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Upgrade to Windows 10 for free, here's how



  Background to Windows 10

Microsoft encourages Windows 7 users to upgrade to Windows 10 before supporting the former ends in January 2020.


Stephen Shankland / CNET

With support for Windows 7 ending in January 2020, Microsoft encourages users to upgrade to Windows 10 to make devices work safely and smoothly. On the Microsoft website, the Windows 10 Home operating system costs $ 139 to download. However, you do not necessarily have to pay the money: a free upgrade offer from Microsoft that ended technically in 2016 is still working.

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, reporter Ed Bott of CNET sister site ZDNet reported that the free upgrade tool was still functional. From November 2019 readers still report that it works, Bott confirmed to CNET. I tried it and was able to upgrade a 2014 Dell OptiPlex 9020 desktop machine from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro.

Read also: Windows 10 November 2019 update: everything you need to know

Windows 7 users who do not upgrade to the new version can no longer receive security updates or fixes from Microsoft, or technical support for any problems – which increases your computer's 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 [1945915]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 ($ 187 at Walmart) Home of 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 Update & Security Settings> 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 update to Windows 10 Home, while Windows 7 or 8 Pro can only be updated 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 it works for many.


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To get the best Windows 10 experience and take advantage of features such as logging in without a password via Windows Hello you want to buy 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, view six simple security changes that all Windows 10 users need .

Originally published earlier this week.


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