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Here's how to get Windows 10 for free -- until Dec. 31

People who require assistive technologies still quality for the free upgrade, though Microsoft doesn't ask for any evidence that you actually use such tools.

Yes, there's still a way to get Windows 10 for free.

screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Editors' note, Nov. 3, 2017: This story was updated to specify that the free upgrade for those seeking assistive technologies will expire Dec. 31. After that, all users will need to pay for the Windows 10 upgrade, which starts at $119. 


Microsoft hasn't yet closed the door all the way for those in search of a Windows 10 freebie.

Until Dec. 31, you can get your hands on a no-cost upgrade to Windows 10 through an exception made for those who seek assistive technologies.

You qualify for the free upgrade if you use assistive technologies, which include such features as a magnifier to better see the screen, a narrator to read text aloud, keyboard shortcuts and an on-screen keyboard. Such tech is "designed to provide additional accessibility to individuals who have physical or cognitive difficulties, impairments, and disabilities," according to Microsoft.

Following the trials and tribulations of Windows 8, Microsoft has been working hard to coax people to jump to Windows 10. The free upgrade offer for users of Windows 7 and 8.1 was a huge part of the company's strategy to push Windows 10. That freebie has since expired and people must now pay $119 for the Home edition or $199 for the Pro edition -- with the exception of assistive tech users.

Here's how to get the upgrade at no charge:

From a Windows 7 or 8.1 device, go to the webpage entitled "Windows 10 free upgrade for customers who use assistive technologies." Click on the Upgrade now button. Run the executable file to install the upgrade.

Microsoft then displays a series of screens that take you step by step through the setup process. Follow the screens until Windows 10 is comfortably nestled into your device.

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At no point during the upgrade does Microsoft ask for proof that you actually use any of the assistive technologies. So the upgrade could be accessible to any Windows 7 or 8.1 user who still wants to get Windows 10 for free. 

"As we shared earlier, we've extended the free upgrade offer for those who use assistive technology," a Microsoft spokeswoman told CNET. "That said, it is not intended to be a workaround for people who don't use assistive technology and who missed the deadline for the free offer."

The deadline for the free offer for users of assistive technologies, is Dec. 31, 2017.

Update, 9:15 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Microsoft.