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Windows 10: Upgrade from Windows 7/8 using the update wizard

Microsoft has not been delivering updates for Windows 7 for more than a year - the security gaps are increasing! It's high time to switch to Windows 10. It's still free.

On January 14, 2020, Microsoft sealed the end of Windows 7 after more than ten years and had not delivered any security updates to private customers since then. But although the end of support is now an anniversary, the old operating system still runs on around 20 percent of all PCs - despite numerous security gaps. This article will guide you on how you can now upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge - simply using the update wizard.

Upgrade for free from Windows 7/8 to Windows 10

Officially, the upgrade to Windows 10, which was distributed free of charge until July 2016, has long been chargeable. Windows 10 Home Key costs 145 euros in the Microsoft Store, Windows 10 Pro costs a proud 259 euros in the shop. 

All you need for a free upgrade is a small Microsoft tool: The Windows 10 update assistant is ready for download free of charge from the Microsoft website. 

After a successful download, call up the update wizard. It first checks whether your computer is compatible with Windows 10 and, if necessary, initiates the download and installation of the upgrade. 

The free upgrade worked flawlessly in the tests for this article, but interested parties should hurry up: Microsoft can cut the connection between the Windows 10 update wizard and its servers at any time. An alternative is to reinstall Windows 10 and activate the operating system with the license key for Windows 7 or 8. x.

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Why is the upgrade still free?

Microsoft has not closed the loophole for the free switch to Windows 10 even more than five years after the start of the operating system is probably not an oversight. That puts the statement of a supposed company employee on Redditvicinity. Accordingly, the offer for free upgrades was a marketing ploy to retailers from the outset, which were probably concerned about sales of new PCs with Windows 10. Since the operating system was no longer the company's cash cow, the then head of development, Terry Myerson, was less concerned about lost license income than about the upgrade statistics. After all, Myerson had already set the goal of one billion Windows 10 installations in 2018 in 2015.

Fix Windows Update Assistant potential error message

If Windows Update Assistant showed the error message "The program cannot be started because API-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-1.dll is missing on the computer" on some PCs. In this case, click OK and replace the wimgapi.dll file in the "C: \ Windows10Upgrade" folder with the file of the same name from the "C: \ Windows \ System32" folder. Then click Try again in the Windows 10 Update Assistant to continue the upgrade.

Who can use the Windows 10 upgrade?

The free upgrade works with all Windows 7 and 8 versions. If you use Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, or Windows 8 Core, you will receive Windows 10 Home. Owners of the higher-quality versions of Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Windows 8 Pro get Windows 10 in the Pro edition. With Windows 8, an upgrade only works after the - also free - update to version 8.1. You can find this in the Windows Store app, if applicable.

Which Windows version should it be?

You don't need to confuse the many Windows 10 variants. If you use a PC or notebook, you only have two versions to choose from: Home and Pro. Most of the time, the affordable home version is sufficient, as you don't need the advanced capabilities of the Pro version. The appropriate version is installed during the upgrade without a separate selection. The same applies if you enter a Windows 7/8 serial number (.1) in the setup program. To avoid data loss during the upgrade procedure, the systems' architecture (32 or 64 bit) must be identical. Don't become too bothered about that if you haven't started the upgrade via the setup DVD but rather via the Windows 10 update wizard.


Will all of my apps still be there after I upgrade?

Apps you previously had installed on your Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer will still be there once you upgrade to Windows 10.

Will all of my apps be compatible with Windows 10?

If you are upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8, most of your apps should still work. However, if you're using an older version like Vista or XP, there's a good chance some of your apps will not be compatible with Windows 10. A simple Google search will often be enough to tell if an app will be compatible with Windows 10.

I'd prefer to keep using my current version of Windows. Do I have to upgrade?

No, you aren't required to upgrade to Windows 10. However, it's worth noting that all support for Windows 7 has ended, and mainstream support for Windows 8 will end on January 10, 2023. For this reason, we recommend upgrading to Windows 10 if possible.

I use a Windows computer at work. Can I get Windows 10?

Yes, but if you use a Professional or Enterprise version of Windows at your office, you may need someone from the IT department to install the upgrade on your computer.

What happened to Windows 9?

Many people expected this version to be called Windows 9. For whatever reason, Microsoft decided to skip a version number and go straight to Windows 10.

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