How to upgrade to Windows 10: After thinking about it for days and days, you finally made up your mind: you, like many other users, have chosen to upgrade your computer to Windows 10 . Great idea, I can’t tell you more. However, if you are reading this guide right now it is most likely because there is something that is not very clear to you and you would like to know more about the steps to carry out to complete your “mission”. Well, if things are actually like that don’t worry, I’m here to help you out.
How to upgrade to Windows 10
To update your PC to Windows 10 you have two different ways at your disposal: the first consists in taking advantage of Windows Update (the automatic update system included in Windows), the second instead involves the creation of a USB stick or a DVD with files of installation of the operating system (usable on any computer without having to download the operating system again).
What is the best solution for you? Let’s find out together. Take some free time and practice the directions below. At the end of the procedure you will find yourself with a computer updated to Windows 10 and with all your data in their place, unless you voluntarily decide to format the hard disk, this is obvious. Happy reading and enjoy!
How much does it cost to upgrade to Windows 10?
If a genuine copy of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 is installed on your computer, you can update to Windows 10 for free, but only by July 29, 2016 , that is exactly one year after the debut of Windows 10 on the market.
Normally, the price of Windows 10 Home is 135 euros while that of Windows 10 Pro is 279 euros. The purchase of the operating system can be made directly from the official Microsoft store , from online stores such as Amazon and from physical electronics stores.
What do you need to upgrade to Windows 10?
Before installing Windows 10, make sure that your PC meets all the technical requirements of the case and that you have everything you need to upgrade. Here is what you need in detail.
- A PC equipped with at least 2GB of RAM, 20GB of free disk space, a processor of at least 1GHz with support for PAE, NX and SSE2 and a graphics card with support for Microsoft DirectX 9 and WDDM drivers.
- A fast Internet connection, essential for downloading Windows 10 installation files.
- A genuine copy of Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1. The other editions of Windows and all copies of the operating system not legitimately activated cannot take advantage of the direct update to Windows 10 (you can always format the disk and install the operating system from scratch).
- A USB stick of at least 8GB or a blank DVD if you want to create support for installing Windows 10 on multiple computers.
How to update to Windows 10 via Windows Update
If you have a computer with Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 installed, try taking a look at the system notification area. If you notice the presence of a white flag (the Windows logo) I have good, indeed excellent news to give you: by pressing on the white flag in question you can request your copy of the new operating system and install it as soon as it becomes available via Windows Update.
To update to Windows 10 by requesting your copy of the operating system, click on the flag that appeared next to the system clock and first press the Book your free update button and then click Close .
When your copy of Windows 10 is available you will find it among the Windows Update updates and you can install it like any other operating system update. For more information on this, you can connect to the appropriate Web page on the Microsoft website which you can access by clicking here .
What to do if the flag icon does not appear
If you do not see the icon appear in the system tray to be able to update to Windows 10, start Windows Update and download all the updates available for your PC. Among the updates available, those capable of making the flag appear should be those called KB3035583 for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1, KB2952664 for Windows 7 SP1 and KB2976978 for Windows 8.1. Also make sure that version 11 of Internet Explorer is installed on your PC (otherwise the flag may appear but will not allow you to book the upgrade to Windows 10).
If, despite the presence of these updates, you still do not see the flag in order to update to Windows 10, try to put into practice the advice you find below (one at a time, not all together).
- Download “manually” and install / reinstall the updates that activate the flag for updating to Windows 10. To make the changes effective, you may need to restart your PC.
- Make sure your copy of Windows is genuine. To do this, go to the Start menu , right-click on the Computer icon and select the Properties item from the menu that appears. In the window that opens, check that the copy of the operating system is activated.
- Access the folder C: WindowsSystem32GWX and start the executables GWX.exe and GWXUX.exe as administrator (these are the launchers to start the reservation of Windows 10 that are installed on the PC with the update KB3035583). If you do not know how to start launchers as an administrator, click with the right mouse button on their icons and select the item Run as administrator from the menu that is shown to you.
- Download the Windows 10 update utility by connecting to the Microsoft website and clicking on the Update now button . If the button is not available, use this direct link . When the download is complete, start the executable Windows10Upgrade9252.exe and click on Yes first and then on Accept . Then wait for the software to examine the state of the computer and wait for its response: if there are no problems and you can update to Windows 10, click on the Next buttonto start the download and then the installation of the operating system on the PC. Instead, if problems are found that prevent the upgrade to Windows 10, try to fix them.
How to upgrade to Windows 10 via Media Creation Tool
If you have purchased a license for Windows 10 or are looking for a solution to install the operating system on multiple PCs, you can contact the Media Creation Tool . It is a small free program from Microsoft, through which you can download any version of Windows 10, install it on your PC, copy it to a stick or save it as an ISO image and then burn it to DVD.
To download the Media Creation Tool, connected to the Microsoft website using a Windows PC and click on the Download now the tool button located at the bottom left. If you visit the Microsoft website using an operating system other than Windows, instead of the Media Creation Tool software you will be directly offered the ISO image of Windows 10 in 32 or 64 bit version.
