Where Can I Download Windows 10?

How to Download an ISO Image of Windows 10 for USB or DVD

Screenshot of the Windows 10 ISO download process
Downloading a Windows 10 ISO.

Windows 10 is Microsoft's newest operating system, released on July 29, 2015.

Unlike with previous versions of Windows, a legitimate copy of Windows 10 is available for download directly from Microsoft in ISO format.

Not only that, but the tool Microsoft provides for downloading Windows 10 lets you upgrade the computer you're on to Windows 10, prepare a flash drive with Windows 10 install files, or burn the Windows 10 setup files to a DVD disc.

Where Can I Download Windows 10?

There's only one completely legal and legitimate way to download Windows 10, and that's via Microsoft's official Windows 10 download page:

  1. Download Windows 10 [Microsoft.com]
     
  2. Choose the Download tool now button.
     
  3. Once downloaded, run the MediaCreationTool.exe file.

The Windows 10 installation wizard is pretty self-explanatory, so you should have no trouble deciding what to do next, but here's more help if you need it:

Download a Windows 10 ISO Image

  1. From the Windows 10 Setup program's opening screen, read through the license terms and then accept them with the Accept button.
     
  2. Choose Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC and tap or click Next.
     
  3. On the next screen, choose the Language, Edition, and Architecture you want the ISO image for.

    If you're going to be using Windows 10 on the same computer that's running Windows 10 Setup, you can use the default options that pertain to that specific computer. Otherwise, uncheck the Use the recommended options for this PC, and then edit those options yourself.

    For most users, Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro is the way to go for the Edition. The N editions are designed for some special European economic zones.

    For Architecture, choosing Both is probably the smartest way to go so that you can install Windows 10 on both a 32-bit or a 64-bit computer.

    Choose Next when you're finished deciding.
     
  1. On the Choose which media to use screen, choose ISO file, followed by Next.
     
  2. Decide where to have the Windows 10 ISO image stored and then tap or click Save to immediately start the download.
     
  3. Once downloaded, you'll have a legal and full version of Windows 10 in ISO format. You can then burn that ISO image to a disc to install later or use it directly with your virtual machine software if you're going that route.

    You could also burn that ISO image to a USB device, but doing that using the software's built-in tool (below) will be easier.

    Important: The free upgrade to Windows 10 (from Windows 8 or Windows 7) expired on July 29, 2016, so you'll need to have a valid product key to install Windows 10.

    Buying Windows 10 is the only way to get a valid product key. Windows 10 Pro is available directly from Microsoft but Amazon sells copies too. Windows 10 Home is the same deal: direct from Microsoft or via Amazon are best.

    Download Windows 10 to a Flash Drive

    If you'd rather skip the ISO part of the Windows 10 download and get those Windows 10 installation bits right onto a flash drive, that's easy to do with Microsoft's tool as well.

    1. Follow the directions above for the ISO image up to the Choose which media to use the screen, and this time, choose USB flash drive.
       
    2. Choose a connected flash drive (that has more than 4 GB of storage) from the list on the next screen and then tap or click Next. If there's nothing listed, attach a flash drive and try again.

      Important: Be sure to select the correct flash drive if you have multiples plugged in. Installing Windows 10 on the removable drive will erase all the existing files on that device.
       
    1. Wait while the download is completed and then follow the rest of the instructions.

    This is much easier than doing the ISO to USB part yourself.

    Don't Download Windows 10 From Another Website

    Microsoft offers such an easy to use and legitimate source for Windows 10, so please don't download it elsewhere.

    Yes, it might be tempting to download a hacked version of Windows 10 that advertises no need for a product key, but with the joy of using a Windows 10 download like that comes the very real risk of getting something you weren't expecting.

    Windows 10 Technical Preview

    Prior to Windows 10's public release, it was available as a Technical Preview, which was completely free and didn't require that you own a previous version of Windows.

    The Windows 10 Technical Preview program is over, meaning that you'll need to have a previous version of Windows already to get it for free, or you'll need to buy a new copy.

    All Windows 10 Technical Preview installations used the product key of NKJFK-GPHP7-G8C3J-P6JXR-HQRJR, but this key is now blocked and will not be able to be used to activate Windows 10.