How to reserve a free copy of Windows 10 for PC [Tip]

Windows 10 is coming out this summer and Microsoft is offering free copies to loyal partners who already own Windows OS. Some people who are already running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 have received an email from the Redmond company about how to reserve theirs. However, not all people have received the email. As long as you have a copy of Windows 7 or 8.1 activated on your computer, you can reserve your spot for the Windows 10 upgrade manually instead of waiting around for the email and continuing to drop further down the list of names. Here’s how:

REQUIREMENTS

  • You must have at least Windows 7 with service pack 1 installed. If you are running Windows 7 but don’t have service pack 1, you can easily install it now without any charge from Windows update.
  • Those of you running Windows 8 will need to upgrade to Windows 8.1. The 8.1 software update is available from the same Windows update utility. Once done, you want to make sure you’ve updated 8.1 again to the KB3035583 update which arrived in March. Find that here. Alternatively, enable Windows Automatic Updates and you will have the requirements already installed. Everyone else is good to go.

HOW TO RESERVE YOUR COPY OF WINDOWS 10

1. Once you have updated to the software requirements mentioned above, you will see a Windows icon available from the taskbar and a new Window opening up that looks just like the one featured below.

Windows 10

2. Click on the “learn more” option on the screen with the blue link just after it states they are offering Windows 10 free for a limited time. Continue clicking through the screens until you get to the last screen asking for your email address.

3. Enter your email address. Those with a few different email address can enter any email. It doesn’t have to be the one you think might be associated with Microsoft or a current Windows OS. Just make it one where you will get pinged and can access.

4. It will now say “send confirmation” after you give your details. You must click the link and confirm that from inside your email account.

You are now registered in their system and have Windows 10 reserved for its release during July this year. You can also cancel that reservation by clicking the same Windows icon from the taskbar. Now click the three lined icon in the top corner, followed by “cancel reservation.”

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  • Don Wilcox

    Mathew,

    I do not understand your instruction: “You can head over to the Windows Update….”.

    I have run Windows Update. I have the two required updates installed.

    I have Win 8.1 with all updates, important and recommended) installed (except Silverlight and Skype)

    How do I apply for a reservation? Or confirm my old reservation is still valid?

    I ran the reservewin10.cmd file and got nothing but error messages… cannot open…., cannot find… and similar.

    I also tried to download the dropbox file to try the script method but dropbox gives and error 500 message saying something is wrong.

    Microsoft Central has several links on hot reserve win10 but they all give directions to run the updates I already have installed.

    I guess Microsoft didn’t anticipate anybody doing a fresh install of 8.1 and the updates to get rid of all the quirks that over a years worth of use induces in a system.

    If I don’t have a reservation can I still download the ISO and do an install via USB drive?

  • Mathew

    Hi Don,

    Sorry to hear about your troubles.

    You can head over to the Windows Update, apply for a reservation and if it already has your email on file it probably won’t work and it will tell you the email is already in use (just a guess). If you need help on where to find Windows Update, please leave your Windows version.

    Please check these other solutions if that didn’t help. http://www.windowscentral.com/cant-reserve-your-free-copy-windows-10-fix

  • Don Wilcox

    I had Win8.1, got the Win10 reservation update, got the email and had it reserved. I did a system recovery to “out of the box” state and ran Windows Update several times to get all the updates installed. KB2919355 is installed. So is KB3035583. I do not have the update icon in the notification area. I did not get a new email.

    Am I still reserved to get Win 10? How do I check to be sure? How do I redo the process to make sure I get the update?

    Thanks,

    Don Wilcox

  • Mathew

    [@GP] It is, and I’ll give you the guide on how to upgrade today. Stay tuned!

  • GP

    Almost here, innit?

