Microsoft’s free Windows 10 upgrade path works for anyone who has Windows 7 or 8.1. You get a little Windows 10 upgrade icon in your system tray; you click on it and accept the upgrade, and get smoothly upgraded to Windows 10 for free. It doesn’t matter if you started out with an unauthorized copy of Windows; you end up with a legitimate Windows 10 copy.
What if you don’t want to take the upgrade path to Windows 10, though? You may have viruses, or other problems on your existing installation that could come over to your nice new Windows 10-enabled computer. Couldn’t you accept Microsoft’s free Windows 10 offer, but do a clean install, instead? The answer is, you can.
Doing it the regular way seems to fail
Many have tried installing Windows 10 the conventional way, and have come up against obstacles. They’ve downloaded a copy of Windows 10 from Microsoft (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10), and tried installing it. Unfortunately, the free Windows 10 offer isn’t easy to activate by this route. Windows asks for a product key.
If you have a valid copy of Windows 7 or 8.1, though, you could go on the Microsoft website to do a product key conversion so that you have a valid Windows 10 key. It’ is, nevertheless, a troublesome process,. There is a much simpler method available — a shortcut.
First, upgrade to Windows 10, anyway
Start out by simply accepting the upgrade offer once it shows on your system tray in Windows 7 or 8.1. Go through with the upgrade to Windows 10. Once Windows 10 installs, you will find that your old product key has been automatically upgraded to a new Windows 10 product key. You only need to copy it down, and use it when you do a clean install with the Windows 10 installation files that you’ve downloaded.
There is an even easier way
If you don’t know how to find your product key, it’s simple. There are any number of software products that can retrieve it for you.
In most cases, you won’t need a product key, at all. Once you upgrade to Windows 10 on a PC, Microsoft stores your PC’s serial numbers. When you install a fresh copy of Windows 10, you only need to hit Skip on the product key page when it shows. Once installation completes, Windows will get online to Microsoft, retrieve your activation number, and simply activate you automatically. There’s no hassle.