How to Download Official Windows 10 ISO files Using Media Creation Tool or Directly Using your Web Browser

Technical Level : Basic

Microsoft has provided instructions how to download the official .ISO files for Windows 10 32 and 64 bit. Read on for instructions how to download ISO media for Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Education.

UPDATE: In order to download ISO's directly using your web browser, you need to change the User Agent String in your favorite web browser. Learn how in the following article:

Resources: Download Windows 10 ISO Files Directly Using Your Web Browser

Learn more: Microsoft Removes Access to Windows 10 ISO for Windows 7 or Later

UPDATE: Users attempting to create bootable media using the Media Creation Tool, might encounter error message: 0xC18000116 - 0xA0019. Not much information is given as to why this error is happening, but a Microsoft employee on the Microsoft Community, disclosed, the software firm recently refreshed the Windows 10 ISO media; making it a bit larger than 4.7 Gbs.

Users will now have to use either a 8 GB thumb drive or a dual layer DVD to make a bootable copy. If you download a combination of architectures 32 and 64 bit, along with Home and Pro editions, you might need a USB media with 16 GBs of storage.

Please be sure to follow me on Twitter @adacosta for the latest tips, tricks and updates in the world of Windows 10. -


  • Which version and edition of Windows 10  is available for download
  • Create a bootable copy on a blank DVD or USB thumb drive
  • Downloading the Windows 10 ISO using Media Creation Tool
  • Downloading the Windows 10 ISO directly Using a Web Browser
  • Downloading the Windows 10 Education ISO
  • Determine your activation status
  • Troubleshooting

Which version and edition of Windows 10 is available for download?

 UPDATE: When you use the latest copy of the Media Creation Tool or Microsoft Techbench (linked in this article), it will download Windows 10 build  15063.0. Users have the choice of selecting Home, Pro or both, 32 and 64 bit architectures or both.

Find Out Which Version of Windows 10 that’s Running the Easy Way

Can I use my Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 product key to install and activate Windows 10?

UPDATE: Previously, Windows 7, Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 users needed to have either of those versions of Windows installed and activated in order to qualify for the free upgrade offer. For persons who needed to perform a clean install of Windows 10 from the outset, it was a two step process of first validating the machine through the upgrade routine, ensure the Windows 10 Upgrade was activated, then proceed to perform a Reset. Starting with the the Windows 10 November Update (1511) and the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, users no longer have to go through this process.

Learn more: How to install and activate Windows 10 using your Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key

This article discusses multiple ways you can download and create a bootable copy of Windows 10. If you experience difficulties downloading Windows 10 setup files using one method; please scroll down further in this article for instructions how to use an alternative method.

This article also contains instructions further down for how to download Windows 10 Education using your issued product key from your institution of higher learning.

Downloading the Windows 10 ISO using Media Creation Tool

If you need to install or reinstall Windows 10, you can use the tools on this page to create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD.

Before you begin
  • Make sure you have:
    • An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply).
    • Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.
    • A blank USB or DVD (and DVD burner) with at least 4 GB of space if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.
  • Read the System Requirements.
  • If you will be installing the operating system for the first time, you will need your Windows product key (xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx). For more information about product keys and when they are required, visit the FAQ page.
  • For Enterprise editions please visit the Volume Licensing Service Center.
Use the media creation tool to download Windows. This tool provides the best download experience for customers running Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. To learn how to use the tool, go to the Installing Windows 10 using the media creation tool page. Tool includes:
  • File formats optimized for download speed.
  • Built in media creation options for USBs and DVDs.
  • Optional conversion to ISO file format.

Download the Media Creation Tool Now

Right click the MediaCreationTool.exe file then click Run as administrator.

Note: How to Verify If You Downloaded or Installed the Latest Version Windows 10

Accept the End User License Agreement:


Select the option Upgrade this PC now if you want to upgrade right away,

Select the option Create installation media for another PC if you want to download a ISO image or create a bootable DVD or USB thumb drive,

Click Next

If you want to download a particular edition or both architectures, uncheck the Use the recommended option for this PC. 

Click in the Edition list box, choose your edition then click Next.

