Historically the free upgrade offer from Microsoft has been time-limited.

Windows 11 Time Limited
© Windows / © IMS Technology

In case you missed the memo, Windows 10 installs with valid licences are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11, with the licence also changing to a legitimate Windows 11 licence. Whether your computer can run Windows 11 is another thing entirely, but for those that can, the option of a free upgrade is fantastic.

Is the free upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 only for a limited time?

Microsoft offering a free upgrade from its previous operating system to its newest isn’t a new idea. In fact, a similar programme was a part of the release of Windows 10, with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users offered a free upgrade to Windows 10. This programme was only available for a limited time, however.

It is hard to say if this will be the case for the Windows 11 upgrade, as a single prior instance hardly counts as a trend. So while it is difficult to say how likely a limited time period for the Windows 11 upgrade is, there is definitely a chance.

How long will the free Windows 11 upgrade be available?

The Windows 7 and 8.1 to Windows 10 free upgrade programme ran for exactly a year from the release date of Windows 10, with the launch being 29th July 2015, and the end of the programme being 29th July 2016. There was however an exception in the programme for those who would be using the operating system for “assistive technologies”, for example, computers for the disabled or elderly. This means while the free upgrade was available for 1 year for most, for caregivers and other businesses in the field of care and assistance, it was available for 2 years and 6 months.

If the Windows 11 upgrade programme will run for a similar length of time has yet to be announced, if there is a time frame at all. There is still a good chance however of this being the case, especially as the upgrade choice this time around is already more limited. This upgrade programme is only available for Windows 10, the last iteration, while the programme to upgrade for Windows 10 for free was open to users of the prior two iterations.

If Microsoft does decide to end the programme after a year, it would end on 5th October 2022. This is also the date that Microsoft includes in their FAQ, where it states “Microsoft reserves the right to eventually end support for the free offer. This end date will be no sooner than 5 October 2022.”

We, therefore, recommend that you take advantage of the free upgrade sooner rather than later. Especially as Windows 10 will be End of Life in less than 4 years (14th October 2025), at which point it will no longer get important security updates.

If you are looking to switch to Windows 11, or have an enquiry regarding Windows 11, don’t hesitate to get in touch. One of our expert advisors will be more than happy to give an in-depth, no-obligation consultation to discuss Windows 11 with you.

Interested in learning more?