How To Download Windows 10 For Free

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:

  1. Enter the place where the ISO file is saved, right-click the ISO file, and selectProperties from the drop-down menu
  2. 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.

How To Upgrade To Windows 10 For ‘Free’ In 2020 [Updated]

All of the items and services listed on Forbes Vetted have been independently selected by Forbes writers and editors. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a commission. I write about the world’s most powerful technological corporations. Windows 10 continues to have issues. Windows 7, on the other hand, is set to be discarded (and Windows 8 is a pointless sideways move). Microsoft costs $139 for the regular edition of Windows 10 as a result, millions of customers will be forced to upgrade in the near future to ensure the security of their data.

  1. 02/04 Update: Because Windows 7 has reached the end of its support lifecycle, it is no longer safe to retain your data on the platform, as all new vulnerabilities will be exposed as a result.
  2. I’ve gotten a large number of emails inquiring whether or not this free upgrade hack for Windows 10 is still active.
  3. Because of the overwhelming demand, I will continue to check this once a month.
  4. Gordon Kelly is an American businessman.
  5. The fact that Microsoft ended its free Windows 10 upgrade offer to all customers on July 30, 2016, does not mean that the corporation has (in my opinion, willfully) left a loophole open.
  6. Tip: If you don’t already have a legal copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8, you may get one from a third-party store for a fraction of the price of a Windows 10 license license.

Home licenses are upgraded to Windows 10 Home, whereas Pro licenses are upgraded to Windows 10 Pro, so make your selection wisely. After that disclaimer is out of the way, here’s how to receive your free Windows 10 upgrade: 1.

  1. Please visit the Windows 10 download page by clicking here. The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool is downloaded when you click on the ‘Download Tool now’ button. When you’re finished, open the download and agree to the terms of the license. Make the selection: ‘Upgrade this PC now’ and then click ‘Next’. Select ‘Keep personal files and applications’ from the drop-down menu. Click on ‘Install’ (please keep in mind that this can take some time and will require numerous restarts)
  2. Once the software has been installed, go to:Settings. Microsoft Windows Update Activation is required in order to activate your Windows 10 digital license. Alternatively, if you haven’t already activated your old version of Windows, input your (genuine) Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 product key.

For a later time, you may open:SettingsUpdateSecurityActivation to verify that your license has been successfully activated. Please keep in mind that a Windows 10 license is related to your hardware. This ensures that in the event of a need to format your machine for any reason, Windows 10 will reactivate immediately. To avoid this, update several components in your PC as part of a device upgrade. Otherwise, Windows 10 may believe you’ve purchased a new PC and refuse to automatically register the license.

Gordon’s favorite Microsoft Daily Deals include:

  • For a later time, you can open:SettingsUpdateSecurityActivation to ensure that your license has been successfully activated. Note that a Windows 10 license is related to your computer’s operating system and hardware. This ensures that in the event of a need to format your machine for any reason, Windows 10 will revive itself. To avoid this, update numerous components in your PC as part of a device upgrade. Otherwise, Windows 10 may believe you’ve purchased a new computer and refuse to automatically register the license. Fortunately, Microsoft offers a straightforward procedure that you may follow in this situation. Best of the Microsoft Daily Deals, as selected by Gordon:

_More on Forbes Price Alert: Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Games Sales Daily Deals: _More on Forbes Price Alert: Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Games Sales Daily Deals: Apple MacBooks, Windows 10 Laptops, and Chromebook Deals are all available now. Reached New Lows Gordon may be found on Facebook.

How to Download Windows 10 for Free

When Windows 10 originally became available, obtaining a free upgrade was as simple as selecting the Get Windows 10 notification prompt from the notification bar. Currently, though, things are a little different. Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7, which implies that there will be no more technical support, security updates, or bug-squashing for this operating system going forward. In other words, Windows 7 is now considered risky to use, making it a great time to upgrade to Windows 10 from an earlier version.

Although it may appear that Microsoft’s newest operating system is no longer available, there are still methods to obtain it without having to purchase a new license or breaking any regulations.

Product keys and digital licenses

It is preferable to have a valid product key or digital license in order to qualify for a free update. What’s the difference between the two? An operating system purchased from Microsoft or any other merchant comes with a product key that allows you to unlock the system. It may be printed and included in the packing, emailed to you, or saved in the cloud, as is often the case with system builders and other service professionals.

What is a digital license?

A digital license establishes a connection between your installed Windows platform and a key that is incorporated in prebuilt systems from companies like as Acer, Dell, HP, and others. This group of producers has for a long time printed product keys on labels that were affixed to computers or printed and inserted them into product packaging. Microsoft’s product keys are normally only valid on a single computer, however hackers have discovered ways to utilize the same key on many computers. It was as a result of this that Microsoft and OEMs implemented digital licensing in Windows 8 as an anti-piracy mechanism to ensure that end users would not install the platform on new computers.

