Microsoft Removes Access to Windows 10 ISO for Windows 7 or Later

For a couple weeks, users have been reporting problems trying to download the ISO file for Windows 10 from Microsoft. Here’s what’s going on and what it means for the future of ISO images.

Update: Windows 7 is no longer supported.

Since its launch in 2015, Microsoft has provided direct downloads for Windows 10 ISO images. The ISO images are really handy since it makes it easy to create Windows 10 media for new installs or upgrades.

Update: Microsoft is forcing users to download the ISO file using the Media Creation Tool. If you still want to download the ISO file directly, you can do so by changing the User Agent String in your web browser. This will make the browser pretend its on an operating system such as Linux or macOS, which Microsoft permits direct downloads from.

For a couple weeks now, however, users have been reporting problems trying to download the ISO file for Windows 10 directly. Our forum tutorial which describes the process for choosing your language, edition, and architecture, no longer works on Windows 7 and later versions (Windows 8, 8.1 and 10). Instead, users are directed to use Media Creation Tool, which provides similar functionality, but can sometimes be glitchy or produce corrupt ISO files. I was able to access the site from a Ubuntu Linux installation under Firefox and download ISO’s just fine — at least for now.

Using an alternative web browser on Windows 7 or later will not work, though. Once the site sniffs out that your computer is running a version of Windows that supports the MCT, it will be required to use that, which to be honest, isn’t so bad. My guess is Microsoft is looking to simplify the overall process around upgrading/installing Windows 10. Although working with ISO images is convenient, for the non-geeky it can be advanced.

In addition, for those already running Windows 10, Microsoft includes several tools for performing a new or fresh install, these include a system Reset, the Refresh Tool and the ability to create a Recovery Drive. Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 owners can reinstall Windows 10 directly from the Internet or download a recovery image just for their device.

In other words, we have options, and it’s exciting to see Microsoft continue to fine tune Windows 10 as we march into 2017.



  1. Steve_C61

    February 12, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    So what’s to whinge about? There was a 12 month period where users of (approved) previous versions of Windows could upgrade for free to Windows 10… and that time is well and truly past – yet it’s still possible to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8/8.1 to Windows 10 for free!

    As a computer admin for a NFP organisation, I’ve received donated PC’s with Win7 and 8 installed (the oldies who owned them were “scared” of installing 10 because of the erroneous info they’d been told by numpties who self styled themselves “experts”!) that I’ve upgraded without issue to Windows 10 all these months after the ‘grace’ period has expired.

    How many other software OS designers/makers/suppliers would allow such a period of grace, especially in dealing with something they could have been as unfeeling as Apple or Google in dealing with?

    How do I know Apple and Google are corporations that behave like the archetypal “corporations” when it comes to things like ‘upgrading’? Because I’ve owned enough and worked enough with their products.

    I have no particular affiliation with any of these ‘makers’. They produce tools… The sad part is, that there’s definitely more tools who use these ‘tools’, who fall for the bollocks from so-called “experts”, or the pressure from “peers” who are self-promoting egotists, so that myths and ‘alternative facts’ become so ingrained that the unthinking just go along like the blindies that they are; just regurgitating the same tired old lines ad nauseum.

    What’s so wrong with learning to use your tool/s, then seeing when your tool supplier does the dirt on you and conversely appreciating it when they don’t do the dirt on you? All the rest is churlish self abuse, carried out in an effort – it seems to me; to make oneself appear in some way “superior”. It’s like the disease of a world with far too many people in it.

  2. Wayne Ruppersburg

    February 12, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Thanks Andre for an informative article. I love the ease of the Media Creation Tool downloaded to a USB flash drive. The ISO image method always scared me because of mounting the image and my general unfamiliarity with dong that.

    Many people do not realize that the MCT allows a person to keep their files, apps, and programs when reinstalling Windows 10 (the same Version number). But the MCT must be re-downloaded to a USB flash when major Version changes occur in Windows, for example 1511, 1607, 1704,etc. or else you will install an old Version….so update your MCT flash drives with Version changes.

    Also, if you are an Windows Insider, the Fast or Slow Rings, (not Release Preview Ring), the MCT will not install over Fast Ring experimental OS Build numbers and you will have to do a clean install of Windows 10 and hence lose your apps in the process. Reinstalling apps is a pain that I avoid when possible. Good luck in your endeavors.

  3. Anthony Benedetto

    February 13, 2017 at 10:25 am

    I have a question I have windows 10 pro I had windows 7 pro when I updated the free download.
    Now I’ve had it sense the beginning but my system is acting real funny. I would like to just update the windows 10 pro without losing all my software and apps. But I do not know where to start I am not good with operating systems and don’t know how to deal with it. Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated.

    • Wayne Ruppersburg

      February 13, 2017 at 1:12 pm


      The easy answer to your question is tp find an experienced and trustworthy helper that can assist you with repairing Win10 Pro via the Media Creation Tool (MCT) method. Emphasize that you want to preserve your files, apps, and programs. The MCT is the only method that allows you to do this…not Reset, not Refresh!! There is also a lot to be said for good old experience performing this task. You better get help.

      You should also google and study the MCT process thoroughly, as if you were studying to get an “A” on a college level course. Take your time and repeat. You will process what you have learned over days of time.

      After some period of time has passed, find that experienced friend to assist you performing the MCT process. It’s not really that difficult, but your may need help the first time you do it.

      Good luck to you in your endeavors.

  4. @ShaunDreclin

    April 26, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Grab the addon “Masking Agent” for Firefox, or other similar addons to hide your user agent.

    Then go to this page to get the old ISO download options with your user agent hidden:

    microsoft dot com slash en-ca slash software-download slash windows10ISO

    Change en-ca to en-us for Americans.

  5. Joe

    June 3, 2017 at 11:36 am

    Yeah, but some folks need to install from media when having a painfully slow internet experience at home… painful, yes really painful

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