Although Microsoft concluded its free Windows 10 upgrade program on July 29, 2016, the company has yet to close some of the loopholes that it originally opened for people running Windows 7, 8 and 8.1. If you thought about taking advantage of the launch promotion but never got around to it, there’s still nothing stopping you from downloading a free copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft’s servers.
Free Upgrade for Assistive Technology Users:
Microsoft has continued to offer free Windows 10 upgrades to those who use the operating system’s assistive technologies. You may not think you qualify for that, but according to the company’s list of accessibility features, this includes anyone who uses keyboard shortcuts, the magnifier, Cortana, or apparently even users who feel like they would benefit from Windows 10’s reduced animations.
Further, the upgrade page explicitly says that “We are not restricting the upgrade offer to specific assistive technologies. If you use assistive technology on Windows, you are eligible for the upgrade offer.”
If you’re coming from a copy of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, the upgrade process couldn’t be simpler: Just head to Microsoft’s accessibility website, download the program listed on their upgrade page, and install your free copy of Windows 10.
As of writing, there is no end date to the free Windows 10 upgrade program for assistive tool users, but Microsoft says it will make a public announcement before stopping the offer.
It’s also worth noting that you can reverse the upgrade to Windows 10 and go back to your previous installation by going to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Go back to Windows 7. This feature only works for a month after upgrading and relies on the Windows.old folder created during the upgrade, which is located at C:\Windows.old by default.
If you run into any problems or find that a Windows 10 upgrade might not have been the best solution for you, and it turns out that rolling back your computer to the previous operating system is not working out, give the techs at Frankenstein Computers a call – we can help!
Use an Old Windows 7 or 8.1 Key:
Another known and still available loophole to score a free Windows 10 upgrade is to enter valid Windows 7 or Windows 8 product keys into the Windows 10 installer — or later in the operating system.
Microsoft was expected to close this activation workaround soon after it was uncovered (over a year ago), but as it turns out, it’s still wide open. Microsoft hasn’t commented about what’s going on here or whether it will block this method in the future. The company seems more concerned about getting as many people onto Windows 10 as possible.