Getting Windows 10 for free through the free update assistant, which Microsoft enabled on PCs with valid Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 licenses due to its launching, officially ended on July 29, 2016, 12 months after the OS was made available. However, it is still possible for you to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free thanks to the assistive technologies.
As you might remember, when it was scheduling the end of the free Windows 10 update, Microsoft announced an exception for users with visual and hearing problems needing the assistive technologies. We are talking about the ‘accessibility’ features, like the narrator, the text-to-speech feature, the high contrast, the magnifier, the special settings for the mouse and keyboard, and other visual options.
Users with visual or hearing problems could get the free Windows 10 update through this official webpage without having to prove that they actually needed the abovementioned features. Once the update is installed, the accessibility options can be managed just like in the ‘standard’ version, so we can even turn them off.
The thing is that this method is still perfectly working after the new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, also without verifying that the assistive technologies are needed. You certainly need a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license to activate the system, but they are less expensive. Although Windows 7’s commercial lifespan has ended, its licenses are still being sold at really low prices, and if you already have a Windows 7 license, then the Windows 10 update is totally free.
The explanation for keeping this exception for assistive technologies is crystal clear. Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 the reference OS for desktop PCs, and this can be done by making it easier for any Windows 7 user to get the upgrade, even if it is by using this ‘legal loophole’.