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Home » Windows Tips & Tricks » How to Upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8 for free in 2020?

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8 for free in 2020?


Many Win 10 users may still remember that Microsoft allows Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10 system for free, only to promote the use of Windows 10. Now, Microsoft has claimed that the technical support for Windows 7 will come to an end on January 14, 2020, and the end of Windows 8 will be in 2023. After that, Microsoft will no longer offer support for any issues, software updates, and security updates or fixes for Win 7 and Win 8 users.

The end date is coming, and to encourage more Win 7 and Win 8 users to upgrade to Windows 10, the free upgrade methods that used before are still available this time, which has been certified by one Microsoft worker and many Win 10 users on Reddit. There are two ways that can help you upgrade to Windows 10 for free: use the official media creation tool, and use the Windows 10 ISO image file. This article will explore the detailed upgrade method and differ the advantages and disadvantages of both.

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Please note that the upgraded Windows 10 version will match to your old Windows 7 and Windows 8. For example, if your Windows 7 is home basic or home premium version, the upgraded Windows 10 will be Windows home basic or home premium, rather than Windows 10 professional version. And if your Win 7 is now "enterprise version", you cannot use the following methods to upgrade Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8 for free.

Use Official Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

For common users, using the media creation tool upgrading to windows 10 is a one-click way, very simple to operate. It requires no additional startup and no system reinstallation. The data and settings of the computer can be retained, which can be the quickest and safest method upgrade to Windows 10, and suitable for most people. Here are the steps.

Step 1: Though this upgrade way is safe, but to avoid accidental data loss, you'd better back up all important computer data by copying the data to external storage like a NAS or USB.

Step 2: Before starting the upgrade to Windows 10, please check whether the space of C drive is sufficient or not. It's better to ensure the C drive space is at least 8GB. If not, you should free up more disk space at first.

Step 3: Download the Media Creation Tool, right-click it and select "Run as administrator" to open it.

windows 10 upgrade via Media creation tool

Step 4: Accept the license terms, and select the “Upgrade this PC now” option, then click Next.

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Step 5: In the following steps, you will click the Next button several times. In the installation process, the tool will download Windows 10 upgrade packages. The total download time relates to your Internet download speed and computer hardware performance.

Step 6: The tool will remind you if you need to keep everything or start from scratch. Just click the option of Keep all apps and files to continue the upgrade. During the upgrade to windows 10 process, your computer will restart several times, then it will enter the Windows 10 system after the installation is finished.

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When the installation is successful, connect your PC to the internet, and open Settings > Windows Update > Activation, you can see that the current windows 10 system has already activated. You can also enter your Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key to activate the new Windows 10 if the device is not already activated.

Upgrade to Windows 10 via the ISO Image Files

Though upgrade to Windows 10 via the Media Creation Tool is simple and easy, there are still limitations. For example, the newly upgraded Win10 system may still use the traditional BIOS boot mode of Windows 7 instead of UEFI, and may not support more than 2TB hard drives, or more than 4 primary partitions, etc. Besides, the C disk (system drive) will be filled with junk files occupying valuable hard disk space and low your system operation speed. Therefore, if you want to keep your new Windows 10 system clean and save more disk space, the second way upgrading to Win 10 may be your choice.

Step 1: Back up all your important computer data, and then download the latest official Windows 10 ISO file. If you don’t have a Windows 10 ISO image file, you can use the third-party software Rufus to download the ISO file from Microsoft servers.

Step 2: Create boot USB media with Windows 10 ISO file. In this process, you need to prepare a USB with at least 8GB space.

Step 3: Collect and extract Win7 activation credential files. The collected Win7 activation credential files will be used to activate the newly upgraded Windows 10.

Open the boot USB media you made above, find the Sources file and copy the gatherosstate.exe file to the computer desktop. Right-click the gatherosstate.exe file and select "Run as administrator". A GenuineTicket.xml file will be generated on the desktop in a short while. Then copy it to the USB for later use. Please note that the extracted activation certificate of Windows 7 is only suitable for the present computer, not for other computers.

Step 4: Install the new Windows 10 system.

  • Enter the computer BIOS interface and change the boot mode to "UEFI". If the CSM setting is set to "OFF".
  • Use the newly created USB disk to boot and officially enter the Windows 10 installation process.
  • During the installation process, you will be asked to enter the Win 10 serial number. Here you can click the option "I don't have a serial number" to continue.
  • To ensure the installed Windows 10 system clean and convert the hard disk to UEFI mode, repartition is recommended (so be sure to back up all data on the hard disk at the first step). After that, the next step is continued until the Win10 installation is complete.

Step 5: Activate the installed Windows 10 (restore activation credentials).

  • The installed Windows 10 isn't activated at present. You need to open the Explorer of Windows 10 and copy the following path address bar% ProgramData% \ Microsoft \ Windows \ ClipSVC \ GenuineTicket. to the folder, press the Enter and go into the corresponding file folder.
  • Copy the GenuineTicket.xml file in the USB drive that we saved previous to this directory, and restart the computer to let the Windows 10 automatically activate online.
  • After that, open the settings of the newly installed Windows 10, you will see the Win 10 has been activated, which means you have upgraded to Windows 10 from the old Windows 7 system.

Which Method Free Upgrading to Windows 10 Is Better?

We have provided a tutorial of upgrading to Windows 10 for free above, choose which one depends on how much you familiar with the Windows system. Although the second option is a little complicated, for those who want to free up more disk space for the new upgrade Windows 10, reinstalling the Win 10 with an ISO file may need more time. What's more, the method mentioned above to upgrade to Windows 10 will bring big benefits: after the successful activation, you can directly and automatically activate the system if you need to reinstall the Windows 10 in the future. That is to say, you can use the activate permission file permanently like you have purchased the Windows 10 license.

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Rufus Free

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