How to Upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 for Free
After 10 years, support for Windows 7 came to an end on January 14, 2020. This means your computer will still function but Microsoft will no longer provide technical support for any issues, software updates, and security updates or fixes. Now is the time to upgrade to Windows 10.
While the Windows 10 free upgrade offer through the Get Windows 10 (GWX) app ended on July 29, 2016, you can still upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool (MCT) if you upgrade from a legally activated Windows 7.
While these bare minimum requirements will allow you to run Windows 10, you will have poor performance unless your system specs meets or exceeds your usage demands.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit (8 GB at least recommended)
- Hard drive space: 32 GB or larger (128 GB at least recommended)
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800×600 screen resolution
- Internet Connection: Internet connectivity is necessary to activate, perform updates, and to download and take advantage of some features.
This tutorial will show you how to upgrade from a legally activated Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free using the Media Creation Tool (MCT).
When you upgrade from a legally activated Windows 7 to Windows 10, Windows 10 will be the same 32-bit or 64-bit version as Windows 7.
You will not be able to upgrade from a 32-bit Windows 7 to a 64-bit Windows 10 OR a 64-bit Windows 7 to a 32-bit Windows 10. This would require a clean install of Windows 10 instead, and Windows 10 would not be activated unless you upgraded to Windows 10 using the method in this tutorial first to activate, and then clean install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 10 you wanted afterwards.
After you upgrade from a legally activated Windows 7 to Windows 10, Windows 10 will be activated by a digital license.
If you like, you can also link your Microsoft account to the Windows 10 digital license to make it easier to clean install Windows 10 and activate with your Microsoft account.
It is recommended to uninstall any 3rd party antivirus or security program before upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 to prevent it from possibly causing an issue with the upgrade. Once the upgrade to Windows 10 has finished, you can reinstall the 3rd party antivirus or security program if wanted.
Verify that your PC and devices have Windows 10 drivers available for them from the manufacturer before upgrading to Windows 10.
It is also recommended that you create a system image backup of Windows 7 before upgrading to Windows 10 to have a way to quickly restore your Windows 7 installation if needed.
|Windows 7||Windows 10 Home||Windows 10 Pro|
EXAMPLE: Windows 7 End of Support notification
1 Click on the Download button below to go to Microsoft’s Download Windows 10 site, and click/tap on the Download tool now button at the site under Create Windows 10 installation media. (see screenshot below)
2 Save the MediaCreationTool1909.exe file to your desktop, and run it.
3 If prompted by UAC, click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)
4 Click on Accept for the Microsoft Media Creation Tool EULA. (see screenshot below)
5 Select (dot) Upgrade this PC now, and click on Next. (see screenshot below)
6 Windows 10 Setup will now begin to download, verify, and create Windows 10 media. (see screenshot below)
7 Click on Accept for the Windows 10 EULA. (see screenshot below)
8 Windows 10 Setup will now check for and install any needed updates. (see screenshot below)
9 Windows 10 Setup will now check compatibility to make sure you’re ready to install Windows 10. (see screenshots below)
If anything is found that needs your attention, you can click/tap on Confirm to accept and continue.
10 When ready, click/tap on Install to start upgrading to Windows 10. (see screenshots below)
If you would like to change what you keep in the upgrade, click/tap on the Change what to keep link, choose what to keep, click/tap on Next, and go to step 8 above.
If wanted, you can close the Windows 10 Setup window at this point to safely cancel the upgrade before it starts. This is your last chance to cancel the upgrade.
11 Windows 10 Setup will now start upgrading to Windows 10. (see screenshot below)
This will take a while to finish.
12 Dismiss the lock screen by performing one of the following actions below. (see screenshot below)
- Press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys if secure sign-in is enabled.
- Press any key on the keyboard.
- Click on the lock screen.
- Tap on the lock screen if you have a touchscreen.
- Swipe up on the lock screen if you have a touchscreen.
15 When each user signs in for the first time, they will need to turn on or off the privacy settings they want, and click/tap on Accept when finished. (see screenshots below)
Users will be able to change these privacy settings at anytime in Windows 10.