How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free (2020)

     One of the most common calls I get at my business is from users wanting to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 in January of 2020 and Windows 8, Even though Microsoft has extended Windows 8 support until 2023, most people simply don't like it. People will call me wanting to upgrade and will inquire on the cost of a Windows 10 license. Microsoft will  gladly sell you a license starting at $139.99.

     However, most people don't realize that Microsoft will actually still allow you to upgrade your OS to Windows 10 for FREE. What makes it even better is that it is totally legal and safe because it is still done through Microsoft servers.  In this post I will walk you through upgrading your machine to Windows 10 for free. As long as you follow these instructions carefully, even a novice can do it!  I have even heard of some slimier tech companies actually charging for a license and billing the customer the fee just to turn around and do the free upgrade process and pocket the license fee!

     Before we get started, it's important to make sure that your computer will run Windows 10 effectively. Otherwise, this will cause you even more headache. Microsoft's minimum requirements, in my opinion, are not sufficient for a smooth experience. Here is what I would personally recommend.

1.6 GHz Processor
32 GB Free Hard Drive Space

"But wait, RJ. How do I know if my machine has these?" This tool will check for you.

     If you have these specs, and you want to upgrade, then the next step is to backup all your important data. It is unlikely that you will lose any of your data during this process, but it's always best to be safe.

     Once all your stuff is backed up, you want to head to this link to download the Microsoft "Media Creation Tool"

     This will download an executable file on your machine. Once it has downloaded, go ahead and install it. Once installed, you will arrive to the screen below. You are simply going to select "Upgrade this PC now"

     After you click Next, you will be asked a couple of questions. You can choose to keep your system files and upgrade over your existing copy of Windows, or you can choose to do a clean install which will wipe your drive and give you a fresh installation.

**PLEASE NOTE** If you choose to do a clean install you WILL need a valid Windows Key. You can find your key on a sticker somewhere on your machine if you bought it at a retail store. If you have a laptop it will be on the bottom. If you have a desktop, it will likely be on the back. Here are samples of what the stickers looks like.

If you do not have one of these or it is too faded to see, then DO NOT choose a clean install. 

Follow the remaining prompts, and the tool will take care of all the rest for you.

A couple of things to note. It will likely appear to be "stuck" on a certain % on a few occasions during the installation process. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you be patient and do not shut the machine off during this process. It could result in a corrupt Windows installation that will open up a whole new world of problems for you. 

If the process takes longer than a few hours then you can reach out to your local technician for help.

If you are local to the Northeast AR area and need assistance, my contact info is at the top right of this page. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, or if you need additional RAM before you can do this, I can help you.

If you have questions, feel free to post here or email me! I'm always happy to help!

**DISCLAIMER** You take responsibilities for your actions by following this tutorial. Any issues that arise (however unlikely) as a result of following the steps of this tutorial are the sole responsibility of the reader.

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