Upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 for Free? Maybe

Microsoft will drop Windows 7 support on January 14th

What: You might be able to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without purchasing a copy.

How: Some users report being able to use Windows 7's Media Creation tool to upgrade in-place.

Why Do You Care: A brand-new basic copy of Windows 10 is $140 but Microsoft might be OK with the possible workaround because it really, really wants you to upgrade to a more modern, secure OS.

Windows 7 boxes in a retail store
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 on January 14th. If you want to upgrade (and you should) you'd typically pay $140 for a new copy of Windows 10 to replace it.

There's a potential workaround, however. According to MSPowerUser, you can avoid paying the fee via an in-place upgrade using Windows 7's Media Creation tool.

While we haven't confirmed the actual steps needed to activate a copy of Windows 10 via the Media Creation tool, it doesn't seem to offer much risk, as long as you have a good, recent backup of your Windows 7 installation.

In fact, according to a Reddit user who claims to be a Microsoft employee, the company may even be ok with this sort of loophole, since it would bring more users up to date with the supported OS, Windows 10. The platform update ensures access to future security patches (and official support) as Windows 7 support sunsets.

The decision to work around an official Windows 10 upgrade fee is, of course, yours alone. Whether the Reddit user above is actually a Microsoft employee or not, or whether they know the larger strategy of their company or not, it does make sense that Microsoft would want its users on the latest OS as they end support for the older one.

Via: TechRadar