Ever since Microsoft released Windows 10, users and administrators had options to upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8 systems to Windows 10 for free.
The free upgrade offer to Windows 10 ended on July 29, 2016, officially. Microsoft did keep the offer on the table for users of assistive technologies so that they could upgrade their machines to Windows 10 for free after the deadline.
The company announced recently that it would retire the free upgrade offer for customers who use assistive technologies at the end of 2017.
This was not the only option that Windows 7 or 8.1 users had to upgrade, however. Users who had a product key could upgrade to Windows 10 for free after the July 29 deadline as well.
I ran a test yesterday to see if it is still possible to upgrade a Windows 7 machine to Windows 10 for free. I installed a pristine copy of Windows 7 Professional in a virtual machine, activated the system, and ran Windows Update to install all available updates.
I went to the "Customers who use assistive technologies can upgrade to Windows 10 at no cost" website that Microsoft created for users of assistive technologies, and lo and behold, it was still online.
The download of the Windows 10 Upgrade Application worked fine, and I ran it on the system afterward. This was when I ran into the api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-1.dll is missing error that I had to fix first.
The upgrade proceeded fine afterward, and Windows 10 installed fine on the virtual machine. I checked the activation status of the operating system and noticed that it was activated digitally.
I did not try the other method of upgrading to Windows 10 for free (the product key version), but it seems likely that it will work as well.
The free upgrade offer for users of assistive technologies still works after the deadline. It is possible that Microsoft forgot to pull the page in time and that the company will do so in the coming days or weeks.
For now, though, you can use the offer to upgrade activated Windows 7 (I assume Windows 8.1 systems as well) for free to Windows 10.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.