I have read that you are able to clean install Windows 10 after an initial upgrade from 7,8,8.1 as your hardware gets registered. But what if you build yourself a new PC? Do you have to install Windows 7,8,8.1 first in order to get Windows 10, or is there another way?

  • Windows 10 costs money unless you accept the free upgrade by July 29th 2016 and are running an eligible previous installation of Windows. If you are building a new PC, that isn't the case, so you would need to purchase a Windows 10 license.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 2, 2015 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


If you are building a new PC, the normal course of action would be to buy Windows 10 and install that directly. You certainly could buy Windows 7 or 8 and install that, then perform the upgrade, but this would be a bit of extra and unnecessary work.

  • So you are able to buy Windows 10 and install it and not upgrade it? Didn't sound like that in the Internet. Sep 2, 2015 at 15:24
  • @SérgioFerreira - Yes; That is the case. Check basically any retailer that sells a copy of Windows and they will sell a license to Windows 10.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 2, 2015 at 15:25
  • Microsoft's terms for the Windows 10 Upgrade process is, you were to have a fully licensed version of Microsoft Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 installed and activated, at this point you can freely update to Windows 10 with no additional cost - this would then be activated automatically against your hardware profile. If you update any hardware or want to install Windows 10 on a completely new build, you would have to purchase a new license.
    – James
    Sep 2, 2015 at 15:25
  • So I guess I missunderstood everything a bit. But I think it would be cheaper to buy the Windows 7 license and then upgrade to Windows 10 for free? (I checked Amazon) That's quite dumb Microsoft Sep 2, 2015 at 15:30
  • 1
    The cost of a Windows 10 License would be gauged on what version of the OS you wanted, Home is likely to be cheaper than Pro etc... However, as Windows 7 is now superseded by both 8 & 8.1 leave alone 10, I would think that buying Win 7 would be the better option. Just be aware that you can apply for the free Windows 10 upgrade, however this may take a few days to get approved - you will need to install a lot of updates just to get to this point.
    – James
    Sep 2, 2015 at 15:37


After you build the new machine, install your current version of Windows OS (7, 8.1) and then choose the upgrade for free option. Follow the prompts and then choose not to save configuration of previous versions.

This should allow for you to upgrade but to have a clean instance of Windows 10.

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