Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrades still free
I had some time at hand recently to run a couple of tests regarding the purchase of Windows licenses on eBay, and upgrades of said licenses to Windows 10.
As you may know, Windows 7, 8.1 and 10 licenses are sold on eBay for next to nothing. There is lots of talk about these licenses, how they are not legitimate, that they will not work, or that they will expire after a short period of time.
The licenses that I bought in September 2016 are still working fine. Granted, that is not a very long time to go by, and I will keep an eye on those licenses to see how things will evolve in the future.
I had some spare time at hand and decided to buy another batch of licenses on eBay. I got my hands on a Windows 7 Professional license for â‚¬3.90 (that's about $4.00). The going rate for keys seems to have dropped from $10-15, and that is not only the case for Windows 7.
A Windows 8.1 Pro license starts at about â‚¬5.90 currently on the German eBay store, and even Windows 10 Pro keys are available for â‚¬4.58 currently.
I bought a couple of licenses as I did the last time. The sellers use eBay's mailing system to mail you the product key and instructions on how to download the particular version of Windows usually minutes after the purchase.
All licenses were accepted in test installations, and the products were listed as fully activated. I did not have to go through the phone activation process either.
Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrades still free
One thing that I wanted to try was to find out whether I could install Windows 10 on a brand new machine using a Windows 7 key.
These upgrades were free during the one-year free period, and worked even after the official free upgrade period ended.
What I wanted to know was whether this was still the case.
I downloaded the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from Microsoft, and used it to create installation media on a USB device.
Connected the USB device to the machine afterwards, made sure it would boot from it, and watched it start the installation.
When asked for the product key, I entered the Windows 7 Pro key bought from eBay. This key was accepted just fine during installation. The installation of Windows 10 proceeded fine from that point on.
I did check the activation status afterwards using Windows-I > Update & Security > Activation, and it showed as activated using a digital license.
This suggests strongly that it is still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free using Windows 7 or 8.1 product keys.
Now, I cannot say for how long this system will remain activated. I did some research on the seller before I bought the product key on eBay. The company behind it had more than 24000 reviews, with 99.9% of them positive.
It is legitimate in Germany to sell OEM product keys without hardware, and to use these keys on any device the operating system can be installed on.
The main takeaway from the experiment is that you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free using nothing but a Windows 7 or -- presumably as I have not tested it -- Windows 8.1 product key.
:) I do not want to “upgrade” to Windows 10, but the article was very helpful in other ways. Thanks.
Well before M$ starts charging a monthly fee they have to wait till windows 7 and 8 are out of service. I would imagine they will leave this upgrade like this until that time.
It didn’t work for me a week ago when I tested this. Here’s what I did on a desktop pc that had Win 7 Pro Oem (not from any manufacturer, built it myself):
– created Windows 10 iso using microsoft tool
– did a fresh install of Win 10 Pro (I didn’t enter any cdkey during install)
– went to Activation, entered cdkey from win7 and it doesn’t activate
Maybe this doesn’t work with Oem but still works with BOX/Retail version
The key that I bought was OEM. Maybe it is necessary to enter the key during installation, and not afterwards?
I think you are correct. Enter the key when installing. I’ve done that and it worked fine.
I will test this tomorrow. Also, see my reply to Andy.
If u wanna enter the Win 7/8.1 Product Key after the installation of Win 10, u likely need to do the installation without the Internet connected. Later, when u wanna activate the Win 10, then only connect to the Internet n enter yr Win 7/8.1 PK. This is likely bc the Internet-connected Windows Update of M$ seems to insist that the Win 7/8.1 PK must be entered during the installation of Win 10.
I encountered a similar problem when reinstalling Win 7 Pro on an OEM laptop without immediately entering the PK n with the Internet connected. This was bc it had experienced a hard-drive failure = got a new hard-drive to do the reinstall.
Unless I’m misunderstanding you, it sounds like you were trying to activate Windows 10 using a Windows 7 product key. This will not work, you have to upgrade-in-place from Windows 7 to Windows 10. During the upgrade from 7 to 10, the product key will be converted. After the upgrade you can access your new product key and, if so desired, use that one to activate a clean-install copy of Windows 10.
