Free Windows 10 upgrade offer still works. Here’s how to get it

Much more than three years after Microsoft’s free upgrade provide officially ended, people are nonetheless reporting successful Windows 10 upgrades from older equipment. Here’s the latest really unofficial report      MT        I had written a post titled    ” Here’ s how you can even now get a free Windows 10 upgrade. ”    It has become the single most popular post I’ ve ever published at ZDNet, and it still gets hundreds of hundreds of pageviews every month.  

In the a few months after that unique syndication, I rechecked, revised, and updated the post many times. Following your primary couple of updates, though, My spouse and i leaped out of older PCs to upgrade; thus I just tacked on a take note at the end from the article, asking readers whom tried this system to use the contact contact form and let me recognize how the feeling went.


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The response to that demand possesses been overwhelming, and it too shows no indications of stopping.

In July and September alone, I received fifth there’s 89 reader messages by around the globe, people who took the time to obtain the contact form and send facts about their Windows 10 up grade attempts. Of that total, 76 (roughly 85%) were information of good upgrades, generally accompanied by movement of surprise that method was really easy.

The remaining 13 messages reported that the upgrade failed.  

Two were trying unsupported upgrade cases. One was attempting to update a PC working Windows 7 Enterprise (the absolutely free upgrade offer is certainly simply for Home and Pro editions). The various other had reinstalled Windows 7 prior to carrying out the upgrade but got neglected to activate the new Windows installation first of all (the free upgrade present requires that the underlying copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. 1 end up being properly activated).

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Five readers explained they’d been incapable to up grade because the Windows Setup method failed with an error communication like ” 0x80070011, The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an problem during MIGRATE_DATA operation. ” Those errors are challenging to diagnose remotely, but may be due to something as simple seeing that a corrupted setup record. Those errors are unrelated to the underlying license.

One more half a dozen correspondents reported that they had been blocked from executing the upgrade by a distinct error message, typically starting with ” This PC can’ testosterone levels be upgraded to Windows 10. “

Those messages represent compatibility blocks, which Microsoft released earlier this calendar year together with the May 2019 (version 1903) release. If you possibly can track down the equipment driver or software program app that’ s creating the block, you can usually get past this roadblock.

One visitor prevailed after we sold several emails and identified that he necessary to revise the firmware on his 2014 HORSEPOWER PC. In other situations to blame is a mature program which has contrapuesto system-level code, these kinds of as an antivirus course or perhaps DVD writing application. Removing the offending application typically allows the upgrade to succeed.


In the event you encounter a suitability block, the first factor to do is search for a BIOS or firmware revise. That’ s extremely true over a PC that was designed ahead of the release of Windows 10 in 2015. Its also wise to consult with the PC manufacturer to verify that there will be updated individuals for safe-keeping controllers, network adapters, display adapters, and other important components devices. Being a precaution, detachment all non-essential external devices before hoping again.

You could be able to use the SetupDiag application to examine the record data files after a failed update to determine the reason behind the failure. To get details, see my ” Windows 10 tip: Use installation log files to troubleshoot unit installation problems. ” Chris Hoffman at How-To Geek has also written an exceptional summary of troubleshooting approaches: ” How to Resolve ‘ What Needs Your Attention’ Windows 10 Installation Problems. “

With those exceptions besides, the conclusion is inescapable. Although Microsoft officially concluded its no cost upgrade give in mid-2016, one year after the first launch of Windows 10, this continues to make the up grade free (and painless) due to its retail customers jogging Windows 7 and Windows 8. 1 .

How come Microsoft doing this? And is also there a catch?

The answer to that initial question is easy. Bear in mind, Microsoft’ s Windows business is definitely predicated on their relationship with PC producers, whom pay a permit payment for every duplicate of Windows they set up on a fresh COMPUTER. Those OEMs happen to be none of them too happy about the idea of extending the life of your more mature PC; they would much rather have you get a brand new LAPTOP OR COMPUTER instead.

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So , to mollify it is OEM partners, Microsoft set a time limit within the free upgrade offer, and so they simply don’ t discuss about it it now. The Windows marketing team continues to encourage new models of Windows Personal computers, and the enterprise sales staff carries on to sell volume permits of Windows 10 Organization and Microsoft 365 subscriptions. Nobody talks about updates.

Frankly, in this point the only people who remain interested in a free of charge upgrade are enthusiasts, home users, and extremely small businesses running hardware that’ s for least 4 years previous. Many of the reports I received especially mention efficiently upgrading Computers from the very beginning in the Windows 7 era in 2009-2011.

The majority of Windows PCs sold in days gone by several years included Windows 10 licenses, and businesses who may have stuck with Windows 7 have got commonly done so by doing exercises downgrade rights. They’ re free to install Windows 10 anytime, without having to jump through virtually any hoops.

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About PC’ s that have been formerly marketed with older versions of Windows, Microsoft’ s calculus is pretty straightforward: It’ ersus in the company’ s best interests to discover individuals old Windows variants retired, both for support functions and to boost the security with the Windows ecosystem. There’ t simply no profit in trying to sell advances to that market, and there’ s plenty of goodwill to reap by simply making those upgrades easy.



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The second issue is a little more challenging.    Is    right now there a catch? In technological terms, no . A PC that is upgraded by Windows 7 or Windows 8. 1 to Windows 10 in 2019 information that it is turned on and contains a digital license for Windows 10.

Is that license legal? As I’ ve said often times, We am not a legal professional, therefore i can’ capital t offer legal advice. Nonetheless I have a lots of experience with Windows licensing, and it’ s virtually inconceivable (and yes, that word means exactly what you think it means) that Microsoft would choose to enforce an uncertain license agreement against its retail customers. They will be, in fact, prospects to register to Office 365, buy Xbox hardware and video games, play Minecraft, and at some point buy a new Windows 10 PC from a single of the people aforementioned partners.

 As well:      7 techniques to (maybe) obtain Microsoft Office 365 to get free of charge     

And whatever pittance Microsoft’ s bean surfaces may possibly be able to squash out of those upgrades wouldn’ p come close to balancing the actual, incredibly bad publicity that will come from sending harmful words to retirees and mom-and-pop businesses that are trying to squeeze a handful of extra years of lifestyle away of their old hardware.

In the event you’ lso are running a business, of course , the calculations is different. You don’t desire to be unsure regarding whether your business computer software assets happen to be properly accredited? (Your curator will notify you number ) But here also I’ m convinced that there’ h roughly no likelihood that the software authorities are going to transport anyone apart because that they decided to upgrade an old PERSONAL COMPUTER.

Ultimately, this kind of all ties into the new Windows retail certification style Microsoft introduced with Windows 10 in 2015. You merely have to purchase the certificate once, generally with a new COMPUTER, along with that all the improvements are free, as extended since the hardware permits that. That’ s the required insurance policy with Windows 10, and it’ s very clear the fact that unofficial policy includes more mature Windows versions too.

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