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

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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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      • How exactly does that affect the casual user? If you don't go to dodgy sites or open weird attachments, does it really matter if there are exploits out there?

        • +1

          The thing is, sometimes you don't know what's being loaded in iFrames on sites that may not be considered dodgy. For instance, there were groups pushing out ads through well know ad networks that contained crypto miners that would generate crypto currencies for them. Certain exploits in Windows can potentially be combined with exploits in other pieces of software (like web browsers), and placed in "ads" that can then escape the browser and infect your machine. There is one recent exploit that springs to mind ( https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/03/attac... ), but if you pay attention to IT security you see lots of these things popping up, and a lot of them exploit previously patched vulnerabilities

  • $225 is a bit of a stretch, you can buy keys for $15 in most places.

    G

    • +2

      Yes, but the cheap licenses are volume licenses that can not legally be sold individually. The expensive licenses are legal.

    • +1

      If you're buying a key for under $200 it's either on sale at the retailer or you are buying a dodgy key online. If you buy a volume license key resold on ebay for $3-5 you may as well have just installed a crack on your Windows since it will be activated but the key you are using isn't a legal one, they are for use by the business who originally purchased them under the volume licensing only and not valid for resale or home use.

  • wtb win XP

  • Can anyone tell me if there is a way to upgrade from Vista to Windows 10 for free please?
    Have been trawling the internet but can't find a solution that is free. Thanks so much :)

    • +1

      There's no legal way to do it. I think Microsoft excluded Vista from the free upgrade offer because there is a much greater chance that a PC that came with Vista pre-installed will not be powerful enough to run Windows 10, than a Windows 7 one.

      In my experience, Windows 10 will run well on the majority of Windows 7 PCs.

    • Unfortunately there isn't a way to do that for free unless you want to upgrade to Windows 10 and use it non-activated. You will have a watermark in the bottom right and be unable to change your desktop wallpaper but otherwise will be fully functional. Might be worthwhile on an old machine you don't really use anymore.

  • I can confirm this still works. I did it last night.

  • I’m more interested in a free upgrade from win10 home to pro? Possible?

    • No it's not.

  • Nice one

  • I thought this ended but good to know thanks

  • Thanks to OP. I am keeping one of my old machines W7. The reason is that there is no Windows 10 support for my old laser printer. Without that printer I would go to W10。

    • +3

      Win10 supports many old printers. Probably still works on w10 with a generic driver. To be safe just use the w7 printer driver on w10.

      • Yes. The windows 7 driver works initially. After a few updates in windows 10 it is not working unless resintall the driver. Then it will not see the USB printer after restart. But the same driver can be used to send jobs to a shared queued from a windows 7 machine connecting to the same printer.

  • Still working since they announced free upgrade ended.

  • The safest way to run any Windows PC is to always run under a standard user account. That + a good AV + right-click and scan all downloads with said AV, is as safe as you'll get (well, other than running some form of Linux Mint, that is). ;)

    • +2

      There's no need to scan downloads manually. The realtime protection of the antivirus will automatically do that.

    • The thing about running under a user account is good practice but not really not going to protect you, in the event you do accidentally download a virus or cryptolocker it doesn't matter if you are running as admin or not since your user account has access to all your user files and I think most people would care more about their personal files than their office/windows install folder.

      Also, software won't run with full admin rights by default so if for example your web browser or microsoft word is hit by a zero day exploit even if you are running logged in as an admin user thanks to UAC your browser/office app is only running with user-level access and can't write to protected folders anyway.

      Will protect other user accounts on a shared machine though if your account has no access to their files.

      • UAC is quite valuable. Oh hello sudo. I strongly believe that sub par hardware and the first appearance of UAC gave Vista its bad rep.

        At the time a vista basic sticker meant it had what, 512mb ram? Woeful.

  • Silly question from a computer illiterate douche, but is it possible to update a windows 7 machine that isn't connected to the internet using this site?

    I couldn't figure out how to do it.

    • Perhaps download the .exe from another computer, put it on a USB and plug that USB into your offline computer.

