How To Upgrade To Windows 10 For Free

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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.

Get the latest Windows update

Windows 11 will be made available for installation through the Windows Update page in Settings after it has been certified as ready for your device. Installing the upgrade should be done at a time that is convenient for you. After that, you’ll need to restart your device in order to finish the installation. Following that, Windows 11 will be installed on your device. Take notice of the following as well:

  • Start by selecting StartSettingsWindows Update if you want to apply the upgrade right now. Keep an eye out for updates. Installing an upgrade is an option if one is available
  • Otherwise, it is not. If you have difficulties when updating your device, including issues with prior major upgrades, consult the list of typical remedies at UseFix Windows update difficulties to guide you through the troubleshooting procedure if your computer is having difficulty upgrading its operating system
  • If Windows Update warns you that you don’t have enough space on your device to install the upgrade, follow the instructions in this article. Make room for Windows updates by freeing up disk space. For assistance if you suffer internet connection problems when upgrading your device, read Fix Wi-Fi connection problems in Windows.

More information about upgrading to Windows 11 may be found here. Upgrade to Windows 11: Frequently Asked Questions More information about Windows Update may be found here. Keep an eye out for updates. It will be accessible to download from the Windows Update page in Settings once the Windows 10 November 2021 Update is ready for your device. Select a time that is most convenient for you to download the update and install it. After that, you’ll need to restart your device in order to finish the installation.

In order to determine whether or not you are already running the November 2021 Update, go to the Windows Update settings page and selectView update history.

  • Alternatively, you may click StartSettingsUpdateSecurityWindows Update and then selectCheck for updates if you want to apply the update right away. If there are any updates available, make sure to install them. If version 21H1 isn’t supplied automatically through Check for updates, you can manually download it through the Windows Update Assistant
  • However, this is not recommended. If you have difficulties when updating your device, including issues with prior major upgrades, consult the list of typical remedies at UseFix Windows update difficulties to guide you through the troubleshooting procedure if your computer is having difficulty upgrading its operating system
  • If Windows Update warns you that you don’t have enough space on your device to install the update, follow the instructions in this article. Make room for Windows updates by freeing up disk space. For assistance if you suffer internet connection problems when upgrading your device, read Fix Wi-Fi connection problems in Windows.
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If you’re still using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and wish to upgrade to Windows 10, you can find additional information at Upgrading to Windows 10: Frequently Asked Questions. More information about Windows Update may be found here. Keep an eye out for updates.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free

Anyone who is still using an older version of Windows should learn how to get a free upgrade to Windows 10 by clicking here. This is especially true given the fact that the Home Edition is still regularly priced at $139/£119/AU$225, which is not a little sum of money. Now that Microsoft has let its free upgrade offer to Windows 7 and Windows 8 customers to expire, obtaining a free upgrade to Windows 10 may appear to be out of reach for some. However, the real instruments for doing so are still readily available and reasonably accessible.

What is the reason that you may still get a free upgrade to Windows 10 in 2021?

Microsoft is unlikely to want consumers to migrate to a free operating system such as Linux or, more likely, to continue using an older, unsupported version of Windows that leaves them vulnerable to viruses and hacking attempts.

This basic instruction will assist you whether you’re coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Is Windows 10 free?

Windows 10 has never truly been offered for free. With Windows 10 Home costing $139 and Windows 10 Pro costing a whopping $200, getting Windows 10 installed on your computer or laptop is going to cost you a significant amount of money. When Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers were offered free upgrades, Microsoft did so for a short period of time, but that period has already passed. A loophole, however, continues to exist, which permits you to obtain Windows 10 for free. Furthermore, we believe that Microsoft is leaving it available since it is in the company’s best interests to entice as many users as possible to upgrade to Windows 10.

Certainly, it is eager to see consumers migrate away from the unsupported, older operating system and onto the newer one, as we can see from the screenshots above.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free

On the surface, the procedures for upgrading to Windows 10 for no charge from versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are the same as they were when Microsoft was officially selling the upgrade.

