While the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer has now expired, Microsoft has still left a route open for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to switch to the newer OS.
With Windows 7 having now entered its End of Life phase on January 14, 2020, it's now more important than ever that Windows 7 users upgrade as soon as possible, and in this guide we'll show you how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, even if the offer has officially expired.
The process of how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free is so simple, in fact, that we have a suspicion that Microsoft not only knows about the loophole, but also quietly approves of it.
Microsoft may rather take the financial hit and make it easy for people to upgrade to Windows 10, rather than them sticking with Windows 7, which could potentially become a security risk as no new patches or updates will be released for the operating system, or worse, switch from Windows to a free alternative like Linux.
So, read on to find out how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free with the minimum of fuss.
How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free
Basically, the steps for upgrading to Windows 10 for free from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are the same as when Microsoft was officially offering the update.
1. Check you meet the hardware requirements
To install the latest version of Windows 10, you’ll need to have the following:
CPU: 1GHz or faster supported processor (Here is a list of supported CPUs)
RAM: 1GB for Windows 10 32-bit or 2GB for Windows 10 64-bit
Storage: 32GB of space or more
GPU: DirectX 9 compatible or later with WDDM 1.0 drriver
Display: 800x600 resolution or greater
Internet connection: Some versions of Windows 10 require an internet connection during setup.
If your Windows 7 machine doesn't meet these specifications you won’t be able to run Windows 10 – and even if your machine just meets the requirements, Windows 10 won’t run that well. We’d recommend at least a 2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of RAM (8GB ideally) and a 160GB hard drive for Windows 10 to run well.
Check out our pick of the best laptops for inspiration and buying advice on getting a new machine, whatever your budget.
2. Download the Windows Media Creation Tool
Next, download and install the Windows Media Creation Tool and select “Download tool now” under the section titled “Create Windows 10 installation media.”
Run the Windows Media Creation Tool, and when you reach the “What do you want to do?” section, select “Upgrade this PC now,” and follow the remaining steps in the tool. This will also give you the option of keeping your files and apps during the installation process. You can find more detailed instructions on this process here.)
Enter in your Windows 7 (or Windows 8) licence key, and you should soon have a Windows 10 running – for free.