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How to Get Windows 10 for Free (or Cheaply)

Matt Hall

Looking to save some cash on Microsoft Windows 10? Here are some great ways to save on Microsoft’s most popular operating system.

In our analysis of how to get Windows 10 for free (or almost free), we came to the conclusion that there are some different ways to get it, including free options. However, there are some caveats; you can get a genuine license, save money on Windows 10, and activate it for security updates and a free Windows 11 upgrade (as long as you meet the requirements) for a fraction of the MRSP.

Does Windows 10 Have to Be So Expensive? (Spoiler: No)

If you’re in the market for a brand new Windows 10 key, you might have already been to the official Microsoft Store. If you haven’t, long story short: it can be quite expensive to buy a Windows 10 activation key from their store.

However, the Microsoft Store is not your only option, as you can see by just querying Google about how to get a cheap copy of Windows 10. The downside, alas, is that the number of search results can be overwhelming, furthermore, you must pay particular attention to the vendors on marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon, and third-party sellers: sometimes they offer dirt-cheap prices for dubious keys that may happen to be stolen, forged, or cloned.

The gray market is the place where these transactions happen, where licenses and keys might even be purchased with stolen credit cards or crypto-wallets. In addition, many vendors do not offer enough guarantees in case of issues, to the point that refunds might be denied and other unpleasant situations might arise (your key might be withdrawn by the software owner and you might lose both your license and your money).

Here’s how to maximize your Microsoft Windows purchase experience.

How to Save Money on Windows 10

If you want to save money on Windows 10, there is a great—and legit—option out there: Mr Key Shop, one of the best and most reputable Windows 10 resellers in the market. As they have served over 350k customers worldwide for almost two decades, Mr Key Shop built for itself a strong reputation of professionalism and premium service, as witnessed by their average Excellent rating on TrustPilot, a third-party feedback website where people can rate products, services, and websites.

As a third-party reseller, Mr Key Shop’s catalog encompasses the best Microsoft Operating Systems, Office suites, Antivirus Brands, and business tools in the likes of Microsoft Windows Server, Windows Storage Server, and SQL Server. Here, you can save up to 70% over the MSRP, and buy 100% legit keys only, with secure SSL-encrypted payment methods (PayPal, Stripe, Credit/Debit Card, and more), with a full money-back warranty, and one of the best Technical Support teams ever.

Since the very first day of business, Mr Key Shop has chosen not to ship any physical goods and be compliant with a strict eco-friendly business model. 18 years ago, digital delivery outside the gaming ecosystem, was still a gamble, however, Mr Key Shop went all-in and its customers proved it right.

If you want to save the environment, save money, and get one of the best customer experiences ever, go to Mr Key Shop and buy Windows 10 for a low price, then upgrade to Windows 11 for free! With the spare money, you could buy Microsoft Office 2021, the latest productivity suite, and complete your software collection.

If you’re interested in Microsoft Office, we also covered a couple of interesting topics in our articles: How to Buy and Download Office for Mac Without an Office 365 Subscription, Buy Microsoft Office With the Best Discount: Here’s How, and Could You Use a Free Microsoft Office Download? Here’s How to Get One.

That said, here are your options to buy Windows 10 at the best price.

How to Get Windows 10 for Free

If you want to know how to get Windows 10 for free, there are a couple of things you should factor in. Let’s start by saying that you can actually get Windows 10 for free and use it without a license.

You can grab your official Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft by following the guidance in our article: How to Download Windows 10 for Free: Your Step-by-Step Guide, and then install it without completing the activation procedure.

That said, there are downsides to consider: the first and foremost is that you won’t get any security updates from Microsoft, and won’t get any official assistance in case of issues. This is particularly concerning, because any non-addressed vulnerability may expose your system to online threats and exploits, like ransomware attacks, that can be devastating.

Furthermore, you’ll have an unpleasant watermark on your desktop, saying that your copy of Windows is not activated (and therefore not legit). Although it can be a minor annoyance, if you’re planning to record videos for YouTube or stream from your machine, it will look unprofessional.

Finally, you won’t be able to access personalization settings: no custom wallpapers, or slideshow backgrounds, and you can’t even change the color schemes. A real downside, especially if you care about these aspects.

How to Get Windows 10 at a Cheap Price

If you cannot accept the downsides of having a non-activated copy of Windows, here’s how to get Windows 10, cheaply.

