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How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free

A free upgrade is still available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users

Windows 10

It’s no surprise that people want to learn how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. At $139/£119/AU$225, getting a copy of Windows 10 Home can be a bit expensive.

Fortunately, it’s not too hard to make the move to Windows 10 on the cheap. The real question though is how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Though Microsoft’s official offer to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade has expired, the firm has not closed the route for those users to make the transition to the newer operating system. So, it’s actually not hard upgrading to Windows 10 for free.

Considering how easy it is, it’s entirely possible that Microsoft intentionally has left this route available for users of the older Windows OS to make the switch. Maybe Microsoft prefers absorbing that financial hit instead of having users stick with an outdated operating system or worse, switching to a different OS such as Linux, which is free. 

It is very possible to download Windows 10 for free if you know how to do it. So, read on to learn how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. This guide will make it easy and painless to do so.

After you've done that, make sure to also find out how to activate Windows 10 and how to find your Windows 10 product key if you’re having trouble finding it. Experiencing Windows 10 slowdows? Here's how to speed up Windows 10.

Is Windows 10 free?

Windows 10 has never really been free. In fact, with Windows 10 Home costing $139 and Windows 10 Pro a hefty $200, getting Windows 10 installed on your computer or laptop is going to cost you quite a bit of money. 

There was a period of time when Microsoft offered free upgrades to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, but that time has long expired. Still, a loophole remains that allows you to get Windows 10 for nothing.

And, we suspect that Microsoft is keeping it open as it’s in the company’s best interest to get as many people on Windows 10 as possible. We’re sure that it’s keen to get people to move on from the unsupported, older, operating system to the new one.

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.

How to install Windows 10

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.

Click on the ‘Activate’ button if required and your PC will be activated with a digital license after it establishes a secure connection to Microsoft servers.

If you’re unable to obtain the license, you can also enter your Windows 7 product key and manually activate the operating system.