PSA: Get A Free Windows 10 Upgrade If You're Still Stuck In 2014

windows 10 microsoft free upgradeImage: Getty Images

Microsoft is finally turning off the tap for Windows 7 security updates but if you're looking to finally make the leap to Windows 10, there's a way to get it free for now. Here's how you do it.

How To Get Free Windows 7 Security Updates Past January

It's the end of an era. Today (January 14), Microsoft officially ended free security updates for Windows 7. If you want to keep using the operating system you'll need to pay an ongoing fee. Or do you? Turns out there's a trick to get ongoing Windows 7 support - for free.

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Microsoft has confirmed support for Windows 7 will end on 14 January 2020 (that's 15 January for Australians). After this date, the company will no longer provide Windows 7 users with security updates, leaving them more vulnerable than supported operating systems. It's a good idea to update to a newer version of Windows because, aside from the technological advancements, it'll also be less susceptible to some of the frightening cyber-attacks out there, like BlueKeep.

Back in 2016, Microsoft offered users still stuck on legacy systems like Windows 7 and 8 a way out. They could get a free upgrade to Windows 10 but that window ended in July 2016. According to Bleeping Computer and a number of user reports, however, the offer still stands with a few workarounds.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 for free

First you'll need to head to the Windows 10 download page and select Windows 10 installation media. Once it goes through the motions, you'll get a prompt to choose between upgrading the PC or creating installation media for another PC. The former is the one that's relevant here.

Image: Lifehacker Australia

After it's done installing, you'll have one final step to complete. Head to Settings, then Windows Update and click on Activation to get it all sorted.

We tested it with a Windows 10 device but the download and installation started without requiring any key. Bleeping Computer and ZDNet have confirmed in recent days the offer still works but who knows how long it will last so get in quick.

Lifehacker Australia has reached out to Microsoft to confirm when the offer will expire for Australian users who've yet to upgrade.

The Best Ways To Get Windows 10 For Free

Even Zune-clutching Windows loyalists have to admit that Mac owners have it pretty great—at least, they do now. Apple hasn’t charged for macOS, nor macOS updates, for years. Of course, you need to buy your computer from Apple to use macOS (pretty much), but at least the operating system is free. Windows ... not so much. While your new desktop or laptop computer is almost guaranteed to come with a copy of Windows 10, the price for the OS is probably factored into whatever you paid for your system. Build your own PC, and you’ll have to pay for a copy of Windows 10 yourself.

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[Via Bleeping Computer]


Comments

    More than anywhere else, the "Your mileage may vary" applies to this transition. It's almost impossible to make sense of the diverse license/upgrade rules spread out over countless web pages and sites (mostly MS).
    I had a messy Windows 7 Pro installation from when SSDs were new and small, using an "audit install" to spread core folders across other drives. So an upgrade was never going to work.
    New Year's day, with some trepidation, I did a clean reinstall of Windows 10 - and when asked for the key, I entered my Windows 7 product key. Worked just fine. It activated Win 10.
    As I said, I have no confidence that I can say "This will work for you" - but you may be surprised, and for sure, try it if you need to. Worst case? You will need to buy a new W10 key.
    And as much as I loved my W7... W10 is ok. I have three systems on it now. And it works.

      It's really not. Everything has complex licences but this deal is pretty cut and dry. To be honest they never STOPPED the free upgrades, you just had to activate by phone.

    Worked for me today 15 Jan 20 Australia . Straight upgrade from registered win 7 no questions asked. Easy Pezy

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