This is a guide which contains all the necessary details needed to run windows for free with no bloat. It contains more links to various other links that are very helpful. This is useful when trialling out new programs in virtual machines and such. I recommend using the Windows 11 EDU version as it means you don't have to have a windows account, provide any personal details and it contains the least amount of bloatware.
Please be encouraged in the comments to share Windows tools, utilities, tips & tricks.
How do I activate Windows?
HWID mimics upgrade activation to generate a permanent legitimate license. (non-VL only)
Which W10 version should I install?
Comes with bloatware apps (games, music, news, etc) and bloatware system apps
Comes with bloatware system apps (weather, people, onedrive, teams, etc).
LTSC, 5 years support VL/KMS only
IoT LTSC, 10 years support HWID only
Comes with Win32 system utils, no MS Store, no apps. It's basically W10: W7 Edition
If you need MS Store, run this in cmd: wsreset -i
Install Xbox/Gamebar apps for feature parity with other versions.
Do I even need IoT LTSC?
W10 Home/Pro/Edu/Ent editions end support in 2025, LTSC in 2027, IoT LTSC in 2032.
How do I activate Office?
Emulated KMS server, not ideal as it can trip AV and deactivate. Alternatively, use MSOffice through your browser since it's free.
Or you can try OnlyOffice/LibreOffice and set it to save as MSOffice file formats.
Should I debloat or Optimize-Offline?
If you need to ask, then no. You WILL break something.
If you know what you're doing:
Windows/Office install guide
Portable programs & reinstall-proofing
Useful programs for a new install
I miss Windows