How to Legally Download and Install Windows 7 OEM

Dan Price 16-07-2018

Some people—for whatever reason—are still using Windows 7. If you own a computer running Windows 7 and would like to start afresh with a clean operating system, you’ll need a copy of the necessary installation files.


Keep reading to find out how you can legally download and install Windows 7 OEM.

What Is Windows 7 OEM?

If Windows 7 came pre-installed on your machine when you bought it, you probably didn’t get a copy of the Windows 7 installation DVD. Instead, you received a 25-digit OEM product key. (OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer What Are OEM Products and Why Are They Cheaper? OEM stands for original equipment manufacturer. Should you buy OEM products, or is there a catch that'll set you up for trouble? Read More .)

Using the product key, you can reinstall a clean copy of Windows 7, free of all the bloatware and spyware some manufacturers have packed in.

How to Download Windows 7 OEM

Microsoft used to make Windows 7 ISOs available for download through Digital River. However, since February 2015, they have been unavailable. Instead, the company has made the disk images available on its own website.

Before following the instructions, make sure you have your product key handy. You’ll also need a blank USB with 4GB of memory:

  1. Navigate to Microsoft’s official download page.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter your product key.
  3. Choose your language.
  4. Select either the 32-bit or 64-bit version.
  5. Download the file.

To install your clean copy of Windows 7, you need to boot from the USB drive. To boot from the drive, open your computer’s BIOS menu during the boot process. The button varies between manufacturers, but it’s typically Escape or one of the Function keys.

Learn more about how to create a bootable USB drive. You should also seriously consider upgrading to Windows 10 because Microsoft has ended official support for Windows 7. Here’s how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free You Can Still Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free! Here's How Microsoft has ended support for Windows 7, but you can still bag a free upgrade to Windows 10. Read on to find out how! Read More .

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  1. just me
    October 17, 2019 at 4:39 am

    yap OEM key doesn't work here

  2. Dan
    April 4, 2019 at 6:16 pm

    This was patently WRONG even when it was published.

    The ONLY reason he put "OEM" in the article at all, is because OEM users have difficulty here -an OEM key won't work on that site (which is total rubbish on Microsoft's part, because MICROSOFT SUPPLIED THESE KEYS TO ANYONE WHO PAID FOR THE WIN7 UPGRADE FROM VISTA).

    Since that site literally won't accept the keys, and he submitted an article for EXACTLY this problem while completely glossing over this EXACT PROBLEM, I sincerely hope that remove this aggravating and completely useless article, then review his other submissions -he's probably submitted a lot of other garbage that isn't true or useful too.


  3. Luca
    March 28, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    This is wrong in so many ways..

  4. Dirk
    October 5, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    This article is blatantly incorrect. Microsoft doesn't let you download a Windows 7 image if you supply a OEM product key. Go and try yourself.

  5. Ed
    July 17, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    "Error : The product key you entered appears to be for software pre-installed by the device manufacturer. Please contact the device manufacturer for software recovery options." ???

  6. Logan
    July 16, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    "Some people-for whatever reason-are still using Windows 7."

    Primarily because it is a fantastic Operating System and does not appear outdated.

    July 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    Do you have a similar solution for win10 pro insraller files? I can no longer download the pro version from MS online.

  8. Bikas Vaibhav
    July 16, 2018 at 9:16 am

    Dear MakeUseOf. I'm never going to trust you with my personal data.
    Can you please stop bothering me with two alert boxes?

    • Dave Parrack
      July 16, 2018 at 10:24 am

      In a word, no. We legally have to show you these because of GDPR.

      • Bikas Vaibhav
        July 16, 2018 at 12:50 pm

        No, you absolutely don't have to. If a user has denied the consent, you don't have to show two alerts to ask for the permission.

        You also don't have to ask choice every single time. Once denied, should remain denied.

        GDPR absolutely doesn't suggest you to bug users till they accept.