1. Check you meet the hardware requirements

To be able to install the most recent version of Windows 10, you’ll need the following items: CPU: 1GHz or higher processor is recommended (Here is alist of supported CPUs) Windows 10 32-bit requires 1 GB of RAM; Windows 10 64-bit requires 2 GB of RAM. Storage space: 32GB or more of available space GPU that is DirectX 9 compliant or later with WDDM is required. 1.0 drriver 1.0 drriver Display with a resolution of 800×600 pixels or higher Online connection: During the installation of some versions of Windows 10, an internet connection is required.

  1. For optimal performance, we recommend at least a 2GHz dual-core CPU, 4GB of RAM (8GB is preferable), and a 160GB hard drive for Windows 10 to be installed.
  2. After that, download and install the Windows Media Creation Tooland the Windows Media Player.
  3. Start the Windows Media Creation Tool, and when you get to the “What do you want to do?” section, pick “Upgrade this PC immediately,” and then follow the rest of the tool’s instructions to complete the upgrade.
  4. You may find additional in-depth information on how to complete this procedure here.) Once you’ve entered your Windows 7 (or Windows 8) license key, you should be able to start using Windows 10 right away — for free.
  5. Your computer will be activated with a digital license when it has established a secure connection with Microsoft servers.
  • Take a look at our guide to using Windows 10 for more information. Seek information on where to get Windows 10 if you require a different bundle

In his spare time, Darren writes news and stories for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) about a variety of computing issues, including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus software and other related subjects. During his leisure time, he writes novels (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was released by Hachette UK in 2013), and he has been writing about technology for the better part of three decades.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free in 2021

(Photo courtesy of Laptop Mag.) Editor’s Note: Windows 11 will be released this autumn. Take a look at ourWindows 11 system requirements guide to determine if your laptop or desktop computer is compatible before getting too enthusiastic. Windows 11 will be available as a free upgrade, similar to Windows 10. If you can’t wait to see what the next operating system looks like, you can download a Windows 11 preview build from Microsoft. Be cautious, though, and only do this operation on a machine that does not contain any sensitive information.

In the event that you did not receive your free copy of the company’s most advanced operating system, you were pretty much out of luck.

After all is said and done, it appears that you may still upgrade to Windows 10 for free.

Maintain your awareness of the fact that this workaround will not always be effective.

If you are still on Windows 7 or Windows 8, you will almost surely need to upgrade because Microsoft no longer supports those older operating systems.

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for free

To begin, make sure you’re running a legitimate edition of Windows 7 or later. Anything older than Windows XP or Vista will not function (please, if at all feasible, upgrade to a newer operating system). Make a note of the activation key if you’re running Windows 7. (you may need this later). A free program like as NirSoft’s ProduKey will assist you in locating it. 2nd, here is an excellent place to pause and back up anything you’d wish to keep on your current PC before proceeding. Follow the steps outlined in ourWindows 10 backup instructions to do this.

  1. Then start the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool (by pressing “download tool now”) and select “Upgrade this PC now” from the drop-down menu.
  2. Once again, having a backup available at this stage is critical, so save everything to the cloud, an SSD, or a USB drive as soon as possible.
  3. Navigate to the Settings menu and choose “UpdateSecurity,” then click “Activation.” You may check to see if the Windows 10 update was successful from this page.
  4. Make use of your Windows 7 or Windows 8 license key to see if it helps.

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.

  • 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.
  • I’ve gotten a large number of emails inquiring whether or not this free upgrade hack for Windows 10 is still active.
  • Because of the overwhelming demand, I will continue to check this once a month.
  • Gordon Kelly is an American businessman.
  • 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.
  • 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 Upgrade to Windows 10 From Windows 7 for Free

Windows 7 is no longer supported, but you are not required to pay to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft has been discreetly extending the free upgrade offer for the past few years without public announcement. Upgrades to Windows 10 are still possible on any PC that has a legitimate Windows 7 or Windows 8 license.

