How to get the Windows 10 Free upgrade has been made even easier

Technical Level : Basic


Microsoft released the first major update to Windows (named: Threshold 2) on November 12th, 2015.

Threshold 2 has many improvements and has an alternate means of upgrading.

Microsoft released Windows 10 its next generation operating system on July 29th.

Learn how Windows 10 will be distributed and what you need to do to reserve your free copy.

Windows 10 Fall Update Set for November Release (Click to read more about an easier way to get Windows 10). The Fall update will allow you to activate Windows 10 with your Windows 7 or 8.1 Product Key


Threshold 2 released November 12th, optional upgrade requirements

Simply put you no longer need a previous version of Windows installed and activated. A Clean install using a new or empty disk drive will do the trick.

First locate your Windows 7 or 8.0/8.1 product key. If you purchased a retail product, the product key is located inside the plastic Windows 7 box on the back of the cardboard insert. If you upgraded to Windows 8 or 8.1 the product / activation key is found either inside the outer cardboard container on the front of the DVD sleeve or for Windows 8.1 look for a card inserted in a slot on the inside of the folder which contains the installation media.

Windows 7 OEM product key codes found on a sticker on the side cover of your desktop or on the bottom of a laptop or inside the battery case (sometimes you may need to remove the battery) can also be used to activate Windows 10.

If your computer came pre-installed with Windows 8 / 8.1 from a major computer manufacture (Acer, Dell, HP, Toshiba, Etc.) then the key code is embedded in the BIOS located on the motherboard and the key will automatically be used to activate Windows 10 with no input required during the installation process.

Windows 10 upgrade requirements when upgrading directly from Windows 7 or 8.1:

Windows 7 users must have Service Pack 1 installed.

Read the following article:

First verify that you have IE11 installed? If not then download and install IE11:

1) Next verify that KB3035583 and KB2952664 or for Windows 8.1 KB3035583 and KB2976978 are installed.

Open Windows Update as follows:

Windows 7: Click on ‘Start’ / Control Panel / Windows Updates and in the bottom left corner click on the ‘Installed Updates’ link.

Windows 8.1: Right click on ‘Start’ / Control Panel / Windows Updates and in the bottom left corner click on the ‘Installed Updates’ link.

In the upper right corner there is a ‘Search Installed Update’ box. Enter the appropriate pair of KB numbers (one at a time) for your version of Windows. Example: KB3035583

Note: If these updates were installed within the last week continue on to step #2, otherwise un-install both updates and re-install them and then continue to step #2.

2) Open Windows ‘Task Scheduler’ (Start / Computer / Manage) and navigate to:

Computer Management / System Tools / Task Scheduler / Task Scheduler Library / Microsoft / Windows / Application Experience

3) Right click on ‘Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser’ and select the ‘Run’ option. You may need to wait anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes or more for the task to complete and return to the ‘Ready’ Status. Press the F5 key to refresh the ‘Status’ about every 10 minutes.

4) Open Windows Explorer (File Explorer in Windows 8.1) and navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\GWX folder. Right click on the GWX.exe file and select the ‘Run as administrator’ option. Click ‘Yes’ when prompted.

5) Let the computer idle, keep your laptop connected to AC power and about 1 hour (take a good movie break), more if you have a slower computer (about 2 hours to play it safe) and if the GWX icon is still not displayed, shut you device totally down (do not hibernate or go into Sleep mode) for the night.

6) The next day power on the computer and wait about 30 minutes, the GWX icon should now be visible.

7) Click on the GWX icon in the taskbar and view the 6 slide presentation. You’re now ready to immediately make your reservation or wait a while as it’s a free upgrade for a year starting on July 29th, 2015

The Get Windows 10 app will provide with a tutorial of how the reservation works.

•Reserve your FREE upgrade to Windows 10 now. It will download* once available, and you can cancel your reservation at any time.

•You'll get a notification after Windows 10 is downloaded to your device. Install it right away or pick a time that's good for you.

•After it's installed, Windows 10 is all yours.

Learn more about the new features:

Windows 10 Faqs:

Additional Wiki articles you may want to read:

Windows 10 - What type of product key do I have?

Threshold 2 Update - Still waiting for the update, how to get it installed now

Windows 10 Fall Update Threshold 2 now available

How to extend the 30 day limit to go back to your previous version of Windows

How to use Microsoft's Tech Bench web site to download a Windows 10 ISO file, create installation media and activate Windows 10


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Last updated December 11, 2019 Views 6,956 Applies to: