How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (2022)

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Downloading a Windows ISO file from the Microsoft website has become much more complicated over the years. There is no direct download link on the ISO download page. Even if you search for "download Windows ISO", you eventually get to the same page which forced you to download the media creation tool.

However, it is possible to directly download the Windows ISO files without downloading the media creation tool or any other app. This post will list multiple methods to download the Windows ISO files using the Chrome browser.

Why Doesn’t the Microsoft Website Offer Direct Download Links for ISOs?

Microsoft wants its users to check if their system is compatible with the OS version they are trying to install. Both the update tool and media creation tool check the system compatibility before installing the OS.

If you visit the ISO download website on a Windows PC, all of the available download paths will eventually lead to the media creation tool. However, if you use another OS like macOS or Linux, it displays the direct ISO download links instead.

While it makes sense to get the media creation tool to check your system compatibility before downloading an ISO, you need an internet connection to download and install files. If the system disconnects from the internet, the installer halts and needs to restart all over again. Downloading just the ISO files makes installation much easier, because you can download the files once and then reuse them as much as you like, even when offline.

You can create a USB installation media using tools like Rufus, or mount the ISO and run the Windows installer from there.

(Video) Directly download Original Windows 10 ISO without Media Creation Tool

How to Download Windows ISOs From the Microsoft Website Using Chrome

This section will elaborate on different methods to force the Windows website to display the direct download links on the page. Whenever you visit the Microsoft website or any other website for that matter, it knows what OS, device, and browser you are using. These methods will trick the Microsoft website into thinking that you are using another device (non-Windows) using Chrome.

Method 1: Change the User Agent Property in Chrome

The User Agent property is a string that the browser sends to the website to let it know your device and OS it is running. When you use Chrome on Windows to access the Microsoft website, it tells the Microsoft website that you're browsing on a Windows machine. This prompts the Microsoft website to direct you toward the update tool or media creation tool.

If you change the user agent on Chrome, you can hide the fact you're on Windows and force the website to reveal the direct Windows ISO download link. To do this, we'll be using Chrome's DevTools feature. People often use Chrome's DevTools to troubleshoot website issues, so it's well worth getting to know it better.

Here's how to do it.

  1. Open Chrome, then type Windows Software Download in the search bar and press the Enter key.
  2. On the webpage, you will see all the available versions of Windows OS that you can download. Click on the preferred OS version image, and it will redirect to the download page.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (1)
    (Video) Download windows 10 ISO without media creation tool
  3. Scroll down below, and you will see that there are no links to directly download the Windows ISO file.
  4. Press the F12 key in Chrome to launch the developer tools window. You can also press Ctrl + Shift + I key combination or right-click on the webpage and choose the inspect element option to access developer tools.
  5. Click on the three vertical dots button located in the top-right corner of the developer tools window.
  6. A drop-down menu will open. Click on More tools > Network Conditions.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (2)
  7. Now, navigate to the lower-half section of the developer tools window.
  8. Scroll down and find the User agent option under the Network Conditions tab. It will be set to Use browser default.
  9. Uncheck the checkbox by clicking on it. Then, expand the drop-down list and select the Android (4.0.2) Browser -- Galaxy Nexus option.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (3)
  10. Press F12 to close the developer tools window and then reload the Microsoft Windows download page.

Now the download page thinks you're browsing the webpage on an Android browser, not a Windows one. Now we can download the ISO directly:

  1. Scroll down and find the Select edition section on the page. It will let you pick the Windows version that is available for download.
  2. Click on the drop down list and select the edition you want to download. Then click on the Confirm button.
  3. Then you will have to select the product language. Keep it English or choose your preferred language and click on the Confirm button.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (4)
    (Video) How to Download Windows 10, 8, 7 Without Media Creation Tool
  4. The webpage will display two download options. One will be the 32-bit Windows ISO download link. The other one will be the link to download 64-bit Windows ISO.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (5)
  5. Click on any one button and the download will begin. The file size will be upwards of 4 GB, so it may take a while to download.

Method 2: Use the Device Toolbar

The device toolbar in Chrome allows you to check how the website scales and appears on a different device. Web developers use this tool to ensure that their website looks good on every possible device, including mobile phones.

In the first method, we accessed the Windows download page on an Android device, and it revealed the link directly. Since the Microsoft website displays the ISO download links directly when using a non-Windows device, using this method will also reveal the download link.

Here's how to use the Device toolbar in chrome.