Ever since build 10565 it was possible (I didn’t test it) https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2015/10/12/announcing-windows-10-insider-preview-build-10565/ see section “Device activation improvements”. Public release 1511 also allowed it (I also didn’t test it) https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/7122/windows-10-fall-update-is-set-for-november-release see section “Activation changes”.
I see, I must have missed that change. Although it looks like, even with that change, the documentation specifically calls out that you have to enter the product key during setup:
“If you do a clean install of Windows 10 by booting off the media, you can also enter the product key from prior Windows versions on qualifying devices during setup.”
I also have to wonder what counts as a “qualifying device”…
that’s not really trye that you need to do an in-place upgrade… I always use the MS Media Creation Tool for Win10 and when it asks me for the W10 key I enter a W7 or W8 key which is accepted … no problem.
As stated before since the November update, you can use a Win 7 or W8.1 key during fresh install.
Maybe it will be omitted in the Creators update and may be it’s already gone in the Anniversary update build, but i doubt that.
so an in place upgrade is not needed.
Or it might be that it’s a Pro key, but more likely the key was used before on different hardware.
An OEM licence is only valid on one PC hardware configuration.
So If you have taken the opportunity to switch to a SSD and upgrade your GPU, you might end up with a different PC according to the validation software.
If you’ve changed the motherboard , you surly will have different hardware.
The hardware changes don’t need to happen just before the upgrade , but rather compared to the first activation of the key. I have the impression that the key check allows some changes on the system, but not always updates the config in the MS key DB. So when you re-install with to much changes and new OS, the hardware key might be to different to pass the check.
In that case you’ll have to install Win7, do the phone activation and preform an in place upgrade.
if the phone activation still works for win7.
Just to let you know, I finally did a new inatall few two days ago and this time I enter key during setup, it activated without problems :) So this method still works without problems.
It wouldn’t suprise me if Microsoft had another go at trying to persuade Windows 7 and 8.1 diehard users to upgrade to W10 given that the uptake fell well short of their expectations.
Apart from that, I saw the following article in the Guardian UK on how to get W10 for free back in August although I don’t know if it’s still valid: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/01/microsoft-windows-10-upgrade-free-assistive-features
don’t we all still use Magnifier once in a blue moon ? (helps when presenting )
so we are not lying :P
Ok, you buy old software for an extremely cheap price and you may also be very lucky and get features update.
Have you verified that downloaded software, i.e. link provided via email after buying the license code, is “secure”?
I mean, how do you know that it isn’t a compromised version with a joiner bounded exe file inside or a remote troian? You check MD5/SHASUM hashes? In this case where do you find them?
You download the software directly from Microsoft, not from the company that sold you the product key.
This is a good news.
I would like to buy a license of MS Project Professional 2010 or 2013.
Have you any info’s if MS will let you download the software as por windows old version? Is it possibile to download the old version of the software before buying the license key?
Not sure if you can still grab that from Microsoft directly. Anyone?
Here is a link to software that may have it plus links to valid keys on Amazon. I’m not sure if that particular version is listed in the software though. https://www.heidoc.net/joomla/technology-science/microsoft/67-microsoft-windows-and-office-iso-download-tool
Yet it is good to know that it is possible to download MS Office old versions BUT I need to know if MS Project 2010 or 2013 is downloadable.
No thanks. As desperate as they are to force the worst ever Windows version down our throats, NOT INTERESTED. Windows 11 please with a new CEO or gtfo, Microsoft.
Windows 10 is the last version of Windows. There will never be an 11, they will only continue to update 10 for the rest of Microsoft’s foreseeable lifetime. Also considering that an activated Win10 license has that same lifespan (ie, for as long as Microsoft still exists), that effectively means than a machine running Win10 (with an activated license) will always have a guaranteed and up-to-date OS for as long as it still functions (you can wipe and re-install as many times as you like, and that license will still be valid).
Considering the above, whether you think it is the worst Windows or not is pretty much irrelevant. Eventually, the share of PCs running Win10 will be in the 90th percentile. Now also take into account that most major corporations have either already moved to Win10, or have a plan in motion to migrate soon (my company has already finalized their Win10 image, and deployment is in process). It won’t be long now before seeing a computer running anything other than 10 becomes the exception to the norm.
