Downloading a clean Win10 version 1909 is remarkably easy, doesn’t take very long (if you have a fast internet connection anyway), and may well save your keister at some point. You can even download it from your phone or iPad.

Don’t worry, it’s 100% legal and, at worst, will occupy about 8GB on a USB drive for a while. Nothin’ to it.

Step 1. If you’re running Win10, use the Media Creation Tool

If you have a license for Windows 10, the easiest way to get version 1909 involves Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool. Go to the Download Windows 10 site and, under “Create Windows 10 installation media,” click the link marked “Download tool now.” 

1909 media creation toolWoody Leonhard/IDG

You’ll see a notice that you’re opening MediaCreationTool1909.exe (screenshot). It may take a second, but when the Save File button goes live, click on it. Give approval for the Media Creation Tool to make changes to your PC, and you’ll see the Windows 10 Setup dialog. Click to accept Microsoft’s multi-page Software License Terms.

The Windows 10 Setup routine asks if you want to upgrade this PC now, or if you want to create installation media (screenshot).

1909 create installation mediaWoody Leonhard/IDG

Choose “Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC.” Yes, you should choose that even if you never intend to use the clean copy of Win10 1909 on any other PC. Click Next. Choose the language, architecture and edition — all of which should match what you’re currently running. 

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