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How to Download and Install Windows 10 ISO Legally? (2020)

Windows 10 is the current flagship operating system designed and released by Microsoft. It’s currently being used on over a billion PCs across the globe.

Since its release, it’s been smooth sailing with regular updates and fixes. This ensures all users have a smooth and problem-free operating system experience.

However, what happens if you encounter an issue that can only be fixed by reinstalling Windows 10? Otherwise, what if you want to upgrade an old device to the latest Windows operating system?

This is where a Windows 10 ISO file comes in handy.

How to Get a Windows 10 ISO Legally?

how to download and install windows 10 iso legally

Getting the Windows 10 ISO file isn’t the problem. The problem is getting it legally. Most people would prefer to have an officially licensed version of Windows 10 running on their system.

Others prefer a pirated version. The reason for this is that you need to buy a product key to activate your legal copy of Windows 10. You can easily get the pirated version of Windows 10 for free on torrent sites or third-party websites.

These pirated or cracked copies of Windows 10 work just like the legal version.

Why Should You Never Buy a Pirated Copy of Windows?

The biggest reason why you should never use a pirated version of Windows on your PC is that it lacks security. Since it is not a legal version of Windows, it will not get the required updates to keep it safe from hackers while connected to the Internet.

You will not obtain the much needed OS updates to keep your system running smoothly. You will also not receive the security patches Windows releases to keep their users safe from online threats.

Another issue is that you will not be able to report problems as the troubleshooter will detect that you are using a pirated version of Windows. Another thing to keep in mind is that whoever cracked the Windows ISO file and uploaded it could’ve easily added some malware to it to steal your data.

Most anti-virus systems detect crack files as viruses which is why people turn off their anti-virus software when installing any cracked software. Once installed, this malware can easily monitor your system along with all the data you search for or input into your system.

How To Download Latest Windows 10 ISO File For FREE

Where to Get a Legal ISO File of Windows 10?

The only place you can get a legal copy of Windows 10 in the ISO file format is via the Microsoft Official website page. You can visit the Microsoft Official website page at: 

It is advised to follow these steps only if you are using a Windows operating system. Other operating systems might have an issue. Here, you will see an update option to update your Windows 10 to the latest version released by Microsoft.

Under it, you will see a heading ‘Create Windows 10 installation media’. Before you click on the ‘Download tool now’, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

  • You need a very stable Internet connection as the installation process should not be stopped in the middle. Moreover, the download size is going to be quite big as well.
  • You need at least 12GB of free space before downloading the tool.
  • If you wish to make a bootable memory stick using a pen drive, then it should be a clean pen drive as any data on it will be automatically wiped clean.
  • The pen drive or DVD should have 8GB of available space.
  • If you are planning on updating your current device, then make sure it meets the system requirements.

When you click on the ‘Download tool now’ you will be asked to save ‘MediaCreationTool.exe’ on your system. It will be under 20MB, and the file name should end with the version number.

For example, if you download it after May 2020, then the file should read ‘MediaCreationTool2004.exe’ as it will contain the latest May 2020 update. Once the file is downloaded, all you need to do is run it.

  1. 1
    You will be asked to allow the app to make changes to which you simply have to click ‘Yes’.
  2. 2
    Next, you will be asked to accept the terms and agreements. Click on ‘Accept’.
  3. 3
    Now, you will be asked what you would like to do. Either ‘Upgrade this PC’ or ‘Create an installation media’ using a USB drive, DVD, or ISO file. Click on ‘Create an installation media’.
  4. 4
    Now you will be asked to select what language you want it to be in, which edition of Windows you want, and what architecture do you want it in. Architecture choices are 64-bit or 32-bit. Click ‘Next’ to continue.
  5. 5
    Next, you will be asked which media you would like to use. Here you can choose to use a USB flash drive or create an ISO file.
  6. 6
    You will have to download the ISO file on your system. Choose a download location and click ‘Save’.
  7. 7
    The Media Creation Tool will begin downloading the Windows 10 ISO file.
  8. 8
    Once downloaded, the program will check for integrity.
  9. 9
    Once the checkup is done, you will be given the option to burn the ISO file on a DVD which you can do later. Click ‘Finish’ to exit.

Downloading a Windows 10 ISO File on a Non-Windows Device

The Windows 10 Download Tool works best with Windows operating systems. However, this doesn’t mean you cannot use other operating systems to download it. You can head to Microsoft Official website page at:

It will automatically detect that you are not using a Windows operating system but will allow you to download the Windows 10 ISO file. You can also choose the language and architecture. Do not download Windows 10 ISO from any other website.

If you search for Windows 10 ISO in your Google search engine, you will be shown millions of options and sites where you can download it from. They will be free and smaller in size and torrent sites are packed with them. Yet, they are not legal, nor are they safe.

How to Use Your Windows 10 ISO File

Now that you have downloaded your ISO file, how do you use it? For those who are unaware, an ISO file is very similar to a ZIP file. It is a single file that has several files and folders within it. An ISO file is a copy of a CD or DVD.

This makes it more portable on the Internet, and all your data is together in one file. But how do you use it?

