- 1 Download Windows 10
- 2 Download Windows 10
- 3 Compare Windows 10 Home vs Pro
- 4 Quickly capture your thoughts, tasks, and reminders
- 5 Is your computer ready for Windows 10?
- 6 How to Get Windows 10 for Free (or Under $30)
- 7 Upgrade From Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10: Free
- 8 Downsides of Upgrading From Windows 7 or 8
- 9 Don’t Activate Windows: Free
- 10 Downsides of Not Activating Windows
- 11 Use the Microsoft Student Discount: Free
- 12 Downsides of Using the Microsoft Student Discount
- 13 Buy a Cheap Windows 10 Key From a Third-Party Seller: Around $30
- 14 Downsides of Cheap Keys
- 15 Buy a Windows Key From Microsoft: $139+
- 16 Downsides of Buying from Microsoft
- 17 What’s the Best Way to Get Windows 10?
- 18 Still running Windows 7? Time is running out to upgrade to Windows 10
- 19 How to download Windows 10 for free
- 20 How to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free
- 21 You Don’t Need a Product Key to Install and Use Windows 10
- 22 How to Download Windows 10 and Install it Without a Key
- 23 The Cosmetic Limitations
- 24 How to Upgrade Windows 10 to an Activated Version
- 25 Yes, you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade. Here’s how
- 26 How to get the Windows 10 November 2021 Update
Download Windows 10
From the Windows Taskbar, choose the “Edge” icon to launch the “Edge” web browser. 2. Select the “Hub” icon, which may be found in the top right area of the “Edge” browser window’s upper right-hand sidebar. It is important to note that the “Hub” symbol has several options, including Favorites, Reading List, History, and Downloads, among others. “State.gov” provided the photo for the story.
- Navigate to the location where the ISO-file has been stored, click on the file with the right mouse button, and then selectEigenschappen. To change the default settings, select the General tab and then the Wijzigen option. Afterwards, choose Windows Explorer to open the ISO files, and then choose the next option. Toepassen
- Then, with the right mouse button, click on the ISO-file and selecteerKoppelen. Double-click on the ISO-file to see what files and folders are contained within it. Double-click opsetup.exe in order to begin the Windows 10 installation process
Download Windows 10
Using the ISO file for Windows 10 that you downloaded, the file is saved locally in the directory that you specified. You can open the ISO file by going to the location where the file is saved and double-clicking it, or you can right-click the ISO file and selectOpen withand select your preferred DVD burning software from the drop-down menu. If you have a third-party DVD burning program installed on your computer that you prefer to use for creating the installation DVD, you can open that program by going to the location where the file is saved and double-clicking it.
- If you wish to use the Windows Disk Image Burner to produce an installation DVD, you must first locate the location where the ISO file is kept.
- Choosing Windows Explorer as the software to open ISO files from the General tab by clickingChange and then selectingApply is a good place to start.
- The ISO file may be mounted in order to install Windows 10 directly from it, rather than via a DVD or flash drive, if that is what you want.
- To mount the ISO file, follow these steps:
- Enter the place where the ISO file is saved, right-click the ISO file, and selectProperties from the drop-down menu
- Change. may be found on the General tab. and then choose Windows Explorer as the tool you want to use to open ISO files, and then click on Apply. Mount the ISO file by selecting it from the context menu of the right-clicking mouse. To examine the files included within the ISO file, double-click on it. To begin the Windows 10 installation process, double-click setup.exe.
