Download Windows 7 and 8.1 ISO Images from Microsoft

It is rather difficult to download ISO images for previous versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system from official sources.

Microsoft wants users to use the company's Media Creation Tool instead which downloads and creates installation media on a system running a supported operating system version.

While that works at times, it does not take into account situations where users may not be able to run the program. This can be the case if the existing installation of Windows is corrupt and cannot be repaired anymore, if you run Linux or another operating system, or if you bought a computer without an operating system.

Update: The Techbench website is offline currently. It is unclear if this is a temporary issue or if Microsoft made the decision to pull it from the Internet. We suggest you use the excellent Windows ISO Downloader tool instead which works fine and supports downloads for all major Windows versions and editions.

Windows ISO images

Microsoft's Tech Bench website for Windows 10 provides direct downloads for Windows 10 ISO images.

Downloads for Windows 10, which are valid for Home and Pro versions of the operating system are offered, and it takes a couple of clicks to start the download of the ISO image on the site.

Note: Windows 10 Enterprise is not offered on the page.

download windows iso

Select the edition that you are interested in, e.g. Windows 10 should be the one for most users, and click on confirm afterwards. The server validates the request, and displays a product language menu afterwards.

Select the language you want supported and hit confirm once again. The request is validated again by the server.

product language

Download links for the ISO images are displayed, and you may select 32-bit or 64-bit versions of the selected version of Windows for download (or both).

Links are valid for a 24-hour period only after which they expire and need to be requested again.

windows 10 downloads

Download Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 ISO images

The page offers no indication that ISO image downloads for previous versions of Windows, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, can be requested there as well.

If you analyze the page source code however, you will notice that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 are mentioned there several times.

That got some people thinking, and the result is code that you can run on the site to add download options for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 ISO images to the page.

The code has been posted on Pastebin. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open the Microsoft Tech Bench website in a browser of choice that supports Developer Tools, and here the console (e.g. Firefox or Chrome).
  2. If you are using Google Chrome, use Ctrl-Shift-J, if you are using Firefox, use Ctrl-Shift-K to open the console.
  3. Visit the Pastebin website and copy the code posted there.
  4. Paste all of it to the console and hit enter. To do that, click inside the console area and use Ctrl-V to paste it. Alternatively, right-click with the mouse in the area and select paste from the menu.

pasting code

Once you have done that, click on the (now blue) "select edition menu. There you find listed dozens of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 ISO images that you can download in the same way that you can download Windows 10

download windows 7

The process is identical: select the desired version and hit confirm. Wait for server validation, select the desired language and hit confirm. The server validates the request again, and you get ISO download links for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the selected Windows version.

You find all Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 versions on the page with the exception of Enterprise. This includes the following versions:

  1. Windows 7 Home Basic
  2. Windows 7 Home Premium
  3. Windows 7 Professional
  4. Windows 7 Ultimate
  5. Windows 8.1
  6. Windows 8.1 Professional

In addition, you find lots of K, N, KN and Education versions listed on the page after the operation. These versions are designed for specific markets and have components removed:

  1. Windows N for the European market. Multimedia support is removed from the edition.
  2. Windows K for the Korean market. It ships with links to third-party media player software and instant messaging applications.
  3. Windows KN, a combination of K and N editions.

See KB3010081 for additional information.

The improved menu disappears when the page is reloaded, but you can repeat the operation again to display the additional download options again. (via Tech Journey).

Note: Microsoft may plug this at any time but has not done so in the past two months since the code has been first posted.

Summary
Article Name
Download Windows 7 and 8.1 ISO Images from Microsoft
Description
Find out how to download ISO images of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 from official Microsoft servers.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Responses to Download Windows 7 and 8.1 ISO Images from Microsoft

  1. Adithya FRK February 17, 2016 at 9:17 am #

    That's Pretty neat but the links are already on msdn

  2. John Smith February 17, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    Thank You ^_^

  3. Hollister February 17, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Interesting.
    I didn't even know that I could download Windows 10 with 1511 update incorporated.
    Win10 media creation tool doesn't have it :(

    • Armond February 18, 2016 at 3:03 am #

      Are you sure? I believe media creation tool downloads version 1511 of Windows 10.