How the Free Upgrade Works

Providing that your Windows PC is running on a legitimate and active copy of Windows 7 (or Windows 8), you may upgrade to Windows 10 in a matter of minutes. Your PC will receive a real, active Windows 10 key, exactly as it did during Windows 10’s first year of availability, when the free upgrade offer was publicly promoted. A PC may also be upgraded by doing a clean install of Windows 10, even if it currently does not have any other operating system installed on it. All you need to do is give a valid Windows 7 (or Windows 8) product key.

  1. Microsoft may decide to pull the plug on fresh updates at some point in the future.
  2. And, if you do decide to update, your computer will be issued a legitimate Windows 10 key that will continue to function even if Microsoft decides to stop permitting new upgrades in the future.
  3. If you have Windows 7 PCs in your company and you use this way to update them, Microsoft may not consider you to be in compliance with the requirements of your company’s license agreement if you use this technique to upgrade your business PCs.
  4. RELATED:If you have a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 product key, you can still get Windows 10 for free.

Back Up Before Upgrading

We strongly advise you to back up your files before you begin. Although the upgrading process should not delete your files unless you specifically instruct it to do so, it’s always a good practice to have a recent backup of your data—especially when executing a big operating system upgrade—on hand. We also recommend you to locate your Windows 7 (or Windows 8) key in case you need it in a future situation. This key may be placed on a sticker that you place on the cover of your computer or on the lid of your laptop.

If your computer does not have a sticker, you may always use a program such as NirSoft’s ProduKey to locate the license key that is presently in use on your computer. IN CONNECTION WITH: What Is the Most Effective Method of Backing Up My Computer?

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free

To acquire your free upgrade, go to Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 page and follow the instructions. To download the.exe file, click on the “Download tool now” option and choose your operating system. After asked, pick “Upgrade this PC immediately” when the program is launched and navigates through the process. Yes, it really is that straightforward. We’re not trying to be devious here; Microsoft has chosen to allow customers to update using the tool. A clean installation of Windows 10 is possible if you choose the option to “Create installation media” and then provide a valid Windows 7 or 8 product key while installing Windows 10.

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After the Upgrade

During the update process, you will be given the option of keeping all of the files on your system or starting over from scratch. The SettingsUpdateSecurityActivation screen will appear when the update has been completed successfully. If your system has been “activated with adigital license,” you’ll notice it in the system information. It is much more convenient if you sign in to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account since the license will be connected to your Microsoft account, making it even easier to reactivate Windows 10 on your PC should you ever need to reinstall the operating system.

The Windows 10 activation process will then “phone home,” determine that your hardware configuration has a valid license on file, and activate itself.

Instead of using Windows 10, try installing Linux, purchasing a Chromebook, or moving to the Mac operating system.

Several websites, including PCWorld, ZDNet, The Verge, andBleeping Computer, have lately confirmed the effectiveness of this strategy that we’ve been using for several years.

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.

Windows 8.1 may be updated in the same way as Windows 7, but without the need to delete your programs and settings 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.

How to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free

Microsoft’s free Windows 11 upgrade from Windows 10 is now being rolled out to more users worldwide. Microsoft is beginning to make the free upgrade available to new devices that are still shipping with Windows 10, before making the OS available to other eligible existing hardware that meets the requirements. Even so, not every existing PC that is running Windows 10 will have the option of upgrading to Windows 11. CPUs with Intel 8th Generation Coffee Lake or Zen 2 architecture or higher, TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) support, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage are required for Windows 11.

However, if you really want Windows 11, there will be no official upgrade option for millions of PCs.

According to Microsoft, the Windows 11 upgrade should be available to all currently operating and eligible PCs by the middle of 2022.

  • Microsoft’s PC Health Check program will help you determine whether or not your computer is officially supported. Ensure that you back up all of your crucial papers, programs, and data
  • Using your Windows 10 computer, navigate to SettingsUpdateSecurityWindows Update. Keep an eye out for more information. As soon as the free Windows 11 update is made available, you’ll be presented with the choice to download and install the software.