      Just a thought… That is if it's activated using a .exe or something similar.

    • +1

      I didn't try unplug the network cable but there is an option to not download the latest update during installation.

      But you still have to create the USB first from the create media tools.

      Perhaps download the .exe from another computer, put it on a USB and plug that USB into your offline computer.

      I think you have never deal with Windows XD

    • +1

      Go to windows 10 download page
      Download the assistant
      Choose "download W10 for another computer"
      Select the version that you need
      Burn to a USB key (not iso) which is at least 8gb
      Plug to target computer
      Boot on the USB key and select upgrade
      Enjoy

      • I think I get it, will try that, thanks.

  • Yeah none of that makes sense unfortunately, but thanks for trying to help me :)

  • I have an (old) laptop running Vista. Am I able to upgrade to a newer MS ? Or just get Linux? Don’t need to do much on it, not gaming. Any advice better than just sitting there ;))

  • Question for the community brains trust, I have a friend who has a version of W7 which won't boot. We want to upgrade it to 10, but when putting in the media it says it must be done from within the OS. As it won't boot, we can't do that. Putting in a Windows 7 install media doesn't give an option to upgrade, just to do a clean install. I guess we could, but then the license key wouldn't be passed on would it?

    • If I understand you correctly. You can do a clean install of Win 7 first and then upgrade to Win 10 from within the new 7 install. It should accept that. Then, once Win 10 is activated, if you want, do a clean install of Win 10.

      I assume here that your friend has a valid license key for Win 7? Or can do a factory reset of the computer/laptop?

      • He does, he bought the PC second hand years ago and just doesn't have any doco to fall back on.

        The clean install of 7, will it have the same product key as it previously had? Does Microsoft manage some database of these that it checks against?

        BTW it's a custom desktop

        • +1

          Can you try that:

          Open Command Prompt (Admin)
          At the command prompt, type:
          wmic path SoftwareLicensingService get OA3xOriginalProductKey

        • If you have an activated Windows you can add it to your MS account, then you can activate a clean install that way (at least for Win 10, I think Win 7 as well). However, that will be tricky if you cant actually boot the computer.

          Some options which come to mind: Could you try to boot from a Win7 CD and do a repair or recovery? Boot into Save Mode or the Command Line? If so you could try what @ShouldIBuyIt mentioned.

          Otherwise, if the HDD has a recovery partition, you could try to recover the computer through that. It shouldn't ask for a key if there is a recovery partition and you do a factory reset that way.

          • @naplutetium: When booting from Windows 7 CD there was no option for recovery or repair, just clean install over the top of or side by side with the existing windows 7. I tried 2 different installation cds I had lying around.

            No revovery partition, as it was a custom build, and unfortunately no system restore points.

        • Didn't realise you couldn't boot on the OS partition.

          Boot from the Windows installation USB key.
          Wait for the "Windows Setup" screen.
          Hit SHIFT+F10.

          That will open the command line.
          Recover you W7 key.
          Install W10.
          Activate with your W7 key.
          Let us know.
          Enjoy

          Edit: actually may not work

          • @ShouldIBuyIt: Hey that might work for me, if I am inclined to install 7 again and then upgrade to 10. Happy to try it

            • +1

              @Jackson: To recover the Win7 key from the Windows setup after you press SHIFT+F10 put in a USB stick with produkey on it

              https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/product_cd_key_viewer.html

              Just chuck produkey.exe onto the root of your USB stick and type in the command prompt:

              D:\produkey.exe
              E:\produkey.exe
              etc. until it works
              (just press up on the keyboard to bring back the previous attempt and then can just go over and backspace/del the drive letter)

              Once you have produkey open pick that you want to load the keys from an external windows directory and select or type C:\windows and it should give you your Windows & Office product keys. Can press the save icon and save it to your USB as a txt file.

    • If you have the Windows 7 product key. Do a clean install of the appropriate version of Windows 10, e.g. Windows 10 if you have Windows 7 Home and then you can activate it using the Windows 7 product key.

      You don't have to upgrade from Windows 7, you just need the product key.

