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Free Windows 10 Upgrades to End in July: What Happens if You Miss the Deadline?

Have you upgraded your Windows 7 or 8/8.1 computer to Windows 10 yet? If not, and you think you would like to, your chance to do so for free is about to expire. As of May 5, Microsoft has announced plans for free Windows 10 upgrades to end in July. The good news for many Windows users is that the annoying pop-ups asking them to upgrade will be a distant memory once the deadline for upgrading passes; the potentially bad news is those who miss the deadline will be required to shell out more than $100 to do so down the road. To help you understand why Microsoft is putting a stop to free Windows 10 upgrades and what happens if you miss out, here’s everything you need to know.

Were free Windows 10 upgrades a success?

During the hype up to its Windows 10 launch in 2015, Microsoft set a goal for installing Windows 10 on 1 billion devices around the world by 2017. In the 10 months since its July 29, 2015 release, Microsoft says 300 million devices have installed the operating system. This number is just a third of the projected 2017 goal, but it’s likely there will be a rush in upgrades as the deadline approaches, and as businesses around the world upgrade their computer systems (and people purchase new devices with Windows 10 preinstalled), the number of devices operating on Windows 10 will undoubtedly increase. Overall, despite the many complaints made about Windows 10 as an operating system and the annoyance of the constant pop-up notifications pressuring users to upgrade, the free upgrades can certainly be viewed as a success — especially compared to the failure of the much-maligned Windows 8.

What happens if I miss the deadline to upgrade my device?

Once the July 29 deadline to upgrade is reached, Microsoft will expect those who wish to upgrade a device or purchase a full copy of Windows 10 Home to pay $119. Those upgrading from Windows 7 or 8/8.1 Pro will pay $199 for Windows 10 Pro. This is a steep price to pay, so those who have yet to upgrade that think they might want to should make sure to take some time to do so before July 29. For detailed instructions on how to upgrade your PC, we’ve got a step-by-step guide here. Those who don’t wish to upgrade and are sick of dealing with pop-ups and an ever-present Windows 10 icon in their taskbar can breathe a sigh of relief — Microsoft promises those will all vanish after the deadline passes.

Will Microsoft offer free upgrades again in the future?

Although the official line right now is that upgrades will cost anyone who doesn’t take advantage of the free offer by the anniversary deadline, it is possible that Microsoft will offer free upgrades again at some point. It would be of help to those who might not have realized there was a deadline to upgrade, and also boost Microsoft’s numbers toward its 1 billion device goal. However, it’s not a wise idea to bank on future free Windows 10 upgrades, so if you want the new operating system at no cost, it’s now or never. It’s also a good idea, in general, to update and upgrade your programs, apps and operating systems to keep your devices as secure as possible.


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