You can reinstall Windows from scratch using the product key that came with your PC, but you’ll have to find the installation media yourself. Microsoft provides free ISO files for download; you just need to know where to look. There are a few ways to do this, but they’re all in the right direction – you don’t have to go to a dodgy BitTorrent site to download an ISO that might be full of malware.
Instead, you will receive an official installation notification directly from Microsoft. NOTE: Depending on the OEM version of Windows you’re running, you may encounter issues using OEM keys with commercial versions of Windows. If it doesn’t work, you can always reinstall it and call Microsoft to update it and allow your edition to work. The most important thing is that you have a valid license key.
Download Windows 10 or 8.1 ISO using Media Creation Tool
If you have access to a Windows machine, the official method for downloading ISOs for Windows 8.1 and 10 is the Media Creation Tool. The procedure for using the tool is the same for both versions of Windows, so we will use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool for our example. We will see only where things are different. One caveat you should know up front is that you can’t download an ISO for Windows 8, only 8.1. And the product key is different for Windows 8 and 8.1, so if you have a Windows 8 product key, you can’t just use it to install Windows 8.1.
Instead, you’ll need to install Windows 8 and upgrade to 8.1 for free. After the upgrade is complete, Windows will assign a new product key for installation. You can find this product key in different ways and save it for future. After that, you will be able to do a clean install of Windows 8.1 using a new product key and you won’t have to worry about installing Windows 8 first and upgrading.
Start by downloading Windows 10 Media Creation Tool or Windows 8.1 Media Creation Tool. Once the file is downloaded, double-click it to start the tool, then click “Yes” to give it permission to make changes to your PC. When the application starts, click “Accept” to accept the license terms. Note that the Windows 8.1 version of the app does not ask you to accept the license terms.
(If you don’t want to use the media creation tool and just want to download the ISO file directly, switch your browser user to a non-Windows browser such as Apple Safari on the iPad when viewing the download page. Microsoft will provide you with a direct download of the Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 ISO file instead of the standard Media Creation Tool, which only works on Windows.)
When the tool asks you what you want to do, select “Create installation media for another PC”, then click “Next”. The Windows 8.1 version of the tool does not offer this option; by default it creates installation media for another PC (which is what we need).
The tool will recommend languages, editions, and architectures for Windows based on information about the PC the device is running on. If you’re going to use the installation media on this PC, go ahead and click “Next”. If you plan to install it on another PC, uncheck the box “Use the recommended options for this PC”, choose the best option for your capabilities, and click “Next”. Note that if you are using version 8.1 of the tool, you will actually start with this screen.
The tool will no longer support options; you have to choose them yourself. Remember that your license will only work on the correct version of Windows – if your license is for Windows 10 Pro 64-bit, you can’t install it on Windows 10 Home 32-bit, so make sure your choice somewhere This matches the one listed on you. product key.
Next, choose whether you want the tool to create a USB that can be used as an installation media, or create an ISO file that you can use or burn to DVD later. We’re going with the ISO file in this example, but the process is pretty good either way. If you choose the USB option, you will need to provide a USB stick with at least 3 GB of space. Also, the USB drive will be formatted during this process, so make sure you don’t need anything. Select the desired option, and click “Next”.
Select a location to save the finished ISO file (or point the device to a valid USB drive if that’s your preferred option). At this point, the Media Creation Tool will begin downloading files and compiling your ISO, which may take some time depending on your internet connection. When finished, you can click “Open DVD burner” if you want to continue burning this disc or just click Next if you don’t want to create a disc at this time.
Download Windows 7 SP1 ISO directly from Microsoft website
Update, 04/20/22: Microsoft no longer offers Windows 7 ISO file downloads. The page where you can download these files contains information about the end of support for Windows 7. We recommend downloading the latest version of Windows that still receives security updates. We do not recommend downloading Windows 7 ISO images from non-Microsoft sources, as other downloads may contain malware. Be very careful if you do it.
Microsoft makes Windows 7 SP1 ISO available for direct download from its site. The only problem is that you’ll need a valid product key to download the file – and an OEM key (like the one on the sticker on the bottom of your laptop) won’t work. If this is you, go to the next section. If you have a valid business key, go to the Windows 7 download page, enter your product key and click “Save” to start the download process.
Once you have received your product key, select the product language you want to download, and click “Approve”.
Next, choose whether you want the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7. When you click on the desired version, the download starts. Note that the site’s download links only work for 24 hours. Of course, you can always go back and through confirmation and another selection process to create a new connection.
After downloading the ISO file, you can burn it to DVD by right-clicking in Windows Explorer and selecting “Burn Disc Image” to burn it to disc. If you want to install Windows 7 from a USB drive, the best way is to use the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to put this ISO file on the USB drive.
The downloaded ISO you get from Microsoft includes Windows 7 with Service Pack 1. When you install Windows 7, you can avoid the hassle of downloading and installing hundreds of updates released after SP1 by installing the Windows 7 SP1 Convenience Rollup. Even better, why not take a little time and install the software properly on your Windows 7 ISO? This way, every time you install Windows 7 in the future, you will have the ISO with all the updates (at least until May 2016) already installed.
Microsoft used to make all of these ISOs through a site called Digital River, but that is no longer the case. Instead, they are stored on its TechBench site. ISOs can be difficult to find, however, and for Windows versions other than the latest, the site tries to push you to use media creation tools instead. Install Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool. This free service offers a simple interface that allows you to select the version of Windows you want, and download the ISO image for that version directly from Microsoft’s download server.
Download Any Windows or Office ISO Using a Free Third-Party Tool
This includes various Windows 10 Insider Preview builds. You can also use the tool to download ISOs for some versions of Microsoft Office. First, go to HeiDoc.net and get the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO downloads. It is free and it is a portable tool, so there is no installation. Just run the executable file. In the main window, select the version of Windows or Office that you want to download. Click the “Select Edition” drop-down menu, and select the desired edition. Note that in addition to regular product editions (such as Home or Professional), you can also download regional editions such as Windows N (which is sold in the European market and does not include media tools such as Media Player and DVD Maker) and Windows K (sold in the Korean market
Next, use the drop-down menu that appears to select the product language you want to download, and click the “Allow” button under the language drop-down menu. Finally, choose to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the product. Clicking any download button will start the download using the ISO Download Tool, so you have to keep it open until the download is complete. You can also use the “Copy link” button on the right to copy the download link directly to your clipboard and download the file using your browser. However, note that most of the links that the tool creates are good for 24 hours, although you can always come back and create new links. And that’s all there is to it with the Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool. Yes, you can accomplish some of that by digging around the TechBench site, but using this little resource is much faster and saves a lot of trouble. Also, for some products, such as Windows 8.1, it is almost impossible to find a download directly from the site.