Ever since the first day of its official release, Windows 10 is available as a free upgrade for existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. The free upgrade program expires on July 29, 2016. This means that all users who would like to upgrade to Windows 10 for free should complete the upgrade before July 29, 2016. Microsoft recently confirmed that the free upgrade program would not be available after July 29, 2016.
While there is a workaround to upgrade to Windows 10 even after July 29 for free, the workaround requires you to upgrade to Windows 10 before July 29, 2016, and then downgrade to your current version of Windows.
Most of you know that it’s possible to activate Windows 10 using a valid Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 product key. Windows 10 version 1511 or above support activating using Windows 8.1/8/7 product key.
Can I activate Windows 10 using Windows 7/8.1 key after July 29, 2016?
A lot of PC users are under the impression that Windows 10 can be activated using Windows 7, 8.1, or 8 product key even after July 29, 2016. According to this help page of Microsoft, PC users can activate Windows 10 using Windows 7 or 8.1 product key only during the free upgrade time.
What happens to my existing Windows 10 copy activated using Windows 7/8.1 product key?
And if you’re wondering what happens to your Windows 10 copy activated using Windows 7/8 product key, your copy of Windows 10 will not be deactivated after July 29. The only thing is that you can’t activate Windows 10 using Windows 7/8 product key after July 29.
How to reinstall or clean install and activate Windows 10 in the future (after July 29)?
If you reinstall Windows 10 in the future (after July 29) on the same PC without any significant hardware changes, your copy of Windows 10 should be activated automatically. And if the copy is not activated automatically, you can contact the Microsoft support team using the built-in Contact support app to get your Windows 10 activated.
When you upgrade to Windows 10 using the free upgrade and activate using Windows 7/8/8.1 product key, Microsoft gives a digital entitlement to your computer. The same digital entitlement will be used to activate your Windows 10 copy again when you clean install or reinstall the operating system on the same machine.
In short, if you plan to upgrade to Windows 10 in the near future, we recommend you upgrade before July 29, 2016, to avail the free offer. Windows 10 has been a fantastic operating system from day one and is getting even better with updates.
The newest and last version of the Windows operating system will get several new features and improves with the upcoming Anniversary update. Over 300 million PCs are already running Windows 10!
Our how-to upgrade Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro without product key guide might also be of interest to you.