The prompt to update to Windows 11. Image courtesy of Microsoft

  • To download and install, select Download and Install. Configure Windows 11 settings by following the instructions on the screen

If you don’t notice the free Windows 11 update and your PC is compatible, you may be able to skip the waiting period by utilizing Microsoft’s new Installation Assistant, which is available now. We’ve put up a tutorial to help you avoid the line while upgrading to Windows 11.

Related:

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.

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.

  • When MediaCreationTool21H1.exe is downloaded into your computer, it should take no more than a minute to complete the process.
  • Activate the Media Creation Tool in the third step.
  • 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.
  • Step 5:Click on theUpgrade This PC Nowbutton and follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Remove apps from your computer if necessary to satisfy the installer’s concerns.
  • Take note of the significant difference between Windows 7 and Windows 10 in terms of the software that you will be using.
  • 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.
  • Before you proceed, make a copy of or convert any important data.
  • It is necessary to restart your computer several times while the installation process advances.
  • If you are required for a valid product key, input it now or later by going toSettingsUpdateSecurityActivation on your computer.
  • 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.

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 upgrade to Windows 10 for free

During the upgrading process, you will not be presented with the previous free upgrade screen, but the ultimate result will be the same. The image is courtesy of T.Dallas/Shutterstock. NOTE: Although this post was originally published the day before Windows 7 received its most recent update, we tested it a couple of months ago and found it to be effective. The long-lived Windows 7 operating system from Microsoft has reached the end of its useful life and will receive its final upgrade on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, according to the company.

(See this section for instructions on how to locate the Windows licensing key; make a note of it since you may be required to put it in at the conclusion of this process.) How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free may be found on Microsoft’s user forums, andBleeping Computer gives further in-depth instructions on how to update to Windows 10.

One caveat: You may only update to the version of Windows 10 that corresponds to the build of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 that you are currently using.

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In the same way, Windows 7 Professional translates to Windows 10 Professional.

As previously stated, you will need to download and install Microsoft’s own installation program from this page in order to complete the installation. Rather of clicking on the “Update immediately” option – which is only relevant for PCs that currently have Windows 10 – select “Download tool now.”

1.5 (optional): You may want to update your BIOS and deactivate antivirus software.

When it comes to PCs made before 2015, Ed Bott of ZDNet suggests replacing the BIOS/UEFI firmware, as well as deleting any antivirus software, just to be on the safe side. Most people aren’t familiar with how to update the BIOS, and we’re not sure why you’d want to delete your antivirus software (particularly if it’s on our list of the best antivirus software), so only do this if you’re having trouble with the subsequent stages. There is also the option of creating installation media on either a burnable DVD or a bootable USB drive, which may be beneficial in the future but isn’t going to help you right now.

3. Select ‘Keep all apps and files’ when prompted.

According to Bleeping Computer, you must choose to keep all of your data and apps in order to receive the free upgrade. According to the Microsoft user forums, all you need is your existing Windows 7 license key. We recommend erring on the side of caution and following Bleeping Computer’s recommendations.

4. Uninstall incompatible applications.

The upgrade program will search your computer for apps that aren’t compatible with Windows 10 and report their findings. Uninstall them by navigating to Control Panel – Programs and Features and selecting them from the list. Uninstall the unwanted application by selecting it from the context menu of the right-click menu. In the majority of circumstances, you’ll require administrator credentials to do this task successfully. For your own safety, restart your computer after removing all of the incompatible software and then go to Step 2 above.

5. Sit back and let the magic happen.

During the upgrading process, which might take up to an hour, your computer will reboot many times to complete the task.

6. Check that the license key works.

During the update, the Media Creation Tool should be able to get the licensing key from the system. Nonetheless, just in case it didn’t, you may double check by heading to Settings – UpdateSecurity -Activation and seeing whether it shows that your license has been activated. If this is not the case, manually enter your valid Windows 7 (or Windows 8/8.1) product key.

