Upgrade (or Downgrade) Windows 7 Ultimate or Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Home 36

If you’re an “ultimate” geek running an “Ultimate” edition of Windows (such as Windows Vista Ultimate or Windows 7 Ultimate), but you want to upgrade or downgrade to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Home Premium, or Windows 7 Home Basic, you’ve got a problem: the Windows 7 installer won’t allow you do an upgrade (or downgrade) to a “lower” version of Windows 7.

If you attempt it, you’ll receive an error message like this:

Microsoft has declared that you can only upgrade from Pro-to-Pro or Ultimate-to-Ultimate, meaning if you want to go from Vista or Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Pro or Windows 7 Home Premium, you have to do a fresh install, thereby losing  all your settings, favorites, installed programs, etc.

In my case, I was trying to upgrade my wife’s computer from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional. But it’s also as big problem for anyone who ran a beta or pre-release versions of Windows 7, which only came in the Ultimate flavor.

But, of course, there’s a hack.

You can trick the Windows 7 installer into thinking that you’ve actually got a lower edition installed, which will then allow the upgrade to proceed. Here’s how:

  • Open the Registry Editor (run regedit.exe).
  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion

  • Now you need to change the EditionID and ProductName keys to a lower edition of Windows.
  • To upgrade from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional, change the EditionID from Ultimate to Business, and the ProductName from Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate to Windows 7 Business. You read that right – even though you’re running Windows Vista, you can trick it into thinking you’re running a version of Windows 7 that is eligible for upgrade.
  • To downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional, change the EditionID from Ultimate to Professional, and the ProductName from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional.
  • To downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium, change the EditionID from Ultimate to HOMEPREMIUM, and the ProductName from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 HOMEPREMIUM.
  • To downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Basic, change the EditionID from Ultimate to HOMEBASIC, and the ProductName from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 HOMEBASIC.
  • Run setup.exe from the Windows 7 DVD (don’t boot from the DVD).
  • Choose the Upgrade option when prompted.

 If you’re trying to “downgrade” from the Windows 7 Ultimate Release Candidate (Build 7100), you have to jump through a few additional hoops:

  • Copy the contents of the install DVD to a new folder on your hard drive.
  • Locate the cversion.ini file in the Sources sub-folder, double-click it to open in Notepad, then change MinClient=7233.0 to MinClient=7077.0
  •  Run setup.exe from the folder on your hard drive, and choose the Upgrade option.
  • When the upgrade is complete, you can delete the folder.

Keep in mind that in all of the above cases, you’ll need to re-activate your copy of Windows with the new Product Key once the upgrade is complete.

Happy upgrading or downgrading!

  • navaniko

    hola amigos como estan tengo un gran problema lo que necesito es convertir mi windows 7 home premuin a windows 7 ultimatesin perder la licencia orijinal, como ven lo que necesito es alreves de lo que muestran ahay si alguien tiene el conosimiento del tema si me pueden ayudar estare muy agradesido gracias…..;) mi correo es [email protected]

  • alex

    Does this hack work on the Non-pre release (or beta) version of Windows 7 Ultimate? I didn’t realize I had only 1 license for Ultimate, and installed it on 2 machines.. now I’m stuck and want to drop it to Professional (where I have multiple licenses), so I don’t have to pay $219 (bs). Thanks!

  • Mike

    I came across your site concering Windows AD and 7 searches. Thanks for the info. Good luck on the martial arts test !

    ” Be like water my friend ;-)” Bruce Lee

  • Cooki


    DON’T WORK !!!

    I try, but it’s the same… I can’t be up-grade! (vista UL -> 7 pro)


    • I’ve verified these steps myself moving from Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Professional. As long as you’re using licensed (non-pirated) copies of both versions of Windows, just follow these steps exactly and the upgrade will work.

  • Sebastian

    Thank you very much! Worked perfectly, upgraded from Vista Ultimate to 7 Pro.

  • Dave

    Wow, I just got my copy of Windows 7 Pro from the store and went to install it into my Vista Ultimate, man was I surprised when I found out it wouldn’t let me! And after spending 200 bucks. Thanks for putting this web page up!!! A life-saver!

  • Brajakishore

    Thanks, but this crack is not working for upgrading windows 7 ultimate to windows home basic.

  • Jay Janke

    Nice hack. Works great. Rarely does any advertised hack work simply and easily to fix an aggravating problem. This hack works perfectly as advertised.

  • Jerry Brown

    I did the changes in regedit and it still recognized I am running Ultimate when running the upgrade s/w. I am trying to upgrade to Win7 Pro.

    Do I need to reboot after doing the regedit changes?


