Microsoft: Free Windows 10 upgrade ends July 29

Martin Brinkmann
May 5, 2016
Updated • May 22, 2018
Windows, Windows 10

Microsoft announced today that the free Windows 10 upgrade offer ends on July 29th, 2016.

The company has been tight lipped about what happens after the one year free upgrade period to Windows 10 expires with rumors ranging from an infinite continuation of the free upgrade offer to paid subscriptions for all users who took Microsoft up on the offer.

The the latest blog post on the official Windows Experience blog clarifies that the free offer to upgrade eligible devices to Windows 10 expires on the one year anniversary of the release of the operating system.

The free upgrade offer to Windows 10 was a first for Microsoft, helping people upgrade faster than ever before. And time is running out. The free upgrade offer will end on July 29 and we want to make sure you don’t miss out. After July 29th, you’ll be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119.

Windows 10 will only be available as a paid upgrade or a full retail copy after the one year free upgrade offer promotion ends.

windows 10 upgrade

The full version (not system builder) is available for a retail price of $119.99 (Windows 10 Home) or $199.99 (Windows 10 Pro) already and the price will remain the same after the promotional period.

Microsoft did not reveal the upgrade price after July 29, 2016 but the price is usually cheaper than the retail price.

Devices that run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can be upgraded for free until July 29, 2016 according to Microsoft.

The announcement should put an end to several rumors floating around on the Internet, and here specifically that Windows 10 upgrades would remain free or that Microsoft would start to charge users who upgraded devices to Windows 10 already.

Microsoft published a video that highlights that the Windows 10 free upgrade offer will expire on July 29.

The company confirms in it that future upgrades like the upcoming Anniversary Update for Windows 10 will be free .

The company announced as well that Windows 10 is now installed on 300 million active devices, up from the 200 million devices figure that Microsoft revealed at the end of 2015.

This would translate to about 25 million new active devices per month. Sites that track usage shares confirm that Windows 10 is gaining while all other versions of Windows are dropping.

On Netmarketshare for instance, Windows 10 rose from 9.96% in December 2015 to 15.34% in April 2016. This would equate 1% with roughly 20 million devices.

Microsoft revealed other information in the blog post, for instance that Windows 10 has the highest customer satisfaction rating of all Windows versions.

Additionally, it threw out a couple of figures to highlight the popularity of the operating system:

  • In March, Edge was used more than 63 billion minutes, up 50% compared to the last quarter.
  • Cortana answered more than 6 billion questions since launch.
  • People played games for over 9 billion hours on Windows 10.
  • 144 million people use the Photos app (that's nearly 50% of all Windows 10 installations).

Part of the announcement is informative, but Microsoft uses it as well to increase the pressure even more. While users knew about the free upgrade deadline, its confirmation may be enough for users to upgrade their devices.

Now You: Did you expect that Microsoft would end the free upgrade offer?

Microsoft: Free Windows 10 upgrade ends July 29
Article Name
Microsoft: Free Windows 10 upgrade ends July 29
Microsoft revealed today that the free upgrade offer to its new Windows 10 operating system will expire on July 29, 2016.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Mauri Presser said on July 30, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    For everyone,

    Now that the Microsoft servers that delivered the free upgrade are no longer needed for Windows 10 upgrades, I have a suggestion for Microsoft on how to re-purpose them. How about dedicating all those servers and disk arrays as Windows/Microsoft Updates resources for the older operating systems that they say they are still supporting, such as Vista (till Apr 2017), 7 (till Apr 2020), and 8/8.1 (till Apr 2023) which have been horribly slow in the last few months. That would make us who support clients/customers still using those versions of the OS a LOT HAPPIER! Or they could at least make a Service Pack 2 for Windows 7 (Yeah, like that will ever happen!).

  2. alex said on May 10, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Just to let someone know, I have not been able to upgrade. I get error messages every time I attempt to run the upgrade. I have chatted with Microsoft, the upgrade techs, I used various tips and tricks, I have google the hack of the error problem , but no luck. I decided to just live it alone and use windows pro 7 as is. All my programs still work for now.

  3. raywood said on May 7, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    You can get the free upgrade to Windows 10 without using it. Make a system image backup, install and activate the upgrade, make an image of that, then restore the previous upgrade. You have it, in case you need it, but you don’t have to use it.

