This is one question that a lot of people have been asking, and Gabe Aul, the head of the Windows Insider program, finally answered it on Twitter today. Credit goes to Brad Sams at Neowin for catching this since it was a reply to another tweet.

Gabe states:

Once you upgrade W10 w/ the free upgrade offer you will able to clean reinstall Windows 10 on same device any time

There’s not a lot else to be said, but he also said they are working on some more information to make this more clear. What it does mean is that in order to get the free upgrade, you need to upgrade from an eligible device, and once done, you can then blow that away and do a clean install. I guess we’re not sure yet if that means you can do a reset using the Windows Recovery tools, or if you can actually start with a new hard drive or ISO in order to do the clean install.

Hopefully we’ll get the final bit of clarification on this soon, but since this is one of the most asked questions that I have seen, I felt it was worth letting everyone know.

Source: Gabe Aul via Neowin

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  • dmt1957 - Saturday, June 6, 2015 - link

    My question is, when I get the automatic update from Windows 7 to Windows 10, will I have to re-install all my programs?
  • Brett Howse - Monday, June 8, 2015 - link

    • Applications, files and settings will migrate as part of the upgrade, however some applications or settings may not migrate.
    •For Anti-virus and Anti-malware applications, during upgrade Windows will check to see if your Anti-virus or Anti-malware subscription is current. Windows will uninstall your application while preserving your settings. After upgrade is complete, Windows will install the latest version available with the settings that were set prior to upgrade. If your subscription is not current, upgrade will enable Windows defender.
    •Some applications that came from your OEM may be removed prior to upgrade.
    •For certain third party applications, the “Get Windows 10” app will scan for application compatibility. If there is a known issue that will prevent the upgrade, you will be notified of the list of applications with known issues. You can choose to accept and the applications will be removed from the system prior to upgrade. Please be sure to copy the list before you accept the removal of the application.
  • Dark_Mephisto - Thursday, July 23, 2015 - link

    I recently pulled my hard drive and cpu out of a Dell Optiplex and placed them into a Asrock MB and was able to activate with my product key online. I was glad because I'm really looking forward to seeing if DX12 is what it's been hyped up to be. I should add that I installed a fresh copy of Home Premium
  • Aplustek - Sunday, August 9, 2015 - link

    You can perform a clean install after upgrading for I just did it on my desktop and laptop. Once you upgrade Microsoft replaces your old windows 7/8 key with the new Windows 10 key. You will need to ensure you have this ( as well back up all your data) before wiping your hard drive and performing the clean install. Once you have the Windows 10 key written down and have created the Windows 10 USB installation media which you can do thanks to Microsoft easy configuration utility you should be good to go. All works great for me activation etc. Also windows 10 is fast it only takes 8 seconds to go from a complete shutdown state to the Windows 10 desktop on my desktop and 10 seconds on my older laptop.
  • Sumanth1908 - Monday, August 10, 2015 - link

    I have clean installed windows 10 safely.I believe it all depends on the the key that was embedded in CMOS. This post helped me clean in installation
  • aliasim77 - Friday, September 4, 2015 - link

    i have Windows 10 activated on C. Now can I merge C and D together and install Windows 10 clean again after Format on the same Disk but now with no partition or just one partition?
  • ParGolfer - Sunday, September 27, 2015 - link

    It's Sept 27th. Have we had any update one this as yet?
    I like to have a clean re-install about once a year.
  • Richardchristian - Saturday, October 31, 2015 - link

    How can I find out what my current key is to use it on a complete fresh install a new drive? And I guess further is that the best way to do it I'm essentially reinstalling Windows with my current key on a new drive on the same machine. I am essentially trying to do a clean install. The copy over my settings etc later
  • Rachit - Sunday, November 15, 2015 - link

    This is not true. I ugraded my lato to a ssd and now windows does not activate. I talked to the customer service and they said , it wouldn't activate for a fresh install . You need to reinstall windows 8 and ugrade( WTF . Othewise they were offering me a deal. windows 10 key for 40$.
    Wow ..
  • elplayero - Friday, April 29, 2016 - link

    This is what did on my Acer 8.1 laptop i din't like the bloatware. so i download windows 8.1 from microsoft. did a clean install on my laptop. upgrade to windows 10 no bloatware just pure windows 10. after that i download the Acer Drivers installed them. reboot my laptop now i got a fresh laptop with windows 10. now just go to recovery insert a usb flash drive an make a copy of your clean windows 10.that you can use this copy anytime. btw im waiting for my new ssd drive i wll update later if cloning works or just install the ssd drive an boot it from the usb flash drive that i made. btw my Acer Laptop does not have a product key but windows activates itself once im online. but you can find your laptop product key by using........ belarc advisor

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