Microsoft initially started pushing users to upgrade to Windows 10 by offering free upgrades. Although the company now charges $139 for Windows Home and $200 for Windows Pro, there are still some free options available. Not every option to install Windows 10 free will work, and some are not advisable, but here are your options.
Several tech blogs are reporting that it may still be possible to download and install Windows 10 free with an older version of the operating system. We haven’t actually tried to do this ourselves, but if you happen to have an older version lying around, it’s worth a try. In fact, this is probably the best option of the bunch because it still provides access to Microsoft support and enables you to personalize your desktop while being available for the largest number of people.
However, Microsoft still might reject your attempt to activate Windows 10 on an older version of the OS, so then you will have to call the company, which may not turn out to your benefit. If you want to try this method, Microsoft explains how to use an older version of the operating system to download Windows 10 here.
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Another way to install Windows 10 free is to simply download and install the operating system and then don’t activate it. Microsoft will allow you to do this without charge, but after 30 days, you will start receiving messages stating that you need to activate it.
Unfortunately, by not activating Windows 10, you won’t get access to Microsoft support if you have problems with it. Additionally, you can’t personalize is as much as you can if you paid for it, and a watermark will appear on the desktop. This isn’t a great option, but if you are set on not paying for Windows 10, it maybe a better choice than purchasing a license from a discount retailer who may be selling used or stolen keys. The Windows 10 installation tool can be accessed here.
If you happen to be a student at an eligible school, then you can install Windows 10 free. The company offers Windows 10 Education free to students. This version is similar to Windows 10 Enterprise, and it should work just fine for most purposes. If you can prove that you’re a student attending an eligible school, then this is by far your best option to get Windows 10 free.