When Windows 10 was released for the first time in 2015, a free upgrade was as simple as clicking the "Get Windows 1
Support for Windows 7 ends in January 2020, followed by termination of support for Windows 8.1 in January 2023. Unfortunately, the free upgrade period for these older versions of Windows ended in mid-2016 and a "workaround" for Windows 10 with Assistive Technologies was completed in December 2017.
Do not worry. There are still some ways that you can download the latest and greatest version of Windows 10 for free without paying a license or breaking any rules.
Step 1: Download the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool
Although Microsoft has officially completed the free upgrades to Windows 10, you can technically continue to install the operating system for free. If you are still running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you only need to download the Windows 10 installer. If you go this route, you do not have to pay $ 200 for an upgrade key and keep all your data from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
First, you want to go to the Microsoft website to download Windows 10 for free. This is achieved with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. You can download the tool by clicking on the blue button Download Tool Now on the website. It should not take more than 2 minutes.
Step 2: Start the installer.
After downloading, you want to start the installer. You must then accept the terms and select to update this PC now. Follow the instructions. Windows 10 will download to your PC and check if it is compatible.
You may then see a list of problematic programs or hardware that might hold back upgrades. It's up to you to uninstall these programs to fix these issues.
Step 3: Finish Installation
During installation, your Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 PC will be restarted several times. As part of the process, your existing product key will be deducted from your hardware during setup. If your version of Windows is legally enabled, you will not be prompted for an activation key. Note, however, that this does not work on Windows XP or Windows Vista, as these versions of Windows never qualify for the free Windows 10 upgrade.
You also get the same Windows version that was originally delivered with your PC – Windows 10 Home, Pro, Enterprise or Education.
Although this is the easiest way to get Windows 10 for free, you should also consider a few others.
Other Methods for Retrieving Windows 10  How do I get Windows 10 for free? “/>
Arif Bacchus / Digital Trends
The above method is the best way to get Windows 10 for free. However, there are other ways to get Windows 10. For example, if your school or employer is authorized or already uses Microsoft 365, you should be able to install Windows 10 for free.
You can always pay the full price and purchase a Windows 10 license from the Microsoft Store. Alternatively, you can buy Windows 10 on Amazon. Or you can just download and run Windows 10 without enabling it. Your computer will shut down after 30 days, and you will not be able to use certain customization and other features, but the operating system will continue to work. Of course, we recommend using a fully enabled version of Windows as this is the safest way.
After setting up with one of these methods, your device binds the new Windows 10 license as a "digital license" or claim. This will be attached to your device when logging in to your Microsoft account. Again, these specific methods only work if you are performing a direct or clean installation upgrade to Windows 10. If you use the Windows 10 Setup program to create an ISO or installation media, and then reinstall Windows 10 on another PC with Vista or Windows XP activation may fail.
How can you reuse an older product key?
If you have discontinued Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and decided to install on Windows 10, you can use your old product key to reinstall and activate Windows 10 on your PC Prerequisite, before choosing this option, is a separate guide to downloading and reinstalling Windows 10. However, first be aware of a warning.
Microsoft's Product Keys typically work only once unless violated by volume licensing agreements the use The same Product Key on multiple PCs violates Microsoft terms. However, if you have properly purchased these legacy Windows versions and are no longer using them, the Microsoft Windows 10 Activation Servers accept Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 keys on your PC.
With this gap, you can avoid paying up to $ 200 for a new Windows 10 license. It can be patched at any time by Microsoft. Be forewarned that you are violating licensing agreements at your own risk.
Typically, your Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 product key is located on a sticker on your PC or laptop, or in the documentation that came with your PC. If you previously purchased Windows from Microsoft or a retailer, you may find it in a box or in an email. On Windows 8.1, Product Keys can also be linked to your specific hardware or Microsoft account. This means that the installer will accept Windows 10 if you are reinstalling Windows 10 on a PC running Windows 8.1. You may not need to enter the activation key.
After you cleanly install Windows, you can now enable it if it did not run automatically during setup. Go to the start menu and look for Activation . You can then select Activation Settings in the result list. This will take you to a settings page where you can select Change product key and enter or use your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 key to activate.