As we mentioned earlier, your best option to get a Windows 10 key for cheap is Mr Key Shop: you’ll have 100% legit and guaranteed activation key, full access to an official ISO download link (safe and verified), some handy guidance to proceed with the download, installation, and activation of your new Windows system, and a full money-back warranty.

Mr Key Shop is also a Microsoft license reseller, this means that you can stay assured meaning you’ll always find cheap legal Windows 10 keys there, as well as many other products. In fact, they also work with trending overstock Microsoft Office licenses, going across the refurbished market, a practice that’s 100% legit and acknowledged by lawmakers across the world.

Just a couple of examples: right now you can buy Windows 10 Pro for $49.90 instead of $149.99 or you can purchase Windows 10 Home for $44.99 instead of $104.99.

Get Windows 10 at the Best Price With a Free Upgrade

There is a way to get the best price on Windows 10 by leveraging the free upgrade from older versions. It’s still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and 8.1, even if Microsoft said this program is over.

All you need is an activated instance of Windows 7 or 8 and the Media Creation Tool you can find on Microsoft’s Windows 10 official download page. The process is easy and straightforward.

If you want to spare even more cash, you can go to Mr Key Shop and get a license for Windows 7 or 8, costing even less than Windows 10.

Complete your purchase and follow the instructions attached to your order email to get things done in a couple of minutes. Once you have your activated Windows 10 instance, you can check your specs with PC Health Check and eventually proceed with your Windows 11 upgrade.

We covered how to benefit from this in our guide: Buy Windows 10 and Upgrade to Windows 11 for Free.

Another Method to Get a Free Windows 10 License

There’s another way to get a free Windows 10 license: if you have an older PC, maybe an obsolete laptop you’re not going to use anymore, or your previous desktop PC, you might be able to recover the license.

As long as your older machines were regularly activated, you can deactivate your licenses and reactivate them on a newer system. In case of issues, you’ll have to phone Microsoft and proceed with the automated registration process to activate your older licenses.

If you’re lucky enough to have an older legit license and if you manage to complete the automated telephone activation procedure, you might get your brand new Windows 10 license without shelling a dime!

Bonus – How to Get Windows Education for Free

Maybe you didn’t know how to get Windows Education for free, or perhaps you didn’t know that you can do it at all. If you’re a student, you should check with your university/college whether the tuition system includes a free license of Windows Education Edition or not.

Windows Education is a free version of Windows that’s not too different from other commercial versions and is often given to students for free. Some schools/universities also offer a license for Microsoft Office, therefore, if you’re eligible, you should apply for them as soon as you can. The best part is that licenses of this type never expire, even after you graduate. It’s really worth a try!


Windows 10 is a popular operating system that will be around until October 2025 before it reaches end of life. If you’re interested in getting your cheap Windows 10 key, we’ve just shared all the best methods you can follow to get Windows at the lowest price possible.

You may be tempted to go and try some shady tools to get a license without spending any money, however, we really want to discourage you from doing that. Firstly, it’s illegal, secondly, you may risk exposure to online threats like malware, ransomware, and other malicious tools that can damage you in a way that can be more expensive than one of the options we defined above.

Piracy is not an option, furthermore, legit and honest businesses like Mr Key Shop (your go-to Windows License reseller) deserve all our support, especially in times of uncertainty like these.

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About The Author

Matt L. Hall covers technology for MUO. Originally from Austin, Texas, he now resides in Boston with his wife, two dogs, and two cats. Matt earned his BA in English from the University of Massachusetts.

9 Risks of Cheap Windows 10 Keys You Must Not Ignore

All Refurbishers need to install a version of Windows onto a PC after wiping it. Offers to buy Cheap Windows 10 keys for cheaper prices abound, and who wouldn’t want to cut down the price of their keys? But short-term cost savings can come at the expense of severe risks and liabilities to your business.

In almost all cases, if a price looks too good to be true, then it is. Often, discounted licenses from non-Microsoft accredited providers are sourced through illegitimate. This means these licenses could jeopardize any Refurbisher who uses them.

In a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC) of the risks of counterfeit licenses to mid-sized businesses, 37% of the businesses surveyed unknowingly purchased counterfeit software.

Refurbishers need their customers to be confident that what they are buying is high-quality, safe, and legal. Avoiding the risks that come from cheap Windows 10 keys is essential to ensuring that you can continue to provide high quality refurbished products.