All that being said, your opinion is also the exception to the norm. Most people strongly disagree, and at the very least think 10 is just as good as 7. Many people feel 10 is the best Windows ever. To each their own, and you can stay with 7 as long as you like, just be aware that support (read: security updates) for that OS will not continue forever…unlike support for 10.
Microsoft has _claimed_ that Win 10 will be the last ever. They’ve claimed a lot of things in the past only to change their minds later, and this may or not be one of them.
I’d like to see the source for your statement to the effect that most people think Windows 10 is as good as 7. That certainly doesn’t match what I’m seeing out here, nor does it seem to match the anemic rate of growth of Windows 10 market share since the big push during the free upgrade period, so I would certainly be interested in any kind of survey that would show otherwise.
As for the security updates lasting forever with Windows 10… every version of Windows has had an expiry date, after which there will be no more security updates, and Windows 10 is no exception. As you can see on the Microsoft Life Cycle Fact sheet, at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet, Windows 10 has an end of extended support date of October 14, 2025.
It also still works when upgrading from a “pirated” 7 to 10. After the process you get an activated 10 (which is activated even after you clean install 10 on that PC).
It’s pretty obvious MS really wants people to move to Windows 10. The only thing different after the “free upgrade period” is that they don’t nag you anymore.
“It is legitimate in Germany to sell OEM product keys without hardware, and to use these keys on any device the operating system can be installed on.”
In Croatia it is forbidden. OEM is oem, retail is retail. Only cheap solution is to buy refurbished PC with Win 7 or in 2017 Win 10. Only school, police and goverment have volume licence option.
And yes we r in europe (with low capital :)
I read about this on techspot dot com hours before this one was published. Just saying.
You can post a link to the story, I don’t mind. I have not read the article.
Thanks for posting, I will take a look right now.
With all due respect for Martin’s great work in always digging up new bits of info, I do wonder what’s the point of this particular post.
I mean, all people who actually wanted Windows 10 (and those who ended up with it unwittingly) already installed Windows 10. Right? So those who still have Windows 7 or 8.1 today, are nearly all people who have willingly chosen to avoid an upgrade to Windows 10. Right?
So for whom has this post been written? This one lost rain forest explorer who after almost two years returns to base camp and only now discovers that he’s too late to update his laptop to Windows 10 for free? How many people are still left in that situation? Or was this meant for that one person in the world who really wants to try upgrading some antique XP or Vista machine to Windows 10 by installing Windows 7 on it first, instead of simply buying a cheap new Windows 10 computer?
Honestly, I think that by now people who still want to /upgrade/ a Windows 7 or 8.1 system to Windows 10 can be counted with just a few fingers.
Wouldn’t the number of people who want to /downgrade/ from Windows 10 back to 8.1 or 7 be about a million times larger?
There are thousands upon thousands of people still running Windows 7 – nearly half the people in Netmarketshare.com’s survey are still on Windows 7 (2:1 with Windows 10).
Operating System Total Market Share
Windows 7 48.34%
Windows 10 24.36%
Windows XP 9.07%
Windows 8.1 6.90%
Also, I have a friend who just recently upgraded her laptop from Vista to 7 – and it’s nowhere near new enough to run Win10 smoothly.
So, not to burst your hyperbole bubble, Windows 10 isn’t as market-saturated as you imply.
I upgraded many machines to Windows 10 Pro for an organization that I manage, but I missed a Win 7 Pro machine (I didn’t know it was Win 7 since they only brought it in recently). I noticed just after the offer ended and I thought it was too late, but this is good news for me. So, not every machine made it in time. Maybe 9/10 computers intended for upgrades though.
As far as I am concerned…Microsoft Owes me an operating system that actually works! For every past system they ever produced!
Go try Linux. You sound like one of the people who would enjoy Microsoft bashing from that side of the fence.
Yet it is good to know that it is possible to download MS Office old versions BUT I need to know if MS Project 2010 or 2013 is downloadable.
yes, it is. It is simple to check himself
Fascinating article. Please do get us posted about the continued validity of these product keys.
