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Upgrade Guide - How To Download Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade

written by: Nicholas•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 4/21/2010

Trying to figure out how the whole Windows Anytime Upgrade process works? Basically, Windows Anytime Upgrade allows you to upgrade from your current version of Windows to a higher one. It does not have to be downloaded, because Anytime Upgrade works like Windows Update. You do need a product key.

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    What Can Windows Anytime Upgrade Do?

    According to Microsoft, Windows Anytime Upgrade can upgrade the following operating systems accordingly:

    • Windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Home Premium ($79.99)
    • Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional ($89.99)
    • Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 7 Ultimate ($139.99)

    If you would like to learn more about the differences between Windows 7 versions, you may want to check out the following:

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      How Does Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade Work?

      Windows Anytime Upgrade One common misconception about Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade is that it requires you to download another entire version of Windows. This is not the case. Rather, Windows Anytime Upgrade downloads a couple of files at most, and unlocks certain features from your existing Windows 7 version.

      If you purchased an early version of Windows 7 retail (Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate), you may have noticed that when doing a clean install, Windows asks you which version of Windows 7 you want to install. For example, if you purchased Windows 7 Home Premium, you may have been asked if you want to install Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate when clean installing Windows 7 onto your PC. You may not have gotten this option either, but many users have reported it.

      Thus, you could actually install Windows 7 Ultimate on your computer, even if your purchased Windows 7 Home Premium. The problem with this is, the activation key that came with your Windows 7 Home Premium purchase only comes with the according Home Premium key. There is no way to activate Windows 7 Ultimate, even if you did choose it as your operating system.

      This is where Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade comes into play. You can use Anytime Upgrade to move from a lower version of Windows 7 to a higher version, as mentioned above. However, there is no excessive download required.

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      How to Perform a Windows Anytime Upgrade

      We have an article that covers some additional Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade information. Be sure to check it out to learn the details involved in using Windows Anytime Upgrade.

      Once you have a genuine Windows 7 Anytime Upgrade key, open the Start menu. Type the phrase "anytime upgrade" into the search box. From there, Windows should display the shortcut to Windows Anytime Upgrade. Click it. The screen will give you two main options. Choose the option labeled "Enter an Upgrade Key," and click the Next button. After you have done so, Microsoft will verify the key to make sure that it's valid. If everything checks out okay, you will need to agree to a couple of licensing screens. Finally, you will be presented with the option to upgrade Windows. Make sure that you have all of your important files backed up before doing the upgrade.

      Upon clicking the Upgrade button, Windows 7 will download a couple of needed files, and unlock several features from your exsiting installation. When the upgrade process completes, your computer will restart. Once it starts back up, you will be running a new version of Windows. Wondering, where can I download Windows Anytime Upgrade? No special download needed. Simply purchase Anytime Upgrade from Microsoft, check your email to get the key, and enter it into your existing version of Windows 7.