Let’s go through the 9 biggest risks of buying cheap Windows Microsoft Keys. Then, we’ll outline the ways that you can mitigate these risks.

Risk #1 Needing to buy twice

Cheap keys that come from too good to be true sites can provide keys that are already activated, or don’t belong to the site that is selling them. Counterfeit cheap Windows 10 keys that Microsoft detects will not be activated.

In a study conducted on counterfeit versions of Microsoft software, one in three could not be installed on a computer. The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) warns that when it comes to software licenses, “buy cheap, buy twice.”

Even if counterfeit keys are injected successfully, the cost savings can reverse entirely if the keys are subsequently detected as counterfeit.

In a recent case, a cleaning company in Southern England inadvertently bought counterfeit keys from a company in Italy. The licenses that the company bought had been sold to a different company entirely! The company had to replace all its PCs. In this case, buying a legitimate license from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher would have been much less expensive than buying a cheap Windows 10 key.

Risk #2 Ineligibility for Microsoft updates

A 2012 Court Ruling at the Europe Court of Justice ruled that, within the European Economic Area, software which has been sold permanently (rather than rented) can be legally sold on as “secondhand software” by the first buyer.

However, Linklaters notes that there is nothing in the judgement which suggests that any contractual obligations, beyond use of the program, should apply between the original software provider and any new acquirer. Therefore, separate agreements such as maintenance and support may not apply.

Cheap second-hand Windows 10 keys can sound appealing to Refurbishers, but they may be ineligible for future patches, upgrades, and support. This could mean that, if you use second-hand licenses, your customers do not have a right to Microsoft’s essential updates.

Risk #3 Susceptibility to Malware

Exacerbated by risk #2, any Windows device which is ineligible for updates is therefore ineligible for essential security updates. This leaves users at risk of security flaws which can be exploited by potentially dangerous software through hacking and phishing. The last thing that a Refurbisher wants to do is to sell a computer which is susceptible to security flaws that allow for data leaks and identity theft.

Microsoft claims ‘only genuine Windows operating systems offer to end users the quality and security they expect with the added benefit of ensuring their PC is always up to date.’ The best way to know that a license is genuine is through acquiring licenses from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher.

Risk #4 Licenses that are used more than once

According to the European Court of Justice’s 2012 ruling, an original owner who sells on ‘second-hand’ software must render the software unusable for themself. For instance, an owner of a Windows license must ensure that they themself are no longer able to use or inject that license when they sell it on.

When buying ‘second hand’ software, some suppliers do not delete the original copy and sell on the license multiple times. Licenses that are activated multiple times can be deactivated and escalated if they are discovered.

From 2022, Microsoft has moved injection and activation of all new keys to a cloud service, where no key can be injected more than once. Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) keys cannot be injected to multiple machines and are fully reported to Microsoft.

Risk #5 Injecting malicious software

To avoid paying the full price for a Microsoft License, some suppliers use unofficial tools to activate Microsoft Windows. One such software has been found to inject malicious software onto the system, called “CryptBot.” This Malware is designed to steal credentials for browsers, exploit browser cookies, and capture screenshots of the infected devices.

The IDC has concluded there is a ‘strong correlation’ between unlicensed software and malware, and so the best solution is for Refurbishers to ensure that all licenses that they use are legitimate.

Risk #6 Potential for fines

In recent years Microsoft has spent considerable time and resources to track down business that sell and use unlicensed and counterfeit software. Websites that sell cheap Windows keys often obtain them for use with academic, supplier, and internal copies of Microsoft Windows; to use them for other purposes is illegal and can be tracked down. For example, Microsoft sued the owner of Office Solutions USA LLC, for selling keys which he did not have the right to sell and in 2016 he owed Microsoft $1.2 million.

Risk #7 Consumers won’t know it’s genuine

The industry standard to ensure that a second hand device has been injected with a legitimate  version of Windows is a holographic Genuine Microsoft Refurbisher Label (GMRL) on the system. These can only be obtained by buying a license from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher. Without a GMRL label, neither a Refurbisher nor their customers can easily show that they are using a genuine Windows License.

How can I mitigate these risks?

Buying licenses through a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher is the best way to avoid the risks that come with cheaper keys. At SMART we are a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, as a subsidiary of Global Resale, and therefore you can trust that our licenses will be secure, reliable, and legitimate.