    • vic

      same thing with me — made the changes to go from Vista Ultimate to Win7 Pro — it still recognized my copy as Ultimate and it gave me the “no go” screen. Boo-hiss!!

      Nevermind — I mis-spoke. Didn’t follow the directions correctly (didn’t enter BUSINESS). My bad

  • Jerry Brown

    Also is there a way to check the “build” I am on?

    Thanks again,

  • Pingback: Windows seven sau Windows 7 - Page 209()

  • qwertydaa

    And if I change the product name from win7Professional to win7 HOMEBASIK , starts the OS then or no?. I need to change the name of the os on the welcome screen but does not change her functionality.

  • Carlos Paulino

    Worked like a charm!



    I downloaded once the ultimate version but now its asking me for validation and im trying to downgrade to home basic (original software). But here´s my question
    You are talking about a DVD, what if my pc came with Win7 pre instaled and i dont have that DVD?

    I would really apreciate your reply

    • Sorry – I only know how to do it with the original install media.

    • Brent Newland

      Use anytime upgrade, it works with OEM and Retail keys, not just Anytime Upgrade keys.

  • Dave H

    Thanks Steve
    I have an older Lenovo tablet with vista ultimate factory installed. The computer never worked properly. Installed windows 7 professional with your instructions it worked great with one exception, regedit.exe didn’t work for my 32-bit machine. Research from a Microsoft support site revealed with 32-bit use (regedt.exe) drop the I. everything else worked as instructed.
    Novice, Hack

  • DanX

    Very slick, thanks Steve.

  • Chris

    Wish I could give this + 1 million on g+

  • Avi

    Thanks alot. Works fine for me. Installed Windows 7 pro. I am downgrading to Windows 7 Basic on my old laptop.

  • Zapnico2

    Merci ! Après avoir tout installé, drivers, programmes, données, pas possibilité de rentrer la clé produit: mauvaise version. J’avais gravé la version N de windows 7… Et l’upgrade non possible à partir de la bonne version sans tout refaire mais avec votre bidouille CA MARCHE !!!!!
    MERCI ^^

    • Salut, Zapnico! Ca me fait plaisir que ma bidouille a bien marché pour toi! 🙂

  • Worked fine for me I’m using “back up´s” for both(vista & 7) and no problemo, using lat am versions 😉

  • Doesn’t work for me.
    I have a version of Windows 7 Ultimate that worked for 2 years and now MS has decided that it’s counterfeit. Am guessing I got ripped off by the company that sold it to me online (it wasn’t cheap).
    Anyway, I have a 3 year old legit Windows 7 Home Premium purchased from MS directly. After spending the afternoon using RT7lite to make a DVD with SP1 slipstreamed in, changing the registry settings, and modifying cversion.ini as above, it won’t downgrade.
    Is there anything else you can think of to try?

  • Hi, I’ve got a question. When you said “Run setup.exe from the Windows 7 DVD (don’t boot from the DVD).” What DVD? I want to downgrade from Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 7 Starter. ¿Should I run the setup.exe within a windows 7 start CD? ¿Or any Windows 7 version works?

    I’ll wait your answer! Thanks

    • Run it from the CD that contains the version of Windows you want installed on the machine.

  • Go

    Awesome… it worked… thanks!

  • Steve, I’m trying to do something slightly different, but my buddy pointed me to this posting and said it might help. I have a full licensed copy of Win7 Home Preimum, and a full copy of Win7 Pro 64-bit. I am trying to “upgrade” to Pro without having to re-install, I have already tried using the WAU and that didn’t work. Any thoughts? (And yes, they are both legitimate copies 🙂 )

    • 32-bit to 64-bit? Can only be done with a fresh install. 🙁

  • This doesn’t work if you have installed from a Windows-7 Ultimate with SP1 DVD. Apparently, you have to uninstall SP1 first. And as I never had Windows-7 Ultimate without SP1 installed, I cannot uninstall SP1.

  • 🙂 works. THX

  • LesIn29

    How do I make this work to upgrade Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Home Premium?

    • Snatchell

      Just change the

      ProductName from “Windows Vista ™ Ultimate” to “Windows 7 HOMEPREMIUM”


      EditionID from Ultimate to HOMEPREMIUM

      I am doing an “upgrade” on a Dell that came with Vista Ultimate from the factory to Windows 7 Home Premium OEM from NewEgg.

  • Microsoft NEVER wants you to leave Windows 10!!! 🙂

    Sorry, Jeremy, I haven’t tried downgrading yet from Windows 10. Heck, I only upgraded one test box, and I’m happy with Windows 7 still for most of my systems. 🙂