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When something goes wrong with your Windows operating system (OS), you can restore it from a backup version or reinstall a fresh one from the installation ISO file that burned into a DVD disc or integrated into a USB flash drive. However, if you don’t have at least one already, you need to find and download the installation ISO file yourself.
We all know that Microsoft allows you to download Windows installation ISO files for free, you just have to know where to go to find and then download them.
Note: If you want to download Windows 7 ISO directly from Microsoft, you must have a valid retail license key to verify before downloading the file. If you don’t have a valid license key, you can use the method #3 that listed below to download needed ISO file.
Related Article: How To Download And Use Windows 10 Media Creation Tool
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There are a few methods you can use to find and download Windows installation ISO files legally. By that, I would suggest you never download ISO files from untrusted sources, such as BitTorrent because those files may come with viruses or malware. Instead, follow this guide and you will be able to download Windows installation ISO files directly from Microsoft.
Download Windows 10 Or Windows 8.1 ISO Using Media Creation Tool
If you can access any Windows PCs, you will be able to download Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 ISO files by using the Media Creation Tool. Generally, when you use this tool to download Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 installation file, there is not much different between both versions. So, I will use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to download Windows 10 ISO file, as an example in this guide.
Firstly, you need to download the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool or the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, depends on which version of Windows you want. So, visit the appropriate link above to download the right version.
In the next step, open the file that you have recently downloaded, to launch the Media Creation Tool. It will ask you to “Accept” or “Decline” the License terms. Just click “Accept” to go through the “License terms” step.
The Media Creation Tool will ask you “What do you want to do?“. Just choose “Create installation media for another PC“, and then click the “Next” button.
Next, you can select language, edition, and architecture of the Windows 10 OS you want to download. Then click on the “Next” button.
However, you must remember that the license you have – will only work with the appropriate version of Windows. For example, if your license is for Windows 10 Pro, you can’t use it to activate Windows 10 Home edition. So make sure you choose and download the right version of Windows that match with your product key.
Finally, select the “ISO file” option to save Windows 10 installation ISO file to your computer. Just choose the folder you want to store this ISO file and then click on the “Save” button.
After that, the media creation tool will start to download the installation ISO file from the Microsoft’s server. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, it may take a few hours or less to complete. When it’s finished, you can burn that ISO file to a DVD or even make a bootable USB flash drive from the downloaded ISO file to install Windows 10.
You also can use that ISO file to create a virtual machine, install Windows 10 and then use without any issues.
Note: If you are using the Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool, there are a bit different from the Windows 10 version, like no license terms window to ask you accept or decline. The tool also redirects you to where you can choose language, edition, and architecture of the Windows 8.1 OS instead of asking you what to do like in Windows 10 Media Creation Tool.
Microsoft won’t allow us to download the ISO file for Windows 8 anymore, just Windows 8.1. Also, you can’t use a Windows 8 license key to install or activate Windows 8.1. So if this is your situation, just download the Windows 8 ISO file and then perform a clean Windows 8 installation and use your license key to activate it.
Next, do a free upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1 and Microsoft will assign a new license key to the Windows 8.1 installation. You can find this new product key in many different ways and then save it for the future. In the next time, you will be able to perform a clean Windows 8.1 installation using this new product key without any issues.
Download Windows 7 SP1 ISO Installation File Directly From Microsoft
If you have a valid Windows 7 product key, you can use it to download the Windows 7 SP1 ISO file directly from the Microsoft’s website.
Firstly, visit the page above, provide your valid Windows license key and click on the “Verify” button to begin the download process.
After your Windows 7 license key is verified, you will be able to choose the language and then click on the “Confirm” button.
Next, you have to select “32-bit” or “64-bit” version to download. Just click on the version that you want and then the download process will begin automatically.
When it’s completed, you can burn this ISO file to a DVD or make a bootable USB flash drive to install Windows 7 SP1. The best method to create a bootable USB flash drive is to use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool, check it out!
Download Any Windows ISO Files Using A Third-Party Tool
There is a tool called “Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool” that allows you to choose the version of Windows you want and then get the direct link from Microsoft’s server to download the ISO file. This is a free utility that was developed by Jan Krohn.
It provides a simple interface, allow you to select the version of Windows OS, language and then architecture you want. Then the tool will generate the direct link from Microsoft’s server, and you can use this link to download the ISO file. I usually use this method because it’s flexible that I can copy the generated link and then paste it into the Internet Download Manager application to download the Windows ISO file.
All of these links will only valid for up to 24 hours. But you can use this tool to generate a new link whenever you want. That’s not a problem at all, right?
How Can I Sure That These Windows ISOs Are Original?