  4. tek February 17, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    Neat Martin just what I was looking for many thanks my friend

  5. Tom Hawack February 17, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    I notice on Microsoft's Tech Bench website that tabs concerning Windows 7 an 8.1 make these versions downloadable as well, provided you enter the product key. What's the point?

    • Karol February 17, 2016 at 11:44 am #

      Not available for users with Windows 7 OEM.

      • seeprime February 17, 2016 at 5:58 pm #

        If you have the Windows 7 OEM sticker with the product key on the case, these ISO's will install and activate for you.

  6. paulo oliveira February 17, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    exellent tip, Martin :)

  7. Karol February 17, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    Are the Windows just 32 bit?

    • Wally February 18, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

      You can choose either 32- or 64-bit versions. This is the last step.

  8. Karol February 17, 2016 at 12:10 pm #

    I was not able to download W7 Home Premium in Czech...

  9. Alexi February 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    It's not working. After validating, it shows "error". Tried with different browsers, still got error.

    • Martin Brinkmann February 17, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

      Strange, worked fine on my end. What have you selected?

      • Alexi February 18, 2016 at 9:36 am #

        Windows 7 Ultimate SP1

    • Decent60 February 18, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

      Both x64 and x32 of Windows 7 Ultimate and Professional worked for me.

  10. zabouca February 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    A couple of things with your instructions Martin...

    1. On the Pastbin page, scroll down to the box labelled "RAW Paste Data" and copy from there.

    2. After pasting the code in the console you must press Enter before you can select an edition.

    Nevertheless, thanks mucho for the info.

    • Karol February 17, 2016 at 1:17 pm #

      I did it via Scratchpad in Firefox:
      1.paste text into Scratchpad
      2.execute menu-reload and run

    • Dave February 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

      You also have to type "allow pasting" if you've not done it before on your profile (Fx)

  11. Anonymous February 17, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

    How up-to-date is the Windows 8.1 ISO, can anyone please tell me? Does it have Update 1 or latest cumulative updates integrated?

    • Bob Hill February 17, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

      Using this method (many thanks, Martin!) I downloaded Windows 8.1 English 32-bit, ran sha1sum against it, and got:
      c7fa828e01e98b601e0aca8019f1cb223eb23223
      Then I looked at the MSDN Win8.1 downloads (you can look, but not download, without an MSDN subscription, but you do need a free Microsoft account, such as Hotmail):
      https://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/securedownloads/?#searchTerm=&ProductFamilyId=545&Languages=en&PageSize=50&PageIndex=0&FileId=0
      The entry titled "Windows 8.1 with Update (multiple editions) (x86) - DVD (English)" matches the SHA1 above, so it must be the same as my download. This Win8.1 iso was released 2014.12.15, and includes the November 2014 Update Rollup. Hopefully the same applies to the iso's for other versions of Win8.1 extracted from Tech Bench.

  12. Mofo February 17, 2016 at 4:31 pm #

    Are these isos newer than the ones found on digitalriver a year or two ago? Those were like from 2011 and took ages to install all the updates.

    • Major Tom February 18, 2016 at 5:13 am #

      That's a very good question. Nothing worse than doing a clean install from an old Windows 7 SP1 iso and having to download and install what seems like hundreds of updates. I've always kept a system image of the Windows 7 after all the updates have been installed.

    • Corky February 18, 2016 at 10:24 am #

      AFAIK Microsoft haven't released or created any newer versions since Windows 7 SP1, can't speak for 8.x or 10 as 7 is going to be my last Microsoft OS.

    • Mofo February 18, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

      Replying to myself here, like a true mofo: I downloaded 7 Ultimate SP1 and extracted it. It's in fact from 2011, so updating these babies will take maaaaany hours. The positive side: Uncheck and hide all of the countless Windows 10 related "updates" and enjoy a nice clean OS.