    1. Wayfarer said on May 7, 2016 at 10:19 pm

      Jesus wept. Should we even have to? Really? REALLY??????

      What the HELL is MS’s game plan here? 100% abject compliance?

  4. Matt said on May 7, 2016 at 6:10 am

    So, is it possible to upgrade to windows ten before the deadline, downgrade back to my previous version of windows, and upgrade back to windows ten on the same machine after the deadline passes? Would I still be able to use the free upgrade, or is the free upgrade removed once I downgrade? Thank you for the help :)

  5. Wayfarer said on May 7, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I’d like to congratulate MS. Really.

    For a decade now I’ve run dual-boot Windows/Linux machines. Started as 20% Linux useage, 80% Windows. Most recently I tend to be 50-50 Linux/Windows (in fact an important use of Linux is often to repair Windows.)

    Really loved WinXP. Rather liked Win7. Didn’t much like Win8. Hate (HATE) Win10 – accomplishes nothing I regard as important in a computer OS. Always promised I’d go full Linux sooner or later. But it was always later – just lack of courage I suppose.

    But if Win10 ends up as some cash-grabbing subscription scam, then MS will end up doing what it’s been moving towards for years – actively pushing people like me to a Linux-only machine.

    Well done Microsoft.

  6. Max said on May 6, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Good – no more GWX nagware.
    Let’s hope it isn’t replaced by BWX (Buy Windows X) nagware instead.

  7. Ben said on May 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    It won’t.

  8. freddyzdead said on May 6, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Well, what I’ve just read here, added to what I already knew, convinces me that I was right to not touch Windows 10 with a barge pole. Once they have everyone locked in, I still believe it is their intention to impose a subscription model on everyone, where you pay for updates or your system doesn’t work anymore. Don’t think they can do that? Just wait. No, my Windows 8.1 runs like a dream, after I spent a year or more tweaking it and removing all the M$ apps and trojans.

    1. Corky said on May 6, 2016 at 10:10 am

      I can’t see them going down the subscription route, they’ve made it clear that want to generate revenue from the Windows store so it’s most likely that is going to be their main focus going forward, we’ll see an increasing push to get people buying things from the store, from advertising on the lock screen, suggestions in the start-menu, popups from the notification center and whatever else it take to get people buying from the store.

  9. Lakew Gulilat said on May 6, 2016 at 4:21 am

    I would like to have window 10 ,but still I do not

  10. Jeff-FL said on May 6, 2016 at 4:18 am

    “Cortana answered more than 6 billion questions since launch”

    haha, that’s a brag? Over 300M (alleged) devices, that’s 20 queries per device …total. In NINE MONTHS. Google receives 3.3 billion queries *daily*. 6 billion in nine months basically means people are ignoring Cortana.

    1. insanelyapple said on May 7, 2016 at 12:09 am

      Cortana voice inquiries or just typed text phrases into search field – including these for local files?

    2. Corky said on May 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Maths isn’t my strong point but i don’t think 6 billion divided by 3 million divided by 9 month equals 20, like i said I’m useless at maths so forgive me if I’m wrong but i worked it out as 222 queries per device per month, although having said that even that number seems wrong.

      1. Corky said on May 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm

        I told you maths was my strong point, i done what TangoWhisky said, i used 3 million and not 300 million…Duh. :)

      2. Jeff-FL said on May 6, 2016 at 2:57 pm

        Yep, if you google “6 billion divided by 300 million” it renders =twenty

      3. TangoWhisky said on May 6, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        Jeff’s 20 queries figure is based on the 300M devices while yours is 3M.

    3. Lorenzo said on May 6, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Cortana works OK. Actually, I don’t find Win10 to be inferior, as some have said, to using Win8.1. There are other options called OS X, Chrome OS and Linux. I am typing this on Ubuntu. I use them all, and every system has its good and bad elements to it. I think the fonts get fuzzy on Win10 if you scale up the size instead of just resizing the fonts, so I guess that is a negative. Overall, I find Win10 works as well as any Windows — seems to be doing less updates and the updates seem to be taking — very annoying when they fail to install. Updates seem to be less, take less time and are just overall better with OS X, Chrome OS and Linux, but Windows is getting better.. a little better all the time.

