Microsoft distributed Windows 10 through a special media creation tool. The new OS was free to existing Windows 7 and 8 users for one year. The media creation tool downloads the required files needed to install Windows 10. Users have the choice to use it to update their current system or create an installation disk. The media creation tool takes care of everything but it doesn’t give you an ISO file for Windows 10. There is no simple forward way to download the official Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft. There is however, a slightly complicated way to download the official Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft. Here’s what you need to do.
Microsoft will let you download the official Windows 10 ISO file if your system doesn’t support the media creation tool. Herein lies the little loophole we can use to our advantage. We need to make Microsoft think our system isn’t capable of running the media creation tool.
Microsoft uses our browser’s user agent to identify which operating system we’re currently using. The user agent gives us away but if we can change it to an OS that can’t run the media creation tool, we will be able to download the Windows 10 ISO file. For this you need;
- Firefox installed on your system
- The User Agent Switcher add-on for Firefox installed
Change User Agent
Open Firefox and install the User Agent Switcher add-on. Open a new tab and click the add-on button next to the toolbar. Select the ‘iPhone 3.0’ option from the listed user agents. The button will turn blue when the add-on is active.
Download Windows 10 ISO
Next, visit the link at the end of this post. Select the Windows edition you want to download; Windows 10, Windows 10 N, or Windows 10 Single Language. Next, select the installation language and the bit version i.e. 32-bit or 64-bit.
The download will begin when you click the download button and the link will work for 24 hours.
You will be redirected to the download media creation tool page if you visit it without changing your user agent. You can create an installation disk with this ISO file. All you have to do is burn it to a USB. We recommend using an app called ISO to USB to create the installation disk.
License & Activation
The Windows 10 ISO file that you download has not been activated. This is simply a means to download the ISO file and it does not come with a license. You will have to purchase a license from Microsoft. The only exception to this is that you already have a digital license or you have an OEM license for the system you intend to install Windows 10 on.
If you have a digital license, you will be asked to enter it during installation. If you have an OEM license, Windows 10 will automatically detect it when it is installed.