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How to force Windows 10 upgrade

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 05 Aug 2015 7:17 User comments (24)

How to force Windows 10 upgrade Are you still waiting for your free upgrade to Windows 10? It may take days or weeks to be ready for you, but if you don't want to wait then maybe this can help.
NOTE: These instructions require that you edit the Windows registry in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, and that you have been offered (and have reserved) your free upgrade. You are completely responsible for your actions. Please also remember that these instructions do not guarantee a flawless upgrade to Windows 10, so make sure to backup ALL of your personal files and be ready to deal with a recovery operation if necessary. All you will learn to do here is force Windows to start the update for you, rather than waiting. We are not responsible for any mistake you make or problem you might encounter.

With that aside, there are several methods floating around that allow you to bypass the waiting period in Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, meaning you can begin the upgrade to Microsoft's shiny new consumer OS now. The method shown here only requires that you add or edit a registry value. It worked for us on multiple systems, but we can't guarantee it on every system.

STEP 1 - Open RegEdit and Navigate to OSUpgrade Key





In Windows 7, simply click Start (Orb) and type regedit into the search box. Open it when it appears in results. You may encounter User Account Control prompts.

In Windows 8 / 8.1, either right click or tap and hold the start button and then choose Run. Type and run regedit. You may encounter User Account Control prompts.

With the Registry Editor now opened, you need to navigate to the OSUpgrade key, which is located at:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / WindowsUpdate / OSUpgrade

NOTE: If the OSUpgrade Key is not present under WindowsUpdate, then right-click on WindowsUpdate and create a new Key called OSUpgrade, then click on it. It would be unusual if it doesn't exist. Please make sure that you have been offered and have reserved a free upgrade to Windows 10 on the machine you are using!

STEP 2 - Create new DWORD (32-bit) Value





As shown in the image above, right click in the right-pane in Regedit (remember, you should have the OSUpgrade key opened as shown too). Under New, click DWORD (32-bit) Value.

A new DWORD value will now appear in the right-pane and you will be able to edit the Name. Type "AllowOSUpgrade" (without quotes) and press Enter.

STEP 3 - Edit AllowOSUpgrade DWORD Value





Now simply double-click on AllowOSUpgrade and you will be able to edit its value. Make sure Base is set to Hexadecimal and under value data, type "1" (without quotes) and then click OK. Tap F5 to refresh the regedit window if needed.

If all went well you should be able to see AllowOSUpgrade in the right-pane with the OSUpgrade key open, and the value should be 0x00000001. If so, close Regedit.

STEP 4 - Open Windows Update in Control Panel





In Windows 7, click Start (Orb) and type Control Panel. When it comes up, click it. Now click Windows Update (you may need to change "View By" to large or small icons to find Windows Update). You may already see the "Upgrade to Windows 10" option and be able to click the Get Started button. If not, click Check for Updates and wait a while.

In Windows 8.1, we are looking for the Destkop Control Panel and NOT PC Settings. Open Control Panel by swiping in from the right edge of the screen, tapping Search (or if you're using a mouse, pointing to the upper-right corner of the screen, moving the mouse pointer down, and then clicking Search), entering Control Panel in the search box, and then tapping or clicking Control Panel.

Now click Windows Update (you may need to change "View By" to large or small icons to find Windows Update). You may already see the "Upgrade to Windows 10" option and be able to click the Get Started button. If not, click Check for Updates and wait a while.

Conclusion



In the cases we have tried, this worked to get around the delay to start the upgrade to Windows 10, and we hope it works for you too. There are other manual methods too that we can link to if necessary (let us know in the comments). Additionally, we found these instructions floating around and don't know where / who the source was, so if it was you (or you know the source), let us know so we can credit you by name / twitter / blog / facebook etc.

Tags: Windows 10
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24 user comments

15.8.2015 8:43

I'm just waiting for mine. The upgrade isn't going to enhance what I use my computer for so there's no hurry. Besides, it's not worth the hassle!


ZX Spectrum 128K

25.8.2015 9:53

I just tried this method on my cheapo HP Stream 7 tablet. I had reserved Windows 10 but was not receiving an "upgrade ready" notice. The AllowOSUpgrade registry key was already present and was already set to the correct value. I just followed the instructions in Step 4 to start the Windows 10 download.

The download has finished. Windows Update says "preparing to install". Let's hope this works. If not, I have already created recovery media to a USB drive so that I can restore Windows 8.1.

35.8.2015 10:19

Seems like a lot of hassle. I went here and downloaded the media creation tool. Worked like a charm on 5 computers running Win 7 or 8.

