Microsoft offers a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users that ended a few years ago, but you can still technically upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Although Microsoft has removed the sites with special upgrade offers and the company remains Activated Windows 10 licenses for people upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
It has been testing this method for years and the free upgrade is still working. It is also really easy for any user to upgrade from Windows 7 and especially as support for the operating system is ending today. Assuming your PC supports the minimum requirements for Windows 10 and you can upgrade from the Microsoft website.
The most important thing to remember is that upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 can erase your settings and apps. There is an option to keep your files and personal information, but due to differences between Windows 10 and Windows 7, it is not always possible to keep all of your existing apps.
Make a note of the apps you use regularly so that you can easily download them by downloading the installers again. Windows 8.1 can also be upgraded in the same way, but without removing your apps and settings.
Needs backup before upgrading
Before you are getting started we recommend you back up your files. The upgrade process should not erase your files unless you choose to erase them and it is always a good idea to have a current backup especially when you are performing a major operating system upgrade.
We also encourage you to find your Windows 7 or Windows 8 key whenever in case you need it. This key might be printed on a sticker on your PC or on your laptop. If you installed Windows 7 or Windows 8 yourself you will have to find the license key you purchased.
If your PC does not have a sticker you can always use a tool like NirSoft’s ProduKey to find the license key currently in use on your PC.
How to upgrade to windows 10
To get your free upgrade to Microsoft Download Windows 10 website. Click the “Download tool now” button and download the .exe file then run it and click through the tool and select “Upgrade this PC now” when prompted.
Yes, it is simple. We are not doing anything sneaky here Microsoft is choosing to let people upgrade via the tool.
Read More: Should Your Next Computer Be an HP?
If you prefer a clean install you can select “Create installation media” and then provide a valid Windows 7 or 8 key while installing Windows 10.
After the upgrade
During the upgrade process, you can choose whether you want to keep all the files on your system or start fresh. Once it is installed you can head to the Settings > Update & Security > Activation screen. You will see that your system is getting “activated with a digital license.”
If you sign in to Windows 10 with a Microsoft account then the license will be linked to your Microsoft account by making it even easier to reactivate Windows 10 on your PC if you ever need to install it and yes you should be able to perform a clean install of Windows 10 in the future.
Windows 10 activation will then “phone home,” notice that your hardware configuration has a valid license on file, and automatically activate itself.
If you have a Windows 7 system it is really a good idea to upgrade. If you do not want to use Windows 10 we will consider installing Linux, getting a Chromebook, or switching to Mac.
Read More: 20 Best Automation Testing Tools
You do not have to use Windows 10 but we think you should move on from Windows 7. We have been testing this out for years and other sites like PCWorld, ZDNet, The Verge, and Bleeping Computer have recently verified this method as well.