Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageWindows 10 upgrade offer has ended but you can still get it free

By James Walker     Aug 2, 2016 in Technology
Microsoft ended the Windows 10 free upgrade offer on July 29, preventing Windows 7 and 8.1 users who haven't moved to the new OS from doing so for free. A workaround has been discovered, letting you claim a free upgrade should you change your mind today.
While Microsoft provided warning of the deadline a month before the date was reached, some people may have forgotten to upgrade or simply never got around to doing it. Those users are now faced with buying Windows 10 for $119 if they decide to upgrade in the future, even though they could have had it for free just a few days ago.
Fortunately, a group of enterprising Windows fans has already discovered a simple workaround that tricks the upgrade app into offering Windows 10 for free. By setting the system clock to a few days before July 29, the computer is forced to assume the free upgrade offer is still valid.
The method has already been demonstrated to be successful. After changing the clock back and rebooting the computer, the Get Windows 10 app will begin to offer the OS again. It can be downloaded and installed for free, as if July 29 had never passed.
Windows 10 reached a major milestone today with the release of the Anniversary Update. Launching progressively across the world, it includes new features and refinements to the user interface. Upgrading today by setting the clock back will install the current version of Windows 10, 1511. You'll then be able to download the Anniversary Update, version 1608.
Needless to say, this process hasn't been approved by Microsoft. It may not work in every instance and individual systems may respond differently to the change of time. You should also be aware that tampering with the system clock may impact other software you have installed, causing dismissed alerts and old calendar reminders to resurface. Some apps reliant on the time for license authentication, such as online streaming providers, may not function at all, so be sure to set the clock back to the correct time once Windows 10 is installed.
Microsoft could close this loophole at any point in the future. It would be able to disable the workaround with an update to the Get Windows 10 app. By forcing the app to ask its servers for the correct time, Microsoft would be able to prevent future free upgrade attempts from being approved.
It is possible Microsoft will operate a grace period over the next few weeks in which people who missed the end of the upgrade offer will still be able to get Windows 10 for free. Other reports indicate that the Windows 10 installer is also still accepting Windows 7 and 8.1 product keys as genuine, giving you another route to install the OS. The software remains free to users of assistive technologies, although pretending to use these to claim a copy shouldn't be attempted.
For now, Windows 7 and 8.1 users who missed the free upgrade deadline have an easy way to still get Windows 10 for free. With Microsoft aiming to reach 1 billion users in the next couple of years, this unauthorised upgrade app hack could aid it in the long-term. There are currently 350 million Windows 10 devices in use.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, windows 10 free upgrade, Operating systems