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If you’re using an old version of Windows, do this now to get Windows 11 for free when it comes out

The next generation of Microsoft’s operating system is dropping later this year. Microsoft is promising a new look, more features, better performance and all the other bells and whistles that come with a new OS.

If you’re itching to try out Windows 11 right now, you can do so through the Windows Insider Program. But be careful, as fake sites are popping up claiming to offer a beta version of the OS. What you actually get is malware and worse. Tap or click here to find out what to look out for.

You can get Windows 11 for free under certain conditions. Aside from the system requirements, you have to have a copy of Windows 10 installed. If you’re using an older OS, you can still get it for free. Then when Windows 11 launches, you can upgrade for free again. Read on for instructions to accomplish this.

Here’s the backstory

Windows 10 launched as a free upgrade in 2015. Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users could get it via Windows Update. Users could get the Get Windows 10 (GWX) application through Windows Update ahead of the Windows 10 release. When the OS launched, you could use GWX to immediately upgrade or download Windows 10 to install at a later date.

The free offer ended a year later in 2016 when the upgrade tool was removed. Free does not always mean you’re paying nothing. Tap or click here for five things you give up when you sign up with a free email provider.

You can still get Windows 10 for free today

Don’t worry if you missed out. You can still get Windows 10 through the Media Creation Tool on the Windows 10 download site. Once this is done, you can upgrade immediately or download the latest version of Windows 10 to install later.

You’ll need to download the file to a USB flash drive or as an ISO file to your hard drive.

Here are some specs your PC needs: 1Ghz or faster processor; 1GB of RAM and 3GB of space for the 32-bit version of Windows 10 or 2GB of RAM and 4GB of space for the 64-bit version and a 32GB or larger hard drive. You also need to have a genuine copy of Windows 7 or 8.1 installed and activated.

When you’re ready, follow these steps to upgrade to Windows 10 for free:

  • Go to the Download Windows 10 webpage and click Download tool now.
  • Once the download is complete, open the file to run the Media Creation Tool. You will get a screen with some options.
  • If you are looking to upgrade to Windows 10 on the machine you are using, click Upgrade this PC now then Next and the download will start. If you want to install Windows 10 on a different machine, click Create installation media for another PC and then save it to a USB drive or as an ISO file.
  • When the download is complete, double-click on the ISO file and open a File Explorer window. You can also choose to create a bootable drive and open the USB flash drive in File Explorer and then go through the setup process.
  • Whichever option you go with, follow the instructions to complete the Windows 10 upgrade.

Get ready to turn it up to 11

Until recently, you were able to download Microsoft’s PC Health Check app to see if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade, but it’s been taken down. The company promises it will be available again in preparation for the Windows 11 launch. When it’s back up again, you’ll be able to download it from here.

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