Microsoft Now Lets You Download Windows 7 ISOs With A Valid Licence

Microsoft Now Lets You Download Windows 7 ISOs With A Valid Licence

If you don’t have your Windows 7 disc handy — but want to create a custom installation, run Windows from a USB drive, or just do a fresh install — you’ll need an ISO file of the disc. You used to be able to download them from a site called Digital River, but those links no longer work. Now Microsoft has a Software Recovery Center where you can download those ISOs for free.

This isn’t piracy, of course — you still need a valid Windows licence to download the ISO. If you purchased a retail version of Windows, enter the product key from the package. If you can’t find it, use a program like Magical Jelly Bean KeyFinder. Once Microsoft confirms your product key, you can download Windows and use the Windows 7 USB Download Tool to put it on a thumb drive.

If your computer came with Windows, however, it’s probably an OEM version, which will not work with Microsoft’s new site. Instead, if you want to reinstall Windows without the bloatware, you’ll probably need to borrow a disc from someone and use your product key when you resinstall.

Windows 8.1 users have always been able to download ISOs with Microsoft’s tool, which you can now get here.

Welcome to the Microsoft Software Recovery Center [Microsoft]


  • Will this work if you are using the upgrade version of Windows 7 though? I have a suspicion it may not!

    • The way this works is as follows, if you had Windows 7 Home Premium and upgraded to Ultimate, you need to download and install the Home Premium version, and then use the Anytime Upgrade feature to upgrade back to Ultimate after doing a fresh install. You also need to activate Windows twice, once as Home Premium, then upgrade, and activate again as Ultimate.

    • The same Microsoft site that hosted Windows 8 ISOs had that same problem and users who had upgrade keys (there were a lot!) couldn’t authenticate, but they fixed this last year. I’d assume they haven’t made that mistake again, so just give it a try.

      • Actually, I haven’t used 7 for years, I was just mulling out loud, but thanks anyway. Prety sure you can only upgrade to 8.1 from 8 via the store nowadays, but an actual ISO would be far preferable. 🙂

  • Found this out the hard way on Monday. Very few if any trustworthy sources to get the ISO from otherwise unfortunately. Best option without the serial is torrent and verify with the MD5 / SHA1 Hash (But don’t torrent it without checking! Very silly).

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