Windows 10: How the clean install works with the free upgrade promotion

Microsoft is relaxing its licensing policy and it will let users do a clean install of Windows 10 after upgrading for free.

Windows 10 desktop and Joe Belfiore

Microsoft will let you perform a clean install of Windows 10 after you upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. On July 29, the software maker will release Windows 10 to the masses as part of its campaign to speed up the adoption of the new operating system. The company will offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade for Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 (SP1) users.

However, the promotion well says that it’s an “upgrade” offer, which suggests that you can’t perform a clean install of the operating system. If you want to re-install Windows you’ll need to re-install your old operating system first and then upgrade to Windows 10, which is not a convenient way to do things.

Now, things are going to change, according to Gabriel Aul, Microsoft’s head of the Windows Insider program, said on Twitter on a response to a follower that those users preferring to do a clean install of the operating system will have to upgrade once, then they will be able to do a clean install of Windows 10 without the need of going through a time consuming upgrade process.

We also can assume that the company will be offering the ISO files of Windows 10 to do the clean installation.

This is a really good news for users as a clean install is really the only way to guarantee a good installation of the operating system. However, it’s unclear how the licensing will work. We don’t know if your current Windows 8 or Windows 7 license will change during the upgrade or if it will just be converted to a Windows 10 license.

No surprising Microsoft is relaxing how the upgrade will work on Windows 10, as the company only wants customers to quickly adopt the new operating system, and making easier for users to upgrade anyway they like is one way to get everyone to upgrade.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows expert and the Editor-in-Chief who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He is also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 12 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows, software, and related technologies, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and