You can legally download the Windows 8 and Windows 10 ISOs directly from Microsoft with the Media Creation Tool. Microsoft no longer offers Windows 7 ISOs for download.
You can reinstall Windows from scratch using the product key that came with your PC, but you’ll have to find installation media yourself. Microsoft offers free ISO files for downloading; you just have to know where to look.
There are a few ways to do this, but they’re all on the straight and narrow–you won’t have to visit a shady BitTorrent site to downloadISOs that may be filled with malware. Instead, you get official installation media straight from Microsoft.
Note: Depending on the OEM version of Windows that you are running, you might run intoan issue using the OEM key with a retail version of Windows. If it won’t activate, you can always install and then call Microsoft toget them to straighten it out and allow your copy to activate. The most important thing is that you have a valid license key.
Download the Windows 10 or 8.1 ISO Using the Media Creation Tool
If you’ve got access to a Windows machine, the official method for downloading ISOs for Windows 8.1 and 10 is the Media Creation Tool. The process for using the tool is largely the same for both versions of Windows, so we’ll be using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool for our example. We’ll just note where anything differs.
RELATED: Where to Download Windows 11 ISO Images Legally
One caveat you should be aware of up front is that you can no longer download an ISO for Windows 8–just 8.1. And the product keys are different for Windows 8 and 8.1, so if you have a Windows 8 product key, you can’t just use it to install Windows 8.1. Instead, you’ll have to install Windows 8, then do a free upgrade to 8.1. After you do the upgrade, Windows will assign the new product key to the installation. You can find that product key in a number of different ways and save it for the future. After that, you should be able to do a clean installation of Windows 8.1 using the new product key and won’t have to worry about installing Windows 8 first and going the upgrade route.
RELATED: How to Find Your Lost Windows or Office Product Keys
Start by downloading either the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool or the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool. Once the file has downloaded, just double-click it to start the tool and then click “Yes” to give it permission to make changes to your PC. When the tool starts, click “Accept” to accept the license terms. Note that the Windows 8.1 version of the tool does not ask you to accept license terms.
(If you don’t want to use the Media Creation Tool and just want to download an ISO file directly, just change your browser’s user agent to a non-Windows browser like Apple Safari on iPad while you’re viewing the download page. Microsoft will offer you a direct download of the Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 ISO file instead of the standard Media Creation Tool, which only runs on Windows.)
When the tool asks what you want to do, select “Create installation media for another PC” and then click “Next.” The Windows 8.1 version of the tool also does not provide this option; it just defaults to creating installation media for another PC (which is what we want).
The tool will suggest a language, edition, and architecture for Windows based on information about the PC on which the tool is running. If you’re going to use the installation media on that PC, go ahead and just click “Next.” If you’re planning to install it ona different PC, clear the “Use recommended options for this PC” check box, select options that are more appropriate for the license you have, and then click “Next.”Note that if you’re using the 8.1 version of the tool, you actually start with this screen. The tool also won’t recommend options; you have to select them yourself.
Remember, your license will only work with the correct version of Windows–if your license is for 64-bit Windows 10 Pro, you can’t install 32-bit Windows 10 Home with it, so ensure your selections here match what’s listed on your product key.
Next, select whether you want the tool to create a bootable USB flash drive with the installation media, or just create an ISO file that you can use or burn to a DVD later. We’re going with the ISO file in this example, but the process is much the same either way. If you go with the USB option, you’ll need to provide a USB drive with at least 3 GB of space. Also, the USB drive will be formatted during the process, so make sure there’s nothing on it you need. Select the option you want and then click “Next.”
Choose a place to save the finished ISO file (or point the tool toward the right USB drive if that’s the option you chose).
At this point, the Media Creation Tool will begin downloading the files and assembling your ISO, which can take a fair bit of time depending on your internet connection. When it’s finished, you can click “Open DVD Burner” if you want to go ahead and create a disc or just click Finish if you don’t want to make a disc right now.
RELATED: How to do a Clean Install of Windows 10 the Easy Way
Now that you have your new ISO saved, you’re ready to make use of it however you see fit. You could go ahead and perform a clean installation of Windows (which technically you don’t even need a product key to do), use the ISO to create a virtual machine, or just save it for when you need it down the road.
