You Can Still Upgrade to Windows 10 For Free, Here’s How
Back when Windows 10 was first released, Microsoft allowed users of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Microsoft officially ended the free upgrade offer in December 2017, but a method still works that allows you to upgrade an older version of Windows to Windows 10 for free.
Microsoft doesn’t talk about that Windows 10 free upgrade offer anymore, but devices with legitimate Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 licenses could be upgraded to Windows 10 for free using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
To get Windows 10, you’ll just have to download and run Media Creation Tool on Windows 7/8/8.1 and upgrade the PC to Windows 10. After the upgrade, connect to the internet and your older Windows license will be converted to a Windows 10 license.
According to a Reddit user who claims to be a Microsoft worker, Windows 10’s free upgrade for a year was ‘marketing fluff’ to maximize the adoption of the operating system. CokeRobot also shed some light on the now-expired Windows 10 free upgrade offer.
“You still can do this no problem, however careful, do an upgrade keeping everything as if you choose to yeet everything and start fresh, you lose your free upgrade. That old 7 license converts to a 10 digital license and from there you can clean install no problem. As for audits, this mainly is for volume licensing than anything. An SMB with 10-200 Windows 7 machines that were OEM licensed don’t really matter. If you try this with 1,000 computers, iffy. At the end of the day, Microsoft had four years to close that loophole and never did so if worse came to worse, you could technically go through legal avenues as the EULA for 10 literally doesn’t have a clause for this at all. You can’t shit on someone taking advantage of an activation workaround when you as the manufacturer never closed it.”
How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free
- Visit the Windows 10 download page from here.
- Click the ‘Download Tool now‘ button to download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
- Open the Media Creation Tool and accept the license terms.
- Select the ‘Upgrade this PC now‘ option and click Next.
- The tool will prompt you as to whether you wish keep everything or start from scratch. Select to Keep all apps and files and continue.
- Once you click on the Install button, Windows 10 will begin to be installed. This process can take quite a while and the computer will restart numerous times.
- After Windows 10 is finished installing, connect to the internet and open Settings > Windows Update > Activation and the PC will be activated with a digital license. You can also enter your Windows 7 or Windows 8.x product key and activate Windows 10 if the device is not already activated.
Remember that the offer works only if you are using a genuine license of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. By following this guide, you will receive a digital license valid for the life of the hardware.
During the upgrade process, Windows will connect to Microsoft’s activation servers and your PC acquires a digital license or entitlement of Windows 10.
You’ll see “Windows is activated with a digital license” message on Windows activation page (Settings > Update & security > Activation).
The digital license is associated with the device and unless the hardware is changed, you can perform a clean installation of the same edition of Windows 10 with Media Creation Tool or the ISO files, and activation is automatic.
Read the original article over at BleepingComputer.com.