Free Windows 10 Upgrades Ending Soon

Windows 10 Upgrades

In my estimation Microsoft has been quite generous with its free upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 was released to the public in July 2015 and Microsoft offered a free upgrade for one year after that to anyone who had a valid product key for versions 7/8.x. That option officially expired in July the following year, but still worked for some time after that. Heck, for all I know it still works.

UPDATE: Paul Thurrott confirms in Windows Weekly that it still works as of November, 2, 2017.

There was an additional way of getting a free copy of Windows 10 and that was if you were using any form of Assistive Technology. Even using a screen reader would qualify you for the upgrade at no charge. Microsoft, to my knowledge, has never challenged anyone trying to use this method of attaining a free upgrade. This is all about to come to an abrupt end very soon.

Microsoft Says…

“The accessibility upgrade offer expires on December 31, 2017.”


After that date, customers will have to pay the full license fee– Windows 10 Pro OEM System Builder (32/64 bit) – $147.55 ($99.00 with Prime) at Amazon (USD) as of this writing.

The Gray Area

Some may argue that it is unscrupulous to take advantage of the loophole by saying that you use Assistive Technology when you actually don’t need it. Others may contend that since they used the magnifying glass a couple of times that they most certainly do qualify. Personally, I’m on the fence. Yes, it is questionable behavior if you’re a purist, and on the other hand, Microsoft is well-aware of these actions and doesn’t seem to mind. They could have easily put a stop to it long ago if that was their desire. Well, I guess that’s their desire now.

One point to remember is that Microsoft benefits greatly by drawing in as many Windows 10 users as possible. It lowers the problems they incur by having to support past operating systems. They aren’t doing this simply because they are nice; there are business benefits to consider. And they carry some big sticks, too. AMD has decided not to support Windows 7 systems with their new Ryzen chips– the writing is on the wall. That could give many people incentive to move on… and they should… it’s time.

So, how do you feel about the “gray area”, and are you finally going to upgrade to Windows 10 for free? Let us know in the comments,


26 thoughts on “Free Windows 10 Upgrades Ending Soon”

  1. Well Richard, you know where I stand on the Windows 10 issue. Just because it’s free, does not mean people must make that switch. Been extremely happy using Windows 8.1 and intend on remaining till it is no longer supported, Mindblower!

  2. Microsoft is still allowing you to use Windows 7 & 8 keys to upgrade to Windows 10, they just stopped advertising the fact.
    I volunteer at a non-profit refurbishing computers and have been doing this ever since Microsoft stopped the free upgrade period.

    1. Hi Robert,

      I updated the article to reflect that a couple of days ago. It’s up in the air how long that will last, though.
      I’m guessing that will end at the same time, but there’s no telling what MS will do,


  3. I was under the impression that most people in this Forum disliked Windows10 or are not using it or will never use it etc etc etc, anyway.
    ..Therefor, retailing it, and charging for it shouldn’t bother you. Maybe folks will NOT use it which might please you guys ?

    Just for curiosity, did you detractors have difficulties when XP and “7” and “8” came out as much as you are having with windows10?

    Were you ever tempted to ditch the latest OS and stay with DOS or whatever?
    Is anyone still on XP or W98?

    It must be my utter ignorance that has saved me. I have never had any trouble at all with any OS updates or changes. Windows 10 has updated perfectly and quickly and I cannot fault it at all.
    But then I do accept all updates when they arrive and update drivers when asked.
    I’m using quite sophisticated software including 3Ds Max, Unity, Poser11, Photoshop.
    Also the Oculus program for the CV1 VR. A few of the latest games as well.
    None of these have glitched or required “fixing”. In fact I would say there has been a notable increase in performance.
    So there we be. I’m joyful and blessed with my W10. What some of you are doing with it is way beyond me. Thank God I’m not an “expert” !! 🙂

    1. Hi Colin,

      I cannot speak for anyone else, but it will actually be a good thing when previous versions of Windows vanish. It will benefit both MS and its customers. We will finally be able to rid ourselves of the “10” part and simply call it Windows. That’s all it will ever be going forward, anyway. There isn’t going to be an 11 or 12…

      I have never had a problem upgrading to newer OS versions; in fact, I’ve looked forward to it much like I look forward to my next bowl of ice cream. (I love ice cream.)

