Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 10, has been out since July 2015 and can be downloaded through Windows Update or through the Windows Store on your device. If you have never installed Windows 10 before, you might find yourself asking, What is my product key? In this article, we will look at three ways to obtain your free Windows 10 product key and get your computer running Microsoft’s latest operating system today! How to Obtain a Windows 10 Product Key
1) Microsoft won’t be providing any more product keys
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Although you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free, Microsoft is no longer providing free product keys. This means that there’s no such thing as a free Windows 10 key anymore; you must pay for it in some way. So, how can you get a free copy of Windows? For starters, check with your current computer manufacturer. Many companies are now giving away or selling copies of Windows with their systems. In addition, if you have an older version of Windows already installed on your system, you may be able to use Microsoft’s tool to help retrieve a valid product key. Finally, if all else fails and you really want a free copy of Windows 10 without having to spend any money at all, consider using Linux instead. The popular operating system Ubuntu comes pre-installed with both LibreOffice and Firefox—the latter being an excellent alternative browser for those who don’t like Edge.
2) Use a Windows 7 or 8.1 key
Though Microsoft offers free upgrades for Windows 10, that’s only if you have a genuine and activated version of Windows 7 or 8.1. If you don’t—say, because you have an older computer running XP or Vista—you can still obtain a free copy of Windows 10 by using one of your old product keys with Microsoft’s upgrade tool. In order to do so, you’ll need to download Microsoft’s Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Once it downloads, launch it and choose Upgrade This PC Now.
3) Use your previous OS disk
If you already have an operating system on your computer, you can use that disk to install Windows 10. Click Get started and then click Use your device’s disk. If your system isn’t activated, enter your product key. Make sure you have enough free space on your hard drive (at least 16GB) before continuing. It may take several hours for everything to load—but once it does, you will be able to make any necessary drivers or software tweaks.
4) Request from Microsoft
The easiest way to get your hands on a free product key is to request one from Microsoft. The company makes them available for download at no cost, though you may have to wait for Microsoft to send you an e-mail with your code in it. So yes, technically you’re not obtaining it at no cost—you’re just downloading it directly from Microsoft and not paying for it upfront.
5) Legally buy an upgrade copy
Rather than trying to get a product key for free, you can also buy an upgrade copy of Windows 10. If you have an old version of Windows installed, you should be able to purchase an upgrade at your favorite retailer or through Microsoft’s website for just $119.99 (at time of writing). You’ll receive a digital download that will change your installation from either 7 or 8 straight over to Windows 10. This process is about as fast and easy as it gets when dealing with major OS upgrades.
6) Purchase online for around $100
Instead of purchasing a new operating system, you can purchase an upgrade online for around $100. This gives you access to newer features and programs that older versions don’t have. If you already own a previous version of Windows, then it is likely that your product key will work with Windows 10. If not, then there are some free tools available to help recover your product key if it has been lost or misplaced.
7) Use Chrome’s developer tools
Google Chrome has powerful developer tools, and you can use them to crack open your laptop or desktop’s registry. Just head over to any website and press F12 (you can also right-click on your browser’s address bar, select Inspect Element, then click on Console) in order to bring up Chrome’s Developer Tools window. From there, click on Network and make sure that Preserve Logs: checked.
8) Download the software development kit (SDK)
If you’re developing your own application and want it to work with Windows 10, you can download Microsoft’s Software Development Kit for free. This kit includes all of the tools you need to develop, test, and submit your application for inclusion in Microsoft’s store. Note that if you do plan on submitting an app, make sure that you read through Microsoft’s guidelines first—there are some strict rules about what is and isn’t allowed on their platform.
9) Get your hands on the command prompt
Step 1 – If you’re running an older version of Windows, follow these instructions: Step 2 – Get your hands on Microsoft’s official product key finder. It’s called ShowKeyPlus, and it can run from a flash drive or CD. Step 3 – Follow these instructions on how to use ShowKeyPlus. Read them very carefully; there are no in-program instructions! Step 4 – Once you have your free product key, write down all of its characters. Be sure to include dashes (-) and any letters that come before or after numbers (e.g., OEMxxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx). The final string will look something like OEM1234567890ABCDEFG123456789ABCDEFG with many blank spaces between each set of characters.
10) Make sure you have backups
Before attempting anything, make sure you have backups of your current computer configuration. This means backing up any applications you need and documents that you don’t want to lose. You can use an external hard drive or online storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive to store those files. If you’re in doubt about how much space you need, try running Disk Cleanup and see if it frees up some space. This will help ensure that nothing important is lost during the upgrade process. If you don’t have installation media: First, download and install Windows 10 on another PC or virtual machine. Then connect your PC to another PC via USB and transfer your product key from one machine to another. (If you’re not sure how to do that, we’ve got instructions here.) The only thing left to do is enter that product key into your new PC when prompted by Setup after booting from installation media.