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Windows 10 free upgrades are still available, four years after they stopped

While Microsoft officially curtailed its offer of free Windows 10 upgrades way back in 2016, the offer is still available on the down low, a new report has revealed.

Windows Latest found that a loophole Microsoft isn’t particularly interesting in closing allows those with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices to freely upgrade to the current operating system, even though the promotion was supposed to end after one year.

There are some requirements to be met in order to qualify for the offer. You’ll need a genuine spare license of Windows 10 in order to get a digital Windows 10 license for free. However, most people do have one of those because the original Windows 7 license converts to 10 digital licenses, enabling it to be installed on more machines.

If you think this applies to you, you can follow the steps outlined by Windows Latest below:

Use a genuine copy of Windows 7 on your device or virtual machine.
Head to Windows 10 download page and click on ‘Download tool now’.
Open Media Creation Tool and select ‘Upgrade this PC now’. You’ll also need to click on the ‘Accept’ button to accept the terms and conditions.
Choose the upgrade option where you keep your files and information. If you do a fresh install via Media Creation Tool, you may not get Windows 10 for free.
After the installation completes, connect your device or virtual machine to the internet and open Windows Update > Activation.
Click on the ‘Activate’ button if required and your PC will be activated with a digital license after it establishes a secure connection to Microsoft servers.
If you’re unable to obtain the license, you can also enter your Windows 7 product key and manually activate the operating system.

The report also points out that Microsoft is still pretty happy to honour this offer because it isn’t planning on rescinding it any time soon. A year ago, a person claiming to be a Microsoft employee on Reddit said: “That whole “free” upgrade for a year was fully marketing fluff.” The poster said Microsoft cares a lot more about Windows 10 market share than it does the money it can make from selling these licenses.

So there, if you have an old Windows 7 laptop knocking about, which you’d like to update for a family member or have as a back-up machine, then there’s a route to Windows 10.

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