It has been four years since Microsoft ended the offer to get Windows 10 for free by updating from previous versions in 2016. It was a simple process that merely required a quick click on the upgrade button from the notification. Yet, many people have still been able to update their Windows 7 and 8 operating systems to the newest one in 2021.
It means that the operating system is no longer being updated, bugs are not fixed, and users receive no technical support. In other terms, it is no longer safe to either use or store data on Windows 7 for security reasons, such as Zoom vulnerabilities. Essentially, even FBI recommends switching from Windows 7 to 10. Unfortunately, it is most likely that Windows 8 support will be ended in the near future as well.
Experts believe that Microsoft has left a loophole to upgrade to Windows 10 free for people who have previously used authentic Windows versions intentionally.
Currently, Windows 10 has over 1 billion active users and the number is only increasing. If you are using an earlier variant of the operating system, you can also upgrade it without any additional fees or breaking any rules. Geek’s Advice team has created a guide on how you can get Windows 10 free download full version 2021.
Our cybersecurity experts strongly advise you to follow these instructions as they are not breaking any laws and does not include dubious third-party tools or other illegal software. People should be aware that using any unverified programs to get the newest Windows version can lead to serious computer infections and other dangerous consequences.
Please note that if you were previously using Windows Home edition, your computer will be updated to Windows 10 Home version. Just like Windows Pro license is updated to Windows 10 Pro free.
In case you are eager to change your OS edition, you must purchase a new license key for the edition you desire. For example, if you have Windows 8 Home, you must buy a new license before updating it to Windows 10 Pro. Otherwise, you will end up with Windows 10 Home. Furthermore, keep in mind that these instructions do not work on Windows XP or Windows Vista as these variants were not entitled to a free Windows 10 upgrade tool in the first place.
Therefore, people should not try to update these operating systems as the process will not bring any benefit.
Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 users will find instructions to show how to use a media creation tool to download windows 10 Microsoft. Before even starting the process, users should make sure that they have approximately 4GB of free space and only then follow each step attentively to avoid any issues and successfully update their operating systems.
Before you begin upgrading to Windows 10, we recommend you to create a backup copy of your personal files first. This is an extra security step to protect your files in case anything goes wrong. Besides, many people tend to store many important files and folders on the desktop, which might get deleted during the upgrade.
For that reason, we recommend you to either backup your data using an external data storage device, or use a trustworthy backup software.
People can still update previous Windows versions to Windows 10 for free in 2021
Go to Download Windows 10 Website;. Navigate down until you find Create Windows 10 Media Installation section;. Press the Download Tool Now button and wait for the download to finish (takes up no more than 2 minutes);.
Open MediaCreationTool2004.exe file from your downloads folder;. Once Windows 10 Setup launches, press the Accept button to Microsoft’s terms and conditions;.
- Select Upgrade this PC now or Create installation media for another PC option depending on if you want to install Windows 10 on this computer or another device and press Next;.
- You can choose from three possibilities: Keep personal files and apps, Keep personal files only, and Nothing; Select the option according to your needs;.
- Press the Install button and wait until the installation is finished;. Once your PC restarts, navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Activation;. Here, you will see the Windows Edition and License information for the current system.
- The suggested method has been tested and confirmed by many computer-related websites and is known to be working at the time of writing as well. We hope that you found this guide useful and you will patch current security vulnerabilities in your OS by upgrading to Windows 10 for free.
- Scott Bolton is a senior content strategist in our Geek’s Advice team. He is exceptionally passionate about covering the latest information technology themes and inspire other team members to follow new innovations.
- Despite the fact that Scott is an old-timer among the Geeks, he still enjoys writing comprehensive articles about exciting cybersecurity news or quick tutorials. Follow these steps to create installation media (USB flash drive or DVD) you can use to install a new copy of Windows 10, perform a clean installation, or reinstall Windows 10.
Before you download the tool make sure you have:. An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply). Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.
A blank USB flash drive with at least 8GB of space or blank DVD (and DVD burner) if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted. When burning a DVD from an ISO file, if you are told the disc image file is too large you will need to use Dual Layer (DL) DVD Media.
Check a few things on the PC where you want to install Windows 10:. 64-bit or 32-bit processor (CPU). You’ll create either a 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows 10. To check this on your PC, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for System type. System requirements. Make sure the PC meets the system requirements for Windows 10. We also recommend going to the PC manufacturer's website for additional info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.
- Language in Windows. You'll need to choose the same language when you install Windows 10. To see what language you're currently using, go to Time and language in PC settings or Region in Control Panel. Edition of Windows. You should also choose the same edition of Windows. To check what edition you're currently running, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for Windows edition.
- Windows 10 Enterprise isn’t available in the media creation tool. For more info, go to the Volume Licensing Service Center. Microsoft Office products. If you just purchased a new device that includes Office 365, we recommend redeeming (installing) Office before upgrading to Windows 10. To redeem your copy of Office, please see Download and install Office 365 Home, Personal, or University on your PC.
For more information, check How to upgrade to Windows 10 on new devices that include Office 365. If you have Office 2010 or earlier and choose to perform a clean install of Windows 10, you will need to locate your Office product key. For tips on locating your product key, check Find your Office 2010 product key or Enter the product key for your Office 2007 program.
Using the tool to create installation media:. Select Download tool now, and select Run. You need to be an administrator to run this tool. If you agree to the license terms, select Accept. On the What do you want to do? page, select Create installation media for another PC, and then select Next. Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for Windows 10. This table will help you decide which edition of Windows 10 you’ll choose:.
Is your license valid?
And now the big question: If you avail yourself of this upgrade to Windows 10, is the resulting license valid?
The entire "free upgrade" offer was always accompanied by language that was, to put it politely, a bit squishy. And the language around the end of that offer was similarly vague. For example, see the answers I've highlighted here on Microsoft's Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ:
That's very odd language. The free upgrade through the Get Windows 10 app ended on July 29, 2016. Likewise, the discussion of product keys says a key will be necessary "for this tool to work" (not true) but doesn't say a word about licensing.
And unlike the weaselly "Genuine Windows" label on older upgrades, the activation screens for a Windows 10 upgrade specifically confirm the existence of a "digital license."
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Anyway, the free upgrade offer was extended briefly, at least for people who use assistive technologies. The FAQ on a separate page even called it a "free upgrade offer extension" and pointedly noted that it was not limited to specific assistive technologies. (I regularly use the Magnifier utility in Windows, which is indisputably an assistive technology.)
Of course, I'm not a lawyer, and this column isn't legal advice. But I will say that I am personally confident in the activation status of any PC upgraded using the tool on that page during the eligibility period.
This extension was, I think, a very large nod and a wink, designed to make it easy for those who wanted a Windows 10 upgrade to still get it while placating the OEM partners who were none too happy about the year-long emphasis on upgrades rather than new PC sales.
Alas, I say "was," because the extension (which was itself extended) officially ended on Jan. 16, 2018. The page that formerly ran an Upgrade Assistant now returns an error message.
The big question now is whether Microsoft will ever turn off the code on its activation servers that dispenses digital licenses after an upgrade from an earlier Windows version. I've continued to test that scenario, and I can confirm, long after the end of support for Windows 7, that it still works.
I continue to hear from readers sharing their experiences. If you've used this technique on a PC, click my name at the top of this post and use the contact form to let me know how it went for you.
Note: This article was originally published in January 2017. It has been updated multiple times since then to reflect the most current information.