  11. John in Mtl said on May 5, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    “Microsoft revealed other information in the blog post, for instance that Windows 10 has the highest customer satisfaction rating of all Windows versions.”

    Lord only knows how they came to that conclusion! Oh wait, they invented it.

    1. Jeff-FL said on May 6, 2016 at 4:12 am

      That’s Mr Silver Tongue in the marketing department just doing his job.

    2. T J said on May 6, 2016 at 12:15 am

      @John in Mtl

      Quote (slightly altered) : “There are lies, damn lies and MS/Nadella statistics” :D

  12. Jonnyredhead said on May 5, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I think MS are sticking to this hard line for now, this side of July 29th. But, its in MS best interest to run periods of free upgrading after July 29th in the year/s to come if it wants everyone on Win10. For now I’m sticking with GWX control panel and maybe in the years to come when win10 is better fixed will I consider an upgrade. A full proper night time mode is one thing I would wait for. Maybe even win11 or the equivalent of that sort of update.

  13. Andrew said on May 5, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Now I’ll be waiting to see how many people complain because they didn’t get the upgrade…

    1. Jeff-FL said on May 6, 2016 at 4:10 am

      Why would someone complain about not getting an inferior product?

    2. Yuliya said on May 5, 2016 at 9:37 pm

      Probably a lot less people than the ones complaining about having this ‘upgrade’ forced upon their computers. I for one will be relieved on 30 July knowing that my 7 install won’t get tempered anymore due to Micro$oft’s shenanigans (;

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 5, 2016 at 9:50 pm

        Same here. Besides, I estimate the pain endured with Windows Updates since July 2015 (even before) far above a couple of a hundred bucks (the price of their “free” crap). As all users reluctant to install Insanity 10 I’ve spent time dealing with the updates, searching for information in order to be sure the update wasn’t vicious, I’ve got annoyed and that stressed me, ant that ain’t no good. Three months to go, August’s Patch Tuesday should be the end of a nightmare, I do hope so.

    3. anon said on May 5, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Those who do will be the same ones complaining about the upgrade itself in the first place, of course.

  14. Biapredai said on May 5, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    A few days before July 29th, I am going to make a full Macrium backup of my Windows 8.1. After that, I will upgrade to Windows 10 but then restore the backup immediately. I will then continue to use Windows 8.1. If in the future I want to reinstall Windows 10 for any reason, I can do so freely.

    1. TangoWhisky said on May 6, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Clever idea and I might steal it :-) But would that actually work? I’m not familiar with the whole activation/authentication thing in windows but I could imagine that you get an error message when you try to activate a win7/8.1 key that you already upgraded to win10.

  15. Shawn said on May 5, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    I can’t wait to sue MS as I’m gonna buy the first one and make them accountable for all the Sh1T they pulled off so by August I’ll be a millionaire. 119$ in =119,000,000$ out if your paying for a product and the product is SPYWARE here in Canada I call this fraud so I’m gonna enjoy this.

    1. Andrew said on May 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm

      You must be a fun person at parties :)

      1. Corky said on May 6, 2016 at 8:13 am

        Probably more fun than a computer running Windows 10.
        It would restart to install updates without warning plunging everybody into silence, Cortana would keep trying to interrupt peoples conversations, and you may get swated because Microsoft overheard one of your guests talk about terrorism. ;)

  16. Mr. Proper said on May 5, 2016 at 7:29 pm

    Looking forward to it!

  17. Flyer said on May 5, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Does it mean all these M$ activities with hidden patches to upgrade the system to Windows 10 will stop after July?
    Good question, isn’t it?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 5, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      I suppose they do, considering that the upgrade is not free anymore.

      1. Tom Hawack said on May 5, 2016 at 9:42 pm

        Sounds nice, All Things Firefox. But we know that Microsoft has more than stated one thing and its opposite later on. I really hope the company won’t give the unwise users a second chance, that would be very nice but no thanks :)

        Even paid for I wouldn’t install Windows 10.

      2. All Things Firefox said on May 5, 2016 at 6:43 pm

        According to, the GWX app will be eventually disabled and removed.
        Of course, Microsoft could rethink and extend the deadline.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.