A Refurbisher ourselves, we originally made SMART as a solution to the risks that we saw with alternative means of injecting licenses. Made by Refurbishers for Refurbishers, SMART mitigates risk in the following ways:

  • Risk #1 Needing to buy twice

By using a cloud-based solution for license injections, SMART ensures that all licenses are legitimate and will be seamlessly injected into the device.

  • Risk #2 Ineligibility for Microsoft updates

Using SMART, you buy a license from Microsoft and therefore the device is eligible for all Microsoft updates covered by standard maintenance and support agreements.

  • Risk #3 Susceptibility to malware

By buying from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, you can be confident that a device you refurbish will be up to date. Our SAAS solution ensures that your device will be eligible for relevant security updates for as long as you use the service.

  • Risk #4 Licenses that are used more than once

Our Web App ensures that you can keep track of precisely which key was injected to which device by using the device serial number, and never worry that a key has been injected more than once.

  • Risk #5 Injecting malicious software

We use SMART as a tool for our own refurbishing by injecting legitimate Microsoft licenses. Microsoft assures that Windows licenses from Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers are ‘free of defects, malware and viruses that could negatively impact your privacy and security.’

  • #6 Risk of fines

All Microsoft keys are accurately reported to Microsoft via our SMART client automatically at the point of injection. Microsoft will know that your license is legitimate, which removes all risks of fines.

  • #7 Consumers won’t know it’s genuine

In 2021, we won the Microsoft Innovation Award; we know how to provide excellence in new solutions such as cloud-based license injection. By buying from SMART, you are buying from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, which carries a seal of approval that your license is genuine and approved by Microsoft.

Sign up to SMART to remove the risks that come with cheaper keys, and to buy legitimate licenses that are approved by Microsoft.

Clean install of Windows 10 | Everyday life of technical support

In today’s article, we’ll talk about how to install a clean Windows 10 operating system on your computer.

The cost of Windows 10 ranges from $130 to $200, but you can not buy 10k, but buy 7k (it’s cheaper) and use its key to activate 10k. Previously, this action was impossible, it was only possible to install 7ku, and then upgrade to 10ke, but now Microsoft has improved Windows 10 and added the ability to activate the system with a key for the 7th or 8th version of Windows. By the way, there are other ways to upgrade Windows 7 and 8 to 10 for free, you can read them in the article “All Ways to Get Windows 10 for Free“.

Option one: Create installation media and install Windows 10 from scratch

Download and run the utility from Microsoft, it will download the latest version of Windows 10 and create an installation USB. You can also use it to download a Windows 10 image for burning to a DVD.

Run the downloaded MediaCreationTool and select «Create installation media for another computer».

Select the installation language, Windows Professional or Home, and the bit depth 32 or 64. Select the system to which you have a key. If you have a key to a 32-bit version of Windows 10 pro and you install a 10-bit version of another version or another edition (home, education or corporate), the system will not accept your key, you will be able to work with it, but you will see the message “Windows is not activated”. Also, if you have a key to 32 bit 7 pro, you need to choose 10 pro 32 bit.

After creating the installation disk or flash drive, insert this media into your computer => reboot it and choose how to boot your computer from this media.

If the computer starts from the installation media, you will see the inscription “press any key to boot from …”, while the dots are coming, you need to have time to press any key, if you did not have time, the installed system will start loading and you will have to restart the computer. In the window that appears, select «Install now», in the window where you will be asked to enter the Windows key — click «skip» (if this computer already had Windows 10 before or if your keys are from Windows 7 or 8). If this computer did not have Windos 10 before and you have a key to Windows 10, enter it in this window.

In the “Select installation type” window, select “Custom…” to install a clean Windows 10. If you select “Upgrade…”, the system will become on top of the existing one and there will be a lot of garbage from the previous version of Windows on the system disk.

Next, you need to divide the disk, or if it is already divided, reconsider the need for partitions and delete some and expand others. Of course, you can’t delete partitions that have the files you need, usually everything you need from the system disk (desktop, documents, etc.) is transferred to another disk and only after that they start installing the new system, and when dividing the disk, the “System Reserved” partition is deleted ” and the system drive, and do not touch the one on which the necessary information is. Then select the partition for installing the system and click «Next». At the end of the installation, you may be asked again for the key to Windows — click «do it later».

