Support for Windows 7 ended in January, which means Microsoft wants holdouts toto keep devices running securely and smoothly. If you have an older PC or laptop still running Windows 7, you can purchase the Windows 10 Home operating system on Microsoft’s website for $139. But you don’t necessarily have to shell out the cash: A free upgrade offer from Microsoft that technically ended in 2016 still works for many people. And if you find yourself spending more time at home on your computer due to the pandemic, it may be a good time to try it out for yourself.
When Windows 10 was first released in July 2015, Microsoft offered an unprecedented free upgrade offer for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users, good through July 2016. But in 2017, Ed Bott of CNET sister site ZDNet reported that the free upgrade tool was still functional. I tried it out in November 2019, and was able to upgrade a 2014 Dell OptiPlex 9020 desktop from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 10 Pro. As of August 2020, readers are still emailing me and commenting below, saying that it’s worked for them as well.
Windows 7 users who don’t upgrade to the new version will no longer be able to get Microsoft’s security updates or fixes, or technical support for any issues, leaving your computer at greater risk from viruses and malware. While Windows 10 users have experienced a number of bugs over the years, upgrading remains the best option for, analysts say. And more people seem to be making the move: Windows 10 now has more than worldwide, Microsoft reported in March.
Here’s how to get Windows 10 for free, if you’re currently running a licensed and activated copy of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 Home or Pro:
1. Go to the Download Windows 10 website.
2. Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now and Run.
3. Choose Upgrade this PC now, assuming this is the only PC you’re upgrading. (If you’re upgrading a different machine, choose Create installation media for another PC, and save the installation files.)
4. Follow the prompts.
5. When the upgrade is complete, go to Settings Update & Security > Activation, and you should see a digital license for Windows 10…Read more>>