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Paul Wagenseil works as a senior editor at Tom’s Guide, where he focuses on information security and privacy issues. He’s also worked as a dishwasher, fry chef, long-haul driver, code monkey, and video editor, among other positions. He’s been snooping around in the information-security space for more than 15 years, working for outlets such as FoxNews.com, SecurityNewsDaily, TechNewsDaily, and Tom’s Guide. He’s given talks at hacker conferences such as ShmooCon, DerbyCon, and BSides Las Vegas, appeared in random TV news spots, and even moderated a panel discussion at the CEDIA home-technology conference.

How to Upgrade to Windows 11 for Free

Even though Windows 11 will come preloaded on each new PC you purchase, why spend the money on a new PC when your currentWindows 10PC is eligible for a complimentary upgrade? Microsoft provides a number of options for downloading the new operating system, allowing you to choose the one that works best for you.

Check for Compatibility

The discussion surrounding the prerequisites for Windows 11 has been a complicated one. Before you can download the free update, you must first ensure that your current Windows 10 computer is compatible with it. The most effective method of accomplishing this is to use Microsoft’s PC Health Check Tool. For further information, visit theWindows 11 Specifications page and scroll down until you reach the Check for Compatibilitysection. Install the application by selecting the Download PC Health Check Applink and following the on-screen instructions.

Check now may be accessed through the app by pressing theCheck nowbutton. If your machine is compatible, you will receive a notice stating that your computer fulfills the Windows 11 requirements.

Check for Updates

Microsoft is progressively pushing out Windows 11 to suitable Windows 10 computers, so the first step should be to see if the update is available for your computer. If it is, install it immediately. Select theCheck for updatesbutton from the SettingsUpdateSecurityWindows Update menu on your Windows 10 computer. If Windows 11 is ready and waiting for you, you may begin the installation process.

Download With the Installation Assistant

Instead of waiting for the upgrade to arrive on your computer, you may use Microsoft’s Windows 11 Installation Assistant to complete the process. Open theDownload Windows 11 website and click theDownload nowbutton located beneath theWindows 11 Installation Assistantsection to begin the download. Run the Windows11InstallationAssistant.exe file that you downloaded. The Windows 11 installation will be upgraded to Windows 11 as soon as you click the Accept and install button. During the download and installation process, you should be able to use your computer.

  • Depending on your needs, you may either restart the machine immediately or wait for the 30-minute timer to expire if you require further time to save any open work.
  • Once the final setup is complete, you will be redirected to your new Windows 11 desktop environment.
  • Once on theDownload Windows 11 page, locate the Download nowbutton beneath theCreate Windows 11 Installation Mediasection and click it to begin the download.
  • Then confirm that you want the language and Windows edition that you desire.
  • If you chose to install Windows 11 via a USB drive, the utility will download the necessary Windows 11 installation files and copy them to the USB drive for you.
  • In the event that you desire to upgrade from an ISO file, select a place for the file and rename it to something more descriptive.
  • Open File Explorer, then double-click the ISO file to open it, followed by a second double-click on the setup.exe file to install the software.

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After clicking Next, Windows 11 will check for any updates, and you will be prompted to accept the licensing terms. TheReady to installscreen indicates that Windows 11 will be installed and that all of your personal data and applications will be retained. To make changes to your selections, selectChange. Afterwards, you may choose whether to keep personal data and applications, personal files exclusively, or nothing at all.

To begin the upgrading process, click Next, then Install. After your computer has rebooted, log in to complete the setup. The privacy settings on your computer may be changed as a result of what you choose to maintain. After that, you’ll be transported to your desktop.

Download Disk Image

You can also opt to obtain the Windows 11 ISO file directly from Microsoft. To download Windows 11, navigate to the Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)section of the Download Windows 11 page, and then pick Windows 11 from the drop-down menu. The ISO file may be obtained by selecting the product language, clickingConfirm, and then clicking theDownloadbutton. After downloading the ISO file, double-click it to open it, and then double-click the setup.exe file to run it. During the initial installation process, select Next to check for and download any updates for Windows 11.

If you want to modify this, clickChangeand selectPersonal files only or Nothing from the drop-down menu.

As soon as your computer has restarted, log into Windows 11 to see your new operating system.

