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Free Windows 10 Upgrade - Usually $225 @ Microsoft (Previous Installation/Licence Required)


Support for Windows 7 is now officially over, which means Microsoft wants holdouts to upgrade to Windows 10 to keep devices running securely and smoothly. If you have an older PC or laptop still running Windows 7, you can purchase the Windows 10 Home operating system on Microsoft's website for $225. But you don't necessarily have to shell out the cash: A free upgrade offer from Microsoft that technically ended in 2016 still works.

Here's how to get Windows 10 for free, if you're currently running a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home or Pro:

  1. Go to the Download Windows 10 website.

  2. Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now and Run.

  3. Choose Upgrade this PC now, assuming this is the only PC you're upgrading. (If you're upgrading a different machine, choose Create installation media for another PC, and save the installation files.)

  4. Follow the prompts.

  5. When the upgrade is complete, go to Settings Update & Security > Activation, and you should see a digital license for Windows 10."

Above instructions/details taken from: CNET Article

Mod: As pointed out by bigjezza, a digital licence will not be deemed a legal licence, if using you are using this installer to upgrade without a valid windows 10 licence (from a purchase or previous upgrade). From Microsoft: "If you don't have a license to install Windows 10 and have not yet previously upgraded to it, you can purchase a copy here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/get-windows-10." For those who do not meet those requirements, install at your own risk.

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      • +12

        If you want a clean install you can just format your drive and install it fresh and post-install activate it with your Windows 7/8 key. No need to waste time doing in-place upgrade first.

        • Agret is right. Why metalslaw had 5 upvotes is beyond me. 🤦‍♂️ Now it's 4 :)

          • -1

            @Tythefly86: Because we only get 5 downvotes a day :(

          • @Tythefly86: What if you don't know the CD Key?

            Then you can upgrade without a CD-Key and clean install without a CD-Key.

            If you format and don't know the CD-Key you are stuffed.

            • @psyclone1982: Pull it from the registry? Google is your friend

              Might not be plain text like XP and before, but it is still in there

            • @psyclone1982: If you don't know the product key just download produkey from nirsoft and it will tell you your Windows & Office keys

        • Just did this last week. If u have the OEM version of Win7, usually they put the sticker at the bottom of the laptop for its license key (that's what I used to install clean Win10 on new SSD of my old laptop).

        • Once activated using Windows 7 key on new install, can I continue using Windows 7 (on another machine or VM), or will I get Windows is not licensed messages?

          • +1

            @AlexF: You can continue using the old key no problem

      • In-place upgrades help with Office, other purchased or licensed products already installed, no need to provide keys, in case of fresh install you will need all your license keys again.

    • +9

      Alternatively, you can do a clean install and then activate Windows 10 with your Windows 7 or product key.

      • Can I activate Windows 10 Pro with a Win 7 Pro MSDN key?

        • I am in a bit of a bind as I have a PC here running W7 that I can't boot in to, and when using the installation media it won't upgrade unless run from within the OS which I can't do. Tried the W7 install and that didn't work either, only let's me install a new instance of W7 with the old install put in Windows.old folder. Anyone have any recommendations? I don't have the original product key available to me

          • +1

            @Jackson: Grab the LazeSoft Recovery Suite, create a bootable flash drive on another computer, boot yours from it, and then use its Windows Key Finder.

            There's other methods using Linux Live CDs (chntpw command) but the above might be the easiest.

            • @4wd: It's already got a w10 install on another drive for now so just have to do the last part, will let you know how it goes

      • +9

        He clearly forgot Windows ME ;)

        • +1 for Vista

          • +3

            @Tiggrrrrr: Vista was terrible. WTF

            • +1
            • +2

              @Tythefly86: I never understood the Vista hate. Never had issues. It just worked.

              But if memory serves me right, it did need more memory than what we were used to in those days.

              • @logistics: Vista was also pretty unstable and slower than xp until sp1. It was also a security nightmare though every version of windows seems to be.

              • -1

                @logistics: Windows 10 'just works' also. Seriosuly, I've been using it for a long time and it really is that good. I use it for video and audio editing and it never fails me.

            • @Tythefly86: Sarcasm?

      • +1

        XP was literally a fancy version of 2000. Both based on NT. But I guess XP is newer so you've got a point.

      • +3

        Most people just don't care about their privacy.

        For most people who don't use CAD or adobe products, linux is great alternatives. It perfect for older generation who just need a computer to skype, web browser, word editor.

        Window 10 Enterprise doesn't even have option to turn turn telemetry off. If I want to send crash report, I will do it manually to send to developer.

      • +2

        Mate, I agree. I am clinging on to win 7 on my main pc coz (profanity) it. I have Win 10 on my laptop and I hate it but I am currently too busy/lazy to put ubuntu on it. I will soon!!!!

  • +4

    Somebody should tell the Aus government and save them $8.7 Mill ;-)

    • +15

      Doesn't apply to enterprise customers, but most enterprise customers are also staying with windows 7 due to IT issues, legacy software and other transitional hurdles

      Inevitable, but sometimes cheaper (or just easier) to keep kicking the can down the road ;)

      • +1

        Any enterprise customer with an E5 license got a complimentary extra year of support, so might explain why some have "stayed" with it. After that or for anyone else, its on a per device basis support cost which increases yearly (bill footed by us the tax payers).

    • +1
    • +7

      That 8.7M is used to support their machines for another year whilst they plan the upgrade to Win 10 in case there's any emergency outbreaks. It's not going to save anything other than incompetent management who didn't prepare for the upgrade earlier than the deadline.

      • +2


        Seriously, everyone knew well in advance that support for Windows 7 would be finishing. They had more than enough time to prepare adequately.

              • +6

                @2022: without a valid license, it won't activate.

  • +4

    One, it's not $225 to anyone that knows, Two, this has been going on for years.

  • +1

    Does it wipe out all the content of the Win 7 drive? Thanks.

    • +1

      It hasn't for me. I would still have important things backed up though.. Just in case

      • +1

        Did cause issues with my laptop though. I did an upgrade and it gets a lot hotter now.

        So it shuts off after an hour or so without a cooling pad.

        Probably could be fixed with a wipe and reinstall though.

        • Did you then update to the latest November 2019 updated version?

          • @kimba88: Yep. No change, disabled a bunch of stuff but it gets hot enough to have a thermal shutdown now.

        • You will want to update the drivers after the upgrade

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