Software Windows

How can I upgrade to Windows 10 for free?

Windows 10 in action
Upgrade to Windows 10 for free

It’s weird but true: despite Windows 10 costing £87 if you buy from Amazon, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free by heading to a tucked-away page on Microsoft’s website.

Officially the loophole exists because Windows 10 is so super-fabulous for people who need accessibility help; unofficially, it probably still exists because Microsoft is desperate to bump up its Windows 10 numbers.

You don’t even need to prove to Microsoft that you need the assistive technologies (and once you install the upgrade there’s zero mention of them – it’s a perfectly normal upgrade).

There are some caveats, though. First, this is a chunky 3.9GB download, and you’ll need to be running either Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1. You can’t upgrade Enterprise or RT editions of Windows either.

And, as ever when upgrading to Windows 10, it’s an excellent idea to check if your system is actually compatible: head to the Windows 10 Specifications page to find out.

The process is easy.

  1. Make sure your install of Windows 7 or Windows 8 is up to date (see handy links below)
  2. Head to the “Windows 10 free upgrade for customers who use assistive technologies” page and hit the Upgrade Now button
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions and then wait

I recently applied the update to my Dell laptop and left it to work through the reboots etc itself – no user intervention required.

Handy links

Check which version of Windows you’re running

Download Windows 7 Service Pack 1 if your Windows 7 installation isn’t up to date

Download Windows 8.1 Update if your Windows 8 installation isn’t up to date

Download Windows 10 upgrade for free

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About the author

Tim Danton

Tim Danton is editor-in-chief of PC Pro magazine and has written about technology since 1999. He enjoys playing with gadgets, playing with words and playing tennis.

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