  • Windows 10 - contains Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.
  • Windows 10 Home Single Language - only select this edition if you are running Windows 10 Single Language, Windows 8 Single Language or Windows 8.1 with Bing.
  • Windows 10 N - only select this edition if you reside in Europe, it does not contain Windows Media Player. It contains Windows 10 Home N, Windows 10 Pro N.

Please read the following: Fix Windows 10 Media Creation Tool from Defaulting to Home Instead of Pro

Click in the list box and select your architecture or choose both if you have a thumb drive big enough (16 GBs recommended), click Next to start the download.

Please note: The copy of Windows 10 you download and upgrade from will correspond with the edition of Windows you have installed, the architectures will correspond too (32 bit > 32 bit, 64 bit > 64 bit):


  • Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 8.0 Core, Windows 8.1 Core, Windows 10 Home will install Windows 10 Home
  • Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.0 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 10 Pro will install Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Education will install Windows 10 Education 


  • Your currently installed copy of Windows must be activated. If it is not, you will be prompted to enter a genuine product key
  • You should perform an inplace upgrade, but you can perform a clean install using the latest November Update or later. Learn more HERE
  • If you are using Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8.0 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Enterprise editions, or volume license Windows 7 Professional you won't be able to use the Media Creation Tool to upgrade.

I suggest you choose the .ISO file option, since you can reuse it for multiple options. Click Next

Creating a Bootable USB Flash Drive USB flash drive

If you have a thumb drive with 8 GBs of available space, you can use that to create a bootable copy. Thumb drives are very cheap these days, so pick up a couple and create one as your first backup option. This is especially recommended for persons using Ultrabooks, which do not include optical drives (DVD) or Netbooks. There are some desktop systems that do not include one. If you selected both architectures, choose a thumbdrive that is at least 16 GBs in size.

Select the USB thumb drive then click Next. Please note, the contents of the drive will be formatted, if you have any important files, cancel, then back them up. 

Wait while the install files are downloaded and the bootable copy is created on your USB thumb drive. 

Downloading the ISO file

An ISO file is a digital or virtual replica of a physical disc. In order to use an ISO you must burn it to a optical disc. In the case of Windows 10, a blank Dual Layer DVD or an empty USB thumb drive. If you are using Windows 7, you can create the .ISO then burn it using the built in Disc Image utility. If you are running Windows XP or Windows Vista, you can using a third party burning tool such as ImgBurn or Roxio/Nero. 

Creating a .ISO file

For the purposes of this exercise, we are gonna use the .ISO option. 

Select ISO file, then click Save, Select your location then click Save. 

Wait while the .ISO image is created. 

Downloading the ISO file directly using your web browser:

Go to:

If you are unable to download the ISO's, remember to review:

Download Windows 10 Feature Update ISO Files Directly Using Your Web Browser

Click in the list box then select your language then click confirm and wait while the option is validated. Do not refresh the page.

Click your desired architecture then click save.

Follow the instructions to use either the Microsoft .iso to USB/DVD tool , Rufus or the Disc Image burning utility in Windows 7 or later to prepare the .ISO file. You can also mount the .ISO file in Windows 8 or later then perform an upgrade.

Make Windows 10 ISO file bootable on blank DVD or USB thumb drive

After you downloading the Windows 10 ISO, you need prepare it, this is especially important for Windows 7 and earlier versions of Windows.

After obtaining the .iso file you can use the built in Disc Image burning tool or Microsoft .iso to USB/DVD tool to create a bootable DVD or USB (requires a blank DVD) or Rufus, a third party program that can create a bootable USB flash stick (requires at least 8 GBs).

After downloading the .ISO file, right click it and click Burn disc image

Insert a blank DVD

Click Burn

Windows 8/8.1 users can mount the .ISO file then start the upgrade automatically. Learn more here


If you are creating a bootable USB thumb drive, make sure the thumb drive is first formatted as FAT32.

Connect the thumb drive

Open Computer

Right click thumbdrive

Click Format

Make sure FAT32 is selected as the file system.

For UEFI based systems

If your computer is UEFI based, these are normally systems that come pre-loaded with Windows 8 or later, you will need to prepare the ISO file for such a configuration or you will receive an error message during setup. The thumb drive needs to be formatted as FAT32. If you are installing on a hard disks that is 4 TBs or more in size, you need to format the disk using the GPT partitioning scheme. Rufus ensures your copy of Windows 10 is properly prepared to support it.

