If you’re still running Windows 7 on your PC, it’s time to bump up to Windows 10. As of January 14th, Windows 7 will no longer receive software updates. It has reached the end of extended support from Microsoft. That means that when the next Windows bugs are found, your PC will be forever vulnerable. And there will be more bugs found.
If you have Windows 8, you have three more years before support ends. But you might still want to upgrade now.
Why? Because even though Microsoft isn’t really advertising this, you can still upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 for free. Remember a couple years back when they wouldn’t stop bugging you to take advantage of a “limited-time offer” to upgrade for free? Technically, that possibility still exists, and appears to be completely legitimate.
Getting Windows 10 Upgrade for Free
The full process and the rationale for it being legit are outlined in this article. But basically you just need to go to the Download Windows 10 webpage from the PC you want to upgrade and click the Download tool now button. Follow the instructions to “upgrade this PC now”. You will not be asked for a product key. When the upgrade is complete and you’ve connected to the Internet, you’ll have a valid digital license to Windows 10. You can confirm this by going to Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
I would do this sooner rather than later. There’s no telling how long Microsoft will allow this to keep working.
Change Default Windows 10 Privacy Settings
Before you start the upgrade process, you should read up on good Windows 10 privacy settings. If you just take all the default install settings, you will be giving Microsoft a lot of information about you and anyone else who uses this computer that they don’t need.