Will Windows 11 be free?

Microsoft's new operating system should begin deployment by the end of this year. Will the upgrade be free for existing Windows users?


As hard as it may be to believe, Windows 10 has now been around for six years. Microsoft initially released the operating system back in the summer of 2015 and has been delivering large, bi-annual updates to the platform in the interim. The Redmond Washington-based company is now preparing to move its users onto its next major platform release, Windows 11. 

Windows 11 is expected to bring a host of new features, including support for Android applications and AutoHDR for newer PC games. Along with new features, an updated UI will also be coming with the new edition of the operating system, moving taskbar icons to the center of the screen and further integrating products like Teams into all parts of the system. In the past, each consumer version of Windows has come at a cost, whether it be a retail purchase or in-place upgrade. Microsoft allowed many Windows 7 and 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10 for free during its first year of availability. How much will Windows 11 cost at retail and will upgrades be free?

Will Windows 11 be free?

During the June 24 reveal of Windows 11, Microsoft confirmed that upgrades from Windows 10 will be free. To be eligible for the free upgrade, the Windows 10 installation must be fully activated with Microsoft.

Though no release date for Windows 11 has been made available, upgrade-eligible users will receive the new operating system via Windows update on their existing PCs. You may check your current system for compatibility by using the free PC Health Check app from Microsoft.

Pricing for retail and OEM versions of Windows 11 was not made available during the Windows 11 reveal event, but Microsoft will likely provide further details as the final release of the operating system draws closer. 

The transition to a new edition of Windows is always a major event in the world of computing and technology. There will be plenty of questions and concerns as we move towards the release of Windows 11. Make sure you are on top of all the latest Windows 11 news and guides by checking in with us here at Shacknews.

Contributing Tech Editor

Chris Jarrard likes playing games, crankin' tunes, and looking for fights on obscure online message boards. He understands that breakfast food is the only true food. Don't @ him.

Hello, Meet Lola