When Windows 10 was released, Microsoft had decided to offer a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. That upgrade was only available for one year.
After that period, the only way of obtaining a stable version of Windows 10 was to pay the full retail price for it. At least we thought so.
It turns out that there are still a few ways to get that free upgrade legally and safely. The official website of Microsoft states that Windows 7 has less than two years of extended support left.
So, this might be a good time to take advantage of this opportunity and get your free Windows 10 upgrade while you still can.
Free Upgrade Disclaimer
All the methods that I will mention here are legitimate ways of getting Windows 10 for free. No piracy or illegal stuff included.
However, do keep in mind that Microsoft has not addressed these free upgrade methods. Not even once. It means that a future update could prevent you from making the free upgrade. Don’t blame me if the OS stops working or something.
If you have already made the free upgrade while it’s still available, then you should not face any problems later on as Windows will be already activated.
The chances are that Microsoft is aware of those “tricks.” It’s just that they choose not to do anything about it, probably to gain the number of users on board.
On the other hand, this is speculation. Microsoft might leave these backdoors open forever, or they might close them tomorrow. Nobody can say for sure.
Without any further ado, let’s move on to the guide.
Use a Legitimate Windows 7/8 Key
The official free upgrade offer ended on 29/07/18. However, numerous people and trustworthy sources have mentioned that it’s still possible to upgrade for free by using a Windows 7/8 key.
All you have to do is install Windows 10 as you would typically do. Just go to Microsoft’s official website, download the media creation tool, and follow the steps that it will show you.
When Windows 10 asks for a product key, you can go ahead and insert your Windows 7/8 key. That should do it.
Your product key can be found in multiple places. Like, in your Desktop box, your DVD installation disc, or behind your removable battery in case you’ve got a Laptop.
Use Windows 10 Without a Product Key
Windows 10 typically requires a product key to be activated. However, what if I told you that you could fully use Windows without activating it?
If you don’t believe me, go ahead and try it on a virtual machine. All you have to do is click on “I don’t have a product key” upon installation.
After that, Windows 10 will get installed on your virtual machine or computer. The only difference is that you’ll have a watermark on your desktop and that Windows will most likely nudge you now and then to activate it.
Also, you will not be able to use the personalization options of Windows which is not a big deal. Other than that, there are rumors which suggest that non-activated versions of Windows are only receiving critical updates.
It is not recommended to install Windows 10 without a product key on your primary computer. However, if you are desperate and have no other choice, then why not?
Use an Already Activated Version of Windows
If you took advantage of the free offer before then, you could install Windows 10 again, and it should work fine.
That’s because Windows 10 uses a feature called digital license. To put it in simple words, Windows recognizes your computer and MS account then proceeds to activate Windows automatically.
However, as mentioned above, this only works if you took advantage of the free upgrade offer beforehand or if you had activated Windows 10 on your computer with your MS account connected to it.
This only works for the one computer that you first activated. Don’t expect Windows to get activated if you install it on another computer.
What Happens if I get Caught?
Like I said before, these methods are legitimate. There’s no piracy, nasty tricks, or anything illegal involved.
There’s no need to worry. Nobody is going to find or penalize you. Again, the chances are that Microsoft is aware of all these things. It’s just that for whatever reason, they choose to do nothing about it; Probably to increase their market-share.
For How Long Will I be Able to Upgrade?
Nobody really knows. Microsoft might close these backdoors in the next update. All I know is that they have been around for at least a few months now.