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Windows 10 free upgrades will support unlimited clean installs

Windows 10 free upgrades will support unlimited clean installs

by AshwinJune 3, 2015

Microsoft’s Gabe Aul has confirmed that Windows 10 free upgrades will support unlimited clean installs.


The Head of the Windows Insider Program, announced the news on Twitter.

Prior to this announcement, it was unclear how clean installations of Windows 10 would work. Users were worried that a reset or clean install made after July 28th, 2016, i.e one year after the launch of Windows 10, will prevent Windows from being validated as a genuine copy. Even the Microsoft Forums did not provide a clear answer to this issue.

But now it is apparent from Aul’s tweet, that Windows 10 validations aren’t restricted to the built-in Reset feature in Windows. Once a user upgrades to the final version of Windows 10, from a licensed version of Windows 7 or 8.x, he can safely perform a clean install of the new OS at any time. There are no limitations to the number of times Windows can be wiped and “clean installed”.

Clean Installs of Windows 10 will not require a Windows Product Key after a clean install:

If you are worried that your PC may not be activated if Windows 10 does not recognize a license key from Windows 7 or 8, relax. Windows 10 will not need the key at all.

Aul also said that clean installs of Windows 10 on a machine which previously has the OS, will not require the user to activate it manually using a Windows 8.1 key. This should apply to Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines as well.

How Windows 10 will automatically validate a license:

This is just my speculation of how Windows 10 will validate a license, after a clean install has been performed.

The move mentioned above suggests that Microsoft could be implying a combination of Windows License Status and a hardware fingerprint recognition system. We believe that the latter will uniquely identify a PC. This in turn will cross-check with the “Windows License Status” mechanism to see if the PC had Windows 10 activated on it prior to the clean install. If a machine on which Windows 10 was clean installed, passes both checks, Microsoft’s authentication system should automatically reactivate Windows.

Windows 10 is launching on July 29th, 2015.  The new OS is being offered as a free upgrade for users of (genuine versions of) Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users, until July 28th, 2016.

Users who wish to upgrade to Windows 10 after the free upgrade period, will be required to purchase a new license for Windows 10. Yesterday, we reported about the official prices of Windows 10. The Home Edition costs $119, while the Pro Edition costs $199.