Martin, do you mind sharing which eBay seller you used?
If he has that high a number of positive reviews it might be worth a look.
Martin, do you think it is possible to ask the seller if he has links to MS Project 2013/2010 on MS server?
The seller knows you as a customer so he may be willing to answer to the question and may also provide the link for checking.
Seems to only carry Windows product licenses.
It is my second answer directly to you, Alf!
The answer is “yes” and you may do it himself. Go to https://www.heidoc.net/php/Windows%20ISO%20Downloader.exe and get it. Do not ask again and again same question which is already answered, please.
Miro, point out where is Microsoft Project refernce in the tool you link?
Note that MS Project is NOT MS Office…have you checked before proposing the exe file as a solution to the question?
@ Alf ……. Only MS Project 2016 is available from MS’s servers. There r mirror sites that hv MS Project 2013/2010 available for downloading which are quite safe, ie they r the same iso files as M$’s, eg …
If u want to be sure, u should run an anti-virus scan on the downloaded iso file b4 installing.
Here you go: http://www.ebay.de/sch/igs365/m.html?item=282169781883&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2562
Thank you very much
@ Martin B ……. Seems like a wrong Ebay link.
What makes you say that?
@A or B, not C.
Connection to the link needs to be in Germany otherwise you will see something different(use VPN)
Thank You, But Why Downgrade ?
XPOCALYPSE FOREVER !
Sorry, but I believe you may have made a mistake in your test.
If the system you used for installing Windows 7 on had a copy of Windows 10 installed prior to your test, then this system (not Windows) is already registered with Microsoft and carries a “digital license”. Hence you may re-install (in your case) Windows 10 Pro on this particular machine as many times as you like and it will register just fine (without having to provide a key at all).
To properly test, if the “free upgrade” still works, you’d have to use a ‘virgin’ system (PC, Laptop, tablet, etc.) and repeat your test anew.
I did test that on a new machine, no version of Windows was on it prior to the test.
Yes, it is right. And threat “this system” just as mobo. Changing everything else, keeps the digital license.
Thought I got myself a really good by: Microsoft 7, 6 gig memory, walmart special!! 129.00 could not resist the purchase. (two months ago) brand new, not refurbished. But it sure didnt come with a lot in it, either.
Question 1: where can i locate that product key?
Question 2. I prefer not to download Microsoft 10, but! in 3 years this version will b obsolete? My laptop is Microsoft 10, so i can have both worlds, so to speak.
Question 3: how do i get the free version of the 10version?? just in case i change my mind. I read all thru the list, but really, just hand me the damn product! lol too technical for me!
Rob, if you are with a licensed Win7, just do an update to Win10 and that it is all! Do not worry, MS will issue a digital license to your new Win10 machine.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, Microsoft sent me an “Update” of 3 files, that/ which has nearly shut down my system!… save, for my use of Safe Mode (but, WITHOUT AUDIO!)!
Their “Update” has removed my Sidebar Slideshow screens on my desktop, and has rendered nearly all of my functionality almost completely inoperable!
Their claim!… at least, by way of a notice in the lower right-hand corner of my now black desktop!… is that my Windows is “not genuine”!
Well… I’ve possessed this MS W7 HP OS for several years!… and, it is indicated by way of Systeminfo in Command Prompt as LEGIT, it is indicated by way of tapping System Properties when tapping Computer in Start, it is listed on the “green screen” afterupon startup, and, it has been confirmed LEGIT time and time again in numerous sites, when such sites have either been requested by me, or prompted by the site, to verify the authenticity of my OS for downloading, etc.! It was secured through Windows Anytime Upgrade!… through a LEGIT Windows Upgrade Key (Upgrading from an Acer “Starter” OS!)!… and, through a LEGIT Product Key!
Further!… what’s shameful, is that in Safe Mode I’m receiving a message I have to be in NORMAL MODE in order to use the Activate Windows!… however, the NORMAL MODE will not allow for the Activate Windows to execute!… and when I entered the Windows Upgrade to see if that might facilitate a “reactivation” of my years old Home Premium (32bit!), the response DARED SUGGEST that my CAREFULLY RECORDED, and filed Windows Upgrade Key wasn’t– ITSELF!– LEGIT! BULLSH*T!! And when I went back in to see if I could enter my Product Key, the program– upon just entering!– began to “verify the Upgrade Key”, even though I hadn’t even REENTERED IT!… and thus, there was no way to introduce the original Product Key that had availed me of the Home Premium I’ve been using for years!