This license is tied to your Microsoft account when it is purchased. The Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 activation keys on your PC will be accepted by Microsoft’s Windows 10 activation servers if you lawfully purchased and no longer use these previous versions of Windows.

What if I can’t find my key?

Whether you’re upgrading from Windows 7 and are unable to locate your product key, you can try logging into your Microsoft account and reviewing your previous downloads to see if your product key is still available. Some websites, such as Amazon, also retain track of paid downloads, although they seldom contain the product key itself, though they may be useful in narrowing down the location of the key. Finally, you may download Windows 10 and execute a fresh installation of the operating system.

Other than that, you must provide an original, genuine product key during the setup process, or you may do it later by visiting SettingsUpdateSecurityActivation (see below).

If you do not have a valid Windows 7 license key, you must follow this guide.

How to download the Windows 10 Media Creation tool

Despite the fact that Microsoft officially ended the free update campaign in mid-2016, the company secretly continues to make this option available so that all Windows PC customers may run the most recent version. A new Windows 10 Home product key will need to be purchased if you do not already have an active digital license or product key that qualifies you for the free upgrade, as previously stated. Step 1: The first step in obtaining a free Windows 10 update is to go to the Microsoft Download Windows 10 homepage.

  1. When MediaCreationTool21H1.exe is downloaded into your computer, it should take no more than a minute to complete the process.
  2. Activate the Media Creation Tool in the third step.
  3. As previously stated, you have two options: either upgrade the current PC or make installation discs that can be used to either update another PC or conduct a clean install on the current PC.
  4. Step 5:Click on theUpgrade This PC Nowbutton and follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. Remove apps from your computer if necessary to satisfy the installer’s concerns.
  6. Take note of the significant difference between Windows 7 and Windows 10 in terms of the software that you will be using.
  7. We cannot guarantee that all files and applications will be compatible with Windows 10, and some may cease to function as a result of this.
  8. Before you proceed, make a copy of or convert any important data.
  9. It is necessary to restart your computer several times while the installation process advances.
  10. If you are required for a valid product key, input it now or later by going toSettingsUpdateSecurityActivation on your computer.
  11. Step 10:In addition, you’ll obtain the same flavor of Windows that came pre-installed on your computer – Home, Pro, Enterprise, or Educational.

Purchasing a new product key is required if you choose to utilize Windows 10 Pro rather than the Windows 10 Home upgrade. Arif Bacchus of Digital Trends has contributed to this article.

Other methods for getting Windows 10

For the time being, the procedure outlined above is the most effective way to obtain a free copy of Windows 10. It is possible to obtain Windows 10 in alternative ways if you want it, including free and low-cost alternatives that may be worth investigating.

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Upgrade from Windows 7

Purchase a copy of Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store. Please refer to our tutorial on how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for further information.

Download Windows 10 without activating

Technically, you may download Windows 10 from Microsoft and not activate it, which means you won’t have to pay anything for the operating system. It turns out that technique is more secure than it appears since Microsoft is sloppy about enforcing activation requirements. Your copy of Windows should not shut down, however there are several restrictions that apply after the 30-day trial period:

  • In the bottom-right corner, there is a watermark that says “Activate Windows.” If Windows isn’t activated, the message “Windows Isn’t Activated, Activate Windows Now” shows in the settings
  • Several personalization options, such as altering the background and accent colors, are not available. It is possible that updates will be discontinued in the future. Various applications and functionality cease to function
  • You’ll receive daily reminders reminding you to turn it on. There is no technical assistance.

However, we want to emphasize that using an unactivated version of Windows 10 is strictly prohibited by Microsoft. Despite the fact that it appears to be a good deal (and it does sound about right), you are in fact breaking the rules and violating Microsoft’s license agreement by doing so. Microsoft would be perfectly within its rights to pursue legal action against anyone who is found to be using the Windows 10 operating system without having activated it, albeit they have not done so as far as we are aware.

Ultimately, if Microsoft desired to prevent users from utilizing these versions, they had the ability to do so.

Buy a third-party Windows 10 key

Third-party merchants who offer Windows 10 manufacturer keys at a discount may be found on the internet. By purchasing the keys through one of these firms, you may save 50% (or perhaps more) off the full Microsoft retail price for the keys. While it may appear to be a scam, it is possible to locate reputable suppliers who also happen to be offering a competitive price; nonetheless, you must be vigilant. What buyers need to do is look for reputable key vendors that are willing to give exceptional discounts.

PCDestination offers these for $45, and they are in stock.

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How to Download Windows 10 for Free

It is possible that this site will get affiliate commissions from the links on this page. Terms and conditions of usage. Since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has made the operating system available to the public, either officially or unofficially. On July 29, 2016, Microsoft officially announced that you would no longer be able to download or update your PC to Windows 10. Unofficially, you may still obtain a license for the operating system’s update. Even though Microsoft has said that the free Windows 10 upgrade offer would be terminated on December 31, 2017, this is not the case.

