Microsoft Windows 10 was built to do just about anything for everyone. Windows 10 users were offered a free upgrade from its 8.1 precursor when it was released in 2015. Although the free upgrade offer is now over, there are still options to upgrade to Windows 10 for free – without resorting to illegal piracy.
Provide a Windows key:
It remains possible to download Windows 10 installation media from Microsoft and then provide a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key upon installation.
Windows will contact Microsoft servers to authenticate the key to the previous version of Windows.
If the key is found to be real, Windows 10 will be installed and activated on your computer.
Your computer will then acquire what is known as a digital licence, allowing you to continue using and reinstalling Windows 10.
Head to Settings, Update and Security, Activation after installing Windows in this manner and you should see “Windows is activated with a digital licence”.
Even if Microsoft blocks this method in the future, your computer will retain its digital licence and Windows 10 will remain active.
Reinstall Windows 10 if upgrade already activated:
Users can continue to “get Windows 10 for free” on the same hardware, if you have previously taken advantage of any free upgrade offer.
This includes either the original 2015 free upgrade offer, the accessibility offer, or by installing Windows 10 and providing a key for an eligible previous version of Windows.
To do this, simply download the Windows 10 installation media and install it on that computer.
Do not provide any key during this installation process.
Windows should automatically activate after it contacts Microsoft’s servers.
Although this option is only available to those who have already upgraded to Windows 10, you can continue to install Windows 10 for free on the same computer in the future.
And this is the case even if you replace components such as the hard drive.
The activation wizard in Windows 10’s Anniversary Update can help you troubleshoot hardware changes and re-associate the digital licence with the correct computer.