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You Can Still Upgrade to Windows 10 For Free, Here’s How

Note: This article was initially published on December 1st, 2019, but has since been updated to include the most recent version of Windows 10 as well as new measures that should be performed to ensure that there are no difficulties during the migration. The launch of Windows 10 coincided with the announcement of a campaign that allowed users of Windows 7 and 8.1 to upgrade for free from their existing operating systems. Despite the fact that this program expired in 2017, there is still a means for upgrading older machines to Windows 10 for free.

  1. Upgrades to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 computers performed through use of the Media Creation Tool result in a conversion of your previous license to a new Windows 10 digital license that is attached to that device.
  2. According to a Reddit user with the moniker CokeRobot, who claims to be a Microsoft employee, Windows 10’s free upgrade for a year was merely’marketing fluff’ designed to increase the operating system’s adoption.
  3. “You can still accomplish this without a problem, but you must be cautious.
  4. That old 7-license is converted to a 10-digital license, and from there you may clean-install without issue.
  5. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a small business with 10-200 Windows 7 PCs that were OEM licensed.
  6. At the end of the day, Microsoft had four years to remove that loophole and failed to do so, so if the worst came to the worse, you could legally pursue legal action because the EULA for Windows 10 does not contain any such language.

Someone taking use of an activation workaround cannot be sneered at because the workaround was never closed by the manufacturer.”

How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free

Before you can begin your free upgrade to Windows 10, you must first prepare your computer by following a few simple steps to ensure that it is not barred from receiving the update. Please examine this checklist before proceeding with the update and make sure that you have completed all of the stages.

  • Install the most recent hardware drivers for your computer, which may include chipset, audio, network, USB, and graphics drivers, among others. It is possible that using outdated drivers will prevent the upgrade from taking place. Flash drives, external storage, and printers that use USB ports should be disconnected. In the past, certain devices have been known to interfere with the proper installation of software updates. Microsoft occasionally prevents updates from taking place because of outdated antivirus software. Remove your antivirus software from your computer immediately before conducting the upgrade to ensure that it does not interfere with the upgrade.

As soon as the upgrade is complete, you may reinstall your antivirus software and reconnect your USB devices to the computer for use. Once you have completed the preparations for your computer, you may go to the next stage to upgrade Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 for free.

  1. For further information, go to the Windows 10 download page and click the “Download tool now” option to obtain the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Open the Media Creation Tool and click on the’Accept’button to indicate that you have read and agree to the licensing conditions. License agreement for the Media Creation Tool
  2. To upgrade your computer right away, pick the ‘Upgrade this PC right now’ option and click Next on the “What do you want to do?” box. Now that the Media Creation Tool has been launched, it will begin downloading the Windows 10 installation files, which may take some time. As soon as you have finished downloading the files, the application will ask if you want to save everything or if you want to start again from the beginning. Continue by selecting Keep all applications and files and pressing Enter. When you click on theInstallbutton, Windows 10 will begin to download and install itself on your computer. This procedure can take quite some time, and the computer will need to be restarted several times. Following the completion of the installation of Windows 10, connect to the internet and navigate toSettingsWindows UpdateActivation, where the computer will be activated with a digital license. Additionally, if the device does not already have Windows 10 active, you may input your Windows 7 or Windows 8.x product key to activate the operating system.

Keep in mind that the offer is only valid if you are using a legitimate copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to access it. By completing the steps in this guide, you will be granted a digital license that is valid for the duration of the hardware’s lifespan. When you’re finished, reinstall your antivirus software and connect any USB devices, printers, and external storage devices you might have. The update procedure will link your PC to Microsoft’s activation servers, resulting in the acquisition of a digital license for Windows 10 on your computer.

Mayank Parmar

Keep in mind that the offer is only valid if you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 with a legitimate license. The digital license you acquire as a result of following this instruction will be valid for the whole life of the gear you have invested in. Afterwards, restart your computer and reconnect any USB devices, printers, and external storage that you may have connected before. A digital license for Windows 10 will be acquired by your PC during the upgrading process when Windows connects to Microsoft’s activation servers.

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