  13. captainpixystick February 17, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    Hey, Martin. I'm a daily visitor and it's great seeing this here. Wanted you all to know I created two userscripts to assist in this process:

    1. Microsoft ISO Downloader: http://pastebin.com/raw/fczzF7Xp

    2. Minimal Microsoft Clutter (this is a CSS modification to allow for more screen space/quicker navigation): http://pastebin.com/raw/2DmPhydy

    For those wondering: https://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin/comments/4639ly/download_official_isos_of_windows_7_windows_81/

    • Martin Brinkmann February 17, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

      Thanks, this should be useful ;)

    • Advertisement February 17, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

      Thanks! It works after added it in GreaseMonkey!
      But do this download contains cumulative updates too (and if 'yes' which is the last date of the updates)? I've already had an SP1 ISO of Win7 x64 for a clean installation in this week, but I've have a list of 'not apreciate' updates too referred to Win10 upgrading to manual keep out.
      Thanks Martin, always useful topics.

    • capt June 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm #

      Following up on my own post here, but the "declutter" script no longer works. DO NOT USE as it will interfere with the dialog buttons needed.

  14. S2015 February 17, 2016 at 6:20 pm #

    For those wondering:
    * Installing 10 on 7 directly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSRqDpu-ZTA
    * then uninstalling 10: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLALZDuxlJc
    Apparently, playing such a game on VMware Station is a better choice.

  15. Tim February 17, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    8.1 Pro only has an "LE" version... What does the "LE" stand for?

  16. Heinz Quatember February 17, 2016 at 10:24 pm #

    the November update did not work for me so i rolled back to windows 10 , how can i download it again ?? it does not come up in windows update .

  17. Niks February 18, 2016 at 4:24 am #

    What does "LE" mean?

  18. mikef90000 February 18, 2016 at 4:25 am #

    I believe that Tech Bench is the page linked from the Insider home page, and the latest Win10 ISO did Not have any updates since the original was posted last year.
    Am I right?
    In case of disaster I would like to have a ISO available with *current* updates, service packs, etc. applied.

  19. Mister M. February 18, 2016 at 7:14 am #

    Another way to download Windows 7: http://mirror.corenoc.de/digitalrivercontent.net/ .

    • LAP February 18, 2016 at 10:01 am #

      Thanks, helped me to corroborate the MD5 and SHA1 not find a page with some information.

    • A different Martin February 19, 2016 at 12:45 am #

      @ Mister M.: Like LAP, I used the digitalrivercontent page for the checksums. Thanks!

  20. CEKI February 18, 2016 at 7:35 am #

    are versions OEM, MSDN, RTM or RETAIL?

  21. Anonymous February 18, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    If you visit the Microsoft download pages for 8.1 and 10 ISOs with a non-Windows browser user agent, you can just download the ISO files directly from Microsoft rather than have to download and build locally with the Media Creation Tool. I much prefer this method as it allows you to hash check the ISOs as intact/legit. It works with simple user agent browser extensions on Windows. I'm not sure if it would work with Windows 7 ISOs too.

  22. LAP February 18, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    I prefer the windows windows 7 onwards are crap and worse every time Windows 10 want to know more about you. He distrusted Windows 10, I mean by the news that there was in the vicinity of the security / privacy.

  23. backslash February 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    Is Windows 7 Home Basic = Windows 7 Home Starter?

  24. backslash February 18, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    nevermind...

  25. Decent60 February 18, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    May need to reload the page. English and English International are both available on all editions (didn't check K series tho).

  26. Hollister February 18, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

    Martin, cheeck the mail subscription code. It seems there's a problem with a html tag

    • Martin Brinkmann February 18, 2016 at 9:05 pm #

      Fixed, thanks for letting me know.

      • Hollister February 18, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

        Thanks to you

  27. A different Martin February 19, 2016 at 12:54 am #

    Thanks very much, Martin. This is very handy for computers with OEM Windows 7 or 8.1. You can never be certain that you won't have to reinstall from scratch one day.