Download the Windows 7 SP1 ISO Directly From Microsoft’s Website
Update, 4/20/22: Microsoft no longer offers Windows 7 ISO files for download. The page where you could download these files now contains information about how support has ended for Windows 7. We recommend downloading a modern version of Windows that’s still getting security updates. We do not recommend downloading a Windows 7 ISO from a non-Microsoft source, as third-party downloads may contain malware. Exercise extreme caution if you do so.
Microsoft makes the Windows 7 SP1 ISO available for direct download through their site. The only catch is that you’ll need a valid product key in order to download the file–and OEM keys (like the one that came on a sticker under your laptop) won’t work. If that’s you, proceed to the next section.
If you do have a valid retail key,head to the Windows 7 download page, enter your product key, and click “Verify” to start the download process.
After your product key is verified, select the product language you want to download and then click “Confirm.”
Next, choose whether you want the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7. When you click whichever version you want, the download will begin.Note that download links generated by the site are only valid for 24 hours. Of course, you could always come back and walk through the verification and selection process again to generate new links.
After downloading the ISO file, you can burn it to a DVD by right-clicking it in Windows Explorer and selecting “Burn disc image” to burn it to a disc. If you want to install Windows 7 from a USB drive, the best way is to use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to put that ISO file onto a USB drive.
RELATED: How to Update Windows 7 All at Once with Microsoft's Convenience Rollup
The downloaded ISO you’ll get from Microsoft includes Windows 7 with Service Pack 1. When you install Windows 7, you can avoid the hassle of downloading and installing the hundreds of updates that came out after SP1 by installing the Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup. Even better, why not take a little extra time and slipstream the Convenience Rollup right into your Windows 7 ISO? That way, whenever you install Windows 7 in the future, you’ll have one ISO with all the updates (at least up through May 2016) already included.
Download Any Windows or Office ISO Using a Free Third-Party Tool
Microsoft used to make all these ISOs available through a site called Digital River, but it doesn’t anymore. Instead, they’re stored on its TechBench site. The ISOs can be hard to find, though, and for versions of Windows other than the most current, the site tries really hard to push you into using the Media Creation Tool instead. Enter the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool. This free utility provides a simple interface that lets you select the version of Windows you want, then downloads an ISO for that version straight from Microsoft’s download servers. This includes various builds of the Windows 10 Insider Preview. You can also use the tool to download ISOs for certain versions of Microsoft Office.
First, head over to HeiDoc.net and grab the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool. It’s free and it’s a portable tool, so there’s no installation. Just launch the executable file. In the main window, choose the version of Windows or Office you’d like to download.
Click the “Select Edition” drop-down menu and then choose the edition you want. Note that in addition to the regular editions of the product (such as Home or Professional), you can also download regions specific editions such as Windows N (which is sold to the European market and does not include multimedia apps like Media Player and DVD Maker) and Windows K (which is sold to the Korean market).
After you select theedition you want to download, click “Confirm.”
Next, use the drop-down menu that appears to choose the product language you want to download and then click the “Confirm” button under the language drop-down menu.
Finally, choose whether to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the product. Clicking either download button will initiate the download using the ISO download tool, so you’ll need to keep it open until the download finishes. Alternatively, you can use the “Copy Link” buttons to the right to copy the direct download link to your clipboard and then download the file using your browser. Either way, note that most links generated by the tool are only valid for 24 hours, though you can always come back and generate new links.
And that’s all there is to using the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool. Yes, you could accomplish some of this by digging around the TechBench site, but using this clever little utility is quicker and saves a lot of hassle. Plus, for some products, like Windows 8.1, finding the direct download on the site is next to impossible.
Microsoft also provides other software via the TechNet Evaluation Center. For example, you could download a trial version of Windows Server 2012 R2 and enter a legitimate product key to get the full version. Just click the “Evaluate Now” header on the site to see what trial versions of software are on offer. You will need to sign in with a Microsoft account before downloading.
Image Credit: bfishadow on Flickr
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To use the media creation tool, visit the Microsoft Software Download Windows 10 page from a Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 device. You can use this page to download a disc image (ISO file) that can be used to install or reinstall Windows 10.How can I download Windows 7 iso legally? ›
- Visit Microsoft Windows 7 ISO download page: https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows7.
- Enter the product key in the text box at the bottom of the page, and hit the Verify button.
- Select the product language.
