We have covered elsewhere that upgrading to Windows 11 will be free for authorized users of Windows 10 once the upgrade program begins to roll out at the beginning of 2022.
All you need to do is make sure that you are running a fully legit copy of Windows 11 and a notification will be coming your way sooner or later asking if you are ready to make the leap.
There is one caveat if you are running a version of Windows 10 Pro S as there will be no comparable Windows 11 version.
If you don’t know how to switch out of Windows S mode, just follow the steps below.
How to switch out of Windows 10 Pro S Mode to upgrade to Windows 11
There is one caveat if you are running a version of Windows 10 Pro S as there will be no comparable Windows 11 version – ie no Windows 11 Pro S so you will have to jump through a couple of hoops and make sure you have changed your install to the regular version of Windows 10 Pro before it lets you upgrade.
This is free though but you will lose the ‘benefits’ that the S version gives you such as enhanced security.
On your PC running Windows 10 in S mode, open Settings > Update & Security > Activation.
Switch from S Mode
Find the Switch to Windows 10 Home or Switch to Windows 10 Pro section, then select the Go to the Store link.
Note: Don’t select the link under Upgrade your edition of Windows. That’s a different process that will keep you in S mode.
Switch out of S Mode in Microsoft Store
On the page that appears in the Microsoft Store (Switch out of S mode or a similar page), select the Get button. After you confirm this action, you’ll be able to install apps from outside the Microsoft Store.
Upgrading an older version of Windows in order to qualify for free Windows 11 upgrade
Of course, you might find yourself with a different dilemma if you are planning to come to Windows 11 from an older version of Windows such as Windows 7 and want to get it for free, or, if for whatever reason, your version of Windows 10 isn’t authorized.
The only way you will qualify for the free Windows 11 upgrade if either of these applies to you is to be running an authorized version of Windows 10 come upgrade time. Fortunately upgrading to a full version of Windows 10 is simple and not that expensive these days. Many online retailers are selling their stock of Windows 10 off cheaply, or you could always just upgrade through the Microsoft Store rather than purchasing an activation key elsewhere.
One thing is for sure, it will be cheaper to upgrade now to a fully legit version of Windows than waiting to do it when Windows 11 comes out, even if you see it has a bit of a faff messing about with your OS twice. The upgrade to Windows 11 should be smooth sailing after this though (famous last words obvs!).