(Video) Windows 10 20H2: ISO file direct download WITHOUT Media Creation Tool

  1. Open Chrome, then type Windows Software Download in the search bar and press the Enter key.
  2. On the webpage, you will see all the available versions of Windows OS that you can download. Click on the preferred OS version image, and it will redirect to the download page.
  3. Now, press F12 to launch the developer tools window. Go to the top bar and click on the Toggle device toolbar button located next to the inspect element button.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (6)
  4. You can also press Ctrl + Shift + M to change the website layout. It will now display the Windows download page using the responsive layout design.
  5. Press Ctrl + R to reload the page. This will tell the website to reveal the direct link because you are accessing it from a mobile device.
  6. The contents of the webpage will be a little hard to see. Press Ctrl + Shift + M to change the website layout.
  7. Now, you will see the desktop version of the website which is displaying the ISO download links. Don't refresh the webpage.
  8. Scroll down and select the Windows edition you want to download and press the confirm button.
  9. Then, select the language pack you want to download and click on the confirm button again.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (7)
  10. You will now see two ISO download links. One for the 32-bit version of Windows and the other one for the 64-bit version.
    How to Download the Windows ISO Online Without the Media Creation Tool (8)
  11. Click on any one option and let the download begin. The download link will remain active for 24 hours.
(Video) Windows 10 21H1: ISO file direct download WITHOUT Media Creation Tool

Can You Reveal the Windows ISO Download Link Using Other Browsers?

Yes, you can reveal the Windows ISO download link using other browsers. All browsers offer the option to change the user agent and the website layout for the developers. But we found making changes using the Chrome browser to be easier.

Firefox doesn't have a simplified setting to change the user agent, and you have to do it manually. Similarly, the steps to change the user agent or access the website responsiveness feature appear different in other browsers. You can even use your mobile device to download the Windows ISO. But it should have ample space to store files that are 4-5.5 GB in size.

Download Different Windows ISOs Directly to Your Desktop

Downloading Windows ISO files directly can be a little difficult if you use Windows OS. But now you can trick the website into thinking that you are on a different device. You can either change the user agent of the website layout to reveal the direct download link. You won't have to visit sketchy websites to download Windows ISO files anymore.

FAQs

How do I download Windows ISO without using the media creation tool? ›

How to Download an Official Windows 10 ISO without the Media Creation Tool
  1. Navigate to the Windows 10 download site and open the context menu. ...
  2. Open developer tools. ...
  3. Open the Network conditions panel. ...
  4. Untick 'Select automatically' ...
  5. Change your Chrome user agent. ...
  6. Refresh the page. ...
  7. Select your Windows 10 edition. ...
  8. Click “Confirm”
19 Mar 2021

How do I download Windows 10 ISO directly? ›

To use the media creation tool, visit the Microsoft Software Download Windows 10 page from a Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 device. You can use this page to download a disc image (ISO file) that can be used to install or reinstall Windows 10.

How do I download Windows 10 ISO without media creation tool in Firefox? ›

On Firefox, you can also download the Windows 10 ISO without Media Creation Tool with these steps: Open Firefox. Copy and paste this Microsoft support site link https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10ISO in the address bar, and press Enter.

Where can I download ISO for free? ›

Download Iso File - Best Software & Apps
  • UltraISO. 9.7.6.3829. (5889 votes) ...
  • Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. 8.00.7600.16385. 3.9. ...
  • WinSetupFromUSB. 1.10. 3.5. ...
  • DMG Extractor. 1.3.18.3. 2.7. ...
  • Free ISO Converter. 2.9. (113 votes) ...
  • Free ISO Burner. 1.2. 3.4. ...
  • Folder2Iso. 3.1. 3.7. ...
  • Universal MediaCreationTool. 1.0. (2 votes)

Are Windows ISO files free? ›

Yes. Microsoft offers ISO files for free on its website. You can legally download these for free, but you'll still need to buy a Windows 10 license once you create installation media to activate the operating system.

Can we install ISO directly? ›

Mount the ISO File in Windows 11, 10, or 8.1

Download the ISO image, then open File Explorer and right-click on the file. From the pop-up menu, select the Mount command. This will open a virtual drive that is visible in File Explorer, from which you can install the software.

Can I install ISO file directly? ›

Right-click on the ISO image file and choose mount from the menu. This will open the file much like a DVD. You will see it listed among your drive letters in Windows explorer. Browse to the location of the setup file and double-click it to start your installation.

