• long running

Free Windows 10 Upgrade @ Microsoft (Previous Installation/Licence Required)


For those who haven't upgraded here's a reminder. All credit to kimba88 for the previous post

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:

  • Go to the Download Windows 10 website.
  • Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now and Run.
  • 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.)
  • Follow the prompts.

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

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  • +1

    Here's a ZDNet article confirming the free upgrade still works for PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

    Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade (updated September 28, 2020)

  • How to go free or cheapest way to upgrade windows home 10 to windows 10 pro

    • Buy Windows 10 Pro key from eBay UK


      On your Windows 10 open the System screen (Windows Key + X menu / Right Click start menu & then pick System)

      At the bottom of that screen press "Change key or upgrade your edition of Windows" and then put in the Windows 10 Pro key that you bought from eBay.

  • Windows has being low key free for ages

  • +3

    I've been using Windows 10 free since release on the trial version

    Whats limited is personalization like unable to change the wallpaper; it remains black which is fine by me.
    I still receive all the security updates.

    Its a great free product.

    • +1

      Exactly, there's no need to jump through hoops.

      Win 10 is free, as long as you don't mind not changing themes and the look of it.

      Create usb install from ms site, then install. That's it.

      Once installed, spend $5 on ebay for pro key, (the script they use emails you the key within a few min), and then activate it for pro if you want pro.

      I thought most people knew this but given the comments it appears its not well known

  • +1

    Just install Windows 10 and punch in the old Windows cd key and it works.

    But Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 10, so I'm not going to upgrade.

    • +20

      But Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 10

      Said absolutely no-one, ever

      • +1

        I actually preferred 8.1 on touchscreens when 10 first came out. 10 has improved over time though and I'd be interested to see what 8.1 is like now.

        • 8.1 is the same, after Windows 10 released they have just been doing security patches & not major revisions to it.

    • +3

      But Windows 8.1 is better than Windows 10

      LOL 🤣

    • +3

      This is what I do. I have a couple of Windows 7 Pro keys printed on a label, from back in the day when your bought things physically, that my place of work was going to trash. Windows 10 has no issue accepting these keys and it seems you can reuse them as many times as you'd like to activate a new copy of Windows 10 Pro. I've activated a number of machines, VMs and boot camp installs with the same Windows 7 Pro key, and haven't had an issue yet!

      Probably not what Microsoft had intended, but I still feel better using an actual legitimate license key whenever I install Windows 10. I just tell myself, if Microsoft didn't want me doing this, they wouldn't let me do it, and I sleep better at night! 😛

  • Will the upgrade work like a normal upgrade and retain all your data?

    • Generally it works like this but read the fine print as sometimes they have certain things that wont migrate.

    • Yes, it is a normal upgrade.

  • +1

    No thanks MS, I will stick to Windows Vista which is clearly the best OS ever made.

    • +5

      No, that was Millenium remember?

      • +2

        Windows 3.1

  • I did this on an old pc i retired which had W7 Pro SP1

    Do you still need to install W7 first then 10, I think that was the case previously?

    Doubt I'll need another pc but could be handy for future builds, I still have the win 7 DVD

    • old pc i retired which had W7 Pro SP1

      You should have kept it at Win7 unless there was a specific program that couldn't run and needed Win10

      • guess could always install that again if doing a media box or something, or is it too late once you've upgraded?
        10 pro fine anyway for me i think.

    • Pretty sure once you have gone through the whole migration the hardware check security will see your machine as a registered machine meaning you can do a fresh install without the need for Win 7.
      As soon as you change mobo or something large, it could lock you out as it would be a license derived for OEM originally.

      Double check against my post though, things could have changed recently. Regardless, MS wants everyone using their OS as it makes them strategically the market leader.

      • Cheers, probably won't need another licence for a Long Time, cheap as anything for a digital license if you know where to look.

    • +1

      Do you still need to install W7 first then 10, I think that was the case previously?

      Was never the case, the Windows 10 installer for a clean install may or may not accept a Windows 7 key (sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't weirdly?). If it doesn't accept your product key then you can install it without a product key, just pick Home/Pro as appropriate. After the installation when you are connected to the internet press to enter product key and that's where you put in the Windows 7 key and it will activate no problems.

  • -1

    I haven't paid for Windows since windows 98 lol
    I've been a student for a long time so keys have always been free through school or uni.

  • Have a Win8 laptop, HDD died and replaced with new one. Got a backup of Win8 system files. What would the best way to retrieve the licence key from the files in external disk?

