[Windows 8] How to go back to Windows 8 Pro after installing Media Center

In an earlier article, I showed you how to get Windows Media Center for free in Windows 8. Additionally, I explained the issue that it changed my product key from Windows 8 Pro to Windows 8 Pro with Media Center. Despite removing Windows Media Center, the product key didn’t come back to normal. If you want to reinstall Windows 8 with your purchased product key, this is an article you may read.


First of all, you need to have the Windows 8 installation. It may be a DVD or a mounted ISO installation file. The other thing you have to prepare before starting is your valid product key of Windows 8 Pro.

Then, you should follow these steps.

  • Open Registry Editor by pressing Windows key then type “regedit” (without the quotes) and choose “regedit.exe” result on the left. If you are using a table, you should wipe from the right screen edge, select “Search” then type “regedit” and choose “regedit.exe” result.
  • In the left side, you should navigate to this location

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

  • In the right side, you should change these followed values by double click on a property then change the field “Value data.”
    • Change the value of “EditionID” from “ProfessionalWMC” to “Professional.”
    • Change the value of “ProduceName” from “Windows 8 Pro with Media Center” to “Windows 8 Pro.


  • After that, you need to go to your Windows 8 installation drive and run “setup.exe” file in order to open Windows 8 Setup.


  • In “Windows 8 Setup” window, you will be asked to enter your product key. Then you have to choose “Keep Windows settings, personal files and apps” in the “Choose what to keep” step.
  • Now, what you need to do is just wait for the process to complete.




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  • Jeff Ray

    THANK YOU!!! The windows update link did not work for me, so I had to use my 8.1 Pro Disk instead. Other than that, this method will work, but it will actually re-install the entire OS, while keeping your settings and such. So it takes awhile to do. Oh, and G, I have THREE copies of this to deal with, lol! So yeah, I did the same thing you did, so I labeled them this time too, hahaha.

  • LJ48

    Thank you!

  • G

    If you’re like me and you have two legitimate copies of W8 pro, one of them media center, and you mistakenly use the media center key on the non-media center install, precisely as Hoang says, you’ll end up changing the key on your computer, to that of a different installation and not even know it at the time.

    Then, Windows asks to be activated because now the key has “changed” and the OS believes there’s been a notable hardware change. It’s made to think that way. You can’t simply re-enter your correct key to “revert” and ditch the media upgrade. You’re stuck with a ticking “authorization bomb”. A simple reinstall from the original DVD won’t offer you the option to keep your data and applications, either. You can try to save some personal data, or wipe the install – those are the only options. That’s seriously bad news for a small goof.

    But using Hoang’s method above, you can indeed re-install Windows 8 and toss the incorrectly upgraded install into a Windows.old directory. Once you know you’re back where you need to be, use the administrative “disk cleanup” tool, with the option to clean system files (bottom) to nuke the 30GB or so Windows.old directory.

    It takes about two hours to do all of this depending on your hardware; so be careful with your keys! Label the boxes so you know which is which right off the bat!

    To Hoang, thank you for this solution, you saved me quite a bit of time staring at many (many) install screens.

    To Microsoft: if you’re algorithm is so smart at understanding a “valid” key, go one step further and lets the OS perform a server check, and/or disallow the step I mistakenly made. I’ve savvy, but a less technical person would really be in trouble.

  • locr

    it doesn’t work if you have win8.1 with a win8 CD