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
  • 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. 🙂