Windows 10 in 2019 still free with Windows 7 / 8.1 license
On July 29, 2016, Microsoft officially stopped offering free upgrades from Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10. Is Windows 10 really no longer available for free and do you have to pay for a license? Not so it seems. Windows 10 still seems to be free in 2019 – if you have a valid Windows 7 or 8.1 license.
A. do a clean installation of Windows 10
B. upgrade from Windows 7 / 8.1
The methods below seem to work fine, but always make a backup before you start should something go wrong! At your own risk!
A. Clean installation Windows 10
HowToGeek lists the methods to still get Windows 10 for free:
1. Download and install Windows 10 and activate the installation with a valid Windows 7 or 8.1 license code . Windows 10 is now activated via Microsoft’s servers (check this under Settings | Update and security | Activation ). You now have a digital license for Windows 10 and even if Microsoft blocks this method in the future, you keep your license, HowToGeek states.
2. Reinstalling Windows 10 is also free if you had previously done a free upgrade (but this seems pretty logical to us).
3. You can also simply install Windows 10 without a license code . You will then receive a watermark on your desktop and occasional warnings to activate Windows 10. Furthermore, you cannot adjust certain Personal Settings (background, theme, etc.). But Windows 10 just works. Microsoft can of course take measures against these types of non-activated installations, but for the time being this has been working for years.
B. Upgrade from Windows 7 / 8.1 to Windows 10
Ed Bott from ZDNet also states on January 16, 2018 that you can still use the Media Creation Tool to upgrade for free or to create an iso to install Windows 10 on another PC for free. He announces that he will continue to test it after January 17, 2018 (when the offer of accessibility technologies was stopped), but I have not seen a new article about it from him. However, there are a lot of reactions on the CNET forum from users who have installed Windows 10 for free after January 16, 2018 or have done a free upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1!
The condition is that your PC runs Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and that you have a valid license code for Windows 7 or 8.1 . Then you do as follows. For the advanced!
1. Go to the Download Windows 10 page
2. Click Download Utility Now
3. Open the downloaded MediaCreationTool, accept the terms and conditions and choose Update this PC now (after which the upgrade to Windows 10 is started) or Create installation media for another PC, after which you will create a setup file for usb stick (at least 4 GB) or download an ISO with Windows 10 and you can install Windows 10 yourself.
After installation you have a valid digital Windows 10 license that is activated according to Ed Bott (you can check this under Settings | Update and security | Activation). We have not been able to confirm this on a regular computer, but we do know that you can still activate Windows 10 virtual machines for free with old Windows 7 or 8.1 license codes. However, with the upgrade as described above, you do not even need the product key, it is not requested during the installation process, as long as your Windows 7 or 8.1 installation is valid.
So it seems that Microsoft does not mind if users still upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge. This shortcut is not closed yet. And Ed Bott has faith in the validity of the Windows 10 activation in this way:
Of course, I’m not a lawyer, and this column isn’t legal advice. But I will say that I am personally confident in the activation status of my newly upgraded PC.
Before you get started with this free upgrade route or clean installation you must prepare:
– Make a backup of your data! For example on an external hard drive.
– Make sure you have a valid Windows 7 or 8.1 installation that is also up-to-date .
Also in 2019, visitors to GratisSoftware.nl report that the free upgrade still works.