Compare Windows 10 Home vs Pro
|Feature||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
|Using facial recognition, a fingerprint, or PIN, Windows Hello is a fast, secure, and password-free way to unlock your compatible Windows devices. 1|||||
|Device encryption is available on a wide range of Windows devices and helps protect your data by encrypting it. If you turn on device encryption, only authorized individuals will be able to access your device and data. 2|||||
|Your Windows device comes with comprehensive, built-in security features, including firewall and internet protections to help safeguard against viruses, malware, and ransomware.|||||
|Appbrowser control in Windows Security provides the settings for Windows Defender SmartScreen, which helps protect your device from potentially dangerous apps, files, websites, and downloads.|||||
|Manage screen time, limit access to mature content, control online purchases when you connect your family’s Microsoft accounts, and check to make sure the family’s devices are secure and up to date.|||||
|Secure Boot helps prevent malicious software applications and unauthorized operating systems from loading during the system start-up process.|||||
|If your device is lost or stolen, BitLocker and BitLocker To Go put everything on lockdown, so no one else can access your systems or data. 3|||
|WIP helps to protect against potential data leakage without otherwise interfering with the employee experience. WIP also helps to protect enterprise apps and data against accidental data leaks on enterprise-owned devices and personal devices that employees bring to work, without requiring changes to your environment or other apps. 45|||
|Windows Defender Antivirus uses the power of the cloud, wide optics, machine learning, and behavior analysis to protect your devices from emerging, sophisticated threats.|||||
|Feature||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
|Take notes, navigate, draw, doodle, edit, and create. Improve what you do with a digital pen. 6|||||
|Get faster browsing 78and better battery life 89across your devices with Microsoft Edge, the browser built for Windows 10.|||||
|All you have to do is ask Cortana. Your digital assistant on PCs and mobile devices can schedule a meeting, tell you when it’s time to leave for an appointment, or check the weather, news, and traffic. 10|||||
|Extend battery life by limiting background activity and push notifications.|||||
|Get instant access to your Android phone’s texts and photos on your PC, 11or connect your iPhone for seamless browsing, calendar and app experiences. 12|||||
|Free up time and your hands by talking to your computer. Get information and reminders or listen to music and manage your emails and calendar. 13|||||
|Feature||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
|Windows 10 mobile device management (MDM) provides an alternative to traditional PC management processes: you can transition to cloud based management at your own pace. 14|||
|Manage PCs, user accounts, and groups, and get easy access to files and printers when you pair Windows 10 Pro with Windows Server. **You can even define specific security and networking policies for your users and devices.|||
|Available to any organization with an Azure AD Premium or Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) license, Enterprise State Roaming provides users with a unified experience across their Windows devices and reduces the time needed for configuring a new device. 15|||
|Your one place to find, manage, and distribute apps to Windows 10 devices in volume. 16|||
|With Assigned Access, Windows 10 Pro devices run different applications depending on the user and keep individual identities separate and secured.|||
|With Dynamic Provisioning you can take a new PC out of the box, turn it on, and transform it into a productive organization device, with minimal time and effort.|||
|Windows Update for Business can help businesses reduce management costs, provide control over update deployments, enable more efficient delivery of updates, and provide access to the latest innovations from Microsoft.|||
|Configure a device in kiosk mode in a very simple way. You can do this locally on the device or remotely using Mobile Device Management.|||
|Domain Join + Group Policy: IT staff can easily manage PCs, user accounts and groups, security policies, and get easy access to files and printers when you pair Windows 10 Pro with Windows Server. **You can even define specific security and networking policies for your users and devices.|||
|Employees can use a single login across Windows 10, Microsoft 365, ***and other Microsoft services, making logons and passwords easier to manage. The shared logon works on PCs, tablets, and phones with minimal IT involvement.|||
With a Microsoft 365 subscription, you’ll have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more—everything you need to develop and present your ideas. ***FURTHER INFORMATION
Quickly capture your thoughts, tasks, and reminders
Sticky Notes may be used to preserve ideas, thoughts, lists, appointments, and more—all while allowing you to type, scribble, or draw on them so you don’t forget anything!
Voice, pen, and touch
New ways to interact with your Windows 10 PC have been introduced.
Using your face or fingerprint to log into your Windows devices will make the process three times faster.
Is your computer ready for Windows 10?
The capabilities of Windows 10 are best enjoyed on a computer that is up to date. By completing a few simple questions, you can determine whether or not your existing PC is suitable for Windows 10.
How to Get Windows 10 for Free (or Under $30)
Providing information on how to obtain Windows 10 for free – or at the very least at a reduced cost. (Photo courtesy of Anton Watman/Shutterstock.com) You can spend thousands of dollars on computer components, but if the computer does not have an operating system, it will not boot (OS). Linux is a viable alternative, but most people choose Windows since it runs all of their favorite applications, including the most recent games, and is easy to use. Microsoft has not yet released Windows 11, but thankfully, you can obtain a copy of Windows 10 for free or at a low cost if you know where to go.
- Regardless of whether you’ve previously paid for Windows 10 or not, anybody may download an ISO file of the operating system and burn it to a DVD or build installation media on a USB drive for free.
- During the installation process, Microsoft will request an activation key.
- There are a variety of options for obtaining a Windows 10 activation / product key, with prices ranging from entirely free to $309, depending on the version of Windows 10 you wish to purchase.
- Additionally, downloading Windows 10 without a key and never activating the operating system is a possibility.