  • Mathew

    [@Nick] Certainly no rush Nick. You make some valid points. It’s my understanding that by reserving your copy you are allowing Microsoft to better prepare your machine to avoid the mad rush when released. Most OS lovers usually cannot wait to get their mitts on new software, especially mobile software updates that are often knowingly installed during beta stages and so on. There are those who really dislike Windows 7 and 8 and cannot wait to leave. Many would argue Windows 8.1 is extremely buggy anyway. So, if you are keen to give it a try and you were planning on installing Windows 10 right away, this guide should help. But, as you say, certainly no harm in waiting if you are not that keen to give it a go.

  • Nick

    What’s the rush? First rule of new operating systems is never, EVER, install one with a zero at the end of the version number. The Windows 10 update will be free for one year after its release.

    I’ve been in the Tech/Insider Preview program since October, and given the most recent preview build, I have serious doubts as to Microsoft’s ability to deliver a fully ready for prime time operating system in less than two months. My advice is to sit back and wait for at least six months after the July 29 release before even considering updating a production machine.

  • jim

    This article is well worth reading. I will wait for the ISO before I upgrade.

    MICROSOFT WINDOWS 10 ISO VERSION DEMANDED
    http://www.lighthousenewsdaily.com/microsoft-windows-10-iso-version-demanded/872/

  • John

    I got the icon in the last update, but when I click on it it’s totally blank. Something is obviously blocking it but what I have no idea?

  • CJ Cotter

    To get the notification about windows 10, I did the following:

    1) Check all the boxes in Control Panel / Windows Update / Change Settings

    2) Don’t know if I have KB3035583 installed or not, and the update list is too long for me to find it. So, I downloaded the manual update from here:
    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_update/download-kb3035583-without-using-windows-update/a9fded97-a62a-4f24-9168-3cac1b30a878

    Click on the download link contained in “Most Helpful Reply”. After installing it, I robooted, just in case.

    3) Go to this page and scroll halfway down, until you reach

    “Update: Reddit user FearGX_ explained that you can force the update to do its thing. We’ve reformatted his instructions below”. Follow the 3-step instructions.

    http://venturebeat.com/2015/05/31/microsoft-starts-prompting-windows-7-and-windows-8-users-to-reserve-their-free-windows-10-upgrade/

    My “launchtrayprocess” trigger was set for 8AM, so I reset it for “At log on”.

    4) Shortly after doing this, the Microsoft icon appeared in the clock tray. The pop-up notification says “Get Windows 10”. I clicked on the icon, which prompted me for an email address. Shortly after doing that, I got an email which said “Congratulations on reserving your free upgrade to Windows 10.”

    5) Optional. Now that Microsoft has my email, I’m undoing all the steps above.

  • Sputnik

    @mags

    Concerning the decision to upgrade or not to Windows 10, for the moment I think it would be a good idea to upgrade but also to take care the way we do it.

    This is the way I will surely proceed :

    1) Before upgrading to Windows 10, I will do a backup image of my Windows 7 as it is before the upgrade and keep preciously this image.

    2) Upgrade to Windows 10, which will be an upgrade done directly over Windows 7 : all the installed softwares will be preserved. I will also do another backup image of Windows 10 as it is directly after this upgrade and keep preciously this image. I will make sure that the Windows 10 copy I will have installed will have been registered with any key supplied by Microsoft, if there is one.

    3) I will thereafter do a clean install of Windows 10 (that will be possible, from what I has read elsewhere) and do another backup image of this clean install and again I will keep preciously this new image.

    From there, I will have the choice to do whatever I want : return to my old Windows 7 if I am not satisfied of Windows 10, I will also be able to reinstall Windows 10 with all my actual softwares or keep the last clean installation of Windows 10.

    An easy to do is to have two bootable principal partitions : one which serves as our main OS and the other partition which serves as a test partition or, in the actual situation, a partition on which Windows 10 would be. At this moment we would be able to enter in our regular Windows 7 OS anytime we wish but also enter in the Windows 10 partition to test it and/or to slowly configure it and install all the regular softwares we use.

    This is the way I proceed and it is very convenient. I also have developped a very elaborated system of backup images which would be very much too complicated to speak of here.

