How to download Windows 10 for free | Digital Trends

When Windows 10 first base arrived, nabbing a free upgrade was adenine childlike as clicking the Get Windows 10 telling immediate. Things are a bit different now, however, specially with the raw free upgrade to Windows 11 being about .
In addition to that, Microsoft no longer supports Windows 7, which means there ’ s no more technical support, security updates, or bug-squashing. In early words, Windows 7 is now dangerous to use, making this an excellent time to switch to Windows 10 or, switch to Windows 10 .




15 minutes

What You Need

  • valid product key or digital license
  • Windows account

unfortunately, the master free upgrade period to Windows 10 ended years ago, and the workaround to get Windows 10 for detached with assistive Technologies ended not long after that. No motivation to worry, though — there are hush ways to get Microsoft ’ s latest operating system without paying for a new license or breaking any rules .

With product keys and digital licenses

It would be best to have a valid product key or a digital license to get a free upgrade. What ’ s the difference ? When you purchase an operate system from Microsoft or any retailer, it comes with a product key to unlock it. It ’ sulfur printed and included in the packaging, emailed to you, or stored in the cloud, which is normally the character for system builders .

What is a digital license?

A digital license connects your install Windows platform to a key embedded in prebuilt systems from Acer, Dell, HP, and therefore on. For a long time, these manufacturers printed product keys on labels stuck on PCs or printed and inserted them into product promotion. Microsoft ’ s product keys typically only work once, but hackers sometimes find workarounds to use the same key on multiple PCs .
That led Microsoft and manufacturers to introduce digital licenses in Windows 8 as an antipiracy measure, so end users aren ’ thyroxine installing the platform on extra machines. however, Microsoft besides moved Windows 7 over to this method acting. This license becomes locked to your Microsoft account .
If you legitimately purchased and no longer use these older versions, Microsoft ’ s Windows 10 activation servers will accept Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 keys on your personal computer .

What if I can’t find my key?

however, if you ’ re upgrade from Windows 7 and can ’ t find the key, you can try signing in to your Microsoft report and checking past downloads to see if your product key is there. Sites like Amazon besides keep a commemorate of buy downloads, but these rarely include the product samara itself, though it may help narrow down where it could be .
ultimately, you can download Windows 10 and perform a clean install. It will then pull the valid Windows 8/8.1 license key from your prebuilt system ’ s motherboard and move on. In all other cases, you must supply an authentic, genuine product key during the apparatus process, or you can do it late by visiting Settings > Update & security > Activation .
If you don ’ t have a valid Windows 7 license key, you must follow our other guide about how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 .
millions of people still using windows 7 10 upgrade 768x768

Using the Windows 10 Media Creation tool

Despite officially ending the dislodge update promotion in mid-2016, Microsoft quietly keeps this choice available so wholly Windows personal computer owners can run the latest version. Again, unless you have a valid digital license or merchandise key to get a detached upgrade, you will be required to pay for a new Windows 10 Home product key .
Step 1: Your inaugural step in acquiring a free Windows 10 upgrade is to visit Microsoft ’ s download Windows 10 web page .
Step 2: Select the Download joyride immediately button .
You ’ ll see MediaCreationTool21H1.exe download onto your personal computer, which shouldn ’ t take longer than a minute to occur. Disconnect any unnecessary accessories to help reduce the opportunity of errors.

