Windows 7 Home Premium vs. Windows 7 Professional

What are the differences between Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional?

Remote Desktop Host

Home Premium: No
Professional: Yes

Windows 7 Professional can host a remote desktop session, basically allowing a remote PC to connect and take control over the host, as if you were actually sitting in front of the host PC and using it. This type of feature is quite handy for instance if you wish to connect to your work PC from home, to continue with some unfinished business from earlier in the day.

Presentation Mode

Home Premium: No
Professional: Yes

Presentation mode is designed to temporarily alter some of the power saving and notification aspects of your normal desktop environment. You can configure the screen saver to not come on during presentation mode. You can use a different desktop wallpaper during presentation mode. (It may be inappropriate to have your favourite movie star flashing up on the screen during your presentation!) You can also preset the system volume to a specific level while in presentation mode. Presentation mode can also prevent any annoying system messages or program popup notices from running.

Joining a domain

Home Premium: No
Professional: Yes

This feature is not necessary for the average home PC. If the PC is a portable device such as a laptop and needs to connect to a large corporate network, it may require the ability to join a Domain, which is a segmented group of computers on a larger network. In this instance Home Premium Edition would not be suitable.

Read More: Windows 7 vs Windows 8: What's the difference?

Windows XP Mode

Home Premium: No
Professional: Yes

This feature allows users to install Microsoft’s Virtual PC application and then install and run a complete fully licensed version of Windows XP SP3 from within the virtual PC environment. This feature was originally developed for businesses to migrate from Windows XP to Windows 7, and give them an environment from which to continue using any older non–Windows 7 compatible software. It is not suitable for applications which require 3D graphics or hardware accelerated sound, so gaming or even using your old TV tuner to watch TV are definite no-nos

As you can see from these explanations, the additional features present in the Professional Edition of Windows 7 are focused more on a business style or corporate workplace environment, and are not generally necessary for the average home PC user.

Glenn Howlett is the general manager of DCA Computer Technologies a computer retailer and support provider. Read more articles at the DCA Computers blog, follow DCA Computers on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Tags Windows 7

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Glenn Howlett

PC World


Josh Mamet


That was very helpful thanks - I'm in the process of choosing a new Dell system and wondered what I'd be paying the extra for.

Carl Thomposn


I have read many premium vs professional comparisons and yours is the best. It is the only usable one. The others tell on that one is green, the other red, but doesn't put the differences into context like your analysis does. Thanks so much. This was a gem.

Stefan Hreszczuk


Have just purchased the Pro ver before reading your article. Looks like I have wasted some $$$'s as clearly the added features are not required in my home environment & intended use.

Regards - Stefan H.

Len Vanderlinde


What about the ability to run some Windows XP based programs on 7 Pro but not on 7 Home Premium? Is this an issue worth commenting on?



Excellent article! Concise and to the point, this is exactly the kind of bullet-list comparison that is really useful in easy to understand terms! Thanks!






Windows 7 does not have the card games ect. that Home Premium does. I found this out too late. Very disappointed



also in the pro version it can support 2 cpu's which home premium cannot



A very helpful and straight forward explanation. Just what I needed to know. Thanks.



good review, helps me a lot. in process of purchasing a new lap top for education purposes. based on your review, I think I will need a home premium. thank you.

Daniel Pryor


@Len Vanderline: You can actually run Win XP progs inside Home premium just run as an administrator and then run it in compatibility mode. presto. Pro version the only difference is that it will actually let you install a completely seperate WIN XP on a different partition on the hard disk. AND you can actually download this program from Microsoft for free!

Don Lambert


I just got a PC loaded w/Windows 7 Home Premium and was dismayed to see that there is no MS Word included. there is a "word pad" but that is not the same - there is not even a spell check feature on it. In that I do have an XP program disc I apparently can load that onto the hard drive and still keep the MS 7 Program. Is this a long laborious process or fairly straight forward procedure?



You just saved me a hundred bucks. I am buying a laptop online.

ed pfau


I just bought a computer with Windows 7 Home Premium. I cannot locate the toolbar that had file, tools etc. I used this a lot. Can anyone tell me how to install this/



To ed pfau: The menu bar with files, tools, etc. can be found by right clicking at the top of the computer screen and checking menu bar on the list.



I'm going to college next year for computer engineering. Which Windows would you recommend, Pro or Home Premium?



Thanks you saved me from doing a blunder.

Peter Leonard Wales


excellant article:clear enough for oldies like me!

Anne Pensini


Great to find this site today as I am getting a pc built.
I really appreciate your clear explanations of the difference between the systems.

Jim T


Had all sorts of problems with my new home HP WIN 7, until I realized I was trying to run my old XP programs. Sent it back and now have a Professional (p6-2220) coming. I am told that I can run 32 and 64 bit on it. Hope this works, I just went through a 3 week nightmare. I know half the Tech guys in India by their first name. :)



-intel(R) Core(TM) 2Duo CPU t5800 @2.00Ghz
- 3.00 GO rami

witch windows is the best for my..i play games

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