Windows 10 upgrades from older versions like Windows 7 and Windows 8 via a hidden loophole were recently shut down by Microsoft, which means that users running on the now obsolete versions of Windows will need to purchase a new license for Windows 10 if they want to upgrade to a supported operating system. Microsoft will provide updates to Windows 10 until 2025, while users running on older hardware might face compatibility issues when upgrading to the company’s latest desktop operating system.
Microsoft recently published a blog post (via Windows Central) that states that Microsoft’s official offer to upgrade to Windows 10 for free ended in July 2016. The company adds that the installation path to obtain the Windows 7 or Windows 8 free upgrade is also removed. As a result, users still running on older versions cannot use workarounds to update to Windows 10.
While Microsoft officially allowed users to upgrade to Windows 10 — at no additional cost — from Windows 7 or Windows 8 for free until July 29, 2016, users could use workarounds and other loopholes that remained accessible for years after the stipulated deadline to upgrade to Windows 10.
Since then, Microsoft has announced a new version of its desktop OS — Windows 11, the currently supported operating system model. Users who are running on Windows 10 will stop receiving important software updates in 2025, while Windows 7 and Windows 8 have already stopped receiving security updates and feature updates.
If you are already running on Windows 10, Microsoft says you can continue to upgrade to Windows 11 for free. However, upgrading to Windows 11 also requires a relatively new computer processor and other hardware requirements by Microsoft.
As a result, the only option for many users with older computers might be to purchase a standalone Windows 10 licence, which will allow them to receive updates until 2025, when Microsoft discontinues support for the operating system. Customers can also consider purchasing a new computer running on a preinstalled version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 out-of-the-box.