Microsoft Cracks Down on Windows 7/8 to Windows 10 Upgrades

Microsoft has caught on to one of the Windows upgrade loopholes allowing users with older PCs to upgrade for free to Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Credit: Microsoft

If you own a Windows 7 or Windows 8/ 8.1 PC, you will need to buy a new license to upgrade to one of Microsoft’s latest operating systems.

“The installation path to obtain the Windows 7 / 8 free upgrade is now removed as well. Upgrades to Windows 11 from Windows 10 are still free”, says Microsoft in a blog post.

At one point, Microsoft offered an entire year after Windows 10 launched (until 31st July 2016) for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade from an existing 7/8 license to Windows 10. After closing the upgrade path, Microsoft then allowed those using assistive technologies to upgrade, yet another loophole. If you use a screen reader for example, you had until the end of 2017 to upgrade. After 2017, that loophole was also closed.

Microsoft never officially said that the Windows 7/8 upgrade path to Windows 10 was never closed. If users chose, they could still upgrade their older PCs to Windows 10. However, that loophole has now officially been closed as well.

In a way, this does make sense. With Microsoft placing hardware restrictions on Windows 11 via TPM 2.0, a physical security feature only present on motherboards manufactured after 2018, users with older systems wouldn’t be able to upgrade to Windows 11 in any case.

Another reason it makes sense is the hardware requirements for a smooth experience on Windows 10 and Windows 11. These newer operating systems do use more resources than older versions, so upgrading from Windows 7 on older hardware to Windows 10 wouldn’t necessarily have the best experience going forward.

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