Microsoft Closes Free Upgrade Path from Windows 7/8 to 10
If you were hoping to upgrade your PC from Windows 7 or 8 to the latest version of Windows 10 without spending any money, you’re out of luck. Microsoft has quietly closed the option that allowed people to get Windows 10 operating system for free. So, if you haven’t used the option to upgrade until today, you’ve missed the train.
When Windows 10 was initially released back in July 2015, Microsoft offered Windows 7 and 8 users a full year to upgrade to the new OS for free. In July 2016, the company extended this offer for an additional year for users of assistive devices. However, it was not clear how users were supposed to prove their disabilities to take advantage of this offer. After this period, Windows 7 and 8 users had to purchase Windows 10 unless they were aware of a secret loophole that still provided the new OS for free.
Even though Microsoft was not actively promoting free OS upgrades, users could still access it through the Windows 10 web page. Running the download allowed users to click the “Upgrade this PC now” button without paying anything. However, Microsoft has now removed this option, and users must pay $139 for a Windows 10 license before installing the OS on their devices.
According to information from a Microsoft Device Partner Center blog post published on September 20, Microsoft was aware of interest in a free Windows 10 upgrade loophole. The post says, “Microsoft’s free upgrade offer for Windows 10/11 ended on July 29, 2016. The installation path to obtain the Windows 7/8 free upgrade is now removed as well. Upgrades to Windows 11 from Windows 10 are still free.”
The information about Windows 11 is less exciting; it’s still relatively new, and free upgrades are expected. However, Windows 11 has stricter hardware requirements than its older versions, making fewer users eligible for the upgrade.