Windows 7/8 can no longer be upgraded to Windows 10/11 for free

In 2015, upon the debut of Windows 10, Microsoft fervently launched a campaign, offering users of Windows 7/8 a complimentary upgrade to the nascent Windows 10. Though Microsoft initially demarcated July 29, 2016, as the termination date for this promotion, the digital grapevine discovered that this upgrade conduit remained accessible for a considerable duration thereafter. Essentially, this implied that aficionados could continue to elevate their Windows 7/8 devices to the latest Windows iteration without fiscal obligations – yes, even to Windows 11.

Drawing upon insights from Liliputing, after an expansive tenure of nearly eight years, Microsoft recently broadcasted a succinct communique, indicating the impending cessation of this free upgrade channel. However, transitioning from Windows 10 to 11 remains cost-free.

One might conjecture that devices operating on Windows 7/8 have become a rare breed, and those that exist might not meet the stringent prerequisites of Windows 11. Consequently, Microsoft’s decision to suspend this initiative seems plausible. Yet, in reality, a sizable contingent leveraged this scheme to furnish their pristine machines with a gratuitous Windows 10/11 license: they would commence by installing an activated version of Windows 7/8 on their apparatus, subsequently upgrading to Windows 10/11. Others might resort to a somewhat clandestine activation tool, HWIDGen, which directly amends specific files within an unactivated Windows 10/11 environment, liaising with Microsoft servers to perpetually authenticate the system via a digital license.

Thus, post this maneuver by Microsoft, these users will no longer be able to ingeniously acquire the latest Windows version without expenditure. Nonetheless, for laptop or branded desktop patrons, the repercussions are minimal, as their devices typically come pre-installed with the authentic, latest version of Windows.