Microsoft has begun blocking Windows 7 and Windows 8 keys from activating Windows 11. That means you will not be able to activate Windows 11 with older keys from Windows 7 anymore.
Microsoft is now closing this loophole, likely to encourage users to purchase new Windows 11 licenses. It’s been a loophole that has existed for years, allowing people to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 or 11 free of charge.
The Verge recently attempted to install Windows 11 (22H2) using various Windows 7 keys; however, the keys would not function for activation. An error notice that reads, “Windows 7 key cannot be activated on Windows 11” displays when the attempt is made.
We can’t activate Windows on this device because you don’t have a valid digital license or product key.
If you are planning to upgrade to Windows 11, you will need to purchase a new license key if you are currently using Windows 7 or 8.