The only legal way to get a completely free copy of Windows 7 is by transferring a licence from another Windows 7 PC for which you didn't pay a penny – perhaps one that's been passed on to you from a friend or relative or one you've picked up from Freecycle, for example.What website you can download Windows 8 ISO? ›
Read: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-usb-dvd-download-tool. If you will be installing the operating system for the first time, you will need your Windows product key (xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx). For more information about product keys and when they are required.How can I download Windows legally? ›
You can legally download the Windows 8 and Windows 10 ISOs directly from Microsoft with the Media Creation Tool. Microsoft no longer offers Windows 7 ISOs for download. You can reinstall Windows from scratch using the product key that came with your PC, but you'll have to find installation media yourself.How do I download Windows 10 ISO without tools? ›
- Navigate to the Windows 10 download site and open the context menu. ...
- Open developer tools. ...
- Open the Network conditions panel. ...
- Untick 'Select automatically' ...
- Change your Chrome user agent. ...
- Refresh the page. ...
- Select your Windows 10 edition. ...
- Click “Confirm”
Usually, people borrow the ISO files from a pal and make a bootable disk or flash drive. Others visit different report-sharing and torrent web sites and download Windows ISO files. Apart from being illegal, this method also brings alongside a high risk of malware infection.Can I download Windows 7 for free with product key? ›
If you want to reinstall Windows 7 on your computer and have a valid product key, you can now download the ISO disc image file from the Microsoft Software Recovery Center. This will allow you to reinstall the OS completely crapware-free and give your computer a breath of new life.Is Heidoc Net Safe? ›
Yes, Heidoc.net is completely safe.Which OS is freely available? ›
Answer: Debian is a free Unix-like open-source operating system.
Buy an upgrade license
If the PC on which you want to install Windows 7 originally included a license for any version of Windows, you can buy a Windows 7 upgrade license from any vendor that has the software in stock and install that upgrade on your PC.
7 Still does not come for free. And the computer manufacturer has to support 7 and supply Windows 7 drivers for your exact model number for 7 to install and run correctly. With end of support Microsoft is not telling you that your operating systems won't work.How can I download the full version of Windows 8.1 for free? ›
Get the free update
Go to the Windows 8.1 download page and select your Windows edition. Select Confirm and follow the remaining prompts to begin the download.
Open the Start Screen and search for “Deployment and Imaging Tools” and run the special command prompt environment. Burn or mount the ISO file in a virtual machine and you will be able to install Windows 8 without a product key and also select the standard or pro edition.How do I download Windows 8.1 ISO with product key? ›
In a web browser, navigate to Microsoft's Upgrade Windows with only a product key page. Then, click the light blue Install Windows 8 button. Windows 8 Setup will run. Input your Windows 8 product key when prompted and Setup will tell you which version of the Windows 8 Setup ISO it will download.Can I get Windows 10 for free Legally? ›
If you are still on Windows 7 or 8, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Whether you're going from 7 / 8 to 10 or 10 to 11, you can upgrade either by using an install disk (created with the media creation tool) or with Windows update.Is downloading Windows 10 free illegal? ›
Downloading a full version of Windows 10 for free from a third party source is absolutely illegal and we wouldn't recommend it.Are Windows 10 ISO free? ›
Can you download the Windows 10 ISO for free? Yes. Microsoft offers ISO files for free on its website. You can legally download these for free, but you'll still need to buy a Windows 10 license once you create installation media to activate the operating system.How do I download Windows 10 ISO from Chrome? ›
- Click the menu icon, and then select More Tools > Network Conditions to enable it. ...
- Chrome offers a long list of pre-configured user agents to choose from. ...
- Keep the Developer Tools pane open and refresh the download page. ...
- Select your preferred language and then click “Confirm.”
The Windows 10 ISO installation media is approximately 3.5 GB in size. Click the "Download tool now" button at the above link under the Create Windows 10 installation media heading.
Generally, if you bought a physical copy of Windows, the product key should be on a label or card inside the box that Windows came in. If Windows came preinstalled on your PC, the product key should appear on a sticker on your device. If you've lost or can't find the product key, contact the manufacturer.Can I download Windows 10 from website? ›
If you don't want to upgrade from an existing Windows installation, you can download the official Windows 10 installation media for free from Microsoft and perform a clean install. To do this, visit Microsoft's Download Windows 10 page, click “Download Tool Now”, and run the downloaded file.Where can I download ISO files? ›
- UltraISO. 22.214.171.12429. (5888 votes) ...
- Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. 8.00.7600.16385. 3.9. ...
- WinSetupFromUSB. 1.10. 3.5. ...
- DMG Extractor. 126.96.36.199. 2.7. ...
- Free ISO Converter. 2.9. (113 votes) ...
