Yes, the free Windows 10 upgrade offer is still valid. After the launch of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft had offered users to download Windows 10 for free and upgrade Windows 7 to the newer operating system. The offer was “officially” valid for one year, ending on July 29, 2016.
Microsoft doesn’t talk about that Windows 10 free upgrade offer anymore, but devices with legitimate Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 licenses could be upgraded to Windows 10 for free using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
To get Windows 10, you’ll just have to download and run Media Creation Tool on Windows 7/8/8.1 and upgrade the PC to Windows 10. After the upgrade, connect to the internet and your older Windows license will be converted to a Windows 10 license.
According to a Reddit user who claims to be a Microsoft worker, Windows 10’s free upgrade for a year was ‘marketing fluff’ to maximize the adoption of the operating system. CokeRobot also shed some light on the now-expired Windows 10 free upgrade offer.
How to upgrade Windows 7 and download Windows 10 for free (the official, valid way)
The process to download Windows 10 for free has remained the same over the years. If you want to upgrade Windows 7 to the latest operating system, just follow these steps to install a legit copy of Windows 10 on your machine.
- Check the system requirements to make sure you can run W10 without any issues.
- Go to this link and click on the Download tool now button.
After the Media Creation Tool has been downloaded, click to run it. Accept the license terms and either click on the Upgrade this PC now (if you are running this tool on the Windows 7 machine that you want to upgrade) OR Create installation media for another PC (if you are downloading Windows 10 for another PC).
- Click on the Next button to proceed.
- This entire process doesn’t ask for a product key. As long as you are running a legit copy of Windows 7, it will complete without any problems (more on the possibility of problems later). If you are asked for a key, just enter a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key.
You can confirm the validity of Windows 10 through Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
The free upgrade offer doesn’t work if your device is under a compatibility hold
When we had asked Microsoft about why people were still able to download Windows 10 for free after the offer had ended, the Windows maker had sent us the following statement at the end of 2017 without denying the continued free upgrade offer:
People will be asked to enter a valid product key when upgrading for the first time from Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 through both the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant and the Media Creation tool. People can continue to use the Media Creation Tool to create Windows 10 installation media. A product key will be required when installing Windows 10 on a device for the first time. People can also use Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant to update their Windows 10 PC to the latest version.
Folks at ZDNet have suggested that the only people who have complained about the Windows 7 upgrade to Windows 10 NOT working through this free method is due to the multiple compatibility blocks that Microsoft implements after a new release.
“You still can do this no problem, however careful, do an upgrade keeping everything as if you choose to yeet everything and start fresh, you lose your free upgrade. That old 7 license converts to a 10 digital license and from there you can clean install no problem. As for audits, this mainly is for volume licensing than anything. An SMB with 10-200 Windows 7 machines that were OEM licensed don’t really matter. If you try this with 1,000 computers, iffy. At the end of the day, Microsoft had four years to close that loophole and never did so if worse came to worse, you could technically go through legal avenues as the EULA for 10 literally doesn’t have a clause for this at all. You can’t shit on someone taking advantage of an activation workaround when you as the manufacturer never closed it.”