And does your painstakingly constructed PC build come with any risks? We’ve outlined the most popular ways to obtain Windows 10 – from free to inexpensive to extremely expensive – as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
|Upgrade From Windows 7 or 8||Don’t Activate Windows||Student Discount||Buy a Cheap Key From a Third Party||Buy a Key From Microsoft|
|Price||Free||Free||Free (Windows 10 Education)||About $30 (£11, $40 AU)||Home: $139 (£119.99 / AU$225); Pro: $199.99 (£219.99 / AU$339); Workstation: $309 (£339 / AU$525)|
|Pros||Access to all personalization options; Microsoft support access; Free||Free||Access to all personalization options; Microsoft support access; Equivalent to Windows 10 Enterprise; Free||Access to all personalization options; Microsoft support access||Access to all personalization options; Microsoft support access; Refunds|
|Cons||There’s a small chance Microsoft will reject activation, and you’ll have to contact support||Desktop watermark; Personalization options restricted; Can’t use Microsoft support||You have to be enrolled in an eligible school||There’s a chance your key won’t work, and you’ll have to contact support to get it fixed; Some third parties have bad customer service; Some third parties don’t offer refunds||Expensive|
Upgrade From Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10: Free
Nothing is more affordable than free. In the case of Windows 10 Home or even Windows 10 Pro, it is possible to obtain a free copy of the operating system if you have Windows 7, which has reached End of Life, or later. According to a Microsoft representative, this method is still functional. Upgrade to Windows 10 is completely free if you already have a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 software/product key in your possession. Use of the key from one of those earlier operating systems is required to activate it.
If you use one for a newPC build, any other PCs that happen to be running the same key will be out of luck.
Download Windows 10.
As a result, you’ll have to react to the operating system.
Downsides of Upgrading From Windows 7 or 8
If you attempt to activate Windows 10 using an earlier Windows key, you may encounter issues if Microsoft is unsure whether you are qualified to upgrade or not, according to Microsoft. It will be necessary for you to dial a phone number and go through the procedure of inputting your key and receiving a code in such instance. However, it appears that this has been happening less frequently in recent months and years.
Don’t Activate Windows: Free
Even if you don’t have a valid key, you may still use Windows 10 on your computer for free even if you don’t activate the operating system using it. Several of my coworkers have been using non-activated versions of Windows for years without Microsoft ever noticing or taking any action against them. You can have Windows 10 Home or Pro functioning on your PC almost perfectly if you do things this way. Nearly.
Downsides of Not Activating Windows
“If the user does not activate Windows before doing so, they will see a ‘Activate Windows’ watermark on their desktop and will have fewer personalization choices in Windows 10,” Microsoft said in a statement to Tom’s Hardware. PCs using an unactivated version of Windows 10 are marked by a watermark in the bottom-right corner of the screen, which is owned by Microsoft. According to a Microsoft spokesman, activating Windows 10 assures that you have a valid copy of the operating system, and the watermark is an attempt to inform users that their version of the operating system may be a fake.
If you download and install Windows 10 for free but do not activate it, you will see this watermark on your desktop.
The lack of customized desktop wallpapers and slideshow backdrops, as well as the inability to customize the colors of the Start button and the taskbar and Action Center, as well as light or dark color schemes, fonts, and lock screen settings is a major drawback.
As a result of our investigation, we discovered that changing your wallpaper is still possible by right-clicking a picture from the web or a personal photo and selecting “Set as wallpaper.” A wallpaper that is associated with your Microsoft account will be displayed when you login into Windows using that account as a background image.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft will not provide you with any technical help for Windows 10 if you do not activate the operating system. The first time you phone or chat with one of their techs, they will begin by asking you for your key and you will receive no answer.
Use the Microsoft Student Discount: Free
Students enrolled in certain colleges and secondary schools are eligible to receive a free copy of Windows 10 by activating the free version of Windows 10 Education, which is made available by Microsoft. Teachers, on the other hand, may get Windows 10 Education for $14.99. You may check to see whether your school qualifies and obtain your free Windows 10 key by visiting this page. Even after you graduate, you will still have access to the key. Some schools provide students and instructors with Windows 10 for free or for a nominal fee of $15.
- It is, in fact, superior.
- The operating system includes capabilities for security, device control and administration, and deployment that are not available in Windows 10 Home.
- Despite this, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever make use of any of the supplementary features.
- In addition to ethical considerations, if you are detected, Microsoft has the authority to force you to pay a fine.
Downsides of Using the Microsoft Student Discount
For schools that qualify for the price, there isn’t much of a drawback to using this way of getting Windows 10 for free. It is not available at all institutions and high schools, and you may need to create a special user account in order to access it. Although we don’t see any reason not to take advantage of the opportunity to receive Windows 10 Education for free, we do.
Buy a Cheap Windows 10 Key From a Third-Party Seller: Around $30
Retailers like as Kinguin and Newegg do not give away Windows 10 for free, but they do frequently offer it at a discount. (Image courtesy of Kinguin.) If you can’t bear the thought of living with the scarlet letter of a perpetual watermark, or if you want the assurance that Microsoft will not disown your PC’s operating system if you ask for support, you’ll need to purchase a Windows 10 key. While some choose to acquire keys directly from Microsoft, there are third-party websites that provide keys at a far lower price than Microsoft.
- EvenWalmarth sells it for $104.99, and there is a Pro OEM version available as well.
