Here s how to upgrade to Windows 10. How to upgrade operating system to windows 10

Quick Tip: If you can see multiple partitions on your primary hard drive (Disk 0), check and delete each of them. Windows 10 will automatically recreate the required partitions during the installation process. There is no need to delete partitions on secondary disks.

Here’s how to upgrade to Windows 10

Ready to transition to Windows 10? Here are all the steps you need to be successful.

Windows 10 is finally here, and it’s the best OS version we’ve seen in a while. Moreover, it’s a free update if you already have Windows 7 or above.

The new operating system will be available as an update from July 29, and we recommend that you upgrade. If you’re ready to transfer your Windows 8 or 7 PC to the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, there are a few things you need to do to make the update as painless as possible. Below are the most important steps that you should follow.

Step 1: Make sure your computer is eligible for Windows 10

  • Windows 10 is free for anyone using the latest version of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 on their laptop, desktop or tablet.
  • You can find out which version you have on your computer by going to Microsoft’s website.
  • You must be an administrator on your computer, which means that you are the owner of the computer and you configure it yourself. It is very likely that you will not be able to update your IT-managed work computers yourself.


Zoom in on the image

In this post, I will go over the basics of installing Windows 10 as an upgrade on legacy hardware. I’ll also talk about licensing issues, which are (as always) confusing.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 without losing files and apps

Alternatively, users who want to migrate their files, applications, and settings can purchase a copy of Windows 7, update the current installation, and then upgrade to Windows 10. However, a clean installation will save you time and money and help you get started with a fresh installation.

Before going through the upgrade process, you need to make sure your PC is compatible with Windows 10.

Here is a list with the minimum hardware requirements:

Requirements for Windows 10, version 1903 and 1909
Editor 1GHz or faster processor or system on a chip (SoC).
Aries 1 GB for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit .
Hard disk space Existing installations: 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit.
Clean installation or new computer: 32 GB or larger.
Graphics DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver.
Display resolution 800 × 600.
Network Wi-Fi or Ethernet adapter.

If your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements, you’ll need to purchase a copy of the operating system. You can find Windows 10 Home for $ 139, and Windows 10 Pro costs $ 199.99, but it comes with extra features like the ability to connect your computer to a corporate network, Remote Desktop, and Hyper-V.

There is no direct upgrade path from Windows Vista (or the much older Windows XP) to Windows 10. As such, you will do a clean install of the operating system that will wipe your PC by deleting files, applications, and settings to start over.

How to create a full backup on Windows XP or Vista

Before upgrading, please back up your files to an external drive and make sure you have the installation files and product key to reinstall the software after upgrading.

You can also try a full backup, but Windows XP or Windows Vista do not have a “reliable” backup tool. However, you can try third-party software like Macrium Reflect. It costs a bit of money, but having a backup will ensure that you can come back if something goes wrong.

All content on this site is provided without warranty, express or implied. Use of any information is at your own risk. Always back up your device and files before making any changes. Information on the privacy policy.

Back Up Before Upgrading

Before you start, we recommend that you back up your files. The upgrade process shouldn’t delete your files unless you choose to erase them, but it’s always a good idea to have a current backup – especially when you’re doing a major OS upgrade.

We also encourage you to find your Windows 7 (or Windows 8) key, just in case. This key can be printed on a sticker on the computer or laptop case. If you installed Windows 7 or Windows 8 yourself, it makes sense to find the license key you purchased.

If your computer does not have a sticker, you can always use a tool like NirSoft’s ProduKey to find the license key currently in use on your computer.

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free

To get a free update, go to the Microsoft Download Windows 10 website. Click “Download Tool Now” and download the .exe file. Run it, click the tool, and when prompted, select “Update this computer now.

Yes, it’s that simple. We’re not doing anything sneaky here – Microsoft decides to let people upgrade with this tool.

Using the Windows 10 installation tool to upgrade Windows 7.

If you prefer a clean install, you can select “Create Installation Media” and then provide a valid Windows 7 or 8 key when installing Windows 10.

Yes, you can use the same license to upgrade from Windows 10 64-bit from 32-bit, but it does require a full reinstall and in this guide we will show you how to get the job done.

Is your license valid?

And now the big question: if you take advantage of this upgrade to Windows 10, is the license you obtained valid?