After installation, Windows will automatically activate (if this hardware already had Windows 10 before) and you can check the activation by going to the Start menu => Settings => Update and Security => Activation. If you want to activate the system using a Windows 7 or 8 key, enter it in this window.

It happens that Microsoft servers are overloaded and activation does not take place immediately, you should not worry about this, you need to wait a little time, or you can speed up activation using the command:

1 . Open a command prompt as an administrator: One way is to right-click on the Start menu and select “Command Prompt (Admin)”.

2 . Type the command slmgr.vbs /ato and press the Enter key. As a result, it will write that the activation was successful.

Second option: Reset and delete everything.

If you have upgraded your computer from Windows 7 or 8 to 10, you can simply reset everything and get a clean Windows operating system in a few clicks. This feature will help those who want a clean operating system, and when updating it, it pulled up a lot of unnecessary things, or those who have a lot of errors on their computer.

Go to the “Start” menu => Settings => Update and security => in the left column, select “Recovery” => in the right column next to “Reset your computer”, left-click on “Start”.

During the reset, you can choose to keep your files and settings, or get a clean Windows 10 without unnecessary settings.

Everything is simple here, after a few clicks you will have a clean operating system and will not need to reinstall it again. Windows will reinstall itself using the files it contains.

That’s all for today, if you know other ways or have additions — write comments! Good luck 🙂

Read also:

Get Microsoft Windows 10 and Office Lifetime Licenses Cheap

Home Technology Back to School Sale: Get Microsoft Windows 10 and Office Lifetime Licenses. .. 9 0003


Last updated 01/12/2023 by Vasily Ivanov

Obtaining a Windows or Office license directly from Microsoft can be very expensive. Obviously, this can be a deterrent for many people who need to use a computer and need the tools provided by Office but don’t have the money or just don’t want to shell out that much money.

Luckily, we know how you can save money and get the licenses you need because Keysbuff is running a massive promotion!

Back to School Sale for Microsoft Windows and Office

Keysbuff has a great promotion for those who want genuine licenses for their computers. Let’s see what deals they have this time around:

  • Windows 10 Pro Lifetime Global Permanent Activation: $14.4 with 30% discount code MAKE25.
  • Windows 10 Home Lifetime Global Permanent Activation: $13 with 30% discount code MAKE25
  • Office 2016 Pro Plus Lifetime Global Permanent Activation: $26.7 with 30% discount code MAKE25.
  • Office 2019 Pro Plus Lifetime Global Permanent Activation: $43.4 with 30% discount code MAKE25
  • Windows 10 Home + Office 2016 Pro Plus Lifetime Global: $29.7 with 30% discount code MAKE25
  • Windows 10 Home + Office 2019Pro Plus Lifetime Global: $41.8 with 30% discount code MAKE25
  • Windows 10 Pro + Office 2016 Pro Plus Lifetime Global: $34.2 with 30% discount code MAKE25
  • Windows 10 Pro + Office 2019 Pro Plus Lifetime Global: $51.7 with 30% discount code MAKE25
  • Windows 11 Pro Lifetime Global Permanent Activation: $20.9 with 30% discount code MAKE25.
  • Office 2021 Pro Plus Lifetime Global Permanent Activation: $43.8 with 30% discount code MAKE25

How to get a genuine license from Keysbuff

Whether you want a single Windows license for Office, it doesn’t matter because we’ll help you place your order. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Click on the link of the offer you want to purchase and you will be redirected to the product page. From there, click on the Sign Up button to create an account. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete the entire process. You will need to use a valid account email address as this is where the Windows or Office keys will be sent after the purchase is made.
  2. Enter the number of licenses you want to buy in the QTY section.
  3. Make sure you use our coupon code in the «Promotion» field to get an additional 30% discount: MAKE25
  4. Complete your purchase and wait a few minutes for the code to be sent to your inbox.

How to activate Windows 10 with a Keysbuff

Now that you have your Windows 10 key in your inbox, it’s time to use it. Let’s see what you need to do.

  1. First you need to turn on your computer and sign in to your account.
  2. Then go to Windows and go to «Settings» to open a menu where you need to enter your product key.
  3. Click «Activation» and go to the next menu.
  4. There is a «Change Product Key» button that you need to click and enter the code you received in the email.