You Can Still Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free! Here’s How

Dan Price Updated 20-01-2020

Microsoft finally ended support for consumer copies of Windows 7 in January 2020. If you’re one of the many holdouts, the end is finally nigh. You’re faced with a choice of upgrading to Windows 10 or leaving your computer increasingly vulnerable to an endless list of cyberthreats.


Thankfully, you’re in luck—for now. It is still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free by using a method that was officially axed in 2018.

Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free

windows 10 media creation tool

Follow the instructions below to learn how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free:

  1. Head to the official Windows download website.
  2. Look for Create Windows 10 installation media > Download tool now.
  3. Click on Run.
  4. Select Upgrade this PC now (or Create installation media for another PC if you want to install Windows 10 on a different machine).
  5. Follow the remain on-screen installation prompts.

Despite being a loophole, there is nothing wrong with upgrading to Windows 10 using this method. You will receive a full and legal Windows 10 license. It will b connected to your Microsoft Account profile.

But remember, we cannot guarantee how long this loophole will remain open. Microsoft could pull the plug at any moment. If you’d rather save yourself some cash, you need to move quickly.


How to Pay For Windows 10 Upgrade

windows 10 upgrade

Even if Microsoft does close the loophole to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free, it will always be possible to upgrade to Windows 10 via the Microsoft website. A Windows 10 license costs a one-off fee $139.

If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, the cost is $199. Windows 10 Pro gives you some extra features, including remote desktop, BitLocker, the ability to create and run virtual machines with Hyper-V, and Azure Active Directory.

Regardless of which package you choose, you can choose to download the installer for your new copy of Windows for either the desktop or a USB stick. Make your choice directly on the Microsoft website. Once the installation app is running, just follow the on-screen instructions.

Lastly, you could hit the shops and upgrade your laptop at the same time. A mid-spec Windows 10 laptop is very reasonably priced. To learn more, check out our list of the best Windows laptops The 5 Best Windows PC Laptops of 2019 What is the best Windows laptop for you? Here are the best Windows laptops of 2019 to help you find one that suits your needs. Read More .

Related topics: Windows 10, Windows Upgrade.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. bob patterson
    January 22, 2020 at 7:37 am

    "Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free" still works (21 JAN 2020)
    Updated my last Windows 7 PC. I had to reconfigure WiFi after the upgrade, but that was all.

  2. Dave
    January 19, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Well, good grief, talk about lousy timing.
    I downloaded the W10 free upgrade disk back when it was first offered.
    Last week I ordered an ASUS Prime B350-PLUS mobo, a AMD Ryzen 5 1600 CPU and appropriate RAM.
    Now you tell me that I'm two days past being able to use my W10 disk and have to buy a copy of W10? Well, I guess I'm beyond that as well because my local computer shop said the Ryzen CPU won't deal with W7.
    I'm not a gamer and still think Win2K Pro was the most user-friendly OS from MS.
    Any chance that I can install Ubuntu and get it to run with this mobo/CPU combo? I'm so tired of getting hosed by MS, and the last thing I plan on doing is feeding the parasite another $120.

  3. Thomas Kainz
    January 16, 2018 at 3:50 am

    All of my family's PCs and laptops (4) are updated to Windows 10. While the earlier versions of Windows 10 had issues, I have to say that once I updated them to the most recent, Fall Creators Update, on all of them I noticed a significant decrease in the boot up times as well as a generally snappier performance overall. Additionally, a number of minor issues which I was having on a few of the devices were corrected.

    I'm glad to hear that the opportunity to update from Windows 8 to 10 is still available as I have another family member's PC that could still be updated.

    I, like many, used to really complain about the length of time it would take to do a clean install but this past weekend, I had to do a clean Windows 10 Home install on a laptop with a bad hard drive. Suffice it to say, I was greatly, and pleasantly, surprised when the time from booting the laptop with the disc created through the MS media maker tool until I was sitting on a fully functional desktop was less than 20 minutes. Not only that, but even though the laptop had originally had an OEM version of Windows 10 on it, never once was I prompted to enter a software key, and immediately after installation had completed I checked to find that the Windows installation was fully functional AND properly activated. My initial reaction... "finally - it's about time.... now THIS is the way it should be". My only complaint was that the version of the Windows 10 installation created by the media tool that very morning was not the most current, requiring me to go through a few update cycles to get to 1709 (Fall Creators Update). But even with the couple of hours to download the larger updates and install them, I was very pleased.