You can download Rufus, for free.

After downloading Rufus, connect your thumb drive, launch Rufus application, click in the Device list box then choose your thumb drive.

Click in the list box then choose your partition scheme. If you select the ISO, Rufus will automatically select the appropriate options for you. Next, click in the File system list box, then choose FAT32. If your thumb drive is larger than 32 GBs, choose exFAT.

Leave the default Cluster size then enter a label for your thumb drive.

Click the choose disk image icon, browse to where the ISO file is located, select it then click Open.

Click Start to copy the files to the thumb drive.

If you have any files on the thumb drive, they will be deleted.

Wait while the files are copied to your thumb drive.

Close when complete

Open File Explorer, then launch setup to begin the installation.

Download Windows 10 Education ISO files

If you attend a college or university, your institution might provide you with the Education edition of Windows 10. If you are only provided with a license (product key), you can download the .ISO file from the Microsoft Download Academic Products website. 

Go to the following link:

Scroll down then enter your Windows 10 Education product key, then click verify

How do I check my activation status after upgrading?

Click Start > Settings (press Windows key + i) > Update & security > Activation

Learn more: How to Activate and resolve common Product key issues in Windows 10

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I reserved the upgrade for windows 10 Home and now it's July 29th and I downloaded the ISO but I don't have a product key.

I also tested windows 10 earlier this month and the product key was provided.

I also read that people who are subscribed to MSDN can get their product keys.

I don't want to upgrade my windows 8.1 full I purchased .. instead I downloaded the ISO tool creator for windows 10 home and burned a DVD.

However, I know it's going to ask me for a product key and I don't know which to use.. my 8.1 or another.. also, I read that the product key would be emailed if I reserved my copy.. I never received such an email...

Please help, I want to completely format my hard drive after booting to windows 10 home dvd I made and enter product key and start enjoying my favorite windows!

Please help asap.. Thanks


Andre, can this Media Creation Tool be used to do the 7/8.1-to-10 free upgrade?  When it first runs it has a choice for "Upgrade this PC Now."  Can the DVD we burn from the ISO that the Media Creation Tool makes be used to do the free upgrade to Windows 10?  Thanks.


So I downloadet The creation tool, started it, chose to create the usb

and the tool starts to download but stays at 0%. (for 7 hours now)

Thanks in advance

...Can the DVD we burn from the ISO that the Media Creation Tool makes be used to do the free upgrade to Windows 10?  Thanks.
Yes, if you create installation media using the tool, you can use the media to perform the upgrade to Windows 10 as long as you start the upgrade from your current version of Windows.
Andre, I have already upgraded to Windows 10.  I wanted to be part of the Insider Community;  however given that I have only one system to work with, I do not to enable Preview upgrades on the physical system.  I do however have virtualbox and VMWare, and I would like to use that to install for that environment and enable preview upgrades.  Despite my searching, I could not find the location of a Windows 10 Preview Version customized image for VirtualBox.  I have a lot of hows everywhere, but not anything on the actual URL.  I know this is an ignorant question; apologies from an Insider newbie.  :-)
Ravi Kallianpur


So I downloadet The creation tool, started it, chose to create the usb

and the tool starts to download but stays at 0%. (for 7 hours now)

Thanks in advance

Any chance of the media (USB) either being damaged or not having enough capacity?
Ravi Kallianpur
How will the Windows upgrade site know whether I have Basic or Pro?


I tried this. I get as far as Downloading the ISO file. at which point I get Error:-  0x800704dd-0x90016

Any one know what the issue is?


Hi Pete,

Looks like it is a common issues as seen here 

Unfortunately, there is no reply seems like it unless I am doing something wrong and I am not seeing it.

Good luck.


Ravi Kallianpur

When is Microsoft going to fix the media creation tool so it works properly on international versions of Windows without giving that remarkably unhelpful "Something happened Something happened" error dialogue?

And telling us to change our system locale to en-US is NOT a solution.

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Last updated September 22, 2020 Views 1,912,475 Applies to: