Windows 10 is by far the most popular desktop operating system in the world. In February of 2020, Windows 10 managed to cross over a billion users. However, we also know that Windows is the most pirated OS in the world. The reason behind its piracy is that users think that owning Windows OS is expensive. So to clear up the misconception, we have come up with this article where we share some easy ways to use Windows 10 without pirating it. In fact, you can use Windows 10 for free without buying a Windows 10 key. There are also many other ways to get a Windows 10 key at a much cheaper price. So, abstain from piracy as we show you how to get Windows 10 Key for free or cheap in 2021.
Get Windows 10 Key for Free or Cheap in 2021
There are many ways to legally obtain a Windows 10 key and we will discuss all of the methods in this section. You can jump to any section you find desirable. So without taking much time, let’s begin with the recommended method.
1. Get Free Windows 10 from Microsoft
Two years back, Microsoft quietly made Windows 10 free to download, install, and use. However, the sad part is that users are still unaware of it. If you are looking for a Windows 10 key, the better alternative will be to use the free version of Windows 10 instead of buying a new license key. It comes with all Windows functionalities and you will get feature and security updates too. Basically, everything works similar to the activated Pro version.
The only limitation is that you can’t personalize Windows appearance, but it hardly matters. Also, an “Activate Windows” watermark always appears on the bottom-right corner of the screen. However, both these limitations are actually not much of a big deal. There are no intrusive prompts forcing you to buy a Windows 10 key or any sort of lockout from your PC.
Let me make it clear, there is no difference between the free and paid version of Windows 10 other than visual customization and “Activate Windows” watermark. You are absolutely free to use it, any way you want. Using the free Windows 10 seems a much better option than pirating Windows 10 Key which is most probably infected with spyware and malware.
To download the free version of Windows 10, head over to Microsoft’s official website and download the Media Creation Tool. After that, you can download the ISO file and create a bootable USB. If you want a step by step guide, follow our tutorial here.
2. Get Windows 10 Free or Cheap Through OnTheHub (For School, Colleges and Universities)
To bring more students and researchers under the Microsoft ecosystem, the company has partnered with schools, colleges, and universities from many countries. Under this partnership, students can avail many Microsoft products at a discounted price or even free of cost.
If you are a student at any educational institute, you can get a Windows 10 key, Microsoft Office 365, Oracle software and access to many other Microsoft goodies. Microsoft has a dedicated OnTheHub website for students where you can find all the details about the offerings.
Just head over to OnTheHub page and scroll down to the bottom. Here, select your Country, State, and School. After that, it will provide you a WebStore link of your institute.
Open the WebStore and you will find all the products offered by your institute. If your institute has included Windows 10 in the partnership program then you will find it here. Just search for Windows 10 and you are likely to get it. Do note that you must have an active email ID from your school, college or university to register on the portal. You will have to use your student email ID to finally obtain the Windows 10 key.
3. Upgrade from Windows 7/8/8.1
If you missed the Windows 10 upgrade period in 2016 and want to update your PC now then let me tell you the upgrade period has not ended. Also, you don’t need to buy a separate Windows 10 key to upgrade your PC. You can still upgrade your PC with your older Windows license and the activation works without any issue. Here is how you can do it.
Download the Media Creation Tool from here and run it. Just choose “Upgrade this PC” option and click on “Next”. That’s it. The tool will download and upgrade your older Windows PC to Windows 10 without requiring a Windows 10 Key.
If you want to check the activation after updating to Windows 10, navigate to Settings-> Update and Security-> Activation tab on the left pane. Here, you will find the activation status. This way you will save yourself from buying a new Windows 10 key.
4. Get Windows 10 Key from Authentic Sources at a Cheaper Price
If the free version of Windows 10 doesn’t cut for you or you are not a student anymore or you no longer have an old PC to upgrade then you can buy a new Windows 10 key at a cheaper price. Here I will share some authentic sources from where you can get a genuine Windows 10 key at a much cheaper price.
But before that, let me explain briefly the reason behind the low cost. You can get a Windows 10 key from Microsoft at around $200 which is generally called a retail license. A retail license can be used to activate Windows on one system to another as you upgrade your hardware over time. It basically follows you and remains with you.
Whereas, cheaper license keys which you mostly find online are actually OEM keys that are tied to hardware and not you. Once you use an OEM key to activate a single system, it gets tied to the motherboard and it’s exhausted then and there. You can’t use the same license key again in case you replace your motherboard in the future or move to a new PC.
These OEM keys are generally distributed to large companies in bulk so the prices are significantly low in comparison to the individual retail keys. As you can see, OEM keys are absolutely legal and are no different than retail keys. You can definitely go ahead and buy it. Now having cleared the confusion, let us find some great deals.