45.8.2015 11:58

Not a lot of hassle DarthMopar. It took me less than two minutes to determine that the reg key was present and then start the upgrade. If I had to add the key it would have taken about 30 seconds longer.

Using the media creation tool makes more sense if you have multiple computers to upgrade. In my case, it was just the one. It was easier to let the "Microsoft process" do the upgrade. Besides, this lets me see the automatic process so that I can help family & friends when they have difficulty.

55.8.2015 12:39

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Seems like a lot of hassle. I went here and downloaded the media creation tool. Worked like a charm on 5 computers running Win 7 or 8.
AGREED!

I suggest using the link provided by DarthMopar which is the same as this one: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

and download ISO. DO IN PLACE UPGRADE FIRST! Let your computer register install with MS and THEN you can do clean wipe and install and it will reactivate effortlessly right after install is complete.


This is trusted advice and tested by myself on the day of release.

66.8.2015 8:24

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Seems like a lot of hassle. I went here and downloaded the media creation tool. Worked like a charm on 5 computers running Win 7 or 8.
Thats the only right option.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Aug 2015 @ 8:24

Be found, choose us!

76.8.2015 8:53

Originally posted by aw2600:
Not a lot of hassle DarthMopar. It took me less than two minutes to determine that the reg key was present and then start the upgrade. If I had to add the key it would have taken about 30 seconds longer.

Using the media creation tool makes more sense if you have multiple computers to upgrade. In my case, it was just the one. It was easier to let the "Microsoft process" do the upgrade. Besides, this lets me see the automatic process so that I can help family & friends when they have difficulty.
One additional point I would like to make. If you use the media creation tool then you have a completely boot-able copy of Windows 10 should you need it in the future. If you use the upgrade method and wait for Microsoft you still are going to have to create a bootable copy of Windows 10.

86.8.2015 9:41

I found the easiest way is to start the upgrade is to download the windows tool, run it and start to download either ISO or USB install method. And after it starts to download for about 2 percent just click on upgrade adviser icon and you will find it indicates you can start your upgrade now. Very simple and then you can cancel the tool and it continues to update windows to Windows 10.


AMD 2600+ at 2.3GHz NF7-S ver 2.0 1Gb HyperX at 450 Mhz
Lite-on SOHW-1213S Lite-on LTR-32123S
Windows 2000
Love using Decrypter and DVD Shrink

96.8.2015 9:44

The only thing this method has going for it is that it uses the files already downloaded. The MCT re-downloads 5GB, which can take a while if you don't have a 50+Mb connection. The MCT is also the only way to put it onto machines which have NOT been offered the upgrade - such as domain-joined computers.

106.8.2015 12:37

Originally posted by hearme0:

DO IN PLACE UPGRADE FIRST! Let your computer register install with MS and THEN you can do clean wipe and install and it will reactivate effortlessly right after install is complete.


This is trusted advice and tested by myself on the day of release.
Thanks for this. It answers a question I've had for a few days now. Somewhere it said when I was downloading the MCT to make sure you have your Windows 10 product key BEFORE starting the installation. I'm like... chicken or egg?

In my case, an in-place upgrade was nearly impossible due to space constraints. Fortunately, I was barely able to clear the 5GB required to begin the process. I plan to do a clean install when I get around to puchasing a new SSD and some more HDD storage. I wonder what would have happened if I had done a format? I bet it would have asked for a license key I never had/ didn't receive even though I reserved and was promised a free upgrade!

116.8.2015 14:56

Originally posted by cart0181:


Originally posted by hearme0:

DO IN PLACE UPGRADE FIRST! Let your computer register install with MS and THEN you can do clean wipe and install and it will reactivate effortlessly right after install is complete.


This is trusted advice and tested by myself on the day of release.
Thanks for this. It answers a question I've had for a few days now. Somewhere it said when I was downloading the MCT to make sure you have your Windows 10 product key BEFORE starting the installation. I'm like... chicken or egg?

In my case, an in-place upgrade was nearly impossible due to space constraints. Fortunately, I was barely able to clear the 5GB required to begin the process. I plan to do a clean install when I get around to puchasing a new SSD and some more HDD storage. I wonder what would have happened if I had done a format? I bet it would have asked for a license key I never had/ didn't receive even though I reserved and was promised a free upgrade!
They do not issue you a key for the free upgrade. You HAVE TO do the in-place upgrade first, because the activation system converts your 7/8/8.1 key to a 10 key (ie: once converted it will no longer activate a 7/8/8.1 install unless you 'downgrade' back to your original version).