- Before making a purchase, make sure to read their refund policy.
- While we cannot guarantee for all of them, we believe that websites that sell lower-priced Windows keys are more likely to be selling genuine codes.
- In 2019, Mark Jordan, Kinguin’s vice president of communications, informed Tom’s Hardware that the codes for Kinguin’s merchants are obtained from wholesalers who have excess copies of Windows that they no longer require.
- It would be the equivalent as purchasing Adidas, Puma, or Nike from a discounter, such as TJ Maxx “Jordan shared his thoughts.
- It’s simply another marketplace, really, is all.” In Jordan’s words, Kinguin’s merchants have sold “several hundred thousand” keys and are not one-time sellers who put advertisements for codes they don’t want to buy themselves.
- Jordan went on to say that it’s extremely unusual for a client to receive a key that has been resold, but if this were to happen, customer care would assist them in getting a replacement key for free.
And that merchant would be in serious danger as a result, so they are really cautious with that,” Jordan explained.
Additionally, we’ve received allegations of sluggish customer assistance.
A key will be required in order to activate Windows, but you should have no trouble doing so if you purchased your key from a reputable source such as Kinguin (or Amazon, Newegg, etc.).
If you do decide to get your key for a lower price, be sure it is from a reliable website.
And, like with everything else, if you haven’t heard of a vendor before, you should look into their reputation or find another option.
The following is stated on the Microsoft website: “When purchasing Microsoft software as a digital download, we recommend that you avoid auction sites and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing sites.” Currently, there is a restricted number of sites from which it is legal to lawfully obtain digital copies of Microsoft software.” Microsoft publishes genuine Windows and ensures that it is appropriately licensed and supported by Microsoft or a trustworthy partner.
A larger danger of malware, fraud, public disclosure of your personal information, as well as a higher chance of poor performance or feature failures, is associated with non-genuine software, according to Microsoft in a statement to Tom’s Hardware.
Downsides of Cheap Keys
The return procedures for software keys purchased from these non-Microsoft sources differ from one another. While Kinguin appears to offer a flexible return policy, we’ve heard stories of the service being too delayed or the firm insisting on changing the key rather than refunding money, or vice versa, in certain cases. When it comes to software keys, both Amazon and Newegg have no refund procedures. Amazon states that all keys sold on its website are authentic, and that any issues you have with your key must be resolved with the individual merchants.
Nonetheless, most, if not all, sites appear to be happy to work with you if you receive a key that has previously been used or does not function properly.
As a result, we do not advocate purchasing Windows 10 licenses from private individuals or businesses (or illegally).
While I was able to locate genuine key-selling websites for Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, as well as some (though fewer) websites for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations, I was unable to locate a place to download a key for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations anywhere other than Microsoft (Amazon sells it to ship for $293.83).
However, it’s doubtful that you’ll require the behemoth that is Windows 10 for your own computer.
Buy a Windows Key From Microsoft: $139+
Do you want a version of Windows 10 that lets you enjoy dynamic slideshows on your home screen as well as taskbars that are bright red, green, pink, or purple? You may be looking forward to the pleasures of a watermark-free screen, as well as the security of knowing you can contact Microsoft support if there are any difficulties. A key is then required, which may be obtained from a variety of vendors as previously described. Purchases through Microsoft, on the other hand, are the best option if you want to prevent the possibility of receiving an useless key and the assurance of being able to receive a full refund even if there is no problem with the key.
Additionally, for an additional $99 (£95/AU$120), Microsoft provides the Assure Software Support Plan.
It is valid for a total of five devices and allows you to online and phone assistance as well as one-on-one in-store training with a certified technician. But there is a caveat: according to Microsoft, the plan is only available for purchase and activation inside the region in which it was bought.
Downsides of Buying from Microsoft
Microsoft is the company that charges the highest prices for Windows 10 keys. Windows 10 Home is available for $139 (£119.99 / AU$225), while Windows 10 Pro is available for $199.99 (£219.99 / AU$333). Despite the exorbitant pricing, you are still getting the same operating system as if you had purchased it from a less expensive source, and it is still only functional on a single computer. Furthermore, paying the extra fee does not entitle you to any additional support benefits. Anyone who has a Windows 10 key, regardless of where they obtained it, may access Microsoft’s basic phone and online assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
What’s the Best Way to Get Windows 10?
Because Windows 10 can be obtained for free by using a prior build’s key, it is the most cost-effective choice for those who already have a Windows key from an earlier build. If you don’t have a key on hand, you’ll have to determine whether or not you’re comfortable with running an unactivated version of Windows 10, which has fewer customization choices, an unsightly watermark, and makes you ineligible for Microsoft’s technical support services. There are others who believe that downloading Windows without paying for or already possessing a product key is unethical and unethical.
