How to: Download Windows 10 Free (Extended) After Deadline

John Lister's picture

Just days after the deadline for free upgrades to Windows 10 passed (July 29, 2016), the first Windows 10 loophole has emerged. Reports suggest that users with disabilities can still claim the free Windows 10 upgrade, but proving eligibility appears to be nothing more than an honor check.

For most users, the deadline for the free Windows 10 upgrade offer has passed and attempting to download and install Windows 10 from Microsoft's website now brings up only an option to buy the system, which costs $120 for the standard Home edition.

However, Microsoft also has a separate page for people who use assistive technologies. These are special features in Windows that help people with disabilities, for example, by reading menu text aloud, automatically adjusting text to larger sizes, or using a magnifier.

Getting the free Windows 10 upgrade through this page is still possible as Microsoft says it will be made available while it "continues our efforts to improve the Windows 10 experience for people who use these technologies."

Free Windows 10 Download Extended: No Eligibility Checks

The extension isn't restricted to any specific assistive technology. Instead, users simply click an 'Upgrade Now' button underneath a sentence reading "Yes, I use assistive technologies and I am ready for my free upgrade to Windows 10." There's no process of verifying whether the user actually does use the technologies and thus whether they are officially eligible for the upgrade. (Source:

Analysts are divided on why exactly Microsoft is making the offer. One argument is that it's a concession that Microsoft, and just as importantly third party software developers, haven't done enough yet to make sure Windows 10 works as well as possible for people with disabilities.

Microsoft May Be Looking Other Way

Another argument is that the 'loophole' is a way for Microsoft to start pushing people towards paying for the upgrade while still leaving room open for late upgrades among people who wouldn't be willing to pay. That would certainly fit in to a business model which no longer relies on or assumes that many people will pay for upgrade licenses - especially in an era where many users are using smartphones and use 'free apps' daily.

Other users have reported one of the oldest tricks in the book, which involves temporarily changing the Windows system date settings to before the free upgrade deadline, which reportedly also works. However, there's some debate about whether this really is the case, with a suggestion it may simply have been down to Microsoft keeping the offer open until the end of July 29th had passed in all time zones. (Source:

How to: Download Windows 10 Free (Extended) After Deadline

You can still get the free Windows 10 offer for Windows 7 or 8.1 device by going the following:

  1. Go to the webpage entitled "Windows 10 free upgrade for customers who use assistive technologies."

  2. Next, look for and click on the "Upgrade now" button, then download and run the file to begin the upgrade.

  3. A series of screens will be displayed; follow the on-screen instructions until Windows 10 is installed.

Backups Strongly Recommended Before Upgrade

It is HIGHLY recommended that anyone interested in upgrading to Windows 10 do a disk image backup of their system before proceeding with the actual upgrade. Reasons for a disk image backup include:

  1. Easily restore your system to a working state: if Windows 10 fails to install during the upgrade, it could leave your system unbootable. With a disk image backup, you can restore to your previous operating system, should Windows 10 fail to install properly. Additionally: if Windows 10 becomes corrupt after it is installed (which happens more often thank you think!), you can use a disk image backup to restore to your previous operating system if you need to.
  2. You can also restore to your previous operating system beyond the 30-day limit imposed by Microsoft. After Windows 10 is installed, your previous operating system will be removed from the system after 30 days; therefore, it will no longer be possible to roll back to Windows 7 or 8 past the deadline. However, if you use a disk image backup, there is no time limit and you can roll back at any point.

Please note that regular backups are NOT the same as disk image backups, which backup your operating system AND user files. If you have never done a disk image before, please contact Dennis to help you with this task (use the link in the proceeding section). Also note that it is possible to do a disk image backup without having a separate hard drive designated for backups.

Help upgrading to Windows 10: Using 1-on-1 Support, From Dennis

If anyone requires assistance in upgrading to Windows 10, including: a hardware and software compatibility examination, disk image backup, install of Windows 10, and modifications to the operating system post install (including resolving outstanding compatibility issues and making it work more like Windows 7) - simply contact Dennis and he will be glad to assist using his remote desktop support service.

