How to upgrade Windows 7 to 8.1

Hi, my HP ENVY came directly from HP with Windows 7 installed.  I would like to upgrade to Windows 8.1.  How do I go about doing that?  Do I have to buy a disc from Windows or can I get a free upgrade?  It's been a while, but I remember people saying you could get a free upgrade but I could be wrong.  Also, would I loose any of my programs, settings, documents, etc. in the process.
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The free upgrade is to windows 10 these days.  If you bought your system in the period of June-October when Windows 8 came out, to get to Windows 8 you would need to contact hp to get the Windows 8 media under those coverages. The Windows 10 upgrade can be obtained directly and should only be obtained directly from a site.

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Here is a link to download a Windows 10 ISO matching your installed
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You cannot upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 for free. You must pay for this upgrade.

But Why?  Upgrade to Windows 10. I have upgraded to Windows 10 from both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and it works fine. No reason now to move to Windows 8.1
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John, agree the upgrade path if used should be considered for Windows 10.
To camtz question, when Windows 8 came out there were free upgrades available from the system vendors for purchases within the six month period of Windows 8 release June-October 2012  [corrected].  In those cases to get the upgrade, the purchaser had to reach out to the system vendor to get the media.
camtzAuthor Commented:
Sold.  I'll get the 10 version.  Should I download it directly from Windows?  Will there be a charge?  and will it affect any settings/programs/documents that I currently have installed.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If you have a retail licensed Windows 7 machine (not Volume License), Windows 10 is free.

If your machine is running well, the upgrade can / will (you have a choice) keep all programs, data and settings.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
The link Arnold posted is a valid link you can use to force Windows 10 if you need to.

Carlos - Windows 10 does work well for me.
You can download through the reserve option, though it takes a while can take a few days for it to slowly retrieve ... It will prompt when the install can proceed.
There is a faster option where you download the deployment tool and it will download distal as fast as your connection an download it.
The tool offers two option, perform the upgrade or download the ISO as the prior link provides.
The upgrade will retain your data/settings but a backup is always advisable. Just in case during the process you choose the clean install of the new OS.
Only thing check what devices you have connected to make sure drivers for them exist, I.e. Printers/scanners, etc.
I think the link below will make a 32 or 64 bit application that will give you a choice of upgrading your existing OS or create/download an ISO to use on installing on a different PC.
camtzAuthor Commented:
Hey John, I don't have a "retail" version because it came installed with the computer from HP.  I have the Windows Product ID number.  Will that work?
camtzAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  I will try today and let u know.
camtzAuthor Commented:
WORKED.  Thanks to you guys I was able to upgrade to Windows 10 is working along with Microsoft Display Adapter so now I can see my laptop on the big screen.
Thanks again
camtzAuthor Commented:
Many thanks
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks Carlos and I was happy to help.
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