If somehow, you can’t download Windows ISOs from above places, you can try to download them from other places, such as other websites that shared Windows ISOs via downloadable links, or torrent sites. As I mentioned before in this guide, downloading Windows ISO files from untrusted sources is never a good idea at all.
However, there is still a way that you can verify if a particular Windows ISO file is clean or not by using the free MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility and a bit help from Microsoft.
Assume that you have already downloaded a Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) ISO file from an untrusted source and now you want to verify it before installing. So to get started, go here to download the free MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility.
Visit this page, choose the appropriate Windows 7 Ultimate version that listed on the page and then click on the “Details” link.
Note: You will see a Download button there, but it doesn’t work until you have an MSDN subscription which costs you around $1,000. So, just ignore it.
You have to compare the file name of the ISO file you have downloaded with the file name that listed on the Microsoft’s website if it’s matched or not.
If it does not match, then you probably choose a wrong version of Windows 7 Ultimate, go back to the Microsoft’s website mentioned above and choose the right one.
Next, copy the SHA1 value of the ISO file that listed on the Microsoft’s website. Then open the MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility and paste the SHA1 value there.
In the next step, click on the “Browse” button to choose the downloaded ISO file that you want to verify. After selecting the file, wait for a few minutes until it displays all details of the ISO file, including MD5, SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512. Then click on the “Verify” button to check if the SHA-1 value is matched or not.
If you got the “SHA-1 Hash matched” message, that means the Windows 7 Ultimate (x64) ISO file is 100% original.
Note: The MD5 & SHA Checksum Utility requires the .NET Framework 3.5 or up to work. Windows will ask you to install it if your PC does not have it already.
Have any questions want to ask me? Please leave your comment below!
How can I download Windows ISO legally? ›
You can legally download the Windows 8 and Windows 10 ISOs directly from Microsoft with the Media Creation Tool. Microsoft no longer offers Windows 7 ISOs for download. You can reinstall Windows from scratch using the product key that came with your PC, but you'll have to find installation media yourself.Where can I download Windows 10 ISO legally? ›
To use the media creation tool, visit the Microsoft Software Download Windows 10 page from a Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 device. You can use this page to download a disc image (ISO file) that can be used to install or reinstall Windows 10.Where can I download Windows 7 ISO legally? ›
- Visit Microsoft Windows 7 ISO download page: https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows7.
- Enter the product key in the text box at the bottom of the page, and hit the Verify button.
- Select the product language.
The only legal way to get a completely free copy of Windows 7 is by transferring a licence from another Windows 7 PC for which you didn't pay a penny – perhaps one that's been passed on to you from a friend or relative or one you've picked up from Freecycle, for example.How can I get Windows 10 legally? ›
Windows 10 is available two ways: by purchasing a new device with Windows 10 or by purchasing and installing a full version of the software on compatible Windows 7 PCs. To take advantage of the latest hardware capabilities, we recommend moving to a new PC with Windows 10.Are Windows ISO files free? ›
FAQs about ISO files
Yes. Microsoft offers ISO files for free on its website. You can legally download these for free, but you'll still need to buy a Windows 10 license once you create installation media to activate the operating system.
Downloading a full version of Windows 10 for free from a third party source is absolutely illegal and we wouldn't recommend it.Is installing Windows 10 without activation illegal? ›
Installing Windows without a license is not illegal. However, activating the operating system through other means without an officially purchased product key is illegal. If you plan to use Windows 10 at home but don't want to pay, it may be better to use the system without activation.How many GB is Windows 10 ISO file? ›
|Windows 10 release||ISO size|
|Windows 10 1809 (17763)||5.32GB|
|Windows 10 1903 (18362)||5.13GB|
|Windows 10 1909 (18363)||5.42GB|
|Windows 10 2004 (19041)||5.24GB|
In 7-Zip File Manager, navigate to folder with ISO file, left click on folders until you find the ISO file you want to install (in this example Visio 2010). Make sure ISO file is highlighted and click on Extract button in top left hand corner of the File Manager.
Is Windows 7 free now 2022? ›
7 Still does not come for free.Does 7zip do ISO? ›
The main features of 7-Zip
Supported formats: Packing / unpacking: 7z, XZ, BZIP2, GZIP, TAR, ZIP and WIM. Unpacking only: APFS, AR, ARJ, CAB, CHM, CPIO, CramFS, DMG, EXT, FAT, GPT, HFS, IHEX, ISO, LZH, LZMA, MBR, MSI, NSIS, NTFS, QCOW2, RAR, RPM, SquashFS, UDF, UEFI, VDI, VHD, VHDX, VMDK, XAR and Z.
