How to fix “Windows upgrade failed” error code 0x80070005

Error code 0x80070005 while upgrading to Windows 10 Pro.

After buying a new Windows laptop a few days ago, I was about to return it and buy a new Linux laptop instead. It’s infuriating that the Microsoft Store kept giving me an error while upgrading to Windows 10 or 11 Pro – but I’ve finally found a mysterious fix that actually works.

Unfortunately, if you search for the error message, you will be presented with a large number of articles from other sites that give general, meaningless advice. They said restart your laptop, so I immediately rebooted only to find that Windows 11 suddenly thought I was on an unlicensed Enterprise copy and forced me to completely downgrade to Windows 10.

Windows 11 says you don't have a valid digital license or product key.

The moral of the story is to not trust random sites on the internet when it comes to fixing problems on your laptop.

Noticeable: We assume that you have already gone through the upgrade process from Windows Home to Windows Pro using the Windows Store and have a physical license.

Related: How to downgrade from Windows 11 to Windows 10

How to fix error code 0x80070005 and upgrade to Windows 10 or 11 Pro

The solution is what you would expect from Microsoft: you will have to hack the registry and then reinstall. Technically, it’s called “resetting your computer” these days, but it’s kind of the same thing.

advice: Before you read any further, it’s time to backup all your important files. It’s possible that hacking the registry and performing a factory reset will delete those important lunch photos or that one thing you saved at the time. So reading the rest of this article is probably not recommended if you don’t have a backup. Well are you done? Keep reading after that.

First, you’ll want to open the Start Menu, search for Registry Editor or Regedit, and then scroll down to the following key:


Double-click “ProductName” in the left pane, and change the value from “Windows 10 Home” to “Windows 10 Pro”. (Or, if you’re trying to repair Windows 11, just change it to “Windows 11 Pro”).

Designation "product name" value in Registry Editor.

The next step is to factory reset your PC where Windows is tricked by hacking the registry into thinking you are already using Windows 10 Pro and set it up completely for you.

Launch the Settings app (you can press Windows + i to do this) and head to Update & Security > Recovery or just type “reset this PC” in the search box. If you’re a wizard, you can use the Command Prompt to factory reset instead, but we’ll assume you’re not a wizard and prefer doing it graphically.

Click the Get started button under Reset this PC, choose the Keep my files option (unless you want to delete all your files), and proceed through the wizard to perform a full factory reset of your computer.

Noticeable: If you are presented with the option to perform a cloud download of the installation files, choose that option.

Choose "keep my files" To avoid deleting all your files.

Once you have completed this process, which will likely take some time, there is one more step: activate Windows again. Open the Settings app and head to Update & Security > Activation, or just type “Activation” in the Start Menu search box to find these options.

You will get an error message saying that you are using Windows 10 or 11 Pro, but it has not been activated. You will then have to click on the Troubleshoot link to force Windows to try to activate it. You would have thought Windows would be smart enough to do this on its own, but you would be wrong. Click it anyway.

The Windows 10 activation screen says that Windows has not been activated.

You’re all done – Windows is activated and you have successfully upgraded to Pro.

Windows 10 Settings app says to activate Windows 10 Pro with a digital license.

You thought Microsoft would make it easy to upgrade from Windows Home to Pro, but it turns out they just want you to read this article.

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