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By Kayla Collins - Last Updated: Contact Author

How to Free Update to Windows 10 with Window 7 License Key

Mainstream support for Windows 7 has ended early in Jan. 13, 2015, and Microsoft now decided to cut off extend support in Jan. 14, 2020, meaning it is finally retiring Windows 7. With this announcement, users still relying on the good old Windows 7 are immediately overwhelmed by tons of questions. Can I free activate Windows 10 with product key of Windows 7? What happens if I don't upgrade? How to upgrade to Windows 10 in 2020 for free? Don't panic, you are on the right page.

End of Windows 7

Can I still use Windows 7 after 2020?

Yes, you can still run Windows 7 after 2020. But the thing is, you won't be receiving any new updates and patches. Microsoft Security Essentials and extended support will stop working after January 14, 2020. In the long run, this could lead to security flaws. If you plan to stick on Windows 7 in 2020, it's time to start looking for third party anti-virus programs.

How to update Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free in 2020

There are Windows 10 free update chances that you have already missed:
• Microsoft's free update offer–Get Windows 10 program (GWX) expired on the July 29, 2016.
• Microsoft's accessibility offer expires on Dec. 31, 2017.

However, many users found that they can still upgrade to Windows 10 with digital license or Windows 7 product key. As if the free update server never turned off to grant you a free activation. To illustrate, you can either do a clean install of Windows 10 and input Windows 7 product key, or upgrade from activated Windows 7, skip the part to enter a key, and link your Microsoft Account to have a digital license.

From the very first Anniversary Update to Microsoft November update, this method is still proved workable by many users recently. The tool you need is Media Creation Tool released by Microsoft, and once you activated Windows 10, it should be permanent.

You still have chance to free update to Windows 10 with Media Creation Tool

For unknown reasons, Microsoft didn't clearly state that you cannot use Windows 7 license key/product key to activate Windows 10, nor does it state that you can.

Update to Windows 10 with Media Creation Tool

As you can see for yourself, right on the page of Microsoft's Media Creation Tool, it says that when you have a license, you can use the Media Creation tool to upgrade to Windows 10 (My emphasis here: it doesn't state specifically such as "when you have a Windows 10 license").

Indeed, according to several users from mainstream Windows related forums, they have successfully updated to and activate Windows 10 using a Windows 7 key.

Successfully free update to Windows 10 Using Windows 7 license key for Windows 10 Succeed feedback Free update to Windows 10 Succeed

With all these feedback, it's highly likely that a genuine Windows 7 still could free upgrade to Windows 10. Even if it doesn't work, you can roll back to Windows 7, or purchasing a product key in Microsoft Store. To try your luck, here's the tutorial.

Before we get started, make sure your machine meet the system requirements for installing Windows 10, and that your Windows 7 is genuine, and has been activated. Follow these steps to get Windows 10 free update in 2020.

Step 1. Visit microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10/

Step 2. Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft.

Media Creation Tool

Step 3. Run it as an administrator.

Step 4. Accept license terms and select Upgrade this PC now.

Step 5. Media Creation Tool will walk you through the entire process. Just make sure to select the corresponding Windows 10 edition you are licensed for.

Step 6. When you see a window asking you to input product key, input your Windows 7 license key.

Or you can click I don't have a product key. This will force it to talk to Microsoft server, find the key in your firmware or BIOS, and give you a digital license (previously known as digital entitlement).

Click I don't have a product key

• If somehow the auto activation fails (such as failing to connect with Microsoft server), you can manually enter your Windows 7 product key to activate Windows 10.

• Once you have successfully activated Windows 10 and linked your Microsoft Account, you are entitled to reinstall or roll back to previous Windows version at will, without losing the opportunity to re-install and re-activate Windows 10 in the future–even when the free update period ends.

Which windows 10 edition will I get when upgrading?

If you are wondering which Windows 10 edition to select upon free upgrading using the Media Creation Tool, the answer would be basic for basic, and pro for pro. Here comes the pair up list.

Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 8.0 Core, Windows 8.1 Core

Windows 10 Home

Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.0 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows 10 Pro

Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8.0 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Enterprise editions, Windows RT/RT 8.1

Not entitled to the free upgrade offer

How to check if Windows 10 is activated?

You can check whether your Windows 10 has been correctly activated here: Windows Settings > Update & Security > Activation.

There you will see a line describing your activation status, there are two situations:

What it says

What it actually means

Windows is activated with a digital license linked to your Microsoft account

Your Windows is activated, and you have signed in with your Microsoft Account. Thus, you can reactivate it anytime in the future, in case you uninstall/reinstall Windows 10, change hardware of your machine, etc.

Windows is activated with a digital license

Your Windows is activated, and that's all. No future reactivation and so on.

Will I lose data after upgrading to Windows 10

Keep personal data and file upon upgrading to Windows 10

Technically, your content will be kept if you opt to do so before updating. Media Creation Tool offers your three options in the recap before you hit the install button to update:
• Keep Windows settings, personal files and apps
• Keep personal files only
• keep Nothing

As all the options are self-explanatory, you can go ahead and choose one that meets your requirement.

Can I Activate Windows 10 After Hardware Changing?

If you have previously activated Windows 10 and associate it with your Microsoft Account, you can re-activate the OS even if you later change hardware such as new motherboards, cpu, ssd. Normally, you can activate Windows 10 and link it to your Microsoft Account by entering account name and credentials. Simple guide:

Step 1. Go to Windows Settings (Windows key + I).

Step 2. Update & security > Add an account > Enter your account and password.

Step 3. Click Sign-in.

If this doesn't work, you can use Microsoft's Activation Troubleshooter to initiate the re-activation after significant hardware change.

Step 1. Go to Windows Settings > Update & security > Troubleshoot.

Step 2. Hit "I changed hardware on this device recently".

Step 3. Enter your account (email or phone number) and password.

Step 4. Choose the machine you are using now and click Activate.

Bonus Tips:

If you meet with following problem, you can try the quick solution.

Problem: Windows 10 Will Not Activate, Error code: 0x8007007B
Solution: Try the following generic key for Win 10 Home, which will force Windows to check your machine with its server and thus activating.


Kayla Collins

Kayla Collins, a senior member of Digiarty software for 5 years, knows a thing or two about digital devices & video processing software like GoPro, DSLR camera, Drone, iPhone iPad, iMac, iMovie, etc. and is glad to share her knowledge to help people out of trouble. She's also deeply passionate about yoga, jogging, roller-skating, handcraft, reading, music, movie and more.

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