Microsoft has officially closed a long-standing loophole that allowed users of older PCs to upgrade to Windows 10 and Windows 11 for free — This move marks the end of an era for those who were still holding on to Windows 7 or Windows 8; As of now, if you own a Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC, you will need to purchase a new license to upgrade to the latest Microsoft operating systems.
The free upgrade offer for Windows 10 and Windows 11 had originally expired on July 29, 2016, as per a Microsoft blog post from September 20, though recently rediscovered by Windows Central. This post made it clear that the pathway to obtaining a free upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 has been eliminated. However, it’s worth noting that upgrades from Windows 10 to Windows 11 are still free for eligible devices.
In the past, Microsoft had extended the upgrade offer for a year after Windows 10’s launch, giving Windows 7 and Windows 8 users a free option to transition to the newer operating system. There was even a loophole for users of assistive technologies that allowed them to upgrade until the end of 2017.
Over time, Microsoft gradually closed these loopholes, and now the last remaining option to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 has also been officially closed. With Windows 11, Microsoft has introduced stricter hardware requirements, making it less feasible for older PCs to handle the upgrade. This change reinforces Microsoft’s stance that it’s time for users to consider investing in a modern PC.
While Windows 7 was a beloved operating system, it was released fourteen years ago and reached the end of its support lifecycle quite some time ago.
For those considering an upgrade, there are various modern PCs available (check out our several Laptop reviews). This shift by Microsoft serves as a reminder of the importance of keeping your operating system up-to-date for security and functionality reasons.