The firm isn’t attempting to address this loophole, most likely because it is more concerned with increasing the number of users.
Even if you have to purchase a Windows 10 key, you may save a lot of money by purchasing it from a low-cost vendor like as Kinguin.
Nonetheless, Microsoft’s pricing is prohibitively expensive.
READ MORE:How to Run Windows 10 on a Raspberry Pi ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS ON COMPUTER BUILDING MORE: How to Construct a Computer MORE:How to Reset a Windows 10 Computer to Its Factory Settings READ MORE: How to Configure RAID on Windows 10 Scharon Harding has a particular fondness for gaming accessories (particularly monitors), computers, and virtual reality technology in general.
She formerly worked as a business technology reporter for Channelnomics, where she covered topics such as hardware, software, cyber security, cloud computing, and other IT developments. She also contributed to CRN UK.
Still running Windows 7? Time is running out to upgrade to Windows 10
The deadline for upgrading to Windows 10 has passed. Microsoft is no longer providing support for Windows 7, and the corporation has recently released Windows 11 as a replacement. Please bear in mind that Windows 11 will only be offered as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users, and not for those using earlier versions of the operating system. Upgrades will be required for those who are still using outdated operating systems. (Click here to learn how to get Windows 11 and how to determine whether your PC is compatible.) If you’re still using Windows 7, you may upgrade to Windows 10 Home for $139 (£120, AU$225) through Microsoft’s official website.
- Upgrade to Windows 10 now will make future upgrades, such as Windows 11, much more straightforward.
- More information may be found at: Windows 11 evaluation: Familiar, but not stale Users of Windows 7 who do not upgrade to Windows 10 are already missing out on Microsoft’s security updates, bug patches, and technical assistance, according to the company.
- Learn how to download and install Windows 10 for free, and get the newest information on Windows 11 computer requirements and a typical Windows 11 issue that Microsoft users have been experiencing.
- This story has been updated recently.
How to download Windows 10 for free
If you’re presently running a licensed and active copy of Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, here’s how to acquire Windows 10 for free. 1: At home or in the office: 1. Navigate to the Windows 10 Download page. Click Download tool now and Run under the heading “Create Windows 10 installation media.” If this is the only computer that needs to be upgraded, select Upgrade this computer immediately. Create installation disks for another PC and save the installation files if you’re upgrading from a separate system.
You should notice a digital license for Windows 10 in the Settings UpdateSecurityActivation section when the update is complete.
Stephen Shankland is a contributor to CNET.
(Please note that the update is not available for Windows Enterprise.) Other users may also encounter problems, depending on the configuration of your computer.) This update, which makes use of the media production tool, is not intended for the general public, although it does work for a large number of people.
Depending on your situation, you may also be eligible to get Windows 10 for free as a student or member of the faculty at your university.
For additional information, see the best antivirus protection for Windows 10 in 2021, six security adjustments that all Windows 10 users should make, all of the significant differences between Windows 10 and Windows 11, and every Windows 10 setting that you should deactivate (all of which can be found here).
You may also download Microsoft Office for free from the internet.
How to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free
Although Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers expired a few years ago, you may still technically upgrade to Windows 10 for no additional cost. While Microsoft has deleted the special upgrade offer websites, the firm continues to activate Windows 10 licenses for users who are upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to the latest operating system. The possibility exists that you’ll be able to receive a free upgrade to Windows 11 as well; for more information, see the free Windows 11 upgrade policy.
- It’s also really straightforward for anyone to upgrade from Windows 7, which is especially important given that support for the operating system is ending today.
- The most essential thing to know is that upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 may result in the loss of your settings and applications.
- Make a list of the programs you use on a regular basis so that you can quickly reinstall them by downloading the installers from your computer.
- The following is the procedure for upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10:
- Ensure that you back up all of your crucial papers, programs, and data
- Go to the Windows 10 download page on Microsoft’s website. Select “Download tool now” from the Create Windows 10 installation media section and then open the software to complete the process. When asked, select “Upgrade this PC immediately.”
Prompt for Windows 7 upgrade Microsoft
- After that, you’ll be asked if you want to maintain your personal files or if you want to start again. Preserve in mind that whether you choose to start over or keep your data, all of your programs and settings will be wiped in preparation for the Windows 10 update. A digital license for Windows 10 should be issued to you once the update is complete, and this license may be located under the SettingsUpdateSecurityActivation menu option.
November 7, 2021: Links to the free upgrade path for Windows 10 and Windows 11 have been included.
You Don’t Need a Product Key to Install and Use Windows 10
Anyone may download and install Windows 10 for free from Microsoft’s website without the need for a product key. It will continue to function for the foreseeable future, with the exception of a few minor aesthetic constraints. After you’ve installed Windows 10, you may even pay to upgrade to a licensed copy of the operating system. In order to install Windows 10 in Boot Camp, install it on an outdated computer that isn’t qualified for a free upgrade, or construct one or more virtual machines, you will not be required to spend a single penny.
