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Is Win 10 in place upgrade for Windows 7 still free?

Is Windows 10 free for all existing installs of Windows 7 if you do an in place upgrade?

It did work on one VM and physical machine - just confirming


Windows 10Windows OSWindows 7

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8/22/2022 - Mon

In short

-the free upgrade period is officially over, so you have no legal base
-Microsoft doesn't seem to care to make it technically impossible
-question gets asked very, very often :-)

Some handy tips for other related matters:

The activation of a fresh Win10 install with Win7 key, also still works
The activation of Win10 Home to Pro, with a Win7 Pro key, also still works

But don't tell anyone I told you.

I was not prompted to enter a key at all. It just worked for a vm upgrade from Win7 Pro.  I guess it wasn't supposed to ;-)
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William Peck

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So this should work for all installs of Win 7 even on Dell machines if they are they image/installs on the original drives etc?
How about you Kimputer - do you prefer a fresh/clean install of Windows 10 on a new drive rather than an in place install over Windows 7, with all prior registry info etc. brought over.  I am so used to doing things super clean!


Always super clean if possible (no important legacy app installs with vague licensing issues).

A couple of comments.....

Regarding the legality of the upgrade, my view has changed.  Of course, I'm a technical guy and NOT a lawyer of any sort and my comments should be read in that light.

Until recently, my view paralleled McKnife's, but it changed.  The difference came when the exact language of the Microsoft license was shown to me.  As I recall, it basically says that if you have a valid Windows license and you do the upgrade, you'll have a valid license to the upgraded version.  The key for me was that it says "a valid Windows license" and NOT "a valid Windows 10 license".  I read that to say that if you have a valid Windows license that can be upgraded with the installer, then you will have a valid license after the upgrade.

I'll repeat that I'm NOT a lawyer and the "some guy on EE told me..." is not a good legal defense.  If asked, I can probably find the original thread that had links to the actual MS license that changed my mind.

As far as the technical side goes, the upgrade does appear to work and get activated.

My experience with Windows 7 is that if you do a "clean" installation of 10 and the computer was never activated with 10, it will require a product key.  When I've run into that I've been successful at using the Win 7 key associated with the computer.

Another approach that works is to do an in-place upgrade of 7 to 10, make sure it successfully activates, then start over with a clean installation.

Especially if you are going for the clean installation, give careful consideration to replacing the drive.  The existing drive is usually one that has been around for a while and may be running into end-of-life issues.  Given the cost of SSDs (about $0.10/G) and the performance improvement they will likely make, they are usually a good choice for an upgrade.  That also allows you to retain the original drive intact so you can always go back if needed (to check a program license key, for example).
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i did about 10 upgrades since 2020 - and all were activated
you may want to read what kenfcamp posted about this ( scroll down till end of thread)  https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/29161756/Windows-10-upgrade-from-Windows-7-for-Free-on-Dell-computers.html?anchorAnswerId=42964939#a42964939

"do you prefer a fresh/clean install of Windows 10 on a new drive rather than an in place install over Windows 7, with all prior registry info etc. brought over" - a clean win7 will become a clean win10. If your win7 has a long history, a clean installation might be preferred, at least if you don't fear spending time and effort of installing software.

We have upgraded all office machines in place, no problem.

Hey McKnife

Systems well maintained but been in prod 3-5 years, as you know there could be some garbage accumulated in the registry in that period of time, also probably not a bad idea to go to a fresh drive, or reformat a drive prior to install - I could be wrong but I think you could save 2-3 hours by doing an in place vs fresh install of all apps etc.
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William Peck

I'd give inplace a chance. You may install fresh any time after, if something turns out to be not working - no time lost.

Thanks everyone for sharing their experience with me!