  • mags

    [@Sputnik] “My actual personal belief about the future licensing of Windows 10 is that, as it has been told by some, there will be no more different Microsoft OSs like XP, Vista, 7, 8, etc., but a unique OS which will be continuously updated and upgraded.”

    I was going to say something similar to you, but now will back up what you stated. I remember reading somewhere (can’t remember where) the MS did make that announcement at some conference or something similar that that is what they are planning for the future. There will be no more Windows OS but a different type of OS. This is being done much for the same reasons you outlined.

    I still have yet to decide if I will upgrade to Win 10 or not. I’m still using Win 7 on a desktop and like it, however I’m considering buy an Acer Switch (laptop/tablet) with Win 8.1 which I may update to Win 10.

  • Sputnik

    My actual personal belief about the future licensing of Windows 10 is that, as it has been told by some, there will be no more different Microsoft OSs like XP, Vista, 7, 8, etc., but a unique OS which will be continuously updated and upgraded.

    I also think that there will not be any annual fee, but that every license will be linked to the hardware on which it will have been first installed : in fact, even if we will maybe still be able to find retail boxes of Windows 10, it will not be a “retail box license” that you will have but a kind of “OEM license” which is linked to the hardware.

    I think that if it is the way Microsoft intend to go, it will be because :

    1) Microsoft is maybe tired of all the negative feelings of the customers towards each new version of the OS which is not already launched, but considering the flops of Vista and 8 it is normal that the customers have these negative feelings. In the future, the updates and the upgrades being free as long as you keep your original hardware, the customers will be less inclined to complain about the changes because they will get them for “free”.

    2) Because the license would be linked to the hardware, Microsoft would maybe sell more licenses because people change their computer at each 4 or 5 years. The price of the license would be a little less than the actual price of a retail version and nearer of the price of an OEM license, what the new license would, in fact, be.

  • jim

    [@Mike S.] Mike, Thanks & Thanks

  • Mike S.

    [@jim] And Jim, just come across right now, at a Microsoft Q&A forum:

    “I have multiple computers, do have to download Windows 10 on each computer?

    You can download a .ISO file and upgrade each computer offline. The ISO should be available by the time Windows 10 launches.”

    Personally, I would prefer this to an auto-download/install system. We’ll see what develops over the next 2 months.

  • Mike S.

    [@jim] Jim, I believe that I read that if you install the Win10 upgrade on one of your PCs, when you are upgrading other of your PCs, the upgrade process can use what was downloaded earlier rather than downloading the 3GB upgrade download anew. But I believe that this is done automatically by the upgrade process rather than the user him/herself doing something manually; presumably, the upgrade process inquires as to this and then takes the necessary action (including by directing the user to indicate where on one’s network the original device can be found?). I assume that further info. as to this will be forthcoming, as the release date gets closer.

  • Mike S.

    [@Mathew] Thank you, Mathew, but that’s not how the process has worked for me. Clicking on Windows Update has done nothing for me as to the Win10 update process; rather, a Windows Notification appeared on its own schedule in the upper right of my screen, stating that I then could click it for more information as to Win10 upgrading.

    Regardless, the upgrade process is not a “normal” Windows update and proceeds separately, allowing one to “reserve” the upgrade (whatever that means–the upgrade will be available otherwise), allowing one to opt out at any time, and allowing one to install the upgrade on one’s own schedule. I believe that this is what Tommy was inquiring about.

  • jim

    I have Win 7 x64 Pro, but there is no icon to click in my taskbar. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-faq tells me that the icon will not be provided to PCs that are “not set to received updates automatically.” I do not automatically receive updates because the early updates can have bugs that take some time to sort out. I usually wait a few weeks before I do the Windows updates. I will try to set my Windows Update to receive updates automatically a few days before 7/29.

    Does anyone know if I can download Win 10 once, and then install it on different computers?

