Microsoft’s free update offer for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users ended a few years ago, but technically you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. While Microsoft has removed the special update offer sites, the company continues to activate Windows 10 licenses for people upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
ZDNetEd Bott has been testing this method for years, and the free update still works. It’s also really easy for anyone to update from Windows 7, especially because technical support ends for the current operating system. If your PC supports the minimum requirements for Windows 10, you can upgrade from the Microsoft site.
The most important thing to remember is that updating Windows 7 to Windows 10 could erase your settings and applications. There is an option to keep your files and personal data, but due to the differences between Windows 10 and Windows 7, it is not always possible to keep all your existing applications. Make sure you have noted what applications you use regularly so you can easily obtain them by downloading the installers again. Windows 8.1 can also be updated in the same way, but without having to delete your applications and settings.
Here we show you how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10:
- Make a backup copy of all your important documents, applications and data
- Go to the Microsoft Windows 10 download site
- In the Create Windows 10 installation media section, select “Download tool now” and run the application
- When prompted, choose “Update this PC now.”
- You will then be asked if you want to keep your personal files or start over. Remember: Starting over or keeping your files still means that all applications and settings will be removed for the Windows 10 update.
- Once the update is complete, you should receive a digital license for Windows 10, which can be found in Settings> Update and security> Activation.
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