After having obtained the Windows 10 license, you have two options – upgrade to Windows 10 from existing Windows or go for a clean installation. Installing the OS from the scratch entails formatting the hard drive (at least the drive on which existing Windows is installed). But, that’s not the path all the users prefer to walk. Not only is it more long drawn, you also lose your personal files and apps. If you wish to keep them all and get started with Windows 10 rather quickly, upgrade is the right way to go. In this guide we will learn to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 and 8/8.1 using the Media Creation Tool.
There is a tiny list of the items you need to be ready with in order to upgrade your current Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10. The upgrade process would be an easy sail when you have all you need handy. Let’s take a look.
1. Licensed Copy of Windows
First things first! You need a licensed and activated version of Windows before you start the upgrade. This also means that your existing copy of Windows (7 or 8) and the new version (Windows 10) both must be licensed. When Windows 10 was initially launched, Microsoft dropped some hints that even the users with pirated copy will be able to upgrade to Windows 10. However, in practice if your Windows isn’t activated, you will need to either buy fresh Windows 10 and go for clean installation or activate the existing Windows.
To check whether or not your copy is activated, Windows 7 users can click ‘Start’ button and then right click on ‘Computer’ option. On the pop-up menu you need to select ‘Properties’. The new window will tell you if the OS is activated or not.
Windows 8 users can check activation status by pressing Windows Key and W together. This will bring up the search window for Settings. You can key in the word ‘activated’ and select the option ‘See if Windows is Activated.’ You can also go to Control Panel and open ‘System’ to check the activation Status.
2. Windows 10 Upgrade Tool
The next thing you need is the upgrade tool to initiate and facilitate the upgrade process. Upgrade steps are pretty simple but you need to make sure you have the right version of the tool for your computer.
The tool we are talking about is generally referred to as ‘Media Creation’ tool. It is also called Windows 10 Setup tool. You can download it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10.
There are two versions of the tool available – 32 bit and 64 bit. You need to have the right tool for your computer hardware. Here is how you can check the version on the OS:
- Windows 7: Click ‘Start’. Right Click on ‘Computer’. Select ‘Properties’. You can see the version on the new window
- Windows 8/8.1: Press Windows key and W simultaneously. Type ‘Activated’ in the search box. Select ‘See if Windows is Activated’
There is something you need to keep in mind. You may have a 64-bit compatible hardware with a 32-bit Windows installed. In this case, you cannot upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit even if hardware allows it. You will need to go for the clean installation.
ABOUT MEDIA CREATION TOOL
Media Creation tool by Microsoft is a very handy tool and can be used for a variety of purposes. Here is the list:
- Upgrade to licensed Windows 10 from Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1
- Reinstall Windows 10 on the same PC on which Windows 10 had been previously installed and activated
- Create Windows 10 installation media in the form of USB bootable drive, DVD bootable, or ISO file)
Note: You will need the licensed copy of Windows 10 for the upgrade. If you haven’t purchased the license yet, you can do that by visiting https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/get-windows-10.
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR THE UPGRADE
Your computer must meet the minimum system requirements to upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft website says that if your computer is older than 3 years, you may not be able to enjoy all the great features Windows 10 unpacks. Here is list of minimum requirements:
- 1 Ghz Processor
- 1 GB RAM
- 16 GB hard disk space for 32-bit; 20 GB for 64-bit
- Direct 9X graphics card with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Minimum 800 x 600 display
Once you have purchased the licensed copy of Windows 10, you can download the Media Creation Tool (installer/upgrade tool)
Run the installer tool and follow these steps:
- On the first screen select ‘Upgrade this PC now’ when it prompts ‘What do you want to do?’ and click ‘Next’ (the other option is to select ‘Create installation media for another PC’ if you wish to install Windows 10 on any other computer)
- Click ‘Accept’ on the ‘License terms’ screen to accept the terms of the license
- On the next ‘Ready to install’ screen, installer will show the checklist with the name of Windows 10 version being installed and that you wish to ‘Keep personal files and apps.’ If you wish to modify what you want to keep with new OS, click ‘Chat what to keep’. You will have three choices. Choose one of the following and click ‘Next’:
- Keep personal files and apps
- Keep personal files only
- When you are ready, click ‘Install’
Media Creation Tool will begin the installation process. You may seem some prompts and you may need to take appropriate actions when you see the confirmation messages during the installation process.
How much time installation takes depends a largely on the internet speed (if you are downloading Windows 10 over internet) and your hardware specs.
When you log in to Windows 10 first time after the installation, the OS will present you with some options. The very first screen will ask you whether you wish to customize the settings or ‘Use Express settings’. If you want to get started quickly, click the ‘Use Express settings’ button. This will deploy the most recommended Windows 10 settings. You can always change the settings later.
In case you selected ‘Customize settings’ you can make some changes according to your personal preferences. Here are some settings you can change:
- Personalization (lets you personalize your speech, inking input, typing and more)
- Location (allow or protect Windows from asking for your location)
- Browser and protection
- Connectivity and error reporting
- News apps for the New Windows (select the built-in apps you wish to install. Express settings will install all of them)