With the passage of time we have seen how Windows 10 has become the most used operating system in computers around the world. Its design, the set of functions that it has, as well as its great performance and stability, has made more and more users who trust the system. However, the fact that anyone can try Windows 10 for free, has been one of the biggest responsible for the great success of the system. Now, there are many doubts about what I can do and what not with Windows 10 without activating.
The truth is that today there are still great doubts about whether it is possible to have Windows 10 without activating or not and what limitations it offers regarding the time of use and available functions. Something that we will try to clarify next. Of course, first of all, let’s see how the freemium model of Windows 10 works.
Can I have Windows 10 free or not activated?
If we go to the official website of Microsoft Store, we will see that Windows 10 Home is priced at 145 euros, while the Pro version goes up to 259 euros, therefore, when asked if Windows 10 is free , we could say that obtaining the system with your license individually has that cost.
Now, there are other alternatives to have Windows 10 completely free. For example, if we are users of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, we can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. If we buy a computer and it already has the Microsoft system installed, we will not have to buy any license to use it.
However, there is the possibility of having Windows 10 installed on our computer pending its activation. That is, although during the installation process we will be asked to enter your product key, it is a step that we can skip to perform a subsequent activation, we may not even activate it. It is also convenient to remember that we can activate Windows 10 with a product key or digital license . To make matters worse, we can also use the generic Windows 10 keys to activate the system. Some keys, which we can also get for free.
Therefore, as we can see, Microsoft’s permissiveness has been increasing over the years. If we remember, Windows XP could only be used without activating a maximum period of 30 days , at which point it was impossible to continue using the system.
In Windows Vista Microsoft introduced the option to continue using the system after those 3 days but with limited functionality. Subsequently, in Windows 7 the thing hit a big change and after passing the trial period, from time to time a window appeared that reminded us that we had to activate the system along with a message in the taskbar.
A similar behavior was Windows 8.1 , since a message was displayed on the screen for us to activate the system, in addition to deactivating the customization options. With Windows 10 the test time is unlimited today and all we see is a message in the lower right indicating that to activate the system we must go to the configuration page. Of course, there are certain limitations in terms of functionality.
Limitations when using Windows 10 without activating
Luckily, Microsoft does not set any limits in terms of usage time, therefore, it is currently possible to use Windows 10 without activating unlimitedly. System performance will not be affected and we can use it to work, surf the Internet, watch multimedia content or play without any problem. In addition, we will continue to receive security patches and fixes.
Functions not available or limited
If we choose to use Windows 10 without activating, the first thing we are going to find is with a message that will continually remind us that we can activate the system from the configuration page. Of course, after a while we will get used to seeing that message and it will not be a major problem.
However, despite being able to use the system at maximum performance, there are certain functions that we will not have access to simply because we have not activated the system. Functions that above all affect the personalization of the system, so that, on the other hand, they are not important for its operation, such as:
- Configuration page customization options: The fact of using Windows 10 without activating causes us to find certain configuration page options inaccessible, especially those that have to do with system customization.
- Apply custom themes: One of the ways to customize our desktop is through themes. However, this is going to be somewhat limited in these circumstances. We cannot apply custom themes.
- Modify the colors of the system: The simple act of modifying the colors of the system will not be possible when we use Windows 10 without activating.
- System fonts: Just as we cannot change the colors of the system, we cannot modify or install new fonts.
- Start menu configuration: Another of the elements that more customization options support is the Start menu, something that we can not do with Windows 10 without activating.
- Change the background of the lock screen: Simply changing the background image of the lock screen will also not be possible.
- Change the wallpaper from the Settings page: The same happens if we want to change the wallpaper from the Settings page. Now, if we do it at the file level, we can.
- Synchronization services: If we use a Microsoft account (Outlook or Hotmail) to synchronize files and settings between computers, Windows 10 will not allow such connections while it is disabled. Therefore, we will not be able to use Microsoft Accounts services to synchronize settings between devices.
- Access to some configuration options of the taskbar: Next to the Start menu, another of the elements that more customization receives from the users of the system is the taskbar. However, it is something we cannot do without having the system properly activated.
If you enter the Insider program and we activate the possibility of receiving trial versions on our computer, our Windows 10 will automatically be activated. It is assumed that all these restrictions will be eliminated, but the truth is that we will have versions of the system that are more unstable than any of the final versions. In that case, it may always be a better option to use the generic keys to activate the system for free.