How to Download Windows 10 and Install it Without a Key
Where to Download Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 ISO Images (Related) Legally To begin, you’ll need to download and install Windows 10. The software may be obtained straight from Microsoft, and you will not be required to enter a product key to obtain a copy of the software. In addition, there is a Windows 10 download application that works on Windows PCs and will assist you in creating a USB stick to install Windows 10. In the event that you are not using Windows, you can go to theWindows 10 ISO download page to download an ISO file directly (for example, if you are using Boot Camp to install Windows 10 on a Mac).
Simply begin the installation procedure and proceed to complete the installation of Windows 10 as you usually would.
You may also be prompted to input a product key later on in the process; if so, search for a little link that looks identical to the one above to bypass that page.
However, unless you’re working in a business that uses Key Management Services, these keys will not provide you with an active copy of Windows; however, they will allow you to complete the Windows installation procedure without issue.
You should keep in mind that upgrading to Windows 10 Home will be less expensive than upgrading to the premium edition in the future, so you should consider installing the Home version first before upgrading. Windows 10 will install without a hitch in any of the versions you pick.
The Cosmetic Limitations
RELATED: What Is the Process of Windows Activation? Even if you have successfully installed Windows 10 without a key, it will not be enabled by default. An unactivated version of Windows 10 does not, on the other hand, contain many restrictions. Microsoft employed Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) to prevent unauthorized access to your machine when Windows XP was installed. At this point, Windows only complains in a few tiny, aesthetically displeasing ways. You won’t notice much of a change in the beginning.
- A watermark will appear in the bottom-right corner of your screen, which you should ignore for the time being.
- There are no pop-up windows, for example, and this is the only type of nag you’ll see on the site.
- At the top of this window, you’ll notice the phrase “You must first activate Windows before you can personalize your PC,” and the options for changing your wallpaper will be grayed out.
- You may, for example, right-click a picture in File Explorer and choose “Set as desktop background” from the context menu.
- Unlike Windows 7, which finally returned you to a black backdrop, Windows 10 doesn’t appear to do so.
- Apart from these fundamental limits, your Windows 10 machine will continue to function indefinitely.
- There are no nag prompts, other from a watermark, and the game is absolutely free.
How to Upgrade Windows 10 to an Activated Version
If you have a “non-genuine” copy of Windows, you may now pay to update it to a licensed copy with Windows 10. Navigate to the UpdateSecurityActivation section of the Settings app. If you don’t have a valid Windows license, you’ll see a “Go to Store” button that will direct you to the Windows Store. You may acquire an authentic Windows license from the Store, which will allow you to activate your computer. It costs $120 to purchase the Home edition of Windows 10, and $200 to get the Professional version.
- There is no requirement to obtain a physical license.
- It is possible that this option will not be available in all countries.
- In different nations and currencies, Microsoft charges different pricing than in others.
- Windows could not be downloaded without a product key, and there was no way to fully upgrade to a licensed PC from within Windows at the time.
- It’s similar to a free demo, and you may use it to create as many virtual computers as you like for testing reasons at no additional cost.
- Microsoft’s license agreement still prohibits the use of popular “OEM” editions of Windows 10 on PCs that are custom-built by the user.
If Microsoft does not want individuals to be able to use unactivated copies of Windows 10 for lengthy periods of time, it can deliver a system upgrade that prevents this from happening.
Yes, you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade. Here’s how
Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for Windows 10 expired more than five years ago, but no one informed those in charge of maintaining the Windows activation servers of the expiration. As a consequence, you may still upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and claim a free digital license for the most recent version of Windows 10 without having to go through any additional hurdles or requirements. When Microsoft officially discontinued support for Windows 7 in January 2020, the need for an update became more critical than ever.
Thousands of thousands of individuals have taken old PCs out of storage and brought them up to speed swiftly as a result of these free updates during the previous two years.
You may also still upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro by utilizing a product key from a prior business edition of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 (Pro/Ultimate) that is compatible with Windows 10.
(See “How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro without difficulties” for more information.) Every strategy I discuss in this post is also applicable to Windows 11, however the tight hardware compatibility requirements for Microsoft’s newest operating system will prevent most older PCs from upgrading to Microsoft’s newest operating system.
- Throughout this piece, I’ll go through the essential steps for installing Windows 10 as an update on older hardware.
- Early in 2017, I wrote and released the original version of this piece, which was written and published some months after Microsoft’s initial free upgrade offer had expired.
- However, the update worked flawlessly.
- There is only one digital license, and no product key is required.