How do I download the latest Windows 10 ISO file directly using your browser? ›

How to Download a Windows 10 ISO Image File
  1. Click the menu icon, and then select More Tools > Network Conditions to enable it. ...
  2. Chrome offers a long list of pre-configured user agents to choose from. ...
  3. Keep the Developer Tools pane open and refresh the download page. ...
  4. Select your preferred language and then click “Confirm.”
9 Jul 2019

Do you need media creation tool? ›

What is Media Creation? The Media Creation Tool allows you to download a Windows 10 install file onto a flash drive (or DVD) so you can use it to reinstall Windows 10. This backup option is vital in case something malfunctions on your computer. Plus, it is beneficial to have a hard copy of the operating system.

How do I install Windows from an ISO file without USB? ›

To install Windows 10 without a USB, use these steps:
  1. Download the Windows 10 ISO without using the Media Creation Tool.
  2. Right-click the ISO file, select the Open with submenu, and choose the Windows Explorer option. ...
  3. Click on the mounted drive from the left navigation pane.
10 Nov 2020

How do I install Windows media without USB? ›

There are a few programs out there that can help you do this by creating a “virtual drive” from which you can mount an “ISO image”. An ISO image is an archive file that contains the same information found on an optical disc, such as a Windows installation CD. One free program you could use is Virtual CloneDrive.

What app can extract ISO files? ›

However, the ISO File format can be opened with WinZip, which allows you to extract the files and create a new file in the disc image file format of your choosing.

Are ISO files free? ›

Still, the Windows operating system gives you the option to mount, burn, or copy an ISO file on your computer completely free of charge, so it does have its perks. You can use it to back up software, games, films, and so on.

Is Windows 10 free now 2022? ›

As you can guess, it is very much possible to still upgrade and get Windows 10 for free in 2022. You just need to follow our methods covered above -- from using your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 product key or even getting a license through work or school at no cost.

Does burning an ISO make it bootable? ›

Once the ISO file is burned as an image, then the new CD is a clone of the original and bootable. Besides the bootable OS, the CD will also hold the various software applications like many Seagate utilities that are downloadable in .

How do I make an ISO file bootable on a USB? ›

How to boot ISO using USB drive
  1. Download any third-party tool like Rufus, UltraISO, YUMI.
  2. Add the ISO image file into the tool.
  3. Insert the USB Drive to burn the ISO file. ...
  4. Once the ISO boot files are copied to the USB drive, you can insert them into the target computers for booting from ISO file.

How do I create a bootable USB from an ISO manually? ›

Create a bootable USB with external tools
  1. Open the program with a double-click.
  2. Select your USB drive in “Device”
  3. Select “Create a bootable disk using” and the option “ISO Image”
  4. Right-click on the CD-ROM symbol and select the ISO file.
  5. Under “New volume label”, you can enter whatever name you like for your USB drive.
2 Aug 2019

How many GB is Windows ISO? ›

But assuming the compression is fairly consistent between the releases, the result would be something like the above table, where the 20H2 “applied to disk” size would be 7.79GB, and releases before it would be smaller.
...
How big is Windows 10?
Windows 10 releaseISO size
Windows 10 20H2 (19042)6.08GB
9 more rows
16 Mar 2021

Is Windows 11 good for gaming? ›

Windows 11 will improve your gaming experience. Unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 supports the newest gaming technologies, some previously available only for Xbox users. The Game Mode that helped Windows 10 run newer games on older setups is available on Windows 11 too, but it's improved.

How do I get a Windows ISO file on my computer? ›

On the Windows 10 download page, download the media creation tool by selecting Download tool now, then run the tool. In the tool, select Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO) for another PC > Next. Select the language, architecture, and edition of Windows, you need and select Next.

How do I download an ISO file? ›

About This Article
  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the ISO file.
  3. Right-click the file and select Mount.
  4. Double-click the installer or setup file.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions.

Can you run ISO file without CD? ›

With WinRAR you can open an . iso file as a normal archive, without having to burn it to a disk. This requires that you download and install WinRAR first, of course.

Which software is best for ISO file? ›

The 7 Best ISO Mounting Software for Various OSes
  1. Integrated OS Software. Operating System: Windows, Linux and macOS. ...
  2. Virtual CloneDrive. Operating System: Windows. ...
  3. PowerISO. Operating System: Windows, Linux, and macOS. ...
  4. WinCDEmu. Operating System: Windows. ...
  5. DAEMON Tools for Mac. Operating System: macOS. ...
  6. Furius ISO Mount. ...
  7. AcetoneISO.
19 Jul 2021

Can you run ISO from USB? ›

An ISO file combines all the Windows installation files into a single uncompressed file. If you choose to download an ISO file so you can create a bootable file from a DVD or USB drive, copy the Windows ISO file onto your drive and then run the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool.

Can I install ISO without USB? ›

You don't need a bootable USB flash drive or Media Creation Tool to install Windows 11 on a computer already running Windows 10. You can simply mount the ISO file to File Explorer and run the upgrade setup.

