How to Easily & Legally Download Windows 10 & 8.1 ISOs

We often advocate to back up your data and keep a rescue disk in case your a Windows decides to go south. Along with a rescue, it’s also good to keep a USB ready installation of your Windows. Not only does it save you time, you can also customize it to your liking. But for all the above things, Windows ISO file is needed. Currently, for Windows 10 you can download it using the MCT, selecting the Create installation media option. A similar tool is also present for Windows 8.1.

Directly from Microsoft’s Servers | Shutterstock

But downloading through the tool means you can’t use your favorite download manager and obviously it will not work on other OSes. There is a workaround where some source code trickery enables you to download the ISO from the browser but that’s just too many steps. We always strive for simpler solutions and so we have got one for this too Let’s see what it is.

The Easier Way

When you do a Google search for Windows X ISO, the top result is generally from Microsoft followed by some how-tos and torrent links. Visiting Microsoft’s official link, you get an option to download the above-mentioned tools. This is because MS detects your browser & OS and offers the tool. But if you change your user agent to a mobile browser or Mac you will get download links for the ISOs. Now let’s see how to do that step by step.

For Firefox

Step 1: Add the User Agent Switcher from here. Restart Firefox after installation.

UAS_Firefox

Step 2: One the Menu bar, go to Tools > Default User Agent and select iPhone 3.0, which will change the user agent to iPhone 3.0.

switch_to_mobile_agent

Step 3: Go to this link (for 10 and for 8.1) and you should get the option for selecting edition. Select the edition you want and click on Confirm to start the download.

Win_10_ISO_download

Cool Tip: The ISOs are of no use without a tool to make a bootable USB/DVD media. The top 5 tools for the same can be found here.

For Chrome

Step 1: Similar to Firefox you need to install this extension for Chrome. Click Add to Chrome to add the extension. No restart is required for Chrome.

UAS_Extn_for_Chrome

Step 2: Click on the extension’s icon in the top-right corner of Chrome and select an iOS or Android agent.

UAS_Agents

Step 3: Visit this link (for 10 and for 8.1) to download the edition of your choice.

Select_8.1_ISO_edition

Alternative Methods

The above method works for only Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. For downloading Windows 7 you will need a valid product key or you will need to follow the method I mentioned at the start. The details of the method can be found here. It allows you to download in total 54 different versions of Windows 7, 8.1 & 10.

Conclusion

There are plenty of sites and torrents available to download ISOs but you don’t know what you might get bundled with the ISOs. Downloading officially gives you some peace of mind that your download will be genuine, non-corrupted and free of things such as backdoors, malware etc. Do share your thoughts and views with us in the comments section.

SEE ALSO: Top 5 Tools to Create a Bootable ISO in Windows Compared

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