Microsoft is getting closer to its goal of moving all individual Windows PC users to Windows 10. Recent moves made by the tech giant have been in line with that vision. For example, Windows 10 S has been recently released. Focusing on performance and security, this variant of the OS should help assuage the fears of those reluctant to make the jump because of security concerns.

The company also keeps updating the main Windows 10 operating system. Regular security patches and other small updates keep the system secure while maximizing performance. All in all, the arguments for sticking with older versions of Windows are becoming less convincing.

For those who have decided to make the jump, the Windows Media Creation Tool is perfect for the transition. This tool also works for updating to the latest build of Windows 10.

With the Media Creation Tool, you can update your system instantly or create a mountable ISO file. This tool also provides the option to copy the installation files to a USB drive or DVD.

If you’re looking for information about upgrading to or updating Windows 10 with the Media Creation Tool several years after the original Microsoft free upgrade ended, this article has everything you need.

What Is the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool?

The Windows 10 Media Creation Tool is a simple utility for upgrading Windows. It creates a setup image of Windows 10, which the user can install on their system. The tool’s original purpose is to update the current OS to the latest version. However, it is used for manual Windows 10 updates as well.

With this tool, you can download a Windows OS image and save it to your PC. Whether you want to immediately install the OS or do it later or on another PC, the Media Creation Tool is suitable.

Does the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool Still Work?

According to some users, you can save a few bucks by using the free upgrade tool instead of paying for a license key. Even though the free upgrade program has officially ended, you can still upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 for free.

So, yes. The Media Creation Tool still works. With some caveats, of course.

The first is that your current OS should be an original copy with a product key. This way, you’ll be able to claim a digital license for the latest Windows 10 version rather than entering a paid Windows 10 license key.

Here are some things you can do with the Microsoft Media Creation Tool even now:

  • Upgrade your Windows 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10
  • Update your current version of Windows 10 to the latest release
  • Update Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro if you have the product key for a business edition of Windows 7/8/8.1
  • Create a Windows 10 installation drive

If you’re looking for a stress-free way to carry out any of those operations for free, using the Media Creation Tool is recommended. Since it still works for upgrades, you’d want to take advantage of it before the folks at Microsoft put a stop to free upgrades.

How to Get the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

Now that you know that you can upgrade your OS for free years after the free upgrade period supposedly ended, you can wheel out your old computer and install Windows 10 on it using the Media Creation Tool.

You can get the Media Creation Tool on the Microsoft website. The tool can either be downloaded to your desktop and launched or used straight from the website.

To get the Media Creation Tool, proceed to this website:

After downloading this tool, you can proceed with installing Windows 10 or create a bootable ISO image on a removable medium. You can even visit this page from a mobile phone and download a Windows 10 ISO file, which you can then transfer to your PC.

How to Use the Media Creation Tool in Windows 10

Before you go ahead and upgrade or update your PC via the Media Creation Tool, make sure that your PC and programs meet all the conditions below:

  • The current version of Windows on your PC should be properly activated. If you’re upgrading to Windows 10 via the free upgrade method, you need a genuine product key so that you can obtain a free Windows 10 license after the upgrade.
  • Make sure that your hardware drivers have been updated. It is essential that chipset, audio, network, USB, and graphic drivers, in particular, are up to date. This will help prevent compatibility issues during and after the upgrade. If you’re not sure which of your hardware drivers require updates, try Auslogics Driver Updater, which is a quick way to identify and update obsolete drivers on your PC.
  • Install all available BIOS updates for the PC. This step will help older computers work better when running Windows 10.
  • Disconnect all peripheral devices from the computer before starting the upgrade process. This will help avoid possible interference that can stop updates from installing correctly.
  • Remove your antivirus from the PC before you start the upgrade. As long as you retain access to your product activation key, reinstalling the AV tool shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Duplicate your important data to an external hard drive or the cloud. This will prevent data loss if something goes wrong and all your files are lost. You can also create a full system image of your current Windows version and back it up.

With these preliminaries taken care of, you can now update or upgrade your machine with the Media Creation Tool.

Here’s the process you’ve been waiting for:

First, open your browser on your computer and visit the Windows 10 download page. The page will inform you that a license key is required to install Windows 10. Click the “Download tool now” button to save the Media Creation Tool to your computer.

When the download is done, double-click the exe file to launch the tool. If a license terms page shows up, accept the terms and conditions to proceed. Tick the relevant box to indicate your agreement and click the Accept button to move to the next step.

The Windows 10 Setup screen will launch. It is also known as the “What do you want to do?” screen. You have two options here:

  • Upgrade this PC now
  • Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another computer

The first option is suitable if you intend to upgrade the PC immediately. The second option will download a Windows 10 image, which you can either mount as a virtual drive or burn to removable media.

For an instant upgrade, choose “Upgrade this PC now” and click Next.

The Windows Media Creation Tool will start downloading the installation files for Windows 10. The download duration depends on the size of the installation files and your network speed.

When all the needed files have been downloaded, you will get the “Ready to install” screen. You will be asked to choose what should be kept and what should be deleted along with your current Windows version:

  • Keep personal files and apps
  • Keep personal files only
  • Nothing

Make your choice and continue with the rest of the upgrade. The installation process will begin after you click the Install button.

The process may take a while. If your computer uses an SSD as primary storage, the upgrade will take less time to finish. Your computer will boot up a couple of times during the upgrade.

When Windows 10 is installed, you can check your activation status by navigating to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Activation. You will notice that your PC has been activated with a digital license. Even if it isn’t activated, you can enter your old product key, and a Windows 10 digital license will be assigned to the computer.

Go ahead and install your software and connect your USB devices.

How to Create Windows 10 Installation Media

If you want to install Windows 10 on multiple computers and don’t want to bother with downloading the installation file every time, you can save it. This will enable you to use it repeatedly as long as the PC you want to upgrade supports the upgrade process.

On the “What do you want to do?” screen, select the second option:

  • Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another computer

If you just want a Windows image, select the option to create an ISO file. If you want the setup on a USB drive, choose that option. Make sure a USB flash drive is already plugged in if you want to go that route.

The Media Creation Tool will download the necessary files. When it is done, you can manually run the Windows 10 Setup program on a computer running Windows 7 or later.

The upgrade process will run as described previously. By upgrading to Windows 10, you’re also exchanging your product key for a digital license. This license is linked to the device, so you can update your PC or reinstall Windows 10 on it using this method as many times as you like.

Pro Tip: Windows 10 might run a bit slowly on older computers – and understandably so, since those PCs are optimized for older versions of Windows. Using an ancient PC after an upgrade can be mildly frustrating, especially if old files and apps were kept.

A tool like Auslogics BoostSpeed can make the user experience better. You can use it to clean up your PC and optimize it for better performance.

Final Fix: Run a dedicated PC optimization tool to get rid of incorrect settings, junk files, harmful apps, and security threats that can cause system issues or slow performance.

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