Step 3: Launch the Media Creation Tool .
how to get windows 10 for free upgrade this pc
Step 4: Once it is downloaded, open it, and accept Microsoft ’ mho terms .
As shown above, you have two options : Upgrade the current personal computer, or create installation media that will either upgrade another personal computer or perform a clean install on the stream personal computer. however, in both cases, the tool will temporarily download a disk picture of Windows 10, then be sure you have enough space for the charge — around 4GB, at least .
Step 5: Select the Upgrade this personal computer now choice and follow the prompts. The tool will scan your calculator to see if it ’ sulfur compatible and may present a list of baffling programs or hardware that could stall the upgrade. If needed, uninstall programs to address the installer ’ south concerns .
Step 6: With all issues resolved, the installer will try to port over all the data it can. Keep in heed, however, the huge gap between Windows 7 and Windows 10 in terms of the software you use. If you ’ ra ditch Windows 7 after using it for many years, you probably have a lot of data stored in files and apps. We can ’ t guarantee that all files and apps will be compatible with Windows 10, and some may stop work .
Step 7: It ’ s essential to be mindful of this and prepare before upgrading. Back up or convert any crucial datum before you continue .
Step 8: Finish installation .
Step 9: As the installer progresses, your personal computer will restart a few times. As part of the action, it will pull your existing digital license from your hardware during the setup — you won ’ t need to activate it. If prompted for a valid product key, enter it now or do so late by visiting Settings > Update & security > Activation .
Keep in mind that this won ’ t work for Windows XP or Windows Vista, as these versions of Windows never qualified for the free Windows 10 upgrade .
Step 10: You ’ ll besides receive the lapp relish of Windows that beginning shipped with your personal computer — Home, Pro, Enterprise, or Education. If you ’ d preferably use Windows 10 Pro rather of the Windows 10 Home update, you must purchase a modern intersection identify .

Other methods for getting Windows 10

The above method is the best direction to get Windows 10 for free — at least for now. There are other ways you can get Windows 10 if you need it, including free and low-cost options that may be deserving exploring .

Upgrade from Windows 7

Buy a transcript of Windows 10 from Microsoft. Please read our guide on how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. note that if you ‘re a student, or work at a large organization, you might be eligible for unblock or discounted Windows. Microsoft has more on that in a support page .

Download Windows 10 without activating

technically, you can download Windows 10 from Microsoft and not activate it, which means you don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate give for it. It turns out this is safer than it sounds because Microsoft is reasonably lax about enforcing energizing. Your replicate of Windows shouldn ’ metric ton shut depressed, but some limitations kick in after your 30-day evaluation :

  • An Activate Windows watermark appears in the bottom-right corner.
  • A Windows Isn’t Activated, Activate Windows Now notification appears in settings.
  • Personalization features such as changing the wallpaper and accent colors are disabled.
  • Updates may discontinue in the future.
  • Various apps and features stop working.
  • You’ll receive daily notifications to activate.
  • No technical support.

We want to stress that using an unactivated version of Windows 10 is not permitted by Microsoft. Although it may appear like a antic steal ( sounds about right ), in world, you ’ re breaking the rules and defying Microsoft ’ s licensing agreement. Microsoft would be wholly within its rights to pursue legal damages against anyone using the Windows 10 OS unactivated, though they haven ’ thyroxine done therefore yet angstrom far as we know. Better safe than good-for-nothing. In the end, if Microsoft wanted to stop people from using these versions, they could do it .

Buy a third-party Windows 10 key

You can find third-party vendors who sell Windows 10 manufacturer keys at a dicker. Going through these companies enables you to purchase the keys at half ( or even lower ) of the wax Microsoft price. While it may sound like a scam, you can find authentic vendors who just happen to have a good price, but you need to stay on your toes. What customers need to do is hunt for trustworthy identify vendors who offer incredible bargains. Easier said than done, though .
PCDestination has them for $ 45. But overall, we still suggest shopping about .
As you can guess, it is identical much possible to hush upgrade and get Windows 10 for complimentary in 2022. You fair need to follow our methods covered above — from using your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 merchandise key or even getting a license through exploit or school at no cost. Our tips and tricks are in occupation with Microsoft ‘s terms, excessively .
This means you do n’t have to worry about if it is legal to get Windows 10 for detached. And, if you ‘re apprehensive about if you can upgrade to Windows 11 if you already got WIndows 10 for release, well, it ‘s merely as easy and painless. Your ascent to Windows 10 will give you a digital entitlement to Windows, which means if your hardware fits Microsoft ‘s requirements to run Windows 11, you can download Windows 11 at any time for no extra cost .

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