While the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 has now expired, Microsoft has left Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users still free to upgrade to the latest operating system.
With Windows 7 now entering its end-of-life phase on January 14, 2020, it is now more important than ever that Windows 7 users upgrade as soon as possible, and in this guide we will show you how to upgrade to Windows. 10 for free, even if the offer has officially expired.
The free upgrade process to Windows 10 is so simple, in fact, that we suspect that Microsoft not only knows the loophole, but also discreetly approves it.
Microsoft can take the financial hit instead and make it easier to upgrade to Windows 10, rather than sticking to Windows 7, which could potentially become a security risk as no new fixes 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.
- The best Windows 10 deals
How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free
Basically, the steps to upgrade to Windows 10 for free from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are the same as when Microsoft officially offered the update.
1. Check that you meet the hardware requirements
To install the latest version of Windows 10, you need the following:
CPU: Processor supported 1 GHz or faster (here is a list of supported processors)
RAM: 1 GB for Windows 10 32 bit or 2 GB for Windows 10 64 bit
Storage room: 32 GB or more space
GPU: DirectX 9 or later compatible with WDDM 1.0 driver
Pin up: Resolution 800 × 600 or higher
Internet connection: Some versions of Windows 10 require an Internet connection during installation.
If your Windows 7 machine does not meet these specifications, you will not be able to run Windows 10 – and even if your machine just meets the requirements, Windows 10 will not perform as well. We recommend at least a 2 GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM (8 GB ideally) and a 160 GB hard drive for Windows 10 to work properly.
Check out our selection of the best laptops for inspiration and buying tips to get a new machine, whatever your budget.
2. Download the Windows Media authoring tool
Then download and install the Windows Media authoring tool and select “Download the tool now” under the section called “Create Windows 10 installation media.”
Run the Windows Media authoring tool and when you reach the “What do you want to do?” Section, select “Upgrade this PC now,” and follow the remaining steps of the tool. It will also give you the option to keep your files and applications during the installation process. You can find more detailed instructions on this process here.)
Enter your Windows 7 (or Windows 8) license key, and you should soon have Windows 10 running – for free.
- Also see our guide to using Windows 10