      • You don't have to upgrade from Windows 7, you just need the product key.

        Some said doesn't work anymore have to upgrade.

        • I have had it fail but I understand for others it worked fine, worth to try at least.

        • No it still works. I last did it a few weeks ago.

          • @rogerm22: I think is depends on the key, whether it is OEM, Retails, or Pre-installed.

            • @superforever: Possibly. In theory it shouldn't matter. But my experience is only with computers that with Windows 7 or 8 pre-installed and I've never had any issues with those.

  • I thought I would try this and everything was going well but now I have a black screen for about an hour. Not sure what to do, if I should shut it down it leave it. Hope I haven't fried the computer. Can anyone help me?

    • Mine stayed on the 'updating screen' for a good couple of hours.. Maybe give it up to 3hours and then see. I thought mine was frozen.. But then I patiently waited and all was ok. However, I did not have a black screen.. So I'm not sure if this is a similar situation or not.

      • Ok I'll keep waiting

        • I hope it works for you!

    • May have some network issue. Had the same issue yesterday actually. Wifi got disconnected and windows was trying to activate the MS account but was stuck on black screen. I just turn off/on and it was resolved. YMMV

  • +1

    THANK YOU!!

    FINALLY GOT RID OF LEGENDARY WINDOWS 8

  • +1

    It has always been possible to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free since Microsoft announced it first some times ago. This is not new .
    Definitely a good chance for people running Windows 7 to upgrade. I would recommend upgrading to win 10 as soon as possible as Windows 10 is the most stable version of Microsoft OS so far.

  • Wow I really hope people don't pay $220 for Windows, I mean it should be like $20 for a legitimate key.

    Last time I paid big money was for Window 7 Ultimate Retail, much better these days

    • +1

      The cheap product keys do work, but they are not legal. They are volume license keys that can't legally be sold individually. Sometimes these keys will get blacklisted and then Windows will be deactivated.

  • +1

    DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS

  • Yeah nah - it works but it's not licensed properly - it has failed in several Microsoft audits.
    I'm MS licening certified - you'll never hear boop out of M$ about this - they can't turn it off "for technical reasons".
    I suggest you just don't do it in business!

    • IKR!

  • -1

    I'm predicting a lot of Win 7 diehards who refuse to upgrade also still drive EA Falcons lol.

  • Does anyone know the size of the download?
    I have limited data

    • +2

      Over 4GB.

    • +1

      Around 5GB if you are on a 64-bit OS, around 3.5GB if you are on a 32-Bit OS. This is for English language version. Probably best to wait until the end of your billing period so if you go over the download you won't get shaped :) If you have multiple to PCs to update you are best to download the offline ISO version and use PortableWinCDEmu to mount it or use 7-zip/Winrar to extract it to a folder and run setup.exe from that on each PC.

  • Many reconditioned PC resellers sell older PC'S with Win10 installed. Original PCs would have Win7 serial Sticker on the Box. How would the buyer ever know if the PC was updated prior to the close off date (which makes it legal vr. after which makes it illegal). It's not as though M$ provide a method of checking is there?
    As far as the buyer in concerned the PC has legit copy.
    Microsoft has not given the end user any easy method to check and in turn am of the opinion don't think they care. The more PCs live on Win10, the better for them number wise.

    • Dear Borg

      If you check any Windows 10 PC under "Activation" in the "settings/Update & security" it will tell you if the PC has been "Activated a digital licence" (legitimate) or not.

      Once it is registered on Microsofts servers with a "digital licence" you can reinstall Windows 10 in that computer as many times as you like without a Product Key. Even if you change the hard disk. Yes.

      And you can update any Windows 7 licenced Dell or HP PC to Windows 10 for FREE at any time so. Yes even TODAY! I do it all the time.

      • It's got nothing to do with the brand. You can upgrade any computer with a genuine Windows 7 or 8 license for free.