  • Burn the ISO file on to a DVD: The easiest thing to do with an ISO file is to burn it on a DVD. Burning it on a DVD will give you a physical copy of the file while you will also have the downloaded one on your PC. The physical DVD will work like any other DVD and show you the contents of the ISO file when placed into the DVD reader of a PC.
  • Run the ISO file Via a USB Drive: If you do not have a DVD or do not wish to use a DVD, you can use a USB drive. For this process, you will need to download and install a program called Rufus. This program allows you to burn an ISO file using a USB drive. . Once you have burnt the image onto the USB drive, it can be used to boot your PC or install Windows 10 from it. This is also great as many PCs do not come with a built-in DVD drive. Plus, a USB drive is far more portable.
  • Using a Virtual Drive: Some programs emulate a DVD drive. These programs are used to run an ISO file without burning them onto a DVD or USB drive. Some good examples are Daemon Tools and WinCDEmu. You can easily mount the ISO file into a virtual drive, and it will read it just like a DVD drive does.

System Requirements to Install Windows 10

  • Processor: 1GHz or faster
  • RAM: 1GB for the 32-bit installation and 2GB for the 64-bit installation
  • HDD Space: 16GB for the 32-bit installation and 32GB for the 64-bit installation
  • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 or higher
  • Display: Min 800x600
  • Internet: Requires a very stable Internet connection

How to Install Windows 10 from an ISO File

Once you have burnt the ISO file onto a DVD or USB drive, you can easily install Windows 10 on any device that meets the system requirements. First, you will have to enter the BIOS menu of the device.

To enter the BIOS menu, you will have to hit the dedicated BIOS menu key repeatedly when you power on the device. Usually, a message shows up telling you which key is the BIOS hotkey for your device.

BIOS Key Based on Manufacturer


BIOS Menu Key















  1. 1
    Once in the BIOS menu find the BOOT options. Here, you will have to set the BOOT option to either read the USB port or DVD drive and not the Hard drive. Based on what you have burnt the ISO file on, you can select your DVD drive or USB drive as the BOOT option.
  2. 2
    Once you save the changes, the PC will read the DVD drive or USB drive. Then, you will see a Windows setup menu. Here, you can enter the language you wish the installation to be in. You will also be asked the ‘Time and Currency Format’ and the ‘Keyboard or Input Method’. Once all fields are selected, hit ‘Next’.
  3. 3
    The next screen will simply show ‘Install Now’. Click on it to begin the process.
  4. 4
    The next screen will ask you to enter the Windows 10 activation Key. This key can be purchased from the Official Microsoft store.It can also be entered later.
  5. 5
    The next window will also let you choose which version of Windows 10 you would like to install on your PC. Select your choice and click ‘Next’.
  6. 6
    The next page will be the terms and agreement page. Checkmark the ‘I accept the license terms’ box and click ‘Next’.
  7. 7
    Now, you will be asked what type of installation do you want? You have two options:
  • Upgrade: This will upgrade your previous version of Windows to the latest Windows 10. It will replace all the files, settings, and applications to the newest ones.
  • Custom: This option lets you decide what changes the installation will make to your device. This is the option you should choose if you want a new clean installation of Windows 10.
  1. 8
    The next page will ask you where you want to install Windows 10. Here you will be shown the total hard drive space on your PC. This is where you should make partitions of your Hard drive such as ‘C:’ drive, ’D:’ drive, etc. Once the partitions are made, select the drive you wish to install Windows on.
  2. 9
    The installation process will begin, and it will show the status and percentage it has completed. The installation process will take quite a lot of time and will perform tasks like restarting the device automatically.

When the Installation is Complete

  1. 1
    Once the installation is complete, you will be greeted with a few screens. You will have to keep clicking on ‘Next’ or ‘Yes’ to finish the process. You will be asked about the region you live in. The next question will be about your keyboard setup. You will also be asked about a second keyboard setup. Hit ‘Skip’ for this question.
  2. 2
    Next, you will be asked to connect to the Internet, and your home Wi-Fi connection will show up. You can enter the password and allow the PC to connect to the Internet. This is required to finalize the setup and also to download any update if needed. On the left bottom corner of the screen, there is a ‘Skip for now’ option which you should not click.
  3. 3
    Now you might be asked if this setup is for your personal use or work or an organization. Click on whichever option you want and then click on ‘Next’.
  4. 4You will now be asked to enter your Microsoft account details. If you do not have a Microsoft account, then you can easily create one from here. If you wish to skip this step, then click on ‘Offline Account’.
  5. 5
    Next, you will be asked to name the PC. You can give it a username. Click ‘Next’ to continue.
  6. 6
    The next process is essential as you will be asked to enter a password. Click ‘Next’ to continue. The next page will ask you to confirm that password. Click ‘Next’ to proceed. The next page will ask you to enter a hint in case you ever forget your password. Click ‘Next’ to continue.
  7. 7
    The following page will be a list of privacy settings for your device. Here, you can choose to turn off options like location, diagnostics, ads, speech recognition, etc. You can leave them on or turn them off based on whether you need them or not. Click ‘Accept’ to continue.
  8. 8
    Once all your settings are saved, then the PC will take a few minutes to set everything up. After a few minutes, you will see your desktop with everything ready for use.

Things To Keep In Mind

  • Always download the ISO file from the Official Microsoft webpage to avoid malware and to get the latest version of Windows 10.
  • Always partition your hard drive so that if your main ‘C:’ drive where your OS is installed gets corrupted, all your data from the other drives can be recovered.
  • Do not install Windows without partitioning your Hard drive. Otherwise, if a format is required in the future, all your data will be lost if not backed up.
  • Do not turn your device off while installing Windows as an abrupt stop can easily corrupt the files.


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About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

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