How do I make an ISO file bootable? ›

Choose the menu "File > Properties" to set the iso file properties. Choose the menu "Action > Boot > Add Boot Information" to load a bootable image file. Click on the "Save" button on toolbar, or click on the "File > Save As..." menu.

How do I download Windows Update from browser? ›

To download updates from the Windows Update Catalog, follow these steps:
  1. Step 1: Access the Windows Update Catalog. To access the Windows Update Catalog, visit the following Microsoft Web site: ...
  2. Step 2: Search for updates from the Windows Update Catalog. ...
  3. Step 3: Download updates.
30 Aug 2022

How do I run an ISO file online? ›

How to open and extract iso file?
  1. To select the iso file, you have two options: Click "Select iso file to open" to open the file chooser. ...
  2. Click the green "Save" button on the individual files to save to your local drive.
  3. OPTIONAL: Click blue "Preview" button to open directly in the browser.

How do I download and install Windows 10 ISO and USB all steps? ›

  1. Step 1 - Format the drive and set the primary partition as active. Connect the USB flash drive to your technician PC. ...
  2. Step 2 - Copy Windows Setup to the USB flash drive. Use File Explorer to copy and paste the entire contents of the Windows product DVD or ISO to the USB flash drive. ...
  3. Step 3 - Install Windows to the new PC.
9 Nov 2021

How many GB is Windows 10 media creation? ›

Media Creation Tool needs to format it before creating the bootable memory stick with the Windows 10 setup. If you want to create media with Windows 10 setup, you need to use a DVD or a USB memory stick with at least 8 GB of storage space.

How do I reinstall Windows 10 without media creation tool? ›

Restore without an installation CD:
  1. Go to "Start" > "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Recovery".
  2. Under "Reset this PC option", tap "Get Started".
  3. Choose "Remove everything" and then choose to "Remove files and clean the drive".
  4. Finally, click "Reset" to begin reinstalling Windows 10.
22 Sept 2022

How many GB do I need for Windows media Creation Tool? ›

Before you download Windows 10 Media Creation tool, make sure you have: A PC with a working Internet connection. A blank USB flash drive or DVD with at least 8 GB of available storage space.

Can I install Windows 10 without bootable device? ›

Go to Choose an option > Troubleshoot > Reset this PC. And then, start to reinstall windows 10 without key by following the wizard. Microsoft comes with a media creation tool that can upgrade this PC to Windows 10 by creating an installation media or directly using the ISO file to install Windows 10.

How do I install Windows 10 without USB or DVD recovery media? ›

Open Start > Settings > Update & security > Recovery.

Under Advanced startup, click Restart now. Windows will reboot into the recovery environment. Then click Troubleshoot. Click Reset this PC, then repeat the same steps as described in Option 2.

How do I install Windows 10 without a bootable device? ›

Method 1. Set your hard drive as the boot device
  1. Restart the computer and tap Esc to enter the BIOS interface.
  2. Press the right arrow key on your keyboard until the Boot tab is opened. Move “Hard Drive” to the top of the boot order list by pressing “+” or “-”.
  3. Press F10 to save the changes and restart the computer.

Can I use my phone as a Windows installation media? ›

You can install Windows 10 from a wide range of external media. Keeping a backup copy of Windows 10 on a USB flash storage drive is useful. But what if you need a copy of Windows 10 when you're out and about? In that instance, you could install Windows 10 direct from your Android smartphone via the DriveDroid app.

How do I make a USB installation media? ›

Navigate to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download and click the version of Windows you wish to install. Under "Create Windows version installation media", click to download the tool, and then run the tool. The tool will create a USB drive with the operating system you selected.

Can I install Windows 11 ISO without USB? ›

You can install Windows 11 22H2 without a USB flash drive if the device is already running the original release of Windows 11 or any supported version of Windows 10. You only need to mount the ISO file to File Explorer and launch the upgrade process.

Why ISO file showing as WinRAR? ›

This is because the . iso extension has been associated with the WinRAR program on Windows. In that case you must change it to Windows Exporer again.

Can I use WinRAR to extract ISO file? ›

Double-click on the file and it will be displayed in WinRAR. Choose the files you want to extract/open and click on the “Extract To” icon at the top of the WinRAR window: Click “OK” and your ISO file will be saved in your destination folder!

How do I convert a disk image to ISO? ›

Convert Image File to ISO
  1. Run PowerISO.
  2. Choose "Tools > Convert" Menu.
  3. PowerISO shows Image File to ISO Converter dialog.
  4. Choose the source image file you want to convert.
  5. Set the output file format to iso file.
  6. Choose the output iso file name.
  7. Click "OK" button to start converting.