      • -1

        You are missing my point as I know one can check if registered etc.
        It's more if it was done (upgraded for free) after 2016 would based on what earlier comments here would mean it is "technically" not a legit licenced copy. For it to be legit, the update from Win7 to Win10 had to have beed done prior to Sept 2016.
        So based on this how does one know if in fact the upgrade was done just yesterday (not legal copy regardless of it showing as registered) vr prior to Sept 2016 (legal)?

        Oh….and free upgrading today is not Legal (regardless of it working). Read back over the last 4 pages on the thread!

        • I love when one receives a neg vote but no comment to explain the reason…..not seeing anything incorrect in my statement which in fact is a question!

        • how does one know if in fact the upgrade was done just yesterday (not legal copy regardless of it showing as registered) vr prior to Sept 2016 (legal)?

          That's an interesting question. Normally you would say to look at the OS "Installed date" but because Windows 10 has major build upgrades like 1607, 1809, 1903, etc. those have reset the installed date so there's really no way to tell that I can think of.

  • great

  • Thanks OP, just installed (took over an hour) but feel like I'm in the future now. Cheers :)

  • Okay so I had an old laptop (10 years old model, dual core 2 GB Ram) having pirated version of Windows 7 installed. Today I turned on the laptop after years, and tried to upgrade to Windows 10, but after downloading Windows 10, it started asking Windows 10 digital key, maybe it found that the current copy of windows 7 is counterfeited.

    Is there any way to have original windows 7 key for free so that I can activate my Windows 7 first? Then I will try to upgrade to Windows 10.

    • Nope as you need to enter your Win 7 Key as per label (which you I assume dont have). Regardless, it too old and under spec'd to consider upgrading to Win10. It will run very poorly. Stict to Win7….or use it for "CloudReady" Chromebook (if compatable).

      • While 2GB of RAM is really not enough for any OS later than XP, Windows 10 runs well on many Core 2 Duo systems. It even runs really well on two of my laptops from 2006, one of which has only a Core Duo CPU - not even Core 2 Duo.

        I upgraded probably tens of Windows 7 Core 2 Duo laptops to Windows 10 when it was released and they all ran just as fast as with Windows 7, if not faster. Current builds run faster than the original builds do too, so the performance should have got better.

        • You need at least 4GB 2GB was way slow tried on a low spec laptop

    • If you do an upgrade rather than a clean install you won't be prompted for a key

      • I did tried that but since I don't have original windows 7 (rather a pirated one) hence that's why it asks for a key

  • *** HELP PLEASE :) ***
    Does anyone know if it's possible to upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 10?
    If it is can someone please post link / step by step info on how to do it.
    Thank youdelheydeehoo lol

    • It is same process just follow the deal. Installer takes care of the upgrade process.

    • +2

      You can do it, but not for free, as the free upgrade is only for Windows 7 and 8.

      It is possible to upgrade from Vista to 7 and then to Windows 10, and in doing so, keep all your files and installed apps. But to do that, you need a product key for Windows 7. So you would need to already have a retail Windows 7 license, or buy one.

  • +1

    i'm impressed for a change, upgraded my Win7 to Win10 painlessly. on a 3Mbps ADSL, took about 3 hours to download the files, another couple of hours of self rebooting, Win10 it is! Thanks.

  • Thanks OP. This is cool. I had reinstalled 7 as I wasn't happy with 10 at the time. This time I upgraded from Win 7 enterprise and it gave me 10 pro. Was happy not to get a home edition

  • -1

    Sorry I couldn’t be bothered reading all the comments but I just wanted to clarify something. If I download the windows 10 onto a usb from my windows 7 computer will i be able to upgrade the other computer with the usb and my windows 7 on old computer stay? As I would like to use both.

    • +1

      Are you saying that you are using the same Win7 Lic on both PCs, keeping in mind that each should have their own unique licences (assuming you are a home user)?
      As for the USB: You can use it to install onto as many PCs as you like. It's just the OS installer and contains no licence.

  • +2

    Just too let everyone knows this still works just tested 👍🤪

    I.e. free Windows 10 upgrade from Windows 7

  • +1

    Thanks this was very helpful saving some money to upgrade my laptop Windows 7 too Windows 10👍

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