      Many people seem to cling to what they know and are reluctant to experience the necessary learning curve that comes with any new OS. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, until it becomes a self-harming situation, ie, inadequate built-in security. Windows 10 has the best innate security of any previous Windows version, bar none.

      Like you, I enjoy Windows 10. Unlike some, it has not caused me a moment’s problem. At least, not any more than previous versions have. I may be unusual in that I like certain ongoing annoyances because they provide me with a constant supply of meat for new articles. :-/ There’s nothing like a little job security to make my day. Thank you, Microsoft!

      I’m not sure what all this has to do with the free upgrade this article points to, but I thank you for your comment nevertheless,

    2. Windows 10 is leaner for my laptop than Windows 8 and 8.1(Close to installing Linux which was weaker) and any problems have been fixed. Like, the search bar was laggy to type on but updates made it smooth and responsive. CPU would be intense due ot the Superfetch, which later got fixed. Also, EDGE was a pain, but it’s irrelevant due to my little-to-no usage, but it did get leaner, still don’t use it much if at all.

      1. Oops, I meant to say that I installed Linux on my previous laptop since it was a weak Dual-Core, too slow to handle Windows 8 at the time. Modern low-end computers are becoming even capable of handling the bloated Vista.

    3. To Colin B who said “I was under the impression that most people in this Forum disliked Windows10 or are not using it or will never use it etc etc etc, anyway.”

      From what I see, many are impressed and use Windows 10. I for one, tried it when it was given to me for free years ago and experienced many problems on two computers. So I reverted back to Windows 8.1 which is still running problem free.

      To me, an operating system is and should be just that, an operating system. One can customize the operating system using programs like Classic Start Menu so it looks and feels like something you’re more used to seeing/using.

      Congrats on having no problems using Windows 10, as some did. Maybe Microsoft solved the glitches, maybe not. I’m not going to take that chance again, till I’m forced in 2023.

      And the final reason I ditched Windows 10 was due to an upgrade where I lost my sound driver. Found out there was no problem with my driver, rather a bug introduced by Windows 10. Hopefully you can understand this frustration and reason for not wanting Windows 10, Mindblower!

  4. Hi Mindblower, et al..
    Sure understand that many have had problems.
    Not that anyone should ever take my advice when it comes to computers…but..Richard asked in the “Gray Area” about upgrading to W10, and I would have said go for it.
    But that is only due to my experience with it.
    I guess I don’t have any drivers that seemed to have died ot software that has complained.
    Again, it’s most probably because I have nowhere near the knowledge that you fellows have.
    I’m so un-adventure-ish whan it comes to fiddling and downloading and that’s maybe why??

    I am so interested on where these problems occur. Is it mainly due to Drivers? Or maybe some downloads that you folk do? Or is it hardware? Or just adventuring? Or denying some updates that maybe you shouldn’t have?

    Do you folk often change some value of something? And have you had these or some other problems when upgrading to a new OS?
    Did it happen with W7 etc or is it just Windows 10?

    For my was a brand new computer and I purchased it with a W10 Pro CD.
    The OS was installed for me by the shop from the CD.
    It was on a new 500gig SSD.
    Maybe all that might be helping me?

    I’d just like to know…. what not to do??

  5. Hi Colin B
    If W10 is working for you, then that is great. I for one have had very few problems with W10, maybe a driver issue, or I will usually have to reinstall a incompatible program after a version update. I really could not beat the price I paid for W10. If one is going to run Windows then they had better learn how to use W10. I also run Windows Vista Ultimate and a Linux Lite VM for Vista on this machine.

  6. I recently did a Win10 Pro restore using AOMEI Backupper Pro and it went very smoothly. I had to do this since my source PC had hardware issues and am baffled how I was allowed to restore to different hardware on a completely different target PC.
    Thanks, MS!

  7. A bit OT but. Richard, why is it incredible?
    The software dan used is meant to do that isn’t it?
    But good to know that it worked OK and on different hardware.
    But that’s the very reason why folk would purchase it? It was the Pro version.
    It would only be incredible if it didn’t work, wouldn’t it???