    I get that Windows 10 may not be for everyone but I don't get why some feel the need to tear down someone else (or in this case - a computer OS) to make them feel better about their own choice. It seems like they need to convince themselves they made a better decision. Not everything fits everyone. That's why we 're all not driving the same car! I bought the cars (or operating systems) I did for our family because they were the ones which fit our needs the best - not my neighbors or friends needs. And just because I may like Windows 10 - or my Jeep, doesn't mean that Linux or OSX or Chromium - Or Ford or Chevy isn't any good... it's just that they're not for me. For others, though, they may be perfect and if that's the case - well, good for them!

  4. Jackson
    January 16, 2018 at 12:40 am

    I was "lost and confused" with the new Win10 setup and did not know how to set up a classic Win7 look. I don't have time to relearn all this, my current software must just work, so I went back to what I know.

    • John Alm
      January 18, 2018 at 3:52 am

      install program called classic to win-10 it brings back the classic win-7 start & allows you to use ether the metro - tiles or starting from your desktop theme

  5. Trevor B
    January 13, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    Haven't upgraded because I'm a Linux guy who's converted nearly 20 family members and friends.
    I'm not interested in helping Microsoft compete with Google and Windows 10 looks to be Microsoft's way to become more like Apple in an attempt to compete with Google.
    Thank you, but no thank you.

  6. Tosh
    January 12, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I had upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10, just like the majority, during the time frame stipulated by Microsoft.

    However, after a few months, my hard drive went kaput and when the technician replaced my hard disk, I was left with Windows 7. He didn't know how to upgrade the operating system back to Windows 10. I, myself tried to upgrade using the Windows Media Creation Tool but failed. I was really at my wit's end. I didn't want to resort to buying Windows 10.

    Then, I read your article about the possibility of upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 even after 2017. I gave myself one more chance by following the instructions and voila, I got back my Windows 10.

    Thank you for the reminder. It helped me to get back my version of Windows 10. for my laptop.

  7. Mary
    November 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    A tech working on my laptop did a factory reset which took it back to Windows 8

    • Blooop
      January 14, 2018 at 2:25 am

      LOL - Oh well. If you've had Windows 10 on the machine and activated before already, it can be installed again. The activation will happen silently when you first connect to the Internet as Microsoft will already have registered the machine's "digital" license from the first time.

      When you go to install Windows 10 just leave the license blank and tick the box that say there is none. Once installed and connected the Internet, Windows 10 will check for a matching digital profile - some sort of "hash" - will find it, and activate your computer without even notifying you.

  8. Dave
    August 27, 2017 at 2:17 am

    Link to download Windows 10 from Microsoft?

  9. wowe
    August 21, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Windows 10 is a disaster. Anybody who tells you otherwise is either lying, in denial, or wearing rose-tinted glasses.

    • mike
      January 29, 2018 at 8:33 pm

      do you care to give reasons, or is it just different and you dont want to take the time to learn it and find its easier just to bash it. It's definitely got some issues but all OS's do its got some really nice features as well like free hyper v, the option to use multiple desktops, not to mention it works more efficiently, making it snappier than windows 7 on the same hardware.

  10. joe
    August 20, 2017 at 3:04 am

    If you upgrade a computer using this process, will your files be lost?

  11. Sarvesh dubey
    August 19, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I have windows starter in my Sony Vaio notepad. I always try to upgrade it but I can not as it always tells, no internet connection. Even though all the browsing activity is happening. Kindly help me in upgrading my system.


  12. joe
    August 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    because it sucks.........and it sucks.........and it sucks........

    • mike
      January 29, 2018 at 8:34 pm

      wow now there is some insite lol

  13. Joshua
    August 18, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    SSD. Prefer 8 w/classic shell, frugal bandwidth.

  14. Mark
    August 18, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    My HTPC is still on Windows 7 because MS didn't bring Windows Media Center to Windows 10.

  15. Weyrleader
    August 18, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Very interesting. But what you didn't warn about is that if someone who doesn't like windows 10 and wants to go back to 7 / 8 they will need to downgrade within 30 days or be stuck with windows 10. This process converts the win 7 / 8 product key to a win 10 product key. Once the 30 day trial period is over the key can't be used on a win 7 or 8 install.

    • Pierre
      August 19, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Most folks don't realize that the Wndows-10 upgrade will consume your
      License Key,, forever, and therefore after that 30 day period, you can't go back
      to your former Operating System,
      This was a deliberate decision By Microsoft, when offering
      their Windows-10 upgrade, for Free.

      You'd be surprised, just how many PC Users wish to Downgrade,
      and now they can't do that, as they have No Valid License Key. . .

      • vistasp
        August 23, 2017 at 4:01 pm

        Not necessarily. When I had to replace my motherboard, Windows 10 complained bitterly so I had to reinstall Win 7 (Retail, mind you) from scratch. I used my original license number and it activated just fine. Now I'll have to think whether to stick with 7 or go through the upgrade again.