End of the free Windows 7 and 8 to Windows 10 upgrade

I’m running Windows 7/8, can I still upgrade to Windows 10?

In a nutshell, yes, but for free? No!

Back in 2015 when Windows 10 was first launched, Microsoft allowed users of a valid Windows 7 or 8 installation to upgrade to Windows 10 for free for the first year until July 2016.

But I have been able to upgrade for free after July 2016 until recently?

Ever since July 2016, although Microsoft said that the free upgrade only ran until then they have in fact never stopped the free activation, the only difference is they did’nt officially told anyone!

After all, after 2016 Windows 7 and 8 were coming into the later stages of their lifecycle and so therefore Microsoft would rather have users start using Windows 10 even if it was for free rather than continuing on 7 or 8 as their aim was to have everyone on Windows 10.

I tried the upgrade recently and it failed?

Unfortunately, in the second half of 2023 Microsoft decided to close this “loophole” and so now Windows 7 or 8 machines cannot be upgraded to Windows 10 for free like they used to be. This now requires a licence to be bought.

Windows 7 and 8 are now both at the end of their lives and no longer supported so it is in most people’s best interests to be running at least Windows 10 or 11. Windows 10 is still supported until the end of 2025 and Windows 11 after that date too. The requirements are not too different for Windows 10 than they are to Windows 7 or 8 so many older machines will most likely run Windows 10 without too many issues. If preferring to upgrade to Windows 11 instead though, the demands are much higher and so therefore those spec machines may not run Windows 11 as effectively, if at all.

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