Windows 7 Upgrade Paths

This useful download outlines the support and unsupported upgrade paths for the various editions of Windows 7.

Download details: Windows 7 Upgrade Paths


I have copied the relevant sections from the document below

Supported Upgrade Scenarios



From Windows Vista (SP1, SP2)

Upgrade to Windows 7


Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate



Home Basic

Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate

Home Premium

Home Premium, Ultimate





From Windows 7

Upgrade to Windows 7



Home Basic

Home Basic

Home Premium

Home Premium



Starter (x86 only)

Starter (x86)





From Windows 7

Anytime Upgrade to Windows 7

Home Basic

Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate

Home Premium

Professional, Ultimate




Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate


Unsupported Upgrade Scenarios


·      Upgrades to Windows 7 from the following operating systems are not supported: 

·      Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows XP, Windows Vista® RTM, Windows Vista Starter, Windows 7 M3, Windows 7 Beta, Windows 7 RC, or Windows 7 IDS

·      Windows NT® Server 4.0, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server® 2003, Windows Server 2008, or Windows Server 2008 R2

·      Cross-architecture in-place upgrades (for example, x86 to x64) are not supported.

·      Cross-language in-place upgrades (for example, en-us to de-de) are not supported.

·      Cross-SKU upgrades (for example, Windows 7 N to Windows 7 K) are not supported.

·      Upgrades from Windows Vista to Windows N, Windows K, Windows KN, or Windows E are not supported. 

·      Cross-build type in-place upgrades (for example, fre to chk) are not supported.

·      Pre-release in-place upgrades across milestones (for example, Windows 7 RC to Windows 7 RTM) are not supported.

Thanks again to Blake for the tip


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Comments (15)
  1. Steve Hiner says:

    I love Windows 7.  I totally understand why they don’t support upgrading from RC to RTM.  However, I wish they’d support downgrading editions.  I already have two Vista Ultimate licenses but there’s no way I can afford to buy W7 Ultimate.

    Here’s the question I guess.  Does unsupported also mean it’s not a legally qualifying upgrade path, does it mean the OS just won’t install or does it only mean I can’t call MS for help.  Since I’d never call bother calling MS anyway I don’t care if they support it.  Will W7 Home Premium refuse to upgrade Vista Ultimate?  Does Vista Ultimate qualify me for upgrade pricing for W7 Home Premium?  I guess if I still qualify for upgrade pricing and if W7HP will attempt to upgrade Vista Ultimate then I don’t really care if MS supports it or not – I’m a big boy and I can solve my own technical issues.

    I know you likely don’t have answers to these questions.  I figured I’d post them since I’m probably not the only person that wonders these things.

  2. robmar says:

    Hi Steve – you guessed correctly I am not 100% on the answers but let me try and see if I can get you an answer(s)


  3. Jake Smith says:

    They Windows 7 Blog said that the cversion.ini hack to upgrade from Beta to RC will also work to upgrade from Beta/RC to RTM.

  4. Bruce Gilpin says:

    Could somebody please give me the URL of the blog referenced in the July 23rd response?  Thanks.

  5. Eljay says:

    Rob, thanks for the information.  I was confused on the upgrade paths, and that really helped.  Also, the buzz I am hearing from a lot of folks is that Windows 7 is a home run — congratulations to you and the Microsoft Windows 7 team!

  6. Rudolf says:

    I ran the W7 Upgrade Advisor and it told me that I could upgrade to W7 Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise. But under installation of W7 Ultimate N I got the following message:

    Windows Vista™ Business cannot be upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate N. You can choose to install a new copy of Windows 7 Ultimate N instead, but this is different from an upgrade, and does not keep your files, settings, and programs.

  7. robmar says:

    Hi Rudolph I have checked the download document and it states

    "Upgrades from Windows Vista to Windows N, Windows K, Windows KN, or Windows E are not supported."



  8. Ian Samson says:

    License: If I buy the Windows 7 Ultimate Upgrade 64-bit DVD, I get the 32-bit DVD in the same package. Under Microsoft’s 3-for-1 license agreement, I can upgrade my Vista Ultimate 64-bit to Seven Ultimate 64-bit, and I can use the 32-bit DVD to upgrade my two Vista Business 32 laptops to Seven Ultimate 32, with no license conflicts and Microsoft will activate all three under one license. Right?

  9. robmar says:

    Hi Ian – I am not super hot on licensing

    yuo may want to check out the UK licensing site

  10. reon adams says:

    Hi I’ll soon be getting a dell windows 7 home basic laptop and wanted to know if it was a good purchase, and the difference , between Premium, Ultimate and Professional  

  11. anotherbrian2 says:


    Is it possible to purchase a Win 7 Family Pack 64 bit that will allow me to Upgrade from Win Vista Ultimate 64 bit

    Thank You


  12. robmar says:

    Hi Reon – I have had dell desktops in the past an dthey have always been pretty good

    what spec of machine will you be running?

    check  for system requirements

    as for which version you need to really work out what your needs are  check this page for what the main differences are


  13. Mike Bennett says:

    Hi All,

         I need some help and as I am not Pc savvy I am hoping some one can put me straight.I have bought a new pc,(private Built)and had Win 7 Home Premium on it I have the disc.I wanted to upgrade mainly for my daughter who is coming up for GCSE`s,I got the upgrade from Software4Students at a very reduced price,when I tried to upgrade my Pc by loading the disc and clicking upgrade,it would not upgrade and directed me to Windows Anytime,it asked me to insert upgrade key and NOT PRODUCT key,I do not have this Upgrade key so cannot do the upgrade!What can I do,what is this Upgrade key I am supposed to but do not have,can someone please help me,Mike Bennett.

  14. robmar says:

    Hi Mike

    I need to check a couple of things

    What exactly did you order from S4S?

    I am not 100% sure you can do an upgrqde from Windows 7 HP to Windows 7 Ultimate for instance

    feel free to email me direct at


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