Does ISO file expire? ›

ISO 9001 certification for quality management systems, for example, is valid for 3 years after it's obtained. Once the expiration date is reached, the certificate expires and no longer applies to your company.

Do ISO files get corrupted? ›

Can ISO files be corrupted? Just like other file types, ISO files can become corrupted for a number of reasons, including power interruptions while the archive is being accessed, disconnecting the storage medium abruptly while the file is open, incurring a malware or virus attack, and more.

Why is ISO called ISO? ›

A definition. The term “ISO file” or “ISO image” goes back to the standardized format ISO 9660 or 13346 for CD-ROM media and stands for the identical storage image of optical media. An ISO file thus contains all the same data you would transfer when copying data to CD, DVD, or Blu-ray.

Is Windows 7 still good? ›

For those still using Windows 7, the deadline to upgrade from it has passed - it's now an unsupported operating system (OS). So unless you want to leave your laptop or PC open to bugs, faults, and cyber attacks, you best upgrade it sharpish.

Is Win 11 better than win 10? ›

Windows 11 is worth the update for most people. It comes with a wide range of new features, performance improvements, and design changes. As the latest Windows OS, it usually gets more attention than Windows 10, too. There's not too much risk in upgrading to Windows 11, either.

Is Windows 7 end of life? ›

Support for Windows 7 has ended

After 10 years, security updates and technical support for Windows 7 ended on January 14, 2020.

Can I reinstall Windows 10 without installation media? ›

If you don't have a system image stored, then you can reset your PC and reinstall Windows 10 on it. To do this, just go to its Settings > Update & Security > Recovery and click on the “Get Started” button under the “Reset this PC” option.

Can you install an ISO without a USB? ›

You don't need a bootable USB flash drive or Media Creation Tool to install Windows 11 on a computer already running Windows 10. You can simply mount the ISO file to File Explorer and run the upgrade setup.

Can I install Windows without USB or CD? ›

There are a few programs out there that can help you do this by creating a “virtual drive” from which you can mount an “ISO image”. An ISO image is an archive file that contains the same information found on an optical disc, such as a Windows installation CD. One free program you could use is Virtual CloneDrive.

Can I directly install Windows 10 without USB? ›

Step 3: If you need to install Windows 10 directly from the ISO file without a USB drive or DVD, mount the ISO file. This also performs an upgrade of your current OS to Windows 10. To mount the ISO file: Find the ISO file and right-click it, select Properties.

How do I reinstall Windows from USB? ›

  1. Step 1 - Format the drive and set the primary partition as active. Connect the USB flash drive to your technician PC. ...
  2. Step 2 - Copy Windows Setup to the USB flash drive. Use File Explorer to copy and paste the entire contents of the Windows product DVD or ISO to the USB flash drive. ...
  3. Step 3 - Install Windows to the new PC.
9 Nov 2021

How can I format my PC without CD? ›

Formatting a Non-System Drive
  1. Log into the computer in question with an administrator account.
  2. Click Start, type “diskmgmt. ...
  3. Right-click the drive you wish to format, and click “Format.”
  4. Click the “Yes” button if prompted.
  5. Type a volume label. ...
  6. Uncheck the “Perform a quick format” box. ...
  7. Click “OK” twice.

How do I install software on Windows 10 without a store? ›

Procedure:
  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & security.
  3. Click on For developers on the left panel.
  4. Switch on Install apps from any source including loose files option.
  5. Click Yes to confirm the risks involved in running an app outside the Windows Store.
  6. Restart your computer if applicable to complete the task.

Can we directly install ISO file? ›

Mount the ISO File in Windows 11, 10, or 8.1

Download the ISO image, then open File Explorer and right-click on the file. From the pop-up menu, select the Mount command. This will open a virtual drive that is visible in File Explorer, from which you can install the software.

How can I get Windows for free? ›

  1. Upgrade from a Prior Windows Version: Free. ...
  2. Use an Old Windows 7, 8 or 10 Key From Another PC: Free. ...
  3. Don't Activate Windows 10 or 11: Free. ...
  4. Microsoft Student or Teacher Discount: Free. ...
  5. Buy a Cheap Windows 10 or 11 Key From a Third-Party Seller: $20+ ...
  6. Buy Discounted Windows 10 or 11 From Amazon: Not Recommended.
6 Oct 2022

Can you just extract ISO file? ›

However, the ISO File format can be opened with WinZip, which allows you to extract the files and create a new file in the disc image file format of your choosing.

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