Microsoft currently offer their latest version of Windows (Windows 10) in ISO form to the public via their Windows Media Creation Tool which can be freely downloaded by anyone, allowing then to download the ISO file for their particular version so that they can either perform a Clean Install for Windows 10 or just to have a copy backed up should they need it in the future. The tool doesn’t actually contain these ISO’s, but does allow the user to validate that they are eligible to download it via the toll from the Microsoft servers and will provide the means to do so easily. Unfortunately, this ability for users does not extend to other versions of Windows that people may also wish to download such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, which can be an annoyance if they were to upgrade to Windows 10, then decide that they wanted to go back to Windows 7 or 8.1, but missed the 30-day Revert period and didn’t have a copy of the previous version of Windows on disk. However, thankfully there is still a way for people to obtain older versions of Windows in ISO format by using the somewhat less known Microsoft Tech Bench page for Windows 10.
Here’s how it works and what you need to do. Firstly, head over to the official Windows 10 ISO download page. At the bottom of the page you will then see the area where you are allowed to download 4 different versions of Windows 10. The versions of Windows 10 that are available on the standard version of the site are:
- Windows 10 (Most users would select this, then their language followed by either a 32 or 64-bit version)
- Windows 10 KN
- Windows 10 N
- Windows 10 Single Language
However, WZor and Nummer, well-known and famed Windows hackers realized that hidden within the source code of this page was some code that would allow users to not only have access to the 4 versions of Windows 10, but various versions of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. They then posted the code to Pastebin for other to use.
To use the code is very simple. If you are using Chrome, then make sure you are on the Windows 10 ISO download page and hit Ctrl+Shift+J to open up Chrome’s console as highlighted in Red below. If you are using Firefox, then use Ctrl+Shift+K (type allow pasting first, otherwise you will get an error when trying to paste the code)
Now copy the code below (or via the PasteBin link above) and paste it in to the console. Just click anywhere inside the console and hit Ctrl+V. Then hit Enter.
Once you have hit Enter, you will notice that the drop-down box for the editions of Windows 10 is now Blue.
Now when you select the drop-down box you will be given 57 various versions of Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 that are available to download. However, only 6 of these will be of use to the average users. I will list then all at the bottom of this article.
Select the version you would like to download and hit Confirm. For my purposes I will be selecting the 64-bit Ultimate version of Windows 7 (SP1) in English. SP1 stands for Service Pack 1 which is included in the downloaded ISO’s that show it.
Next it will ask you which language you would like the ISO in. Select you language from the drop-down menu and hit Next
Finally it will ask you if you would like the 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) version. You can download both if you wish.
Select whichever one you would like and the download will start automatically. However, please note that the links that are provided by Microsoft on this page are only available for 24 hours after which time you will have to start the search again.
This is a great way for people who may have lost their copies of Windows to get a backup copy, or for those who were never actually given a copy of Windows when the first bought their computers. It is also a great way for people who may be having issues booting their computers to use the in-built recovery tools that are on the disks to hopefully fix their start-up problems.
It is important to note that all of these versions are clean and are available directly from the Microsoft servers. If you are going to use these to install with, then you will need an official Windows Product Key to activate them.
Also, if you are going to use one of these ISO’s to create a bootable Windows USB but don’t know how to do this, then please follow this tutorial here.
Please note: From time-to-time, the Windows 10 ISO download page does go down. If you find that this has happened, then you can still download the Windows 7 ISO’s by going to this site. The Windows 7 ISO’s that are linked here are torrents of the original Windows 7 images that were hosted by Digital River and Tech Bench. Since Digital River (this used to be the official site where Microsoft allowed the hosting of their Windows ISO’s) ceased hosting them, the owner of mirror.corenoc.de has thankfully created torrents for the original ISO’s. If you wish to download then, then you will require a decent Torrent program like qBittorrent. (Windows) or Transmission (Mac/Linux) Both these programs are Open Source and safe to use. Note that acquiring the ISO’s via a torrent may be deemed as a grey-area, legally speaking as they are no longer officially hosted by MS or an affiliated third-party. If you do download then this way then make sure you check the MD5/SHA-1 checksums, just to make sure that the original ISO haven’t been tampered with. You can use a program like HashTab to generate the checksums for the ISO’s once downloaded.
As promised, here is a full list of all the various versions of Windows that are available to download using this method. I have added Standard User in brackets indicating which ones most people would like. This list does change from time-to-time, and updated versions of Windows 10 are made available when ready, but as of today’s posting it is correct.
- Windows 7 Home Basic SP1 (Standard User)
- Windows 7 Professional SP1 (Standard User)
- Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (Standard User)
- Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (Standard User)
- Windows 7 Home Premium N SP1
- Windows 7 Professional N SP1
- Windows 7 Ultimate N SP1
- Windows 7 Professional K SP1
- Windows 7 Professional KN SP1
- Windows 7 Home Premium K SP1
- Windows 7 Home Premium KN SP1
- Windows 7 Ultimate KN SP1
- Windows 7 Ultimate K SP1
- Windows 7 Starter SP1 (Standard User)
- Windows 8.1 Single Language
- Windows 8.1 (Standard User)
- Windows 8.1 N
- Windows 8.1 K
- Windows 8.1 KN
- Windows 8.1 Professional LE
- Windows 8.1 Professional LE K
- Windows 8.1 Professional LE KN
- Windows 8.1 Professional LE N
- Windows 10 Education (Academic) Build 10240
- Windows 10 Education KN (Academic) Build 10240
- Windows 10 Education N (Academic) Build 10240
- Windows 10 China Get Genuine Chinese Simplified Build 10240
- Windows 10 Pro-Home Build 10240
- Windows 10 ProKN-HomeKN Build 10240
- Windows 10 ProN-HomeN Build 10240
- Windows 10 Single Language Build 10240
- Windows 7 Home Basic SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Home Basic SP1 COEM GGK
- Windows 7 Home Premium N SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 COEM GGK
- Windows 7 Home Premium K SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Professional N SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Professional SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Starter SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Ultimate K SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Ultimate KN SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Ultimate N SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Home Premium KN SP1 COEM
- Windows 7 Professional KN SP1 COEM
- Windows 10 Pro Home (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 Education (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 Education KN (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 Education N (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 China Get Genuine Chinese Simplified (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 ProKN – HomeKN (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 ProN – HomeN (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 Single Language (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview (Build 10586)
- Windows 10 IoT Core Insider Preview (Build 14262)
Kudos to LK over at Tech Journey for being the first to report this. Also, thank you to reader, Tom, for taking the time to let me know that there is now anew page for users to obtain Windows 10 for free. Please note that you are also able to obtain