  • Microsoft’s first major drive to get users to upgrade to Windows 10 was plagued by an increasingly heavy hand as the campaign progressed, to the point that the company was both accused of using malware methods and eventually confessed to using them.
  • To see a larger version of this image, click here.
  • Any legally acquired copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8 that is still in good working order can be upgraded to Windows 10 at no additional cost.
  • If you decide to upgrade your PC, Microsoft will take care of the license update for you with no trouble.
  • You may obtain a copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft and install it on any computer of your choosing.
  • An unactivated copy of Windows 10 has two limitations: it cannot be used for any other purpose and it cannot be used for any other purpose.
  • In the lower right-hand corner, there is a watermark that says “Activate Windows.” 2).
  • By immediately clicking on a picture, you can change your wallpaper, and you can still access the desktop magnification settings.
  • Windows 10 Home licenses are available for as cheap as $25 on various sources, but circumstances have been tough for a lot of people over the past year.
  • It is still possible to get a legal license for Windows 7 for as low as $13.50 if you cannot tolerate the thought of having a watermark on your desktop and/or if you want the customizing possibilities offered by Windows 7.

That license will be upgraded to Windows 10 using the same procedure mentioned above, and you will be able to keep the $10 to $12 difference. Now, take a look at this:

  • Microsoft claims that it has never made a profit from the sale of Xbox hardware. By the end of the summer, Windows 10 will make flash removal mandatory. Microsoft matches Epic’s gaming cut and lowers the Windows Store gaming cut to 12%.

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/ 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?
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. Here are the procedures provided by Microsoft for reactivating Windows 10 after upgrading your computer’s hardware.

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.

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.

  1. It is, in fact, superior.
  2. The operating system includes capabilities for security, device control and administration, and deployment that are not available in Windows 10 Home.
  3. Despite this, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever make use of any of the supplementary features.
  4. In addition to ethical considerations, if you are detected, Microsoft has the authority to force you to pay a fine.

“False claims of eligibility will result in the cancellation of this offer, and Microsoft reserves the right to collect the full amount of the product(s) ordered,” according to Microsoft’s terms and conditions.

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.

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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

Microsoft does not give away Windows 10 for free, however retailers such as Kinguin and Newegg frequently provide it at a discount. (Photo courtesy of Windows 10 keys are required if you don’t want to live with the scarlet letter of a perpetual watermark on your computer’s operating system or want the assurance that Microsoft will not disown your PC’s operating system in the event that you seek for support. While some customers choose for Microsoft while making this purchase, third-party websites provide keys at a far lower cost than what Microsoft is willing to provide.

  • Walmarth sells it for $104.99, and there is also an OEM version available for purchase.
  • Before making a purchase, make sure to read their return policy.
  • The majority of websites that sell lower-priced Windows keys are likely to be providing valid codes, however we cannot guarantee for all of them.
  • As reported by Tom’s Hardware in 2019, Kinguin’s vice president of communications, Mark Jordan, stated that the codes are obtained from wholesalers who have excess copies of Windows that they no longer require.
  • A discounter such as TJ Maxx or Marshalls would be equivalent to purchasing Adidas or Puma or Nike “Jordan shared his thoughts on the situation.
  • Just another shopping center, really.” In Jordan’s estimation, Kinguin’s merchants have sold “several hundred thousand” keys and are not one-time sellers who put advertisements for codes they do not wish to buy.
  • According to Jordan, customers are unlikely to get a key that has been previously sold, but if they do, customer care will assist them in obtaining a replacement key at no cost.

And that merchant would be in serious danger as a result, so they are quite cautious,” Jordan explained.

Additionally, we’ve received complaints about sluggish customer assistance.

In order to activate Windows, you’ll need to input a key, but if you purchased your key from someone like Kinguin, you shouldn’t have any problems doing so (or Amazon, Newegg, etc.).

Consider purchasing your key from a reputable website if you want to save money.

And, as with everything else, if you haven’t heard of a seller before, you should look into their reputation or find someone else to purchase from.

According to 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.” At the moment, there are just a few of websites where you may legally acquire digital copies of Microsoft software.

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.

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.

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).

  1. Simply begin the installation procedure and proceed to complete the installation of Windows 10 as you usually would.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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. Windows 10 upgrade is the only item that might potentially change this, but Microsoft has gotten progressively liberal since the release of Windows 7.

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.
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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.

  1. Throughout this piece, I’ll go through the essential steps for installing Windows 10 as an update on older hardware.
  2. 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.
  3. However, the update worked flawlessly.
  4. There is only one digital license, and no product key is required.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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