This is not correct forum for this question and should be raised under Workstation community.
In order to upgrade workstation you will need to upgrade licence. Please find below documentation for upgrade process -
Hope this helps.
I apologize for posting to the wrong community. I saw the article you sent; however, I was not sure if it related to versions before v14. I assume this is applicable for version 12 to version 16. Please advise if installing version 16 and opening a VM from version 12 is also possible? Will there be any negative impact in doing so?
I can't tell you for sure whether the upgrade from version 12 to version 16 will work flawlessly, but I assume it will. If not, you can always uninstall the old version, reboot your PC, and then install the new version. This will not affect the VMs, as they as handled like documents.
Tying to run a VM in a lower Workstation version as the one it has been created in can be tricky, because newer version usually introduce new capabilities (newer virtual hardware versions), which of course are not supported in older versions. However, the Create New Virtual Machine wizard lets you select the compatibility level, so that you can create a VM with the features of a lower version.
Don't forget you will need a new license key for Workstation Pro 16 if you want to continue to use all of the features of the Pro edition. Your Workstation Pro 12 key will not work. You may need to buy a full license because according to VMware's online store the upgrade pricing is applicable when upgrading from Workstation Pro 14 or later.
If you don't need all the Pro version features, and you are using the product for personal purposes, you can download Workstation Player 16 and use it for free. It reverts to the free Player product if you don't install it with a license key. However you are in violation of the product agreement if you use it for work or for other commercial purposes.