The whole offer of “free upgrade” has always been accompanied by language, to put it mildly, a bit pugnacious. Similarly, the language at the end of this offer was unclear. For example, see the answers I highlighted here in Microsoft’s Windows 10 Update FAQ:


The wording here is extremely vague.

It’s a very strange language. The free upgrade via the Get Windows 10 app ended on July 29, 2016. Likewise, the product key discussion says the key will be necessary “for this tool to work” (not true), but doesn’t say a word about licensing.

And unlike the “Genuine Windows” label on older upgrades, the Windows 10 upgrade activation screens clearly confirm the existence of a “digital license.”

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New year, new laptop? These are the devices that should be near or near the top of your pop-up list.

Anyway, the offer of free updates has been briefly extended, at least for people using assistive technologies. The FAQ on a separate page even called this “Free Upgrade Offer Extension” and made it clear that it is not limited to specific assistive technologies. (I regularly use the Magnifier tool on Windows, which is indisputably an assistive technology.)

Of course, I am not an attorney and this section is not legal advice. But I will say that I am personally convinced of the activation status of any computer upgraded with the tool on this page during the eligibility period.

This extension was, I think, a very big nod and wink, designed to make it easier for those who wanted the Windows 10 upgrade to still get it, while appeasing OEM partners who weren’t too happy with the year-round push for upgrades rather than selling new ones computers.

Unfortunately, I say “was” because the extension (which has itself extended) officially ended on January 16, 2018. The page that previously ran the Upgrade Assistant now returns an error message.

The big question now is whether Microsoft will ever disable the code on its activation servers that issues digital licenses after upgrading from an earlier version of Windows. I continued to test this scenario and can confirm, long after the end of support for Windows 7, that it still works.

I still hear from readers sharing their experiences. If you’ve used this technique on your computer, click on my name at the top of this post and use the contact form to let me know how it went.

Note: This article was originally published in January 2017. It has since been updated multiple times to reflect the most up-to-date information.

Windows 10 is finally here, and it’s the best OS version we’ve seen in a while. Moreover, it’s a free update if you already have Windows 7 or above.

How to check 64-bit hardware support on Windows 10

If your device is already running a 32-bit version of Windows 10, determine if it has a 64-bit processor, 2 GB of RAM (minimum) and that the rest of the parts support 64-bit drivers before upgrading.

Determine 64-bit compatibility using Settings

To check if your processor supports 64-bit Windows 10 with the Settings app, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click Information.
  4. Check the details of the installed RAM.
  5. Confirm that the information is 2 GB or more.
  6. In the “Device Specifications” section, check the System Type Details.

Confirm that the information reads 32-bit x64-based operating system.

Windows 10 confirms support for 64-bit processor

source: Windows Center

After you complete these steps, you’ll determine whether your computer is running the 32-bit version of Windows 10 on a 64-bit processor. However, if it reads 32 bit operating system, x86 processor, laptop does not support 64 bit version of Windows 10.

In case your device does not support the 64-bit version, you should consider purchasing a newer device that meets the system requirements.

Determine CPU compatibility using Coreinfo

While newer devices can run virtually any version of Windows 10, you’ll need to make sure the four core features are present on your CPU if you’re dealing with older hardware.

  • Physical Address Extension (PAE).
  • No-Execute (NX).
  • Streaming SIMD Extensions 2 (SSE2).
  • CMPXCHG16b (CX16).

To confirm that the processor has the required features, you can use the Microsoft Coreinfo command-line tool by following these steps:

Click the Get Basic Information link.

Getting basic information

source: Windows Center

Click the Extract button.

Compressed Folder Extraction Wizard

source: Windows Center

Type the following in the address bar and press Enter to open a command prompt at the folder location.

File Explorer, open a command prompt in the folder location

source: Windows Center

Type the following command and hit Enter:

Search (Ctrl + F keyboard shortcut) for the following functions:

64-bit processor compatibility check

How to upgrade 32-bit to 64-bit on Windows 10

When you purchase a new Windows 10 license, you have the right to install either the 32-bit or 64-bit version. The only caveat is that you cannot perform the update in place. Instead, remove the previous configuration and then perform a clean install to switch architectures.

Create installation media

As part of the architecture upgrade process, use the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to create USB bootable media by connecting a USB flash drive with a minimum capacity of 8 GB to your device, and then do the following:

In the “Create Windows 10 Installation Media” section, click Download Tool Now.

