Windows 10 Upgrade and Installation Frequently Asked Questions

Windows 10 Upgrade and Installation Frequently Asked Questions

EDITOR'S NOTE: WE HAVE AN UPDATED VERSION OF THIS FAQ, ORGANIZED BY TOPIC AND WITH ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, RIGHT HERE.

We have had plenty of time to pick apart and interpret Microsoft’s recent blog post about the Windows Insider Program as well as the free upgrade offer to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and 8.1 users.

Gabe Aul, our intrepid Ring Master, and his team went back to the blog drawing board today in an attempt to sort out that massive amount of confusion that has been generated over this past weekend relating to Windows 10, free upgrades, genuine upgrades and the like.

In order to help convey some of this clarity we have put together this list in FAQ style and will provide simple YES or NO answers to the questions we have come up with. These scenarios are based on content Microsoft has provided in official sources such as the Upcoming changes to Windows 10 Insider Preview builds blog post which was updated twice since it was published last Friday (20 and 22 June). The other source we have used is the Windows 10 Free upgrade offer site.

Note: These questions are targeted towards consumer users of Windows.

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Gotchas

If I use a retail license of Windows 7 or 8.1, which can be transferred from one machine to another, to upgrade to Windows 10 for free can I then transfer that underlying Windows 7/8.1 license to another machine and upgrade it to Windows 10 as well since Windows 7/8.1 is no longer in use on the other machine? (23 June 2015)

NO

Is it true that the free upgrade to Windows 10 retains the properties of the license that was on the upgraded Windows 7 or 8.1 system? In other words if I am on an OEM system from a manufacturer such as Dell, HP, ASUS, Acer, etc. then the system that was upgraded with the free Windows 10 upgrade is still licensed as an OEM system? What if I bought a retail license that was purchased online or in a store - does the system upgraded to the free Windows 10 upgrade remain licensed as a retail license? (23 June 2015)

YES

If I purchased my copy of Windows 7 or 8/8.1 as a retail license from a store (brick and mortar or online/digital) and I upgrade to the free Windows 10 can I transfer that to a new computer under the retail licensing? (23 June 2015)

YES

If I built my own computer and purchased an OEM licenses for that hardware from a store (either brick and mortar or online) then does that OEM license transfer to the Windows 10 upgrade after 29 July? (23 June 2015)

YES

Can I transfer that OEM based Windows 10 upgrade to another computer? (23 June 2015)

NO

Does the Windows 10 free upgrade offer only last 12 months from 29 July 2015 to 29 July 2016? (22 June 2015)

YES

If I am still running Windows 95, Milenium (Me), XP or Vista on my computer can I get a free upgrade to Windows 10? (22 June 2015)

NO

I have a system running Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 – am I eligible for the free Windows 10 upgrade? (22 June 2015)

YES

I have a system running Windows 8 with the Windows 8.1 Update installed – can I get a free upgrade to Windows 10? (22 June 2015)

YES

I am a Windows 10 Insider can I upgrade to Windows 10 RTM for free on 29 July from the preview builds and stop participating in the Windows Insider Program? (22 June 2015)

NO

Will that copy of Windows 10 RTM that upgraded my preview build be a genuine copy of Windows 10? (22 June 2015)

NO

Is it true that if I want to continue as a Windows Insider I can install a current build of Windows 10 preview, such as 10130, and use my Microsoft Account with it and then get upgraded to Windows 10 RTM on 29 July? (22 June 2015)

YES

Will I continue to get new builds of Windows 10 after 29 July if I choose to remain in the Insider program? (22 June 2015)

YES

Will those builds ever expire? (22 June 2015)

YES

If I upgrade to the final version of Windows 10 anytime during the first year from a system with a genuine version of Windows 7 (with Service Pack 1) or Windows 8 (with Windows 8.1 Update) installed can I reinstall Windows 10? (22 June 2015)

YES

Can I do a clean install of Windows 10 in the previous situation as well? (22 June 2015)

YES

If I am currently running a non-genuine version of Windows 7 (with Service Pack 1) or Windows 8 (with Windows 8.1 update) can I upgrade to Windows 10? (22 June 2015)

NO

If I have a computer that I just built and I do not own any version of Windows for it can I join the Windows Insider Program and install Windows 10 RTM on it before or after 29 July 2015? (22 June 2015)

YES

Will that version of Windows then be considered genuine? (22 June 2015)

NO

Can I transfer my Windows 10 installation to another computer after getting the free upgrade? (22 June 2015)

NO

If I opt out of the Windows Insider program before 29 July 2016 can I still use the free Windows upgrade if my device had a genuine copy of Windows 7 (with Service Pack 1) or Windows 8 (with Windows 8.1 Update) before I used it for the Insider program? (22 June 2015)

YES

If I opt out of the Windows Insider program after 30 July 2016 do I need to buy a new Windows 10 license if my device had a genuine copy of Windows 7 (with Service Pack 1) or Windows 8 (with Windows 8.1 Update) before I used it for the Insider program? (22 June 2015)

YES

Do I need to use a Microsoft Account to upgrade my Windows 7 (with Service Pack 1) or Windows 8 (with windows 8.1 Update) system to Windows 10? (22 June 2015)

NO

My name is Blackbeard, some call me Salty Sam. Can I get a free upgrade to Windows 10? (22 June 2015)

NO

Can Microsoft ever make its messaging completely clear? (22 June 2015)

NO

Have any ideas of your own to add to this list? Comment below with it and we might add it to the article with appropriate credit.

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