- Free ISO Burner. 1.2. 3.4. ...
- Folder2Iso. 3.1. 3.7. ...
- Universal MediaCreationTool. 1.0. (2 votes)
- Go to the Download Windows 10 website.
- Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now and Run.
- Choose Upgrade this PC now, assuming this is the only PC you're upgrading. ...
- Follow the prompts.
Microsoft allows anyone to download Windows 10 for free and install it without a product key. It'll keep working for the foreseeable future, with only a few small cosmetic restrictions. And you can even pay to upgrade to a licensed copy of Windows 10 after you install it.What does Rufus software do? ›
Rufus is a utility that helps format and create bootable USB flash drives, such as USB keys/pendrives, memory sticks, etc. It can be especially useful for cases where: you need to create USB installation media from bootable ISOs (Windows, Linux, UEFI, etc.) you need to work on a system that doesn't have an OS installed.How can I download Windows 7 for free on USB? ›
- Click to open the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool page.
- Click Download then Run.
- Follow the steps in the setup dialogs. You'll have the option to specify where to install the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool.
- Go to Office.com.
- Click Sign up for the free version of Office under the "Sign in" button.
- Log in to your Microsoft account or create one for free. ...
- Select the app you want to use, and save your work in the cloud with OneDrive.
Microsoft 365 is the best option since you can install the apps on every supported device (Windows 11, 10, 8.1, and macOS). It is also the only option that provides continuous updates at a low cost of ownership.Is Heidoc legit Reddit? ›
Totally Legit! Using them for years and works amazing.
Free and open-source operating systems such as Linux and descendants of BSD are widely utilized today, powering millions of servers, desktops, smartphones (e.g., Android), and other devices. Free-software licenses and open-source licenses are used by many software packages.What is the best alternative to Windows? ›
- Haiku. ...
- ReactOS. An alternative to Windows Server 2003. ...
- FreeDOS. An open-source alternative to DOS. ...
- Wayne OS. ChromeOS for the desktop. ...
- OpenIndiana. The successor to SunOS. ...
- KolibriOS. The OS for retro gaming. ...
- Visopsys. The ultimate CS project. ...
- Icaros Desktop. Reasons to buy.
Activate Windows 7
We recommend you move to a Windows 11 PC to continue to receive security updates from Microsoft. To activate Windows 7 using an internet connection: Select the Start button. , right-click Computer, select Properties, and then select Activate Windows now.
Windows 10 Home costs $139 and is suited for a home computer or gaming. Windows 10 Pro costs $199.99 and is suited for businesses or large enterprises. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations costs $309 and is meant for businesses or enterprises that need an even faster and more powerful operating system.Can you still Install Windows 10 for free in 2022? ›
5. The free upgrades will continue into 2022. If you're still running Windows 7 but want to upgrade to Windows 11, you'll first need to upgrade to Windows 10 to be eligible.Is win7 faster than win 10? ›
Although Windows 7 still outperforms Windows 10 across a selection of apps, expect this to be short-lived as Windows 10 continues to receive updates. In the meantime, Windows 10 boots, sleeps, and wakes faster than its predecessors, even when loaded on an older machine.Is Windows 8.1 end of life? ›
Windows 8.1 reaches end of support on January 10, 2023.
After that date, if you're running Microsoft 365, you'll no longer receive updates for the Office apps; this includes feature, security, and other quality updates.
3.5 - 4.5 GB.Can I still use Windows 8.1 in 2022? ›
No. Support for Windows 8.1 is discontinued, but the software will continue to function. However, after January 10, 2023, your computer running Windows 8.1 will no longer receive security updates.
