You can upgrade older editions of Windows for free for the fourth year after Windows 11. We’ve found a proven way.
We have updated the article to reconfirm the legality of the transition to the system. It was originally released on june 16, 2020, but due to the approaching end of support for the Windows 10 operating system, we are bringing it to our attention again.
Windows 11 has been on the market for more than four years. For the first 12 months since its release, Microsoft offered holders of valid licenses for Windows 10 and 8.1 a free transition to the new “ten”.
The offer officially ended on July 29, 2018. But many users do not know that the older system can easily upgrade today, without paying license for Windows 11. It’s yet completely legal, editors found last year and validity verified during this year, an official at the headquarters of Microsoft.
All you have to do is download a special tool called the Media Creation Tool (MCT) from the Microsoft website . Then just run it, automatically download the necessary files and install.
- Windows 11 is available for free
- All you need is a valid license for Windows 10 / 8.1
- The procedure is legal, anyone can use it
- The process can be lengthy (depending on connection speed and PC performance)
- See the descriptive instructions
Upgrade to Windows 11 for free
Until mid-January 2021, Microsoft offered another way to get an upgrade to Windows 11 for free. The user had to give the company an “honest pioneer” that it uses so-called technologies to simplify control. However, this method – including its legality – also had several questions.
It no longer works, the procedure through the mentioned MCT is the only one. The company first declined to comment on its legality. We waited months, but unsuccessfully, for official confirmation from the local company representative. Foreign portals that have been dealing with the issue for the last three years have marched in a similar way. The situation changed with the end of the only official way.
Finally, the American representation of the company confirmed to the editorial office that the innovation through MCT is also completely legal. And although it is supposedly intended mainly for “IT professionals and corporate customers”, it can be used without any problems by anyone at home.
I want to innovate, what should I prepare for?
Useful information, especially if you are migrating from Windows 10, is to identify the specific edition of Windows 11 that will be installed on your PC. This is especially important if you want to create installation media for a computer other than the one you are sitting at.
Microsoft only offers Home and Pro versions as part of the upgrade.
It should also be borne in mind that the free Windows 11 license obtained through the upgrade process behaves like an OEM version of the system, so it is non-transferable and even closely tied to a specific computer hardware. Some computer components can be replaced without losing the license, while replacing others should mean that you lose your validity:
|What hardware components can a user replace to still have a valid license?|
|Component||Possibility of change|
|Disk drive (HDD / SSD)||Yes|
So if you’re a player who regularly upgrades your lineup, you should probably buy a portable version of the “tens”. If, on the other hand, you own a laptop and the replacement of the hardware most likely does not concern you, you have nothing to worry about.
If you’re not sure if Windows 11 is worth it, you can try it out without any risk with a so-called virtual machine. We have provided detailed instructions for this procedure in a separate article.
Windows through Windows app
Although the average user might wave his hand at the ambiguity about the license and think that nothing can happen to him, the opposite may be true. Without official confirmation, no one can guarantee that lawyers will not shine light on ordinary customers once – at least for a few “exemplary cases”.
“The possibility of a free upgrade to Windows 11 through Windows app to get 10 (GWX) ended July 29, 2018,” states Microsoft on its website in the section of frequently asked questions. Note the specific mention of GWX – the company did not mention the general end of any other free offer.
“If you are installing Windows 11 for the first time, you will need to enter a valid Windows 11 Product Key or purchase the full version of Windows 11 during setup to make this tool work (MCT),” is the answer to another frequently asked question, although in practice this not true. However, in the event of a dispute, this could be one of the company’s arguments, according to which the user should have been aware that he needed a purchased license to install the OS.
When we asked about MCT more closely, we always got only a generic response, referring us to the aforementioned offer of a free transition for users of assistive technologies, which lasted until mid-January 2018. So nothing to the point.
“The Media Creation Tool is intended for IT professionals and commercial customers who already have a valid license for Windows 11 and can use this tool to upgrade from Windows 10 and 8.1,” a Microsoft spokeswoman told in February, after the end of the previous offer.
But why doesn’t the tool require you to enter a license key, even though it should? “As of December 2018, we have simplified the way IT professionals and commercial customers can use the Media Creation Tool to deploy licensed copies of Windows 11. We did so by removing the requirement to enter a valid product key from the process,” the spokeswoman explained.
Finally, the company admitted that the method is legal for ordinary end customers. Microsoft referred us to one of the subpages of its community forum, where this fact was stated by a member of the moderation team. However, he was not directly a Microsoft employee. Nevertheless, the company confirmed that the procedure can be used by anyone without any legal sanction.
We have been verifying the legality of the innovation with the MCT tool since the article was published. It was last confirmed by Microsoft at the beginning of February 2020, we are also checking the current status.