- I continue to get email messages on a daily basis from readers who are pleased to report that their free upgrades were successful, with no requirement for a purchase or a product key.
- See the following article for more information on how to troubleshoot these problems “This offer for a free Windows 10 upgrade is still valid.
Here’s why – and how to get your hands on it.” Check out “Windows 10: Use setup log files to troubleshoot installation difficulties” for more information on decoding setup failures. Do you want to get your own digital license for the most recent Windows 10 release? Follow the steps outlined here.
How to upgrade an old PC to Windows 10
The most effective pills This list has several intriguing alternatives, whether you’re searching for a tablet to watch films or to completely replace your laptop computer. More information can be found at If you have a PC running a “genuine” copy of Windows 7/8/8.1 (Windows 7 Home, Pro, or Ultimate edition, or Windows 8.x Home or Business edition, which has been properly licensed and activated), you can follow the same steps I did to install Windows 10 as an upgrade on that PC by following the links below.
Before you begin, I recommend that you do a few basic chores that will help you avoid any problems:
- Examine your copy of Windows to ensure that it is properly activated. In particular, if you have just reinstalled Windows, this is essential. Make sure you have the most recent driver updates, especially for network and storage hardware. It is especially critical for systems that were initially sold in 2017 or earlier, when hardware manufacturers were still working out difficulties with Windows 10
- This step is especially important for systems that were originally sold in 2017. Back up your data files to an external hard drive or to the cloud using cloud storage software (or both). If you have a Windows 7 computer, you should consider creating a full system backup to an external hard drive using the Windows 7 backup application, which you can find in both Windows 8.x and Windows 10. Simply run the command Sdclt.exe and then select the Create A System Image option from the drop-down menu. Uninstall any third-party security software and low-level system programs that may be interfering with the upgrade process for the time being. Those apps can be reinstalled when the update is complete
- However, Finally, unplug any external devices that aren’t absolutely essential, particularly USB flash drives and external hard drives. There are a number of frequent installation difficulties that may be attributed to the Setup software becoming confused by the addition of these extra disks.
Having completed the prerequisites, navigate to theDownload Windows 10webpage and click theDownload tool nowbutton to begin the installation process. To start the Media Creation Tool, double-click the executable file that was downloaded when it has finished downloading. You have the option of upgrading immediately using this tool or creating separate media. If you’ve downloaded the Media Creation Tool to the computer you’re planning to update and you’re only planning to upgrade that PC, you may select theUpgrade This PC Now option from the Upgrade menu.
It normally takes an hour or so, depending on your hardware configuration.
Choosing the second option and saving the installation files on a USB drive or an ISO file is recommended if you want to update to Windows 10 on more than one computer, or if you simply want greater flexibility in the event that the quick upgrade fails.
The specific steps you must do may vary depending on whatever download option you selected:
- Flash disk on a USB port Plug in the USB flash drive that you have just produced into a free USB port on the computer that you wish to upgrade. Once you’ve done that, go to File Explorer (Windows Explorer on Windows 7) and double-click Setup to begin the installation of Windows 10. Please keep in mind that you will not be able to complete an upgrade to Windows 10 via the freshly produced USB device or DVD. Windows 10 setup must be executed from your presently installed and activated copy of Windows
- The ISO file cannot be used for this purpose. It will be necessary to mount the ISO file and open it in a Windows Explorer/File Explorer window when the download is complete. If you are using a PC running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, you may double-click the ISO file to open it as a virtual drive on your computer. When operating Windows 7, you’ll need to download and install a third-party application such as the free, open-sourceWinCDEmu.msi file. Double-click Setup to begin the installation procedure when the ISO file has been mounted.
Then just follow the on-screen instructions to complete the Windows 10 update. You will not be required to enter a product key during the upgrade process, and once the upgrade is complete and you have connected to the internet, you will have a digital license for the most recent Windows 10 version, which you can verify by going to SettingsUpdate and SecurityActivation in Windows 10. All of your apps and data files will be accessible from this location. Due to the fact that the digital license is connected with that specific device, you may reformat the disk and start a fresh installation of the same version of Windows 10 at any time.
You will not be required to provide a product key, and activation will take place automatically.)
Is your license valid?
And now for the big question: If you take advantage of this upgrade to Windows 10, will the license that results from it be valid? When it came to the overall “free upgrade” offer, the wording used was, to put it gently, “a little squishie.” Furthermore, the wording around the conclusion of that offer was similarly ambiguous. For example, have a look at the following responses from Microsoft’s Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ that I’ve highlighted here: The language used here is highly ambiguous. That’s a strange use of language.
In a similar vein, the description of product keys states that a key will be required “for this tool to operate” (which is not correct), but makes no mention of licensing.
In any case, the free upgrade offer has been temporarily extended, at least for those who rely on assistive technology.