When the download is complete, run the MediaCreationTool.exe executable and choose whether to update your computer to Windows 10 or to create a special installation media. In the first case, all the files necessary for the installation of the operating system will be downloaded from the Internet and the procedure for updating to Windows 10 will start automatically (can only be performed on Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1). If, on the other hand, you choose to create an installation medium for another PC, you can create a USB stick with the Windows 10 installation files or you can download the ISO image of the operating system to burn to DVD.
Update your PC to Windows 10
If you want to upgrade the computer you are using, once the Media Creation Tool window is open click on the Accept button , choose to upgrade your PC now and click on the Next button located at the bottom right. Therefore, wait for all the components necessary for the installation of the operating system to be downloaded and follow the appropriate wizard that is shown on the screen.
At the end of the download you must accept the conditions of use of Windows 10 by pressing the appropriate button, then you must wait for the presence of updates to be checked for the operating system and you must click on Next and Install to proceed with the installation of Windows 10 on the PC. Whenever possible, the upgrade is done keeping all the files, apps and settings on your computer. If you want, however, you can click on the Change items to keep item and choose whether to install Windows keeping only your personal files (to delete programs and settings without deleting data) or if you do not keep anything and install Windows 10 by deleting everything.
Create Windows 10 installation media
If instead you prefer to upgrade another computer to Windows 10 or you prefer to do it on the PC in use, however creating a USB stick or a DVD to install the operating system, select the option to create an installation support for a new PC , press the button Next , choose which version of Windows 10 to download, the language of the OS and its architecture using the appropriate drop-down menus. By default, the most suitable version of Windows 10 is chosen for the computer in use, but by removing the check mark from the item Use the recommended options for this PC, you can choose any edition of the operating system.
At this point, click on Next and choose whether to create a USB flash drive (i.e. a USB stick) for the installation of Windows 10 or an ISO file to be then transferred to a DVD. Then click again on the Next button and indicate the destination device or folder in which to save the installation files of Windows 10, in order to start the download.
Once the download procedure is complete, the Media Creation Tool will automatically copy the Windows 10 files to the key indicated by you or in the ISO file that you have decided to save on your PC.
Keep in mind that if you have chosen to upgrade to Windows 10 via USB stick, the latter must have a capacity of at least 8 GB. In case you have chosen to upgrade to Windows 10 via ISO files, I suggest you instead read my guide on how to burn ISO files to find out how to create an operating system installation DVD.
Then, restart your computer without ejecting the USB stick or the created DVD and follow the Windows 10 installation procedure. If the computer to be updated to Windows 10 is different from the one currently in use, eject the stick or DVD with the files to install the operating system and connect the support to the PC on which you intend to install Windows 10.
Proceeding in this way, the procedure to install Windows 10 from USB or DVD should start automatically. If the procedure does not start automatically and the copy of Windows already installed on the PC starts normally, enter the BIOS / UEFI and change the boot order by setting the USB port or the DVD support as the first device, following the directions in my guide on how to set the BIOS .
How to install Windows 10
At this point, regardless of whether you have chosen to act directly via the Media Creation Tool, via USB stick or via DVD, wait for the procedure to update to Windows 10 to be started after which choose the language and keyboard layout and then press on the Next and Install buttons .
Now enter the product key of your copy of Windows 10 or click Ignore to enter the code only at the end of the setup, accept the conditions of use of the software and choose whether to perform an update of the copy of Windows already present on the computer or if perform a customized installation . In the latter case you can completely format the computer disk and thus obtain a so-called clean installation. The computer, after a first brief installation phase of Windows 10, will restart and the initial configuration procedure of the operating system will start.
During the initial configuration procedure you can adjust various Windows 10 settings in a very detailed way, but if you want to speed up the whole procedure press the Use quick settings button . This will use the default settings and you won’t have to waste time configuring the operating system, you will only have to associate your Microsoft account with Windows (in order to synchronize data and settings with the cloud).
Once you have completed the procedure to update to Windows 10, if you have not already done so, do not forget to associate the product key in your possession with the copy of the OS. To do this, press on the search field located at the bottom left of the desktop, type settings and click on the first result displayed.
In the new window that is shown to you, click on Update and security , press on the Activation item attached to the left side menu and select the option on the right to provide your product key and to activate your copy of Windows 10. A procedure completed you will see the entry Windows is activated in the Activation field .
ATTENTION: by installing Windows 10 from a USB stick or DVD you will not be able to take advantage of the free update from Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.x. If you intend to take advantage of the free upgrade you must resort to direct installation of the operating system from the Media Creation Tool or to Windows Update.
- After upgrading to Windows 10, you have 30 days to retrace your steps and restore Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.x. By going to the PC Settings menu , clicking on the Update and security icon and selecting the Restore item from the left sidebar you can in fact go back to Windows 7 or return to Windows 8 by clicking on a convenient button. All data will be preserved. More info here .
- If you perform the free upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 you don’t have to enter any product key, the system will be activated through a hardware fingerprint that Microsoft will register on its servers. This means that after upgrading to Windows 10 you will be able to reinstall the operating system on your PC (even through a clean installation) and this will activate automatically.