    1. Hi Colin,

      What surprised me about Dan’s experience is that Windows installed on different hardware without a hitch. New hardware means different drivers would have to be installed, which could be a major headache by itself.
      The real surprise is that Windows 10 uses hardware signatures and “knows” when it is on a different machine. The EULA clearly states the free version of Windows 10 is good for the life of the device. Well, moving it to another machine because the first one broke is probably a no-no.

      I remember the days when changing out a motherboard would cause Windows to choke, and that was doing a clean installation. I would have to spend 30 minutes with a MS representative explaining what I had done and why he should send me the code so I could use my computer. That happened with paid-for product keys on XP and 7 on more than one occasion.

      Microsoft has gotten very lax since Windows 10, apparently.

      Yes, I’m surprised. I’m surprised it worked at all!

      1. It is still a pirated copy of W10, even though the image may have installed to different hardware and on a different machine. It will probably run as long as the machine is not upgraded to a newer version. I am not surprised it is working, but for how long will be the big ?.

      2. Richard,
        Why should moving to a different machine be a “no-no”? After all, I’m using 1 and only 1 copy of Win10, so why should MS care where I run that one copy? I’m not trying to pull a fast one – I paid for that one copy so it seems only fair that I should be able to use it – no?

        1. Well, Dan, you didn’t pay for that copy. You got it as a free upgrade to a previous version. There is a difference. The one-copy rule does not apply here.
          Just be happy that MS hasn’t bitten you yet. They may never do so, but we don’t know what will happen.

  8. BTW, I was prevented from upgrading to the (Spring 2017) Creator Edition due to drivers missing on my restored PC. Not sure why the upgrade couldn’t list the missing drivers so I could get them or disconnect whatever device required them, so apparently I will be stuck at the pre-Creator level.

  9. Richard, here’s the thing… Apple stopped charging for their OS years ago. In fact, every operating system they have is free. As usual, Microsoft is behind the times. Now, before I get jumped on. Yes, I prefer Apple products to Microsoft or Android powered devices, but I have and use the others. Microsoft had a winner with Win7. Windows 8 and 8.1 should have never seen the light of day. They were klunky and were geared towards users of touch screen PCs. With Windows 10, Microsoft brought back need functionality for non-touch screen computers. Now, they just need to make it, and future OS releases free. Microsoft has to change their model if they want to compete in the future.

    1. Hi Greg,

      Microsoft is in the software business (at least they used to be). Apple, on the other hand, has always been in the hardware business.

      With that in mind, it makes sense for Apple to sell a computer (or any device) with their proprietary software bundled with it at no apparent cost, else it would be a useless piece of electronics.

      It makes no sense, however, for Microsoft to give away their Operating System software, which can be used on a wide range of devices. When MS does build hardware, they, too, have software bundled with it, a la Apple, and for the same reasons.

      As for Windows 8.x, we will have to agree to disagree.

      Thank you for your comment,

    2. Greg said “Windows 8 and 8.1 should have never seen the light of day. They were klunky and were geared towards users of touch screen PCs.”

      Really Greg? As a Windows 8.1 user I find your statement totally silly. Never have or do I intent on using a touch screen PC. I’m a former XP die hard fan, migrating from Windows 3.1 to XP to 8, 8.1 to 10 and reverting back to 8.1. Totally bypassed Vista and 7. Both 3.1 and XP were installed on my computer for a fraction of the cost. Purchased 8 for under $50 US directly from Microsoft, which at that time was a steal. Now you need to check out which might shed some light on why I keep saying an operating system is just an operating system. For those too lazy to access the above link, read this.

      “Classic Shell™ is free software that improves your productivity, enhances the usability of Windows and empowers you to use the computer the way you like it. The main features are:
      Highly customizable start menu with multiple styles and skins
      Quick access to recent, frequently-used, or pinned programs
      Find programs, settings, files and documents
      Start button for Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
      Toolbar and status bar for Windows Explorer
      Caption and status bar for Internet Explorer”,
      which means it look like I’m still using XP (and for others like still using 7), Mindblower!

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top


Get great content like this delivered to your inbox!

It's free, convenient, and delivered right to your inbox! We do not spam and we will not share your address. Period!