When Windows 10 was first released in July 2015, Microsoft offered an unprecedented free upgrade offer for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users, good until July 2016. But in 2017, Ed Bott of CNET sister site ZDNet reported that the free upgrade tool was still functional. I tried it out in November 2019 and was able to upgrade a 2014 Dell OptiPlex 9020 desktop from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro. From January 2020, readers are still sending me an e-mail and commenting below that it also worked for them.
Windows 7 users who don't upgrade to the new version can no longer get the security updates or fixes from Microsoft or technical support for problems , which means your computer runs a greater risk of viruses and malware. Although Windows 10 users have experienced a number of bugs over the years, upgrading remains the best option to keep your computer safe analysts say.
Here's how you can get Windows 10 for free if you are currently using a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home or Pro:
1. Go to the Windows 10 download website.
2. Under Make Windows 10 installation media click on Download tool now and Run .
3. Select Upgrade this PC now assuming this is the only PC that you are updating. (If you are upgrading for another machine, choose Create installation media for another PC and save the installation files.)
4. Follow the directions.
5. When the upgrade is complete, go to Settings Update & Security> Activation and you should see a digital license for Windows 10.
It should be noted that if you have a Windows 7 or 8 Home license, you can only upgrade to Windows 10 Home, while Windows 7 or 8 Pro can only be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro (the upgrade is not available for Windows Enterprise, other users may also experience blocks, depending on your machine). This upgrade using the media creation tool is not intended for the general consumer, but still works for many.
To get the best Windows 10 experience and take advantage of features such as logging in without a password viayou want to purchase a new Windows 10 PC (or a version released after July 2015) with all hardware upgrades. If you are a student or university faculty, you may also be able to download Windows 10 for free (search for your school's software offering here).
For more information, seeand .
Originally published and updated earlier this month.