Download the media creation tool

source: Windows Center

Select Create Installation Media (USB Flash Drive, DVD, or ISO File) for another computer option.

USB Media Creation Tool option for another computer

source: Windows Center

Select the 64-bit (x64) option for “Architecture.”

Windows 10 64-bit download selection

source: Windows Center

Select the USB flash drive option.

Media Creation Tool USB flash drive option

source: Windows Center

Select a USB flash drive to create bootable media.

Media Creation Tool, select the USB flash drive from the list

source: Windows Center

Quick Tip: If you don’t see your flash drive listed, make sure your device is connected and click Refresh Drive List, then select the drive.

After following these steps, the tool will start downloading the installation files and create Windows 10 64-bit bootable media.

If you don’t have a USB flash drive, you can find many reliable and inexpensive drives (such as the SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60 32GB) on Amazon.

Storage essential

SanDisk Cruzer Glide CZ60

If you need a flash drive to create Windows 10 bootable media, SanDisk’s Cruzer Glide CZ60 is a good option. The flash drive offers 32GB of memory and reliable data transfer speeds to install Windows and store files on the go.

Windows 10 32-bit to 64-bit install

After you prepare to upgrade to Windows 10 64-bit from 32-bit, you may need to adjust some settings to allow your device to boot from a USB flash drive before proceeding. This requires access to the basic input / output system (BIOS) or Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) on the motherboard in order to change the boot order.

Either way, you’ll see a couple of prompts. One prompt will inform you of problematic applications or services that may be causing a conflict with Windows 10. It’s up to you to fix these problems.

Buy a Windows 10 license

The first step in this process is to purchase a Windows 10 license.

Step 1: Check if you are eligible for the free upgrade. Most Windows 7 users are no longer able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free anymore, but you can qualify if you meet certain requirements.

Step 2: Browse the options. Most people will need to purchase a Windows 10 product key through Microsoft or another authorized reseller. Currently, you can buy Windows 10 Professional for over $ 200 from the Microsoft Store. You can also find Windows 10 Home for under $ 140. This is a nice option if you’re frugal and don’t need features like Windows Sandbox or Bitlocker.

Step 3: Make a purchase.

Get a USB mailed to you, or make your own

If you choose to buy Windows 10 through Microsoft, you’ll notice two options. You can download the operating system to your computer as an ISO file or you can choose the USB option.

Step 1: Consider USB. If you choose the USB option, you will receive a copy of Windows 10 by mail to your home. Using a USB is an excellent choice if your internet connection isn’t stable enough to download 4GB.

Step 2: Or select the download option. Meanwhile, the download option allows you to create installation media on CD or USB, so you can completely erase your hard drive, do a clean install, and upgrade to Windows 10. You can also double-click the ISO file to mount it and open Setup.exe in the folder , to continue.

Step 3: Adjust the BIOS settings if you are using the USB option. After creating the media, you will be able to adjust the BIOS settings to be able to boot from the installer. Then follow its step-by-step guide.

Step 4: Check your email. Regardless of which way you buy, you will likely receive a product key via email. If you’re interested in simply upgrading your existing Windows 7 installation without having to erase it, continue to the next step. Doing so is a much simpler process and much more reliable.

Arif Bacchus / digital trends

Alternatively, users who want to migrate their files, applications, and settings can purchase a copy of Windows 7, update the current installation, and then upgrade to Windows 10. However, a clean installation will save you time and money and help you get started with a fresh installation.

Voice Typing

Just press the Windows-H key (stands for “hear”) and the computer starts typing what you say – no complicated setup required. Read more about how to write with your voice.

Dark Mode found its way into the most used parts of the Windows interface, and in Windows 10’s May 2019 Update, Microsoft also loved the brighter mode. Go to Settings> Personalization> Colors. In the “Choose your color” section, you should have the options Light, Dark and Custom. Some browsers and websites always respect Windows 10’s choice of dark / light interface.

Nearby Sharing

Nearby sharing is a clever feature that leans under the radar of most PC users. This is very similar to Apple’s AirDrop, which allows you to send photos or documents directly over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi – no internet connection required. This is useful if you want to quickly move a file from, say, a laptop to a nearby desktop computer, but this feature is not yet supported on mobile devices. If you’re using a modern store app like Edge or Photos, the sharing panel shows nearby computers that can receive your sent items.

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