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Is the Windows 10 upgrade going to be free for you? Here’s everything you need to know

Windows 10 Free Upgrade

Even if you haven’t yet tried it yourself, you probably already know that Windows 10 is a breath of fresh air. Windows 8 was an absolutely disaster, as Microsoft recognized that it needed to compete in the mobile space but decided that a single hybrid operating system was the answer. Sadly, the resulting OS failed on both fronts.

Windows 10 will follow the same path to an extent, but it dials back the new interface that angered so many users. Better yet, Microsoft has said on numerous occasions that the upgrade will be free for many users — but there is a great deal of confusion surrounding exactly who will be eligible for the free upgrade.

Here’s everything we know right now.

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Do consumers get Windows 10 for free? Do enterprise users get Windows 10 for free? Do Windows pirates get Windows 10 for free? Will you get Windows 10 for free if you’re currently still using an old version of Windows like Windows XP?

These questions and more weigh heavy on users’ minds. As was the case with the Xbox One, Microsoft has done an awful job of communicating the details of the Windows 10 upgrade, so anxious users have been left with a thousand questions.

Luckily, gHacks put together a great roundup of all the info we have so far to see if you’re eligible for a free update. And in addition to what we know, the site does a good job of spelling out all of the blanks that Microsoft hasn’t yet filled in.

First and foremost, you will be eligible for a free upgrade if you’re running a licensed copy of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. There are several different versions of Windows 10 though, and the version you can upgrade to depends on the operating system you’re currently running.

Meanwhile, people running licensed copies of older operating systems such as Windows XP or Vista will unfortunately have to pay.

For clarifications on these details and everything else you need to know, follow the link below in our source section.

Updated to clarify upgrade policy for older operating systems.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.