Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offering has expired – right? In addition to Microsoft's accessibility offering, there's another way to enable Windows 10 with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key.
Update : This article was originally written in 201
With the Anniversary Update, you can still use an old key.
LINK: You can still download Windows 10 for free from the Microsoft Accessibility Site.
As part of the Windows 10 update from November, Microsoft changed the Windows 10 installation CD to accept Windows 7 or 8.1 keys as well. This allowed users to reinstall Windows 10 and enter a valid Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key during installation. Windows 10 will then report this key to the Microsoft servers, and Windows 10 Activation Servers will grant your PC the "Digital Rights" (now a "digital license") to continue to use Windows 10 for free, as if you had upgraded.
] This also works in Windows 10. Even if you do not specify a key during the installation process, you can enter a Windows 7 or 8.1 key instead of a Windows 10 key under Settings> Update & Security> Activation. Your PC gets a digital permission.
Even though the free upgrade offer is out of date, this method will still work in the anniversary update if Windows 10 is installed with Anniversary Update media or the key is entered after installing Windows 10 Enter any Windows 7-, 8-, or 8.1-key that was not previously used to upgrade to 10, and Microsoft's servers give your PC hardware a new digital license that will allow you to continue to use Windows 10 on that PC indefinitely. 19659008] Microsoft has not published any explanation for this update method. It's possible that Microsoft will soon disable it, but it's also possible that Microsoft might look the other way and keep this trick to promote more Windows 10 upgrades for a long time.
Using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 Keys for Windows 10
CONNECTION: How to Find Your Lost Windows or Office Product Keys
This operation is simple. First, you need a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key. If you have one of those lying around, great. If you do not, you can use a tool such as NirSoft's ProduKey to find the key currently used on your Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 PC. Write it down.
Make sure you have backup copies of your important files before proceeding. Even if you want to perform an upgrade installation, an error may occur. Especially when installing a new operating system, it is always a good idea to create backups.
Create Windows 10 installation media if you do not already have it. You can do this with the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from Microsoft. Select "Create installation media for another PC" and the tool will suggest creating a bootable USB flash drive or burning a bootable DVD.
Insert the installation media into the computer you want to update. and boot from the installation medium. Install Windows 10 normally. You can perform an upgrade installation that preserves your existing files or a clean installation that deletes your system drive.
When prompted for a key, enter the Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key. The installer accepts this key and the installation process continues normally.
(If you are using a Windows 8 or 8.1 system with the product key embedded in the UEFI firmware or your system's BIOS, you may also be able to click "I do not have a product key." Find your UEFI firmware and enable your system.)
After installing Windows 10, go to Settings> Update & Security> Activation and you should see that your PC has a digital license ,
If you did not enter a key during the installation process, you may be asked to enter a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key in this window to specify a Windows 10 key. Windows logs into the Microsoft servers and gives your PC a digital license for Windows 10.
It's that simple. If you want to reinstall Windows 10 in the future, you should be able to be using the same Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key you entered here. This key is linked to a "digital license" on Microsoft's servers, so you can reinstall Windows 10 even if Microsoft disables this method of purchasing Windows 10.
You can also sign in to your new PC with a Microsoft account, and this key will be linked to your Microsoft account, so you can easily reactivate your digital license if you need to reinstall Windows 10 later.