The Windows 10 free upgrade offer has ended, according to Microsoft. But this is not entirely true. There are many ways to upgrade to Windows 10 for free and get a legitimate license, or just install Windows 10 and use it for free.
There are a few ways you can get Windows 10 for free, without using a pirated license: you can install Windows 10 with a 7 or 8 key, or install Windows without a key; it will work fine, except for a small watermark. reminding you to buy a license.
Here’s how each of those methods works.
Provide a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key
RELATED: You can still get Windows 10 for free with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key
While you can no longer use the “Get Windows 10” tool to upgrade from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, it is still possible download Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft, and then provide a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key when you install it. We tested this method one more time on Jan 5, 2018 and it still works.
Windows will contact Microsoft’s activation servers and confirm that the key from the previous version of Windows is real. If so, Windows 10 will install and activate on your PC. Your PC acquires a “digital license” and you can continue to use and reinstall Windows 10 in the future. If you go to Settings> Update & Security> Activation after installing Windows in this way, you will see the words “Windows is activated with a digital license.”
Microsoft has not disclosed what is happening here, or if it will block this method in the future. But it still works at the moment. Even if Microsoft blocks this trick in the future, your PC will keep its digital license and Windows 10 will remain activated.
Reinstall Windows 10 if you have already updated
RELATED: How to use your free Windows 10 license after changing your PC hardware
If you have taken advantage of any free upgrade offer, either the original free upgrade offer for the first year, the accessibility offer, or by installing Windows 10 and providing a key to an eligible older version of Windows, you can continue to “get Windows 10 for free ”On the same hardware.
To do this, just download Windows 10 installation media and install it on that computer. Please do not provide any keys during the installation process. It should activate automatically after you contact Microsoft’s servers.
Sure, you can only do this if you’ve already upgraded to Windows 10, but you can continue to install Windows 10 for free on the same computer in the future, even if you replace your hard drive or other components. The new activation wizard in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will even help you troubleshoot hardware changes and re-associate the digital license with the correct PC.
Skip the key and ignore activation warnings
RELATED: You don’t need a product key to install and use Windows 10
Here’s the real secret: You don’t need to provide a product key to install Windows 10. You can download the Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft and install it on a PC, in Boot Camp on a Mac, or in a virtual machine without providing a key. of product. Windows will continue to function normally and you can do just about anything you want.
Windows 10 will still insist that you turn it on and won’t let you change any of the options in Settings> Personalization, but otherwise it works fine. It’s not something you necessarily want to do on your main computer, but it’s a very convenient way to set up a fast virtual machine, try Windows 10 on a PC, or install Windows 10 in Boot Camp. You can even pay to upgrade to a legal and activated version of Windows 10 from your deactivated Windows 10 system after installing it.
This is not technically allowed by Microsoft guidelines, but they have specifically designed Windows to work this way. If Microsoft doesn’t want people to do this, it’s free to change Windows to block it in the future, and it could. But Windows has worked this way for years. This was even possible with Windows 7.
You can also go to the Microsoft website and download a 90-day evaluation version of Windows 10 Enterprise. It will continue to operate for 90 days, approximately three months. It is designed for organizations to evaluate Windows 10 Enterprise.
This evaluation copy comes with the additional features built into Windows 10 Enterprise, making it a convenient way to test these Enterprise features as well. However, you can upgrade any edition of Windows 10 to the Enterprise edition if you have a key.
Unfortunately, other free offers, such as Microsoft’s accessibility offer, are now over. But these methods should cover you pretty well.
Of course, you can also buy a new PC that comes with Windows 10. It is not really free because the manufacturer has to pay for the Windows license. But, if you’re looking to upgrade from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, it makes a lot more sense to buy a new computer that comes with Windows 10 for a few hundred dollars rather than spending $ 120 on a Windows 10 Home license to upgrade an old PC. . PC makers get a good deal and pay less than normal Windows users pay for those licenses.