    • win8 no need to get license key, just reinstall it with the same version it will auto activate like win10.

      Upgrade to win10 after that, after upgraded to win10 you can fresh install win10 again, it will have your activation hardware details and will auto activate it for you.

      • How will it auto-activate? Do I need to copy the files from external disk into the new HDD?

        • +3

          How will it auto-activate?

          Win8 and Win10 will remember your hardware ID, once activated you don't need to activate it again on the same computer even fresh reinstall.

        • +2

          How will it auto-activate?

          From Windows 8 up, the Windows Product Key is embedded in the UEFI firmware (BIOS) for most branded PCs from major manufacturers.

          • +1

            @1bug: Got it, was missing that piece of info

          • @1bug:

            Product Key is embedded in the UEFI firmware (BIOS)

            I found that even older BIOS without UEFI, once you have win10 activated it won't need to reactivate again after fresh install.

            • @superforever: Yeah, that's a function of the Windows 10 'digital licence'.

    • Download Produkey


      Scroll down the page for ages or CTRL+F for "Download ProduKey (In Zip file)"

      Extract produkey.exe to a folder somewhere and right click it and press "Run as Administrator"

      Click File - Select Source and then tick "Load product keys from external Windows directory" and browse for your external one (E:\Windows for example)

  • Can i update Windows 10 Home to Pro through a Windows 7 Pro license?

    • Can i update Windows 10 Home to Pro through a Windows 7 Pro license

      I did that before but I think depends on the license key, I remember some didn't work.

      • ok trhanks, actually it's a Win 7 Ultimate key from an old work machine. No harm trying i suppose?

        • +3

          7 Ultimate will go to W10 Pro

          7 Pro will do the same

          7 Home will go to W10 Home

          • @freddofrog42: Went through the prompts and stopped when it said it was going to reinstall Win 10 Home… hadn't asked for the Win 7 Ult code yet though…

    • Try it via Settings > Update & Security > Activation > Change Product Key

  • Probably better to do a clean install, but make sure you know what drivers you need beforehand.

  • Very great deal. I am still running Win7 .

  • This tool can’t update your PC.
    “The language or edition of the version of Windows currently installed on your PC isn’t supported by this tool.”
    Someone help please!

    • +1

      Are you running an enterprise edition, education edition or maybe some starter edition of Windows from some asian market which isn't supported by the tool?.

      The upgrade tool as far as i'm aware will only upgrade consumer editions of Windows. Windows Home or Windows Pro.

      • Mine is Enterprise

        • +1

          That is the reason why. The upgrade tool is only for consumer Windows editions.

          Enterprises use a different way of upgrading the computers to new Windows.

  • Support for Windows 7 is now officially over

    What about Vista ?

    • What about Vista ?

      Ended long time ago.

    • Yeah Vista came a few years before Windows 7.

      • +1

        Seems like yesterday…

        • +1

          I still have the 10x floppy drives for Windows 3.11

          • +1

            @Lizard Spock: 360K, 720K or 1.44Mb ???

            • @jv: Total would have been about 14.4Mb, unless it was compressed

              Edit: I just looked it up, it was about 8Mb

          • @Lizard Spock: I threw my Windows 3.11 for Workgroups floppy disks out back in the later 90's after i upgraded to Windows 95.

          • @Lizard Spock: What's the bet that at least one floppy disk has died after all these years. Coasters now.

  • So if I have no existing windows, this wont work?

    • +1

      So if I have no existing windows, this wont work?

      I have no Windows PC this won't work? 😆

    • well, if you just use the MediaCreationTool20H2.exe tool to download the ISO file which you can use Rufus to create a W10 install USB device that will work.

      Or if you simply install windows 7 or whatever the sticker was on it says then just upgrade it with the same creation tool will also work fine. Depending on the computer your installing it on the Key might already be inside the bios of the motherboard.

      Failing that, just do a fresh install of it and if it prompts you for a key, just buy $1 key on ebay which most are from corporate non used keys or large Volume License keys which also work flawlessly and for the life of the computer. Just dont lose the key number so if you need to reinstall you can enter it again.

      Hope that helps :)

      • MediaCreationTool20H2.exe tool

        H2 oh no ……

      • Why use Rufus when the Media Creation Tool does exactly what it's called? Media creation - create a bootable USB using the tool.

        • Old habits I guess, plus by getting the ISO on disk you dont need to have a stack of folders laying about. :P

    • no existing windows

      Does your house have walls?

    • So if I have no existing windows, this wont work?

      No, you would have to use the door.

