional than ever :))) WTF you call an upgrade from a Pro version to a locked down crap version??
  • This is entirely the wrong way around for me.
    Pro is on the machines I need full access to, my Home tablets are the ones that I want S on.
    Would switch my Surface 3 over to S in a heartbeat to speed it up and make it secure for the grand kids to use.
  • Why in gods name would anyone want to DOWNGRADE to 10S from Pro? I see no benefit at all, only downsides.
  • A good use for Windows 10s is for it to be on a home based computer set to dual boot both Windows 10s and full Windows 10. The younger kids would use windows 10s because it has safe Apps in the Windows 10 store. the older kids and parents would have the password to use Full Windows 10
  • I like the way that Linux does things better, especially seeing that there aren't enough apps in the store to make this worthwhile. Although I am interested in emulation of Win32 apps from the store.  But I would rather have emulation of Win32 apps in general, regardless of whether they come from the store or not.  At least you get the apps you want; few commercial outfits are making apps for Linux that I want.
  • I tries this on my Lenovo Yoga Book as that device being an Atom based device would benefit greatly from havingh Widnows 10 S on it (Am ok with using Store apps on that), but unfortunately the update failed.   Initially the tool said  - everything OK for update - but on download and update it failed. It maybe that the Yoga Book comes with Windows 10 Home on it.
  • I will not upgrade now. I will try it out eventually, but only after a full format after the standard stuff has been set up. Right now I see too many things like driver-dependant programs (Geforce Experience, Intel Driver Graphics - Office 365. But in three years from now, or when it begins to matter (because consumers might be getting devices that comes with WIndows 10 S, then I will certainly spend more time testing its limits. For now though, I'll just run Windows 10 Pro in "Only install apps from the Windows Store"-mode.
  • I have a surface 3 with windows 10 home. If i upgrade home edition with a generic windows 10 pro licence, can i upgrade to windows 10 s and get a valid license for 10s?