(I frequently employ the Windows Magnifier program, which is unquestionably an assistive technology.) Of course, I’m not a lawyer, and nothing in this column should be construed as legal advice.
A very huge nod and wink, I believe, was intended to make it simple for individuals who wanted a Windows 10 upgrade to still receive one while also appeasing the OEM partners, who had been dissatisfied with Microsoft’s year-long concentration on upgrades rather than new PC sales over the previous year.
It is no longer possible to access the page that formerly served as the Upgrade Assistant since it now produces an error message.
I’ve continued to test that situation, and I can confirm that it is still functional, even though Windows 7 has reached the end of its support lifecycle.
If you’ve tried this strategy on a PC, please let me know how it worked out for you by clicking on my name at the top of this site and filling out the contact form.
The following article was first published in January 2017 and has been updated. Since then, it has been updated several times to ensure that it has the most up-to-date information.
How to get the Windows 10 November 2021 Update
The distribution of the Windows 10 November 2021 Update began today, marking the commencement of its availability. Because we are continuing to listen to user input, we are adapting Windows to meet your requirements as part of our continuous support for Windows 10, and we have focused the November 2021 Update on improving productivity, managing resources, and protecting data. Today, I’m going to talk about how we’ll deliver the November 2021 Update, how to get it, details on the revised Windows 10 update release cadence, including the new Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) edition, and some encouraging news about the pace of the Windows 11 rollout in the coming months.
Our approach to update availability and rollout
Hybrid and remote environments for working, studying, and playing have become the new normal, and we realize how vital and central your PC is to your daily life and how much time you spend on it. Consequently, we are using the same cautious approach to the deployment of the November 2021 Upgrade that we have taken with past releases in order to ensure that the update goes well. Over the next several weeks, we will be limiting the availability of the update to ensure that everyone has a stable download experience.
Until we are satisfied that you will have a positive upgrade experience in these situations, we will not deliver the feature update in question.
How to get the Windows 10 November 2021 Update
User’s with specified devices running Windows 10, version 2004 or later who are interested in the newest features and are prepared to install this release on their device will be the first to receive the November 2021 Update. You may check for updates in your Windows Update settings (SettingsUpdateSecurityWindows Update) if you want to install the latest version of the software. It is possible that eligible devices will be provided the choice to update to Windows 11 at a later time. If an update is available, you can simply select “Download and install” to begin the process.
In general, devices running Windows 10, version 2004 or later, will benefit from the November 2021 update since it will install as if it were a monthly update, which will make updating more efficient overall.
Visit Windows release health to find out more about the current state of the November 2021 Update deployment, known issues, and new information, among other things.
Release cadence and support
We will migrate to a new Windows 10 release cycle that will be consistent with the Windows 11 release cadence, with yearly feature update releases as the goal. In order to better align with the General Availability Channel, we are changing the servicing option for releases to the General Availability Channel beginning with the November 2021 Update (Please note that this replaces the prior “Semi-Annual Channel” designation for the maintenance option). The next major feature upgrade for Windows 10 is scheduled for release in the second half of 2022.
Due to the fact that it is a second half (H2) calendar year release, the November 2021 Update will include 18 months of servicing and support for Home and Pro editions, and 30 months of servicing and support for Enterprise and Education editions, starting today.
Information for commercial customers
In order to ensure that their apps, devices, and infrastructure continue to function as expected with the new version, we suggest that commercial enterprises undertake targeted deployments immediately. It is now possible to download Windows 10, version 21H2, using the Windows Server Update Services (including Configuration Manager), Windows Update for Business, and the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). IT professionals may learn more about IT technologies that are available to support Windows 10, version 21H2, by visiting the Windows IT Pro Blog.
This new LTSC client edition will be supported for a period of five years (Note: the new Windows 10 IoT Enterprise LTSC 2021 edition is also available today and has a 10-year support lifecycle).
Staying protected and productive
I have often previously noted that being on the latest version of Windows provides you with the latest features, security improvements and control. We recommend that you update your devices to the latest version of Windows 10 or upgrade eligible devices to Windows 11. Based on the positive rollout update experience and user feedback we have received so far, we are moving the rollout forward at a faster pace than we had anticipated, and we are now making the Windows 11 upgrade more widely available to eligible Windows 10 devices, rather than just a select few.
14, 2021, and Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10, version 1909 will reach end of servicing on May 10, 2022.
We will closely monitor both the Windows 10 November 2021 Update and the Windows 11 upgrade experiences and share timely information on their rollout status and known issues (open and resolved) across both feature and monthly updates via theWindows release healthhub [email protected]
Note:It may take a day for downloads to be fully available in the Volume Licensing Service Center across all products, markets and languages.
14, 2021, security update or later, to upgrade directly to Windows 11.