You can still download Windows 10 for free

Although Microsoft's July 29 deadline has expired, there's an easy way to get Windows 10 gratis -- provided you don't mind a little white internet lie.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

In case you missed it, July 29 was the last day to get Windows 10 for free. If you planned ahead, you might have taken steps to secure your upgrade even after that deadline. If not, well, plan on ponying up $119 for Windows 10 Home or $199 for Windows 10 Pro.

Or maybe not! For a limited time, Microsoft will continue to offer Windows 10 at no charge for users who rely on the operating system's assistive technologies -- specifically, individuals with significant vision, hearing, dexterity, language or learning needs.

If you're lucky enough to have no such needs, well, it'll just be our little secret. Because Microsoft requires no proof that you're a user of assistive-technology products, meaning pretty much anyone who wants Windows 10 can get Windows 10.

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If you missed the free Windows 10 upgrade, you can still get it -- even if you don't use assistive technologies. (We won't tell if you don't.)


And the process couldn't be much simpler: Head to the Windows 10 upgrade page and click Upgrade Now. That'll download a small executable you'll run to download Windows 10 in its entirety and perform the upgrade.

There's nothing different about this version of Windows or the license that accompanies it. It's pretty much identical to what everyone got prior to July 29.

I'm trying to decide if there's some ethical reason not to do this. Because, to be honest, I just did it yesterday -- I'd forgotten to update one of my kids' older laptops and was kicking myself for having missed the cutoff date. It's not like I deprived another user of getting something they truly need; Microsoft hasn't indicated a fixed number of licenses available or anything like that.

Indeed, the offer has no termination date, at least for the moment. According to Microsoft's FAQ: " We have not announced an end date of the free upgrade offer for customers using assistive technology. We will make a public announcement prior to ending the offer."

So go forth and upgrade -- while you still can.