Windows 10 is not perfect, but it’s a significant improvement on everything that’s gone before, mainly thanks to the three massive upgrades it’s received: the Anniversary Update, Creators Update, and the Fall Creators Update.
Unfortunately, if you’re still using Windows 7 or 8, you’ve missed the initial free update period and you’re now cursed to be stuck in the past forever… Or are you? Actually, no! It turns out you can still grab a free upgrade to Windows 10 using your old product key.
People who require assistive technologies still quality for the free upgrade, though Microsoft doesn’t ask for any evidence that you actually use such tools.
Yes, the Trick Still Works!
Technically, the period for free upgrades closed more than 12 months ago. However, throughout 2017, it was possible to upgrade to Windows 10 by using an old Windows 7 or 8 product key.
It was never clear whether this was by design or due to a loophole. Either way, Microsoft was happy to let the feature remain intact. After all, the company wants as many people as possible to upgrade to the newest version of the operating system, and it’s the reason the upgrade process was so aggressive when Windows 10 launched.
Alas, as 2017 drew to a close, Microsoft told users the loophole would be closed on December 31. Yet, here we are, mid-way through January, and the trick still works!
How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free
First, make sure you’ve got the product key of your copy of Windows 7/8 in hand. If you can’t find it, use a third-party app to extract it from your machine.
Next, download a copy of Windows 10 from the Microsoft site and work through the installation process. A clean install is recommended, but it could take several hours.
Finally, when the installation process is complete and Windows asks for your product key, just enter your old Windows 7/8 code that you extracted earlier. It will work perfectly. Now you have a legitimate copy of Windows 10 installed.
At no point during the upgrade does Microsoft ask for proof that you actually use any of the assistive technologies. So the upgrade could be accessible to any Windows 7 or 8.1 user who still wants to get Windows 10 for free.
“As we shared earlier, we’ve extended the free upgrade offer for those who use assistive technology,” a Microsoft spokeswoman told CNET. “That said, it is not intended to be a workaround for people who don’t use assistive technology and who missed the deadline for the free offer.”
Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? If not, we’d love to know why. Let us know in the comments below.
Image Credit: Anton Watman via Shutterstock