Deals for Windows 10 Keys
There are many shady portals that offer Windows 10 keys for as low as $5 (₹500). However, most of them don’t work and are a complete scam. I suggest you to stay away from those shady deals. To make sure, you are buying from an authentic seller, follow these tips.
Always look for the highest-rated seller and go through the reviews. Also, look for older sellers which have been on the platform for some time. Now having said all of that, here are the deals to go for.
- Buy Windows 10 Key from Flipkart (₹2,500)
- Buy Windows 10 Key from eBay ($19.99)
Note: The Windows 10 Key on eBay regularly gets sold out. So, if our link is not working just search for Windows 10 Key on eBay buy from a trusted seller.
Many people suggest Kinguin.net to buy Windows 10 keys for cheap, but I would not really recommend it. There have been many instances of credit card fraud to buy cheap keys which are later sold on Kinguin.net. After the fraud is reported, the keys are revoked by Microsoft. So to put it straight, always buy the Windows 10 OEM keys from authentic sources.
5. Buy Windows 10 Key from Microsoft
If you want a clean copy of Windows 10 without any question of legitimacy, you should buy a retail Windows 10 key directly from Microsoft. Just head over to Microsoft’s page and buy it without any hesitation. If you are a student, you can avail some discounts. As for the price for general users, the Windows 10 Home Edition costs $139 and Windows 10 Pro Edition costs $199.99. Similarly, Windows 10 Home is priced at ₹9,299 and Windows 10 Pro costs ₹14,799 in India.
6. Windows 10 Volume Licensing
If you run a business and need Windows 10 on multiple machines then it would be better to go through Volume Licensing to procure Windows 10 keys in bulk. It will be much affordable and easier to manage all your Windows 10 machines. Having said that, there is no fixed price to get volume licenses and you will have to negotiate with Microsoft to get a better deal. But generally, the cost gets reduced to more than half (~$80) of what you pay for retail keys. You can learn more about Windows 10 Volume Licensing from here.
7. Download Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation
If you want to try out Windows 10 before going for volume licensing, you can download the Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation for free. Keep in mind, this is not for individual users but targeted to mid to large size organizations. On top of that, it’s designed for IT professionals who want to evaluate if Windows 10 can help the organization manage businesses, networks, and devices. You can try out Windows 10 Enterprise Evaluation for 90 days and can get started from here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why Buy Windows 10?
Under the free version, you can’t customize your PC’s appearance, access tools like Group Policy Editor, and other organizational software. For individuals, buying Windows 10 is not necessary, but if you are a professional and need all the tools then buying Windows 10 is highly recommended.
Q. Are Cheap Windows 10 Keys Legal?
So far, Microsoft has not taken a staunch position on the legality of cheap Windows keys. However, what I can say is cheap Windows 10 keys are not entirely illegitimate. The keys are procured by organizations and later sold to third-party sellers for a much lower cost. Apart from that, in some countries, the keys are quite cheaper so you get it at an affordable price.
Q. How Much Does a Windows 10 License Cost?
As I mentioned above, the Windows 10 Home Edition costs $139 and Windows 10 Pro Edition costs $199.99. However, you can find a better deal on Amazon or other online stores. Just make sure to check the authenticity of the seller before placing an order.
Q. What About OEM Copies of Windows?
OEM copies of Windows are entirely legitimate and you can use it without any issue. Just that when you switch to a new machine, you can’t transfer the license key.
Q. How Can I Get a Windows 10 Key for Cheap?
We have mentioned 7 different ways to get Windows keys for cheap so go through all the points. You can find some sweet deal from section #4.
Q. Can I Just Buy a Windows 10 Product Key?
Yes, you can get it from Microsoft Store. Go through section 5 for more details.
Q. Is Windows 10 Illegal Without Activation?
No. Microsoft now allows users to use Windows 10 for free and without the need to activate your PC. Just that, there will be a watermark and some customization features will be disabled under the free version. You can use an inactivated Windows 10 for as long as you want.
Q. How do I Activate Windows 10 Without a Product Key?
You can’t activate Windows 10 without a product key. However, you can buy the license key for cheap from the portals mentioned above.
Q. How Can I Get Windows 10 for Free?
If you don’t mind the watermark and the lack of customization feature then you can easily get Windows 10 for free. Just follow section #1 of this article and you can use Windows 10 for free.
Buy a Cheap Windows 10 Key and Activate Your PC
So that was our complete guide on how to find Windows 10 key for free or at a much cheaper price. You can go through the article and choose the best method for activating your PC. Personally, I have no problem using the free version of Windows as it allows me to do every single thing of importance.
Besides that, I have mentioned the other options as well so go through them. You can also buy cheap Windows 10 keys from Flipkart. It works pretty well and without any issues. So that will be all from our side. If you still have some questions, you can let us know in the comment section below. We will try to clear up your doubts.