  28. Sam February 20, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    old post I've seen that in another thread a while ago

  29. Rollo March 12, 2016 at 4:08 pm #

    Great!! I just finished downloading Win 7 Ultimate 32/64.
    Good job!

  30. Techie March 13, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

    This is awesome! Superb.

  31. Von Thizzle March 19, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

    Martin, great article as usual. Thank you
    Perhaps post a link to Microsoft's SHA-1 hashes or include them in the article?

  32. Von Thizzle March 19, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    How to get the SHA-1 from MSDN

    MSDN Link: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/

    Browse Box "Products A-Z" , Select "W".
    Select the OS you want.
    After landing on the the new page, either scroll to the ISO you need, or use the check boxes to the left to narrow your search. You may to check "All" instead of "32 or 64 bit". On the listing of the ISO you downloaded, select "Details".

    Examples below:

    This media refresh includes the installation hotfix described in KB Article 2534111. No other changes have been made to the product.
    File Name: en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676939.iso
    Languages: English
    SHA1: 0BCFC54019EA175B1EE51F6D2B207A3D14DD2B58

    This media refresh includes the installation hotfix described in KB Article 2534111. No other changes have been made to the product.
    File Name: en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_677332.iso
    Languages: English
    SHA1: 36AE90DEFBAD9D9539E649B193AE573B77A71C83

  33. miki March 23, 2016 at 2:18 am #

    Hi!!! you are great!!! nice code and was so easy did it!!!!!!!!
    Thanks a lot.
    I have some questions: Whats is Windows version K or KN or N?
    I'm looking for a Windows 7 sp1 updated to march 2016... Is it possible?

  34. TD April 8, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

    Buddy u r freaking awesome. Thank u so much

  35. Ren April 11, 2016 at 6:40 pm #

    can you tell me how to get windows 8.1 enterprise..?

  36. WOw May 2, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    This this ISO the up-to-date Windows 7 SP1 ISO file?

  37. FY May 17, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    THIS IS NO LONGER WORKING :: THE JAVASCRIPT YIELDS AN "UNDEFINED" ERROR REGARDING THE SECTION ABOUT THE WEBSITES ENCASED IN THE SCRIPT

    • anonymous July 7, 2016 at 4:37 am #

      Turn off adblock

  38. rtuyod June 5, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

    where is the link?

  39. Juoa June 22, 2016 at 1:14 pm #

    It doesn't work anymore.

    • Martin Brinkmann June 22, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

      Please be more specific. What is not working anymore? I just checked and it worked on my end.

    • capt June 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

      Juoa, in case you used my "declutter" userscript above, it blocks out the dialog button now for some reason. So make sure you're not using that userscript and you should be ok.

  40. Alexi July 13, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    Following error is shown:

    Error

    We encountered a problem with your request. Please visit the Microsoft Support Contact Us page for assistance. Refer to Message Code 715-123130 and Transaction ID b060c267-64a8-43dd-ba0c-7d2df5231d3d.

  41. hobie July 22, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    This worked as of a few months ago but doesn't seem to any longer.

    The error message given is Uncaught TypeError: Cannot set property 'innerHTML' of null(…) and the dialog box no longer lists the other versions besides Windows 10. (For those reading who may not know, previously the error message given could be ignored and the other versions would appear)

  42. hobie July 22, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    Thank you for the response. It gave me the motivation I needed to keep trying this over and over lol. For me this does not work in Chrome for some reason. (Latest build on Win 7) I tried it at least 15 times, literally. I then tried it in Firefox about 3 or 4 times, to no avail. I verified the code from Pastebin each time I tried it.

    After reading your post, I buckled down and tried in about 2 or 3 more times in Firefox and it worked. I have no idea why it didn't work the first few times, but finally it did. I did the same thing every time, but for whatever reason it worked the final time lol. The steps are pretty simple so I'm not sure what happened, but either way I'm glad it still works.

    Thank you for posting this trick.

  43. Hede Hodo August 1, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Microsoft Tech Bench website is down :/

    We are sorry, the page you requested cannot be found.
    The URL may be misspelled or the page you're looking for is no longer available.

    :/

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