The problem, is Microsoft’s invoking of its UPGRADE KEY!… AND, BEFORE YOU GET TO A PRODUCT KEY! The initial wording within Windows Anytime Upgrade, is that the program demands the keying in, first, of the Upgrade Key! But!… given any “other” rationale MS might have for seeing my system shut down!… MS may simply desire to refuse ANY UPGRADE KEY (LEGIT, OR OTHERWISE!)– let alone, a Product Key!– if it simply desires (on OTHER BOGUS GROUNDS!) to deny my RIGHT to access the Net! And, in that event, their “NEW AGENDA” may go far beyond Upgrade Keys and Product Keys!… and may have more to do with a systematic program to shut down “UNWANTED NET VOICES”! And!… to be honest!… I wouldn’t put it past this company! After all!… and as Richard Stallman has put it:… “Windows is for suckers!”
This situation, though… FRANKLY!… smacks of EXTORTION on the part of Microsoft!
Microsoft doesn’t deserve a PENNY for any of its Digital Human Rights violating CLOSEDWARE CRAP!… that/ which has been developed through the creation and distribution of SOFTWARE PRODUCTS designed to capture BOGUS VIRUSES, that/ which– and as the reports have indicated!– were, themselves (i.e., the BOGUS VIRUSES!), created and distributed by MS! And given the veracity of these reports, these *ssholes!… and including Bill Gates!… SHOULD BE IN JAIL!! And!… it’s NO WONDER why computer sales have fallen through the floor for the past ten years! And!… it’s no wonder why Bill Gates, himself, had stated that he viewed Linux as his BIGGEST THREAT! MS is not getting another cent from me!… but rather, a constant challenge to its very existence! As for Windows 10!… these can stick this where the sun doesn’t shine!!
Please!… no emails!
Can you please provide a source for the fact that it is legal o resell OEM software without the hardware and to install it on any machine. Is what you wrote based on the EU judgement, and is it the same for the UK?
I’m no lawyer and can only tell you that it is legal in German to do so. I don’t know how it is in other EU countries, and even if it would be, if it is still valid for the UK (with Brexit).
Just upgraded my Windows 7 Pro (retail license) to Windows 10 by selecting the “Upgrade this PC now” option. It worked fine, got a Windows 10 Pro activated.
can anyone just help me a little
i have windows 7 licensed working on my laptop and i want to upgrade to windows 10 gamer edition.
i have downloaded the setup from here https://www.softfiler.com/windows-10-gamer-edition-pro-lite-iso-free-download/
I am scared now whether to upgrade or not as i found on some forums that gamer edition is not official and it will screw things in my laptop.
Upgrade it to Pro first.
Then you will have a digital license for the lifetime of the laptop. Then try to install any version you want.
you mean to upgrade it on win 10 first ?
Ok, you purchase old applications for a very affordable price and you might also be rather lucky and receive attributes upgrade.
Have you confirmed that downloaded applications, i.e. link provided via email after purchasing the license code, is “protected”?
I mean, just how can you know it isn’t a compromised version using a joiner bounded exe file within or a distant troian? You assess MD5/SHASUM hashes? In this scenario where do you locate them?
norton.com/setup -to protect all your Windows, Mac & Android devices. Get Norton Setup and easily run to install Norton Anti Virus.
Visit website:- norton.com/setup
Visit website:- office.com/setup
Visit website:- mcafee.com/activate
I have windows 7 home premium addition with service pack 1 but the oem is not legit windows wants me to activate it to upgrade does anyone have a product key i can have to get them off my rearend please. Thanks I may upgrade to 10 if someone is willing to help me out with the keys i need for 10 and 7 will check back soon.
I recently had some time to do some tests on the purchase of Windows licenses on eBay and to upgrade to Windows 10 licenses.
it amazing information for me. it’s really wonderful, thanks man for this types of valuable information.