If you want to run Windows 7 on your PC, here's what it takes: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor* 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit) 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)Which OS is freely available? ›
- Oracle Linux.
Businesses still using Windows 7 are at great risk, and should form an update plan. For those still using Windows 7, the deadline to upgrade from it has passed - it's now an unsupported operating system (OS).How much does a Windows 10 Licence cost? ›
The easiest but most expensive way to get Windows is to buy your key directly from Microsoft.com. You can get Windows 10 Home (opens in new tab) or Windows 11 Home for $139 (opens in new tab). And you can get Windows 10 Pro (opens in new tab) or Windows 11 Pro for $199 (opens in new tab).Is Windows 10 license for lifetime? ›
MICROSOFT Windows 10 Professional Lifetime Validity For 1 Pc Professional 32/64 Bit.
|Model Number||Windows 10 Professional Lifetime Validity For 1 Pc|
The free upgrades will continue into 2022. If you're still running Windows 7 but want to upgrade to Windows 11, you'll first need to upgrade to Windows 10 to be eligible.Can I install ISO without USB? ›
You don't need a bootable USB flash drive or Media Creation Tool to install Windows 11 on a computer already running Windows 10. You can simply mount the ISO file to File Explorer and run the upgrade setup.Is ISO Windows file is bootable? ›
If you download Windows 11 or 10 as an ISO file, you'll need to burn it to a bootable DVD or copy it to a bootable USB drive to install it on your target computer.
Can you run ISO file without CD? ›
With WinRAR you can open an . iso file as a normal archive, without having to burn it to a disk. This requires that you download and install WinRAR first, of course.Can I download Windows 8.1 for free? ›
Windows 8.1 is a free update for Windows 8 tablets and PCs.Is Windows 11 free now? ›
Upgrades to Windows 11 from Windows 10 will be free.How do I bypass Windows activation? ›
Click on the Ease of Access Center. Make sure your view mode is set to Large icons to see this menu. Click on the Make the computer easier to see link under the Explore all settings section. Scroll down until you see Remove background images (where available) and place a checkmark in the box to enable the feature.Can 1GB RAM run Windows 10? ›
1GB of RAM is the minimum system requirement for the 32-bit version of Windows 10, and while I've gotten Windows 10 to run on this much RAM, I don't recommend it.How many GB is Window 7? ›
Windows 7 uses total of 10.5 GBs of disk space. Maximum memory limit for Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit) is 16 GBs, 3.2 GBs (3.2 GBs). Was this reply helpful?Is 512MB enough for Windows 10? ›
512MB is not enough RAM. Two other "maybe" reasons: 3. There's a good chance that your very old computer has hardware that is not compatible with Windows 10.Is WinRAR better than 7-Zip? ›
Compression rate and file size, compression method
Based on the type of file and compression you need, tests have shown WinRAR to compress up to 40% of the original file in RAR format. RAR always has a faster compression rate than ZIP when using WinRAR, but its overall compression rate is slower than WinZip or 7-Zip.
If you have an ISO file to open, ensure that the ISO file extension check box is ticked in the WinRAR Integration panel: WinRAR can open ISO extension. 2. Double-click on the file and it will be displayed in WinRAR.Is 7-Zip faster than Windows? ›
7-Zip is significantly faster than Windows 10 at compressing files, it is more effective (smaller outputs), and is better at estimating time to completion/progress.
Is XP still supported? ›
After April 8, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or Microsoft vender provided technical support for Windows XP.Is Windows 8.1 end of life? ›
You can install new apps and games on a Windows 8.1 PC from Microsoft Store until January 10, 2023, and you can continue to use installed apps and games on a Windows 8.1 PC after that date. You will not be able to make any new app purchases or any in-app purchases after January 10, 2023.Is Linux or Windows better? ›
Linux offers great speed and security, on the other hand, Windows offers great ease of use, so that even non-tech-savvy people can work easily on personal computers. Linux is employed by many corporate organizations as servers and OS for security purpose while Windows is mostly employed by business users and gamers.Can 7-Zip be hacked? ›
The latest versions of 7-Zip contain a vulnerability (CVE-2022-29072) that lets hackers gain administrative privileges on a system.Is 7Z faster than zip? ›
Faster than zip compression speed results
7Z Zstandard and 7Z Brotli at normal compression level are approximatively 3x times faster than ZIP Deflate at normal compression level, 2.5x times faster than ZIP Deflate fastest level.
