If you are a Windows 7 user, you should be aware that Microsoft will stop supporting it on January 14, 2020. So if you plan to upgrade to or install Windows 10 but not 100% sure how to, we can help.
1. Check Your System Requirements
Here are the minimum system requirements for running Windows 10. Make sure your PC meets them before continuing further.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for a 32-bit version, or 2GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space: 16GB for a 32-bit OS; 20GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display: 800×600
The above-mentioned minimum requirements are only for Windows 10. So if you will run other software such as Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, or Skype you, won’t be able to get the optimal performance. That’s why we recommend using at least 4 GB RAM. The more RAM your PC has, the smoother it runs. This guide on how to upgrade RAM on your PC could be valuable for you.
2. Backup your Files
The first step in updating to Windows 10 is creating a back up of your files. The Media Creation tool developed by Microsoft gives you an option to keep your current files and settings after the upgrade. It does its job, but we recommend to copy your files to a USB drive or external hard drive.
3. Purchase a Windows 10 license
Since the free upgrade offer has expired, you would have to buy a Windows 10 license. You could purchase a version of Windows 10 that best suits your needs.
4. Download and Install Media Creation Tool
Next step is to download and run the Media Creation Tool. It will ask you if you want to upgrade the current Windows Version or create an installation media (USB or DVD) for a different system. If you chose the second option of creating an installation media, you can use it to do a clean Windows 10 install without any data.
After you continue the Media Creation Tool will start downloading files. The time that takes to download the files depends on the speed of your internet connection. Meanwhile, you can continue to use your PC and minimize this window. Do not close it unless you want to stop the download.
5a. Upgrading to Windows 10
After the files have been downloaded to your computer, your computer will be prepared for installation. Just accept the license agreement and follow the installation process.
Installation Setup will ask if you want to keep all your files and apps after the upgrade. By default, it will keep everything. There is also an option of choosing which applications/software to keep and which to delete.
After this step, the installation process would start. Your computer could restart several times, so do not go crazy when it happens. Let it do its job and track the progress on the screen.
After the setup finishes, your upgrade to Windows 10 will be complete. Now it is time to personalize the operating system for you: Windows will ask you to choose a keyboard layout, create a user account, select your time zone, etc.
5b. Clean Installation of Windows 10
If you would like to install a clean copy of Windows 10 you can use a bootable USB or DVD from Step 4. You need to restart your PC and boot from USB or DVD. Depending on the make and year of your computer, you need to press a certain hotkey. For example: for Dell computers, it could be F12. On Google type: “your computer make and model boot from USB”.
When your PC starts, hold the hotkey, and it will give you boot options. Select your USB/DVD and press any key to start the Windows 10 installation. Accept the license agreement and select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.
Select the partition in the hard drive that you want to install Windows 10, and click the Format button (Usually, the “Drive 0” is the drive that contains all the installation files). Select the hard drive (Drive 0 you just formatted) to install Windows 10. Click the Next button and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.