      • use the door

        Or manhole

  • Damn got excited 🤦 looks like my activate windows will be sticking around

  • +2

    Wasn’t it free upgrade for years?

    • Yep. Microsoft has been giving away free upgrade to Windows 10 for years so far. So i don't see any thing new here.

  • OzNews =/= OzBargain.

    This has been free for years; literally since the infamous GWX/forced upgrade offer for Win 7/8 back in 2016.

    Any OEM or retail Windows 7/8/8.1 product key key will activate a digital licence for the equivalent edition of Windows 10 after a fresh Win 10 install.
    Newer PCs/laptops with UEFI-embedded Windows licences will automatically activate the corresponding Windows 10 edition when Windows 10 is installed.

    • I've got heaps of old XP licenses and a Vista one, but they won't work, right?

      I've got two Win7 licenses, but those computers are still being used. What happens if I use one of them on my new machine's unactivated Win10? Will it affect my existing Win7 machine?

  • Does this work for Windows 7 Enterprise?

  • +1

    If you want WMC, particularly for broadcast TV, 10 is a downgrade.

    • I am using MediaPortal.

      • +1

        I’ve used it, but (IMO) no match for WMC purely for TV.

        • Hmm I have no problem with Live TV.

  • Running a windows 8 Enterprise and just tried. No dice.

    • Fixed it - it's easier than I thought

  • Upgrade failed on my hp elitebook laptop post upgrade and stuck on the out of box experience privacy setting screen. Kept restarting in a reboot loop. Had to boot up in safe mode and go back to windows 8.1 pro. Will try again from a usb stick.

    • +1

      hp elitebook laptop

      Remove those HP software first.

    • I had the same happen on a Acer 27" AIO unit and the NVidia Graphics card in it for whatever reason is not supported.

      Was advised to uninstall the NVidia card and then disable it and only use the Intel card which likely wont suit many users.

      Or then find out which driver is the best for your device otherwise you may encounter the famous MS blue screens.

  • +1

    Given the privacy nightmare Windows 10 is, how many people are staying on Windows 7 for this reason?

    And also, how do you find it?

    I've personally thought Win 7 with the Noir theme would be 99% the same for what I use it for.

    • yes, 10 is a nightmare compared with 7. Have had lots of weird issues, but 7 was totally rock stable. Even selecting basic things like accessing the last file/programme you used takes more steps and is less intuitive.

    • I use windows 10 enterprise LTSC with classic start menu, it’s as close to 7 as you can get.

  • are keys tied to hardware? I've got an old win7 laptop key that I'd like to "transfer" to my parents old Dell PC with win7 then upgrade to win1"

    • If you don't have anything to keep on the Dell PC, try a fresh install with the Win7 key.

  • If I have to re image about a dozen laptops from Windows 10 pro to our work image. Is there any way I can use the key from them? Or is it hardware locked now?

  • Noob question - what happens to programs and data on my PC ? Google says it's all gone

  • Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC is the definitive version, you won’t look back. Stable, zero issues for me

    • I've had zero issues with Windows 10 Pro on a Dell Precision 5810 computer. I guess it depends much on the stability of the computer. These Dell Precision computers are stable as any thing on any operating system.

      Every Windows 10 edition all have the same kernel. Windows 10 Enterprise doesn't make it any more stable than say Windows 10 Pro or Home. You just need a stable computer. Business grade computers are the best as they are designed for stability with the ECC RAM.

      • It’s the constant updates which are the problem for a older computer (mines like 4-5 years or so old) the last major windows 10 update killed my system and I was unable to install it successfully from scratch either trying different isos. I don’t have a pre made OEM machine which doesn’t help things.

        • You seriously need an SSD in the system for as the boot drive then to speed it up.

          Yeah my Dell Precision 5810 computer which is running Windows 10 Pro is about 4 years old i would say. But it does have a UEFI bios and PCI-e 3.0 so i upgraded it with the Samsung 970 Pro 512GB NVMe SSD with a PCI-e adapter. It does windows updates quick enough even the major updates. And the computer is rock solid i have never seen it crash running Windows 10 Pro. But then the computer is built for stability. So in my opinion it's about how stable the computer hardware itself is and a good SSD will go a long way to speeding up Windows updates.

          • @hollykryten: I’ve got a SSD. The last major system update caused BSOD so I’m running a older version until they’ve smoothed out the bugs

            • +1

              @SirMurduck: I have that bug where my SSD goes at 100% every now and again and locks everything up for a good minute or so. Pain in the arse.

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