Windows 7 is definitely the most famous OS in the World right now, so it’s not a surprise if people want to get their hands on it. There can be many reasons why you may wish to download a Windows 7 copy for free (legally). May be you lost the DVD that came with your PC or damaged it, and now you don’t want to spend money on a new copy (it’s not that cheap either).
You can easily download Windows 7 ISO image for free and legally right from the Microsoft website. However, you will need to provide the Product key of the Windows that came with your PC or your purchased.
If you are looking to get Windows 7 and its Product key for FREE, then we are sorry to say, it is impossible to get it Legally. Although, we do have a tiny trick that should help fulfill your appetite temporarily (will discuss later in the article).
Method #1: Download Windows 7 Legally from Microsoft Software Recovery
You can find Windows 7 for free everywhere on the internet and it can be downloaded without any hassle or special requirements. However, these sources are completely illegal and not reliable. There can be many issues with these copies of Windows 7, they might even have malware built right inside!
When you purchase Windows, you don’t actually pay for the Windows itself. You are actually paying for the Product Key which is used to activate the Windows. If you don’t activate your copy of Windows then after the trial period it will not work properly, making it almost impossible to benefit from it. This is why Microsoft doesn’t mind people downloading its Windows 7 operating system for free, as it is almost useless after the trial period without the product key.
So, if you still have the product key, then downloading Windows 7 for free is not really an issue. You can download your Windows 7 ISO image from the Microsoft Software Recovery site by providing your valid product key.
Just visit the Microsoft Software Recovery website and follow three simple instructions to download the Windows 7 ISO image. You will have to provide the Product key that came with your original Windows 7. If you have lost your Product key, then don’t worry, there are still many ways to recover it.
Once the ISO image is downloaded, you will need to burn it to an external drive, such as CD, DVD or USB drive. You will also require an ISO Burning software to burn the ISO image to an external drive.
Here is a Video as well, showing how you can Burn a ISO image to a DVD:
Now, you can just use the external drive on which you burned the ISO image and boot your PC with it to install Windows 7.
Get a Replacement Disc
If for some reason the above mentioned method didn’t work for you, then you can also get a replacement disc (in most cases for Free). This is another legal way of getting your hands on Windows 7, but it might not be as simple as the above process.
If your Windows 7 came with your PC, then you will have to contact the Manufacturer of your PC to send the replacement disc. They might charge a tiny fee for the replacement, but it is definitely worth it instead of getting into illegal methods or buying a new one.
If you bought Windows 7 separately, then you will have to contact Microsoft Supplemental Parts team to get the replacement disc. The customer representative will let you know if there are any fees or charges in the process of replacement.
Extend the Free Trial for 360 days
If you have never purchased Windows 7 and are looking to get your hands on Windows 7 and its product key for free and legally, then you can’t do that. However, as we promised above, we do know a trick that should help you use Windows 7 for almost a year without paying a penny.
When you install Windows 7 by any means, you are prompted to provide a valid product key to activate the Windows. But you also have the option to skip the prompt and access Windows 7 30 day Trial version.
The trial version will come with all the features, but when it will expire your Windows will not work properly (although it will still turn on). However, there is a way to extend the trial period by 30 more days using slmgr -rearm command, which has been added by Microsoft to extend the trial period. You can use the slmgr -rearm command up to 3 times, which means you effectively get total 120 days out of your Windows 7 trial.
Now, you can also make another tweak that will let you use the slmgr -rearm command up to 8 times. This means you get to use Windows 7 Trial for up to 240 more days and 240+120 = 360 days, that is almost a year. If you are okay with using slmgr -rearm command after every 30 days, then you can easily use Windows 7 for free with all the features for almost a year.
Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t offer a Windows 7 trial anymore, so you will have to get Windows 7 by any other mean, such as from a friend’s DVD.
How to Use slmgr -rearm Command
Just press Windows+R buttons to open “Run”, you can also open it from the Start menu. In the “Run” window type “cmd” and click on “OK”.
This will open “Command Prompt”, just type slmgr -rearm or copy paste it in the Command Prompt (Ctrl+V shortcut for “Paste” will not work in Command prompt, you will have to right click and select “Paste” from the context menu).
Now press enter and after a short delay you will be prompted to restart your computer (nothing will happen during the delay, so don’t be disappointed). Once restarted the trial period will reset to 30 days.
Note: To take full advantage, make sure you go through the process when there is only 1 day left before the trial expires. If you do it before, the trial period will reset and you will not receive the remaining days of previous 30 day trial period.
Use slmgr -rearm Command up to 8 times
For this Trick, you will have to tweak the Windows registry. Press Windows+R button to open “Run” just like we did above. This time type “regedit” in the blank field and click on “OK”.
This will open Windows Registry Editor, in there you will have to reach this directory:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > CurrentVersion > SoftwareProtectionPlatform
In “SoftwareProtectionPlatform”, you will see an option of “SkipRearm”, double click on it.
Another window will pop up where the value will be set to “0”. Set it to “1” and hit “OK”.
Now, you will be able to use the slmgr -rearm command for up to 8 times.
Note: Use this trick when you have used all the three attempts of slmgr -rearm command i.e. used Windows 7 trial for 120 days.
If you have any questions or would like to add more information, let us know in the comments below.