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Windows 10 for free: Can you still upgrade from Windows 7 without paying?

People can still upgrade to Windows 10 on computers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 as long as they have a valid license for either version of Windows. Microsoft users can consequently still claim a free digital license for the latest Windows 10 version.

Windows 10 is one of the world most popular operating systems, boasting approximately one billion users.

Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade offer supposedly ended almost four years ago.

But despite this, people can still upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1

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Users can also upgrade Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro via a product key from an old business edition of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1.

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Windows 10 for free: People can still upgrade to Windows 10 on computers running Windows 7 or 8.1 (Image: Getty)

Windows 10 for free: You still claim a free digital license for the latest Windows 10 version (Image: Getty)

How to prepare for a free Windows 10 upgrade:

Some preparation should be made before getting started with your free Windows 10 upgrade.

Check for any recent driver updates, particularly for network and storage hardware.

Prospective Windows 10 users should also download and install any available BIOS updates – firmware used to perform hardware initialisation – for your hardware.

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This step is especially important for systems first sold before the release of Windows 10.

People should also ensure any data files have been backed up to an external hard drive or cloud storage.

Experts also recommend performing a full system backup to an external hard drive using the Windows 7 backup program.

Further preparation also involves temporarily uninstalling third-party security software and low-level system utilities, as these can interfere with the upgrade.

Finally, disconnect any unnecessary external devices, especially USB flash drives and external hard drives.

This is because numerous installation errors can be traced to the Setup program, as they can be confused by these additional drives.

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How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free:

Following these precautionary measures, navigate to the Download Windows 10 webpage and click the Download tool button.

Once the download completes, double-click the executable file to run the Media Creation Tool.

Select the Upgrade This PC Now option if you have downloaded the Media Creation Tool on the computer you plan to upgrade.

Following this option installs the most recent version of Windows 10.

The process typically lasts approximately an hour, depending on your PC’s hardware.

However, those who wish to upgrade to Windows 10 on more than one PC should choose another option.

This step involves saving the installation files to a USB drive or as an ISO file.

Although this download takes a little longer, you can run the Windows Setup program manually to install Windows 10 on any PC running any supported Windows 10 version when it is ready.

The exact steps depend on which of the two download options you chose:

USB flash drive: Insert the USB flash drive you just created into a free USB slot on the PC you want to upgrade.

Next open File Explorer and double click Setup to install Windows 10.

You cannot boot from the newly created USB drive or DVD to perform an upgrade to Windows 10.

You must run the Windows 10 setup program from your currently installed and activated copy of Windows.

ISO file: After the download is complete, mount the ISO file and open it in a Windows Explorer window.

On a PC running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, double-click the ISO file to open it as a virtual drive.

On a PC running Windows 7, install a third-party utility such as the free, open-source WinCDEmu.

After mounting the ISO file, double-click Setup to start the install process.

Now simply follow the prompts to complete the upgrade to Windows 10.

You will not be requested to provide a product key and when the upgrade is complete and you have connected to the internet, you should receive a digital license to the most recent Windows 10 version.

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