In a nutshell, an ISO image is an entire optical disk (DVD, CD, Blu-ray) stored in a single file. They are similar to . rar and . zip files in that ISOs are a single file that can hold many files within it, however, ISOs do not use any compression.Is win7 faster than win 10? ›
Although Windows 7 still outperforms Windows 10 across a selection of apps, expect this to be short-lived as Windows 10 continues to receive updates. In the meantime, Windows 10 boots, sleeps, and wakes faster than its predecessors, even when loaded on an older machine.What's the highest RAM a PC can have? ›
The capacities are as follows, permitting you have the physical space to fit the RAM modules. 64-bit systems - Windows 10 Home supports up to 128 GB. However, Windows 10 Pro, Education, and Enterprise allow as much as 2 TB.IS 512 MB RAM enough for Windows 7? ›
Is Windows 7 compatible with systems that have only 512MB of RAM? Yes, it will work, however i would only use it for word processing, web browsing and the like. Windows 7 can run with less memory available, but in this day & age, there is no reason to have anything less than two gigabytes of ram.What OS do NASA use? ›
As for the other computer systems in and around NASA's many missions, from the ground control to ISS laptops, Linux is used due to its stability.
What OS use hackers? ›
- Kali Linux. It is the most widely used ethical hacking OS. ...
- Parrot Security OS. ...
- DEFT Linux. ...
- Samurai Web Testing Framework. ...
- NodeZero Linux. ...
- Linux Kodachi. ...
- Blackarch Linux. ...
- Network Security Toolkit (NST)
Performance. One of the main differences in Windows 7 and Windows 11, is in how the OS prioritizes application windows. While both systems are optimized for performance, Windows 11 makes use of the foreground process to load applications more quickly.Is Win 11 better than win 10? ›
Better virtual desktop support
You'll find it easier to create and toggle between different virtual desktops in Windows 11 than in Windows 10. Windows 11 lets you set up virtual desktops in a way that's similar to on a Mac. It allows you to toggle between multiple desktops at once for personal, work, school or gaming.
Windows 11 will improve your gaming experience. Unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 supports the newest gaming technologies, some previously available only for Xbox users. The Game Mode that helped Windows 10 run newer games on older setups is available on Windows 11 too, but it's improved.Are ISO Files Legal? ›
No. Microsoft provides licensed users ISO images on DVD for the purpose of installation. Your license permits you to use that image for that purpose on a single system.How can I get Windows 11 for free Legally? ›
Just navigate to: Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for updates and Windows 11 should show up, if your PC is compatible. Then follow the onscreen prompts.How can I download Windows 11 ISO for free? ›
- Navigate to the Windows 11 ISO page (opens in new tab).
- Select Windows 11 from the menu under "Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)." If you want to go straight to creating a USB Flash drive, you can download the Windows 11 Installation Media tool from here. ...
- Click Download.
Still, the Windows operating system gives you the option to mount, burn, or copy an ISO file on your computer completely free of charge, so it does have its perks. You can use it to back up software, games, films, and so on.Is downloading Windows 10 free illegal? ›
It is not genuine or legal. Windows 10 is only free for computers running genuine/activated Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 license. If you don't have a genuine qualifying license, you must purchase a full version Windows 10 license. Was this reply helpful?
Do ISO files get corrupted? ›
Can ISO files be corrupted? Just like other file types, ISO files can become corrupted for a number of reasons, including power interruptions while the archive is being accessed, disconnecting the storage medium abruptly while the file is open, incurring a malware or virus attack, and more.Can you still get Windows 10 for free 2022? ›
As you can guess, it is very much possible to still upgrade and get Windows 10 for free in 2022. You just need to follow our methods covered above -- from using your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key or even getting a license through work or school at no cost.Is Windows 11 free forever? ›
Here's the answer, per the FAQ: The free upgrade offer does not have a specific end date for eligible systems. However, Microsoft reserves the right to eventually end support for the free offer. This end date will be no sooner than October 5, 2022.How many GB is Windows 11 ISO? ›
If you're upgrading directly from Windows 10 to Windows 11, the download size is about 3.5 GB. And, you need to make sure that you have at least 64GB of free space. If you install Windows 11 using an . ISO file, plan on having 25 GB of free space at least.How do I bypass TPM? ›
- Open Regedit. ...
- Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup. ...
- Create a DWORD (32-bit) Value called AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU if it doesn't already exist.
- Set AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU to 1. ...
- Close regedit and restart your PC.
See, basically an ISO file is just an image file(archived data type), so some of the viruses/malwares are capable to corrupt the data types. Though the one thing is, since ISO file contains the packed data and not unpacked data types(Like Ubuntu), so even if you would be at risk I would say this would be very less.Can I just copy paste ISO file? ›
Yes, if you have the ISO files, then you can do it. But before copying, you have to create primary partition and filesystem on USB drive.