One of Microsoft’s most striking strategies to promote Windows 10 was to offer the possibility of getting the operating system for free to all users who had original Windows 7 or 8. This promotion officially ended on July 30, 2016, but today you can still get Windows 10 for free in a perfectly legal way.
Therefore, we are going to tell you precisely how to upgrade to Windows 10 for free if you have not already done so. We will start talking about the price and the types of licenses, and then we will show you two methods to update for free, whether you already have an original Windows 7 or 8 license on your computer or if you do not have it.
How much is the Original Windows license Worth?
There are two types of licenses to activate Windows 10. On the one hand, you have a retail license (or RTL), which is the one you buy in physical stores or directly in the Microsoft store. With these RTL licenses, you can install Windows on more than one computer, as long as you don’t try to use your license key on more than one computer simultaneously.
You can buy the RTL licenses of the Home version of Windows 10 on this page of the Microsoft Store for a price of 139 dollars. If you prefer the PRO version, which incorporates business examples for encryption, remote login, or the creation of virtual machines, you can buy them on this other page of Microsoft Store for 309 dollars.
On the other hand, you also have OEM licenses buying you a new computer. These licenses are the ones that come pre-installed on the new equipment, and their main difference is that they are linked to a single computer, so you will not be able to use them on any other computer. The price of this license is included in the price of the equipment you buy.
How to get Windows 10 for Free
The point is that although a year ago Microsoft should have stopped them, the activation servers that convert the licenses of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 are still active, and this does not seem to change soon. To take advantage of it, go to the Windows 10 download page, and click on the Download now tool button.
You will download the MediaCreationTool.exe file, which you must run on your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 computer that you plan to update. After accepting the license, the application will ask you what you want to do. Choose the option Update this device now and click on Next.
Doing so will start downloading Windows 10. The process can take a few minutes. When finished, the application will guide you through different windows asking you different things about the update, such as the type of Windows 10 you want or what files on your computer you want to keep.
Once you have everything ready you will arrive at the window that tells you that you have everything ready to install, and you will only have to click Install to start the update process. When you do, your new Windows 10 will be pre-activated with a license that is only valid for your computer. Remember that for this to work your Windows 7 or 8.1 must have an original license.
Free Windows 10 with the Insider program
In case you do not have an official Windows 7 or 8 there is still another possibility to have Windows 10 for free. This is the Microsoft Insider program, with which you can download free trial beta versions of Windows 10. Of course, they are non-final versions that may have errors, so they are more recommended for somewhat advanced users. To sign up for the Insider program, go to the official website and click on Start to start the process.
You have to keep in mind that they are versions that you can only use when you have Windows 10 installed. Therefore, it is best that you install it with the tool as we said before. If you install Windows 10 and it is not activated do not worry, because you do not need to have it activated to use the Insider versions.
- Once this previous step has been taken, now go to your Windows 10 and access the Windows Settings menu. Once you’re in it, search and click on the Update and security option, because that’s where you can manage everything.
- Once inside this menu, in the left column choose the Windows Insider Program option to enter to configure your pertinence. You will see the description of the Insider Preview compilations, and just below a Start button to start the installation process. Press it.
- A window will open in which you will first have to associate the Microsoft account that you have chosen before to register for the Insider program, and then you will have to choose one of the three branches of updates: Early, Deferred or Release Preview. They go from the least to the most stable, so if you want to have a free Windows 10 with the least possible errors, choose the Release Preview and click Continue.
- You will start installing the trial version. Once you have it, you can use Windows 10 without worrying about buying a license. You will have reached an agreement with Microsoft: you swallow the odd bug to help finish updating each update and they will let you use it for free.