How to Download a Free Upgrade for Windows

By Nathaniel Miller

It's that time again -- Microsoft has just released a newer, improved version of Windows (Windows 7) and as long as you purchased a Vista equipped computer between June 26, 2009, and Jan. 31, 2010, downloading a free Windows 7 upgrade is as simple as ABC. There is usually an Upgrade Advisor available for download. You need to download this installer, run it and it will assess your computer to see if it meets the system requirements for the upgraded Windows version. If your computer doesn't make the cut, the Upgrade Advisor tells you which component is inadequate and why. If that happens, you need to upgrade your hardware first. If your computer hardware meets the criteria, you are ready to upgrade Windows.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access

Step 1

Go online to the Microsoft download center (see Resources). Locate the text box labeled "Top Downloads For." Select the drop-down list beside it and select "System Tools." Click on the "Go" button. The Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor will be available as one of the entries in the result.

Step 2

Click the link for the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. You'll get a page where you can download the advisor. Press the "Download" button. You will be prompted to save or open the file. Select "Save" and specify a folder where the installer can be placed. The download should commence.

Step 3

Wait for the download to complete. Open a file browser window to make sure the file is available. Now your advisor is ready to be installed.

Step 4

Install and run the advisor by double-clicking on its desktop icon. If your computer meets the requirements, on screen instructions will direct you on how to download the new operating system for free (after Oct. 22, 2009). Simply submit your requested information and await your upgrade confirmation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Before running the upgrade advisor, make sure all the devices that you normally connect to your computer are in place and powered on. This will help the installer accurately assess the readiness of your system for the upgrade.