If you're not sure Windows 10 is right for you - simply contact Dennis and set up a free 15 minute consultation. Dennis will be happy to answer all your questions and concerns regarding Windows 10, and to make sure it's right for you before proceeding with the upgrade.

What's Your Opinion?

Is it ethical to take advantage of the upgrade loophole even if you don't use the assistive technologies? Will Microsoft crack down if too many people appear to be upgrading this way? Or is the offer left 'open to abuse' by design?

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Dennis Faas's picture

I've always wondered how Microsoft was going to segway from a free Windows 10 to one that people have to pay for - especially for those who were late getting to the party. In the weeks leading up to the deadline, the website traffic doubled and emails easily quadrupled, full of Windows 10 questions. Nonetheless, I had a very strong feeling that there would be a loophole to the free offer, though I certainly don't think it will last forever - that's for sure.

clay_3833's picture

I upgrade to Win 10 on my laptop and desktop some time back. I still have it on my desktop, but finally gave up using it on my laptop. Three times in a row, after various intervals of time, it crashed with an unrecoverable start menu error requiring many hours of work with new clean installs. Needless to say this finally led to a Win 7 reinstall. While I have not had similar problems of that severity on my desktop, flakey things still go on such as sound sometimes working and sometimes not working, hyperlinks that stop working for no discernible reason, print instruction that occasionally go nowhere, etc. In my experience Win 10 is just buggy as hell.

Bottom line is that while there are many things I like about Win 10, I am really gun shy about using it on these machines essential to getting my work done. Maybe in another year when Microsoft finally has this act together.

Navy vet's picture

Tried it several times, then the installation stopped at 99%. Ended up doing a clean install of Windows 7.

ecash's picture

The 99% bug is interesting, as a friend just let his system Set over night and it finished..
TRY not to do a LIVE really many people jumping onto windows.

I found that doing an UPDATE first, was NOT a good thing..Slow also.
Just do the Install from DVD/FLASH...and it will finish everything in the end.

Jim's picture

I made an image backup with Macrium Reflect Free, then upgraded (just to get the digital entitlement license for a possible future upgrade), then attempted to downgrade back to Win 7. Got a verification error in the image backup...oh fudge! But for whatever reason, after rebooting, the image verified ok and I was able to downgrade again. Phew! Lesson learned - verify your image backups before you need to use them!

ecash's picture

Dont try to go thru Win customer service. ITS CUSTOMER SERVICE, not a tech department.

Win 10 ISNT done yet...I hope not..
There are a few problems floating around in it..I wonder why.
I have the VIA HD audio, and the drivers Win10 wants, are MS built, NOT the ones VIA has.
Allot of programs that worked to Augment the drivers, like Audio control programs..DONT WORK.(*not for VIA anyway)
Win10 installed the NEWEST video driver, for my Rad 7800..Ummm...NOT nice.

Going to the APP store..
there are not any real apps for desktops.. These are PROGRAMS..
I want an app to monitor PARTS of my computer..Network, and CPU..
I had a few gadgets on Win7..that did these things..Even upgraded to recent years..GONE.
Tried a weather program..thought it would sit on my desktop and display..NOT really.

Go look at the apps for Android..Anythi8ng and everything you want..Be careful as there is JUNK in there also.

It really feels like development STOPPED, and we will soon have a win11..

For those into conspiracy:
WINDOWS does not want GAMES on the PC..
They want you to buy a console.
They wish to Control Everything that is USED/PLACE/PLAYED on your computer..(Atari 2600 days)
To much control over the OS, only leads to a developer cant develope Fast enough nor create what the customer NEEDS the way he wants..

Im waiting for the First Console virus to popup..
The way windows is going, with an interactive, Phone/Pad/Desktop/Console interface...this could be VERY bad..

jmcd72244's picture

I heard a rumor about upgrading from Win 7 after the deadline by using ease of access from control panel and turning on magnification. I tried it on Aug 3 and used a win10 dvd for the process. After the upgrade install on a 6 year old HP laptop, which went without a hitch, the laptop rebooted and automatically activated and is working great. Who woulda thunk?

ecash's picture

I will give you one..

Find the Calculator...
try to start it under windows...NOT APP..

It wants to be run as an APP..not a windows prog..
This is getting painful..