Do you know Windows actually offers free Windows installation files in ISO format for you to download so you can reinstall Windows from scratch when needed? As long as you own the product key that comes with your computer, you are legally allowed to download these ISO files and install them. If you don’t see a product key sticker on your computer that means you own one of these computers that embedded windows product key in their BIOS. And here is how you can retrieve them.
Now you have obtained the product key, let’s find out where and how you can download Windows ISO image files right from Microsoft. In short, Software Recovery Center is your one-stop place to go.
Windows 7 ISO images
Previously, you can download these official ISO files from Digital River. But early this year, Microsoft finally pulled the trigger and took down all the Windows 7 ISO download links, and encourage people to go and download directly from Software Recovery Center in Microsoft, as long as you have a valid product key.
If you owned a version of a retail copy of Windows 7, enter them in the Product Key box on the site and verify it. However, if you can’t find the key anymore, this NirSoft’s ProductKey utility should be able to help.
Windows 8.1 ISO Images
You will need to download a small media creation tool (approximately only 1.41 MB) first to download the Windows. Go to Windows 8.1 download page, click Download tool now button. Then run it once download.
Select the Language, choose the right Edition, and pick the Architecture (64-bit or 32-bit), and click Next to start downloading the proper ISO file.
Windows 10 ISO Images
Same as downloading Windows 8.1, you will also need to download the media creation tool first to download Windows. But it works a little differently. You will have the choice to either download the installation file or upgrade your current computer.
If you choose to Create installation media, you will get to select Language, Edition, as well as Architecture to download the proper media.
Once you downloaded the ISO image files directly from Microsoft, use one of these bootable USB tools to put the image on a USB flash drive. And you are ready to go to start installing Windows from scratch on your computer.
Last updated: 12/22/2015