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How to get Windows 10 for free even if you don’t qualify for a free upgrade

Published May 11th, 2015 12:36PM EDT
Windows 10 Upgrade Free Download
Image: Microsoft Corporation

Microsoft is going to launch Windows 10 at some point this summer, and the operating system will be available free of charge to users who are already running either Windows 7 or Windows 8 on their computers. Everyone else will likely have to pay for it by either purchasing a computer that runs Windows 10 out of the box, or by buying a license, though Microsoft hasn’t shared pricing details for the new OS yet.

However, even users who don’t qualify for the free upgrade will be able to score a free Windows 10 download this summer.

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As one Twitter user learned, simply joining the Windows Insiders program might suffice to score a free upgrade to the final version of Windows 10 once it’s released.

“@GabeAul Will you be able to upgrade to the #Win10 RTM version for free with #insiders preview?” @tao_huan asked Microsoft’s Gabriel Aul.

The exec replied with a simple “yes,” a response that seems to imply that anyone who downloads Windows 10 beta versions via the official Insiders program will also have access to the final Windows 10 build that manufacturers will use later this year.

That means even Windows XP and Vista users who have not upgraded to Windows 7 or later could still try a technical preview version of Windows 10, and then get a free copy of the release version this summer.

On the other hand, Microsoft has yet to make its Windows 10 upgrade plans clear. More than once, the company said it’s willing to let Windows pirates upgrade to Windows 10 for free, though the company will still be aware of the upgrade path these users take. Furthermore, the company confirmed that enterprise versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 aren’t eligible for the free upgrade plan that’s offered to regular consumers.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.