So yes, if you had wiped/fresh installed before doing the in-place upgrade, it would have asked you for a key, and your 7/8/8.1 key will not have worked. Had you done so, it would have been purely your fault, as it means you have not read and understood the directions. There are warnings posted EVERYWHERE that you have to do an in-place upgrade BEFORE you can clean install - because the in-place upgrade is the ONLY way to convert your key to activate 10.

Wanna know where you saw the instruction to have your Windows 10 key ready? It's in the MCT instructions - it says that DIRECTLY AFTER the instruction where it says you must do the in-place upgrade BEFORE you can clean install. The reservation process does absolutely nothing besides pre-download the files.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Aug 2015 @ 15:02

126.8.2015 15:13

Interesting bit of info allegedly in the Windows 10 ToS.

"Alec Meer of the ‘Rock, Paper, Shotgun’ blog pointed out this passage in Microsoft’s 12,000-word, 45-page terms of use agreement:

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.”

While most people are used to ads as the price of accessing free content, writes Meer, Microsoft is not making it clear enough that they are “gathering and storing vast amounts of data on your computing habits,” not just browser data.

Opting out of all these default settings requires navigating 13 different screens and a separate website, the bloggers have found."

source: http://www.rt.com/usa/311304-new-windows-privacy-issues/

136.8.2015 16:42

Question. If you use the MCT download is your only option a "Clean Install"?

146.8.2015 18:28

I am just going to wait, although some good info posted. I already have it running on my tablet, and not in any rush on my Win 7 Ultimate computers.





My consoles: Nintendo64>Dreamcast aug/99>PS2 V7-Seagate 400gb hdd-Maxtor 300gb hdd,PS2 V14 FMCB 1.8 - Memor32 >V18 SM 3.6 >DS-Lite-G6DS Real 16GB-R4DS Ultra 8gb SDHC>Gamecube-Original>Wii-Wiikey 2>PSP PHAT CFW 5.00 M33-6>DSi (Kingdom Hearts Edition)-EZ Flash Vi - M3i Zero Sakura>Kindom Hearts:Birth by Sleep PSP 3000>PS3 80GB. WiiU PS4 XBOXONE 3DSNDS

156.8.2015 18:32

Originally posted by res05cze:
Question. If you use the MCT download is your only option a "Clean Install"?
Way to pay attention. This has been addressed in no less than three previous comments.

No. In fact, had you read my last comment AND/OR the instructions for MCT (which were linked to earlier), you'd see that an in-place upgrade is REQUIRED FIRST, BEFORE A CLEAN INSTALL to change your key over to 10 for the free upgrade
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Aug 2015 @ 18:37

167.8.2015 1:37

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Seems like a lot of hassle. I went here and downloaded the media creation tool. Worked like a charm on 5 computers running Win 7 or 8.
Yeah i downloaded that tool and will be creating the media ( most likely on a dvd but i do have a 32 and 3 16 gb but use them for video files ) but will not install win 10 for at least 60 days ( that is why i will most likely use a dvd ) for all the others to work out most of the bugs first ( i do not want to work for Microsoft for free i will let the other guys to do it lol )

Good Luck and Take Care

179.8.2015 11:30

I did a upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 using the MCT with no w problems. I used Key Finder to identify the product key. I then made a bootable flash drive from the .iso and did a clean install after formatting my hard drive. A clean install has always been my preference. During the clean install, when requested to enter the product key, click on “skip this step“ and the next time when requested to enter the product key. Click on “do this later”. You can also enter the Windows 10 product key when requested. Either way worked for me. Once the installation is complete go to Control Panel, click on System and you will see that Windows is activated. Checked the product key. Same as the one shown in the upgrade. Now as to you statement that once you do the upgrade your Windows 7/8 product key is deactivated, I am going to disagree with that and here is why. I am retired and have plenty of time to check things. I also use Acronis True Image to make images of my hard drive and I can restore a image in about 7 minutes. Once again I formatted my hard drive and installed Windows 8.1 using the installation disk and original product key and Windows 8.1 was activated.
This is based on my actually having done this.

1811.8.2015 6:17

Originally posted by tsage:
I used Key Finder to identify the product key. I then made a bootable flash drive from the .iso and did a clean install after formatting my hard drive.
Is this the only way for free upgraders to get a clean install? They need to use a utility to find their product key so they have it during the install?