  • Mathew

    [@Mike S.] He will receive an invitation to install Windows 10 after clicking the Windows Update in the Control Panel.

  • Mike S.

    [@Tommy] No, you will not get Win10 as a normal Windows update through the Windows Update service–Win10 is not seen as a regular update and needs to be signed up for or downloaded separately.

  • Mike S.

    [@Mathew] Thanks, Mathew, I would just take care as to Win11–no one currently knows, as far as I am aware, how it will be marketed: as Microsoft currently sells Windows; under a “subscription” (whatever that means!); or however. There has been far too much misinformation otherwise online, especially from the Microsoft haters and conspiracy nuts. And Win10 hasn’t even been issued yet and still is being developed, in a mad dash!

  • Mike S.

    One word as to “reserving” a free Win10 copy:

    While there is absolutely no need to do so (as you can get a free Win10 upgrade at any time for the first year after the OS issues), if you do so, Microsoft’s servers will download the OS to your PC or device at some point before or including July 29, the official release date–take care, you will need 3GB of space for the download; then, once the OS formally releases, you will receive, around July 29, a notification that the OS has been downloaded and is ready to be installed, either then or at a later time (at the user’s choice)–as part of this process, any revisions that have been made to Win10 since it had been downloaded to your device will be downloaded, so that your device will have the most up-to-date version. Presumably, this will allow Microsoft’s servers to download Win10 to people’s devices in a staggered format before the official release, prevented a major July 29 crunch (which there likely will be, anyway!).

  • Mathew

    [@Mike S.] Hello, Mike. Yes, I agree. I was trying very simply to put it a way our non-native English speaking friend Kikin could understand in their own mind since they were talking about potential payments in the future

  • Mike S.

    As far as I am aware, no one–likely including Microsoft!–knows what will happen with Win11. At least for the near future, anything said is pure speculation, absent other info., or leaks, from the Big M.

    As to Win10, once you get your free upgrade to Win10, done at any time during the first year after the OS issues, you will have it for free for the life of your device and with free ongoing updates, security downloads, and support and the like from Microsoft. Despite what the conspiracy theorists like to speculate, it is and remains free-free-free, just as if you had purchased it.

    The seeming reasoning: Microsoft’s Windows world is fractured with many different versions, in part caused by Microsoft’s issuance of a revised OS every 3 or so years, the not inexpensive charge for the OS revisions, and Microsoft’s having issued out some perceived lesser effective OS revisions over the past few years. Win10 and the free upgrade offer is an opportunity for Microsoft to try to get the majority of its Windows users onto a single Windows version and for Microsoft to try to consolidate its OS monopoly (and to prevent erosion).

  • Mathew

    [@kikin] To the best of my Saturday morning knowledge, Windows 10 will always stay free if you buy it within the first year. Meaning if you buy it free then you wont ever have to pay anything. It’s Windows 11 that will start having subscription fees (potentially).

  • kikin

    After that to obtain Windows 10 of this promotion, will improvement and security updates (Windows Update) remain free? .. how long these updates will be free? .. .or we may only get Window 10, but when is wish to perform updates to this new operating system, will have to pay? Sorry for my little knowledge of the language! ..Thank you!

  • Mike S.

    Don’t need to wait at all, simply sign up with Microsoft directly for Win10, at:

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-10-upgrade

    Of course, there’s no need to do so, as the free upgrade will be available for a full year after Win10 comes out.

    AND, there’s every reason to wait a few weeks or months before upgrading: to allow Microsoft and users to identify and fix initial kinks in the OS. Microsoft seems so intent in rushing Win10 out next month, even though the OS currently still very much is in the development stage, that I fear whether it will be fully ready for intro. next month. I hope so, but . . . .

  • Mathew

    [@Tommy] Yeah, you can just wait for the update I think. Whether it will be less buggy or not I’m not sure.

  • Tommy

    Wont I get it through “Windows update”? Should I just wait for that, so a lot of the bugs are gone by the time Windows Update gives it to me?