[Updated] Download Windows 10 for Absolutely Free & Upgrade Windows 7 Ahead of End of Support Deadline the Official Way
Yep, the free Windows 10 upgrade offer is still valid. After the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft had offered users to download Windows 10 for free and upgrade Windows 7 to the newer operating system. The offer was "officially" valid for one year, ending on July 29, 2016.
However, as we continued to confirm months and years after that deadline, Microsoft kept allowing users to download the latest Windows version for free. End of service deadline for Windows 7 is in January 2020 after which the operating system will stop getting updates from Microsoft. Since the deadline is just a few months away, multiple ads have started suggesting users to buy a copy of Windows 10. But, the official, free upgrade offer still remains valid.
How to upgrade Windows 7 and download Windows 10 for free (the official, valid way)
The process to download Windows 10 for free has remained the same over the years. If you want to upgrade Windows 7 to the latest operating system, just follow these steps to install a legit copy of Windows 10 on your machine.
- Check the system requirements to make sure you can run W10 without any issues.
- Go to this link and click on the Download tool now button.
- After the Media Creation Tool has been downloaded, click to run it.
- Accept the license terms and either click on the Upgrade this PC now (if you are running this tool on the Windows 7 machine that you want to upgrade) OR Create installation media for another PC (if you are downloading Windows 10 for another PC).
- Click on the Next button to proceed.
- This entire process doesn't ask for a product key. As long as you are running a legit copy of Windows 7, it will complete without any problems (more on the possibility of problems later). If you are asked for a key, just enter a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key.
You can confirm the validity of Windows 10 through Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
The free upgrade offer doesn't work if your device is under a compatibility hold
When we had asked Microsoft about why people were still able to download Windows 10 for free after the offer had ended, the Windows maker had sent us the following statement at the end of 2017 without denying the continued free upgrade offer:
People will be asked to enter a valid product key when upgrading for the first time from Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 through both the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant and the Media Creation tool. People can continue to use the Media Creation Tool to create Windows 10 installation media. A product key will be required when installing Windows 10 on a device for the first time. People can also use Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant to update their Windows 10 PC to the latest version.
Folks at ZDNet have suggested that the only people who have complained about the Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 10 NOT working through this free method is due to the multiple compatibility blocks that Microsoft implements after a new release.
In case the upgrade process fails for you, you can check out the complete list of these blocks over at this official support document to confirm if this has something to do with a blocked hardware/driver.
If you are still running Windows 7, it is time to get over the hiccups and download a newer operating system. Security threats will unquestionably increase after the end of support in January 2020 and unless you are using a machine that is completely off the internet, it is highly recommended to get the latest security updates to avoid any breaking bugs.
Update [23/09]: One of our readers, Andrew H, has confirmed installing Windows 10 through this process over the weekend. He upgraded his Dell Alienware machine running Windows 7 Ultimate and was updated to Windows 10 Pro edition after the installation process without requiring to enter a product key.
Update [25/09]: If the process doesn't work for you, check if these compatibility blocks are the reason. You can install the latest version of the affected software to bypass most of these blocks.