Originally posted by tsage:
During the clean install, when requested to enter the product key, click on “skip this step“ and the next time when requested to enter the product key. Click on “do this later”. You can also enter the Windows 10 product key when requested. Either way worked for me. Once the installation is complete go to Control Panel, click on System and you will see that Windows is activated. Checked the product key. Same as the one shown in the upgrade.
I think this is because MS has identified your hardware and recognized that you already "own" a product key for that hardware, which it then inputs for you. So using Key Finder was ultimately unnecessary. I imagine it made you feel "safer" during the install process knowing you had the Product Key already in case it actually WAS required. It sounds like something I would have done too! :)

So... does someone want to detail how MS identifies your hardware? Do they still use the point system which makes it possible to hardware-upgrade-your-way out of your license key?


I still think it sucks that you need to do the in-place upgrade first. What if I couldn't clear 5GB of storage no matter how hard I tried? Screwed? Reserving your free copy using GWX.exe should do more than just download some files ffs. It should actually "reserve" your copy as it says it is doing. It's all lies apparently.

And NO, Tazmaniak, MS does not "convert" morph or otherwise transform your product key from Win7/8. MS simply issues you a Win10 key. sheesh

1911.8.2015 8:21

Originally posted by cart0181:
Originally posted by tsage:
I used Key Finder to identify the product key. I then made a bootable flash drive from the .iso and did a clean install after formatting my hard drive.
Is this the only way for free upgraders to get a clean install? They need to use a utility to find their product key so they have it during the install?

Originally posted by tsage:
During the clean install, when requested to enter the product key, click on “skip this step“ and the next time when requested to enter the product key. Click on “do this later”. You can also enter the Windows 10 product key when requested. Either way worked for me. Once the installation is complete go to Control Panel, click on System and you will see that Windows is activated. Checked the product key. Same as the one shown in the upgrade.
I think this is because MS has identified your hardware and recognized that you already "own" a product key for that hardware, which it then inputs for you. So using Key Finder was ultimately unnecessary. I imagine it made you feel "safer" during the install process knowing you had the Product Key already in case it actually WAS required. It sounds like something I would have done too! :)

So... does someone want to detail how MS identifies your hardware? Do they still use the point system which makes it possible to hardware-upgrade-your-way out of your license key?


I still think it sucks that you need to do the in-place upgrade first. What if I couldn't clear 5GB of storage no matter how hard I tried? Screwed? Reserving your free copy using GWX.exe should do more than just download some files ffs. It should actually "reserve" your copy as it says it is doing. It's all lies apparently.

And NO, Tazmaniak, MS does not "convert" morph or otherwise transform your product key from Win7/8. MS simply issues you a Win10 key. sheesh
No, tardo. Once your computer has been upgraded, the 7/8/8.1 key is NO LONGER VALID TO ACTIVATE THE ORIGINAL OS.

And seriously if you can't clear 5GB off your hard drive, someone should smash you over the head with a tack hammer. Go spend $3 on a friggin 8GB thumb drive. Hell, do a drive cleanup and dump all the old restore points. That's usually good for at least 10GB.

"Sheesh."

2014.8.2015 9:40

Originally posted by TaZMaNiaK:


No, tardo. Once your computer has been upgraded, the 7/8/8.1 key is NO LONGER VALID TO ACTIVATE THE ORIGINAL OS.

And seriously if you can't clear 5GB off your hard drive, someone should smash you over the head with a tack hammer. Go spend $3 on a friggin 8GB thumb drive. Hell, do a drive cleanup and dump all the old restore points. That's usually good for at least 10GB.

"Sheesh."
Any particular reason you felt the need to lace your response with insults?

Keyboard warriors have invaded AD! EVERYONE RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!

2114.8.2015 10:25

Originally posted by DarthMopar:
Originally posted by TaZMaNiaK:


No, tardo. Once your computer has been upgraded, the 7/8/8.1 key is NO LONGER VALID TO ACTIVATE THE ORIGINAL OS.

And seriously if you can't clear 5GB off your hard drive, someone should smash you over the head with a tack hammer. Go spend $3 on a friggin 8GB thumb drive. Hell, do a drive cleanup and dump all the old restore points. That's usually good for at least 10GB.

"Sheesh."
Any particular reason you felt the need to lace your response with insults?

Keyboard warriors have invaded AD! EVERYONE RUN AWAY AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!
Because I hate stupid people?

2214.8.2015 11:20

like you?

2314.8.2015 13:32

Originally posted by ddp:
like you?
I'm not the one complaining about not being able to clear 5GB off his hard drive.

2414.8.2015 14:59

so what as that is why we are to ask questions, answer those questions & learn from those answers & questions for future use. hence my saying "teach & learn".

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