How to get Windows 10 upgrade for free for Windows 7/8.1 owners

December 28, 2020 | Tutorial Windows | Lex

Afew years back, Microsoft offered Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. The upgrade program allowed users with genuine license keys to upgrade to the latest operating system at no extra cost. While the free update program ended in 2016, it seems that the offer continues to remain valid.

Customers can continue to take advantage of Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade. As tested by Windows Latest, users with a genuine license of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 and get a digital license for free. A Reddit comment by a self-proclaimed Microsoft employee says that the whole “free” upgrade for a year was complete marketing fluff.

This should be good news for Windows 7 users, especially since Microsoft ended support for the operating system in January 2020. During the time Microsoft had also confirmed that there would be no more security updates, or emergency patches unless you’re a business that is willing to pay.

How to get Windows 10 upgrade for free:

  • Make sure you are using a genuine copy of Windows 7/8.1 on your device or virtual machine.
    • Note that a corporate/volume licensed instance of Windows — even if it’s genuine — isn’t eligible.
  • Head over to the Windows 10 download page and download the tool to install the OS.
    • Alternatively, you can download the full ISO of Windows 10 from this page (may redirect to the Media Creation Tool download page if opened on Windows).
  • Open the Media Creation Tool and select ‘Upgrade this PC now’.
  • Accept the terms and conditions and choose the upgrade option where you keep your files and information. Doing a fresh install via the Media Creation Tool may not get you Windows 10 for free, so be careful!
    • A summary of available upgrade paths from Windows 7 or a later operating system to Windows 10 can be found here.
  • Once the installation completes, connect your device or virtual machine to the internet and open Windows Update > Activation. Click on the ‘Activate’ button if required and your PC will be activated with a digital license after it establishes a connection to the Microsoft servers.
  • In case you are unable to obtain the license, you can enter your Windows 7/8/8.1 product key and manually activate the operating system.

Do note that these steps will work only if you have a legitimate Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 installation. You cannot upgrade to genuine Windows 10 if you have a non-activated or a non-genuine version of Windows 7 or 8.1. It is also interesting to note how Microsoft has kept this a secret and doesn’t publicize the fact that users can still continue to upgrade to the more secure and powerful operating system, free of cost.

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