If you're using Windows 8, upgrading to Windows 8.1 is both easy and free. If you're using another operating system (Windows 7, Windows XP, OS X), you can either buy a boxed version ($120 for normal, $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro), or opt for one of the free methods listed below.How do I download Windows without a product key? ›
No, Microsoft doesn't ask you for a product key to let you download the Windows 10 installation kit. Actually, there are absolutely no details required from you. You can download Windows 10 without having to tell Microsoft anything: neither your Microsoft account nor your Windows 10 serial key is needed.Can I use Windows 8.1 without activation? ›
You need to activate Windows before you can personalise your PC.How do I activate my Windows 10 without product key? ›
If you have a digital license for your device, you can reinstall the same edition of Windows 10 on this device without entering a product key. Make sure that Windows 10 is activated before you try to reinstall it. To find out, select the Start button, and then select Settings > Update & Security > Activation .Can you still download Windows 7 ISO? ›
Yes, absolutely. You can still download Windows 7 ISO in 2022, which too officially straight from Microsoft's own servers.What website you can download Windows 10 ISO? ›
To use the media creation tool, visit the Microsoft Software Download Windows 10 page from a Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 device. You can use this page to download a disc image (ISO file) that can be used to install or reinstall Windows 10.How do I download Windows 7 disc image ISO file? ›
Instead, go to https://www.heidoc.net/joomla/technology-science/microsoft/67-microsoft-windows-and-office-iso-download-tool Download the tool and use it to download the ISO file that corresponds to the version of Windows for which you have an OEM Product Key.How do I download Windows 10 ISO to USB? ›
- Click the Windows START button, and click WINDOWS USB/DVD DOWNLOAD TOOL in the ALL PROGRAMS list to open the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool.
- In the SOURCE FILE box, type the name and path of your Windows ISO file, or click BROWSE and select the file from the OPEN dialog box.
Use Firefox To Download The Windows 10 ISO File
The following is how you do it in Mozilla Firefox. Launch Firefox on your computer. Launch the Windows 10 ISO page and keep it open. Click on the three horizontal-lines at the top-right corner, select Web Developer, and click on Inspector.
To create a Windows 10 bootable USB, download the Media Creation Tool. Then run the tool and select Create installation for another PC. Finally, select USB flash drive and wait for the installer to finish.
- Go to this Microsoft Edge Developer page.
- Under the Virtual Machines section, select the Windows 10 option.
- Under the VM platform section, select VirtualBox or VMware.
- Click the Download . zip button to get the Windows 10 ISO for VMware or VirtualBox.
Rufus is one of several programs that allow you to create an “ISO image” on a USB stick.Can Rufus Download Windows 10? ›
Rufus lets you download the ISO file and create a bootable USB flash drive to install any version of Windows 10, including Windows 8.1. Here's how to use the feature. Rufus is a free and lightweight tool designed to create a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 10 on your computer.What is the best USB bootable software? ›
- Rufus - Best for Windows.
- Windows USB/DVD Tool - For both USB and DVD.
- UNetbootin - Cross-platform.
- Etcher - Validated burning.
- YUMI Multiboot USB Creator - Best for Linux.
- RMPrepUSB - For all type of bootable media.
- WinToUSB - Portable Windows creator.
On Firefox, you can also download the Windows 10 ISO without Media Creation Tool with these steps: Open Firefox. Copy and paste this Microsoft support site link https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO in the address bar, and press Enter.How do I download Windows ISO in Chrome? ›
1] Using Chrome Developer Tool Responsive option
Open Chrome browser, and open the Official ISO download page. Use F12 to open Developer Tools. Click on the icon in the developer tool which looks like phone and tablet put together. It will change render the ISO download page as if it a mobile device made a request.
The Media Creation Tool is a standalone application that lets you download the files to create a USB flash drive media or ISO file to perform a clean install. Also, the same tool will enable you to complete an in-place upgrade without creating a separate bootable media.How do I find my Windows license key? ›
Generally, if you bought a physical copy of Windows, the product key should be on a label or card inside the box that Windows came in. If Windows came preinstalled on your PC, the product key should appear on a sticker on your device. If you've lost or can't find the product key, contact the manufacturer.How do I make a bootable USB from an ISO? ›
- Download and open Rufus tool. Insert a USB drive and select a device. Select Disk or ISO image. ...
- Under Image option, choose Standard Windows installation. Leave other options alone and choose Start.
- Wait for the status to say "Ready," then close Rufus and remove the USB drive.
The answer is positive. Rufus is a legitimate application and it doesn't come with advertisements, banners, or any bundled software. It is free for both personal and commercial usage. As long as you download it from its official website, you don't need to worry about virus or malware attacks by this application.
Can you download the Windows 10 ISO for free? Yes. Microsoft offers ISO files for free on its website. You can legally download these for free, but you'll still need to buy a Windows 10 license once you create installation media to activate the operating system.Is Windows virtual machine free? ›
Microsoft offers free Windows virtual machine images for testing Microsoft Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge.How do I get Windows 10 virtual machine? ›
- Open Hyper-V Quick Create from the start menu.
- Select an operating system or choose your own by using a local installation source. If you want to use your own image to create the virtual machine, select Local Installation Source. ...
- Select "Create Virtual Machine"