This article is more a reminder that the period to get windows 10 for free is fast approaching and many people have still not taken advantage of the free upgrade. The offer expires on the 29th July 2016 and after this period Windows 10 will now longer be available for free could cost upwards of £99.
In most cases the transition to windows 10 is seamless and un-problematic but there are cases where for one reason or another upgrading to windows 10 becomes a bit of a pain. Luckily most of these issues can be resolved quickly if you have prepared for the update. We will look at the simple process for upgrading to windows 10 and some tips to ensure you get the easiest install possible.
How to get windows 10 for free
Most computers that are eligible for a windows 10 upgrade will have the little symbol in the bottom corner of their screen.
While most current versions of windows are available for an upgrade some of the older versions of windows are not
Windows 7 – You will not see the notification until service pack 1 is installed
Windows 8 – Perform free upgrade to windows 8.1 first
Windows 8.1 – Will upgrade from windows update
Windows XP all editions
Windows Vista all editions
No operating system – You must have an eligible operating system to get the update you cannot do a clean install on a blank system.
Windows 10 upgrade tool
There is an alternative way to upgrade from any eligible version of windows and it is the easier of the 2 ways in my opinion and that is via the windows upgrade tool. Using this method you do not need to perform certain actions (i.e. upgrading to windows 8.1 first) you can jump straight to windows 10 which can be time-saving.
The windows 10 upgrade tool can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10. Click on the upgrade now button.
The installation will pretty much run itself but can take some time to upgrade and download the installation files.
Important notes before upgrading
There have been many issues surrounding this as people have been trying to do a clean install of windows 10 only to find they can’t as the product code for their previous operating system is not accepted. The easiest way to get a complete clean install is to your current operating system (ie windows 8.1 fresh) and then upgrade immediately to windows 10.
It is important to make sure that your current version of windows is activated upgrading to windows 10 as this is known to cause issues when it comes to activating windows 10.
You need to ensure you have enough space to install windows 10. Although windows 10 is your new operating system it does not remove the old initially (so you have the ability to go back should something go wrong (see rolling back windows 10 upgrade instructions)
It is best to be on the safe side and ensure you have at least 20GB of free space available before you attempt the upgrade. Once you have installed and are happy with the installation you can go about cleaning up those installation files and getting some of the space back (Cleaning up old installs and temporary files)
In some case a program may not be compatible with windows 10. You will be notified of any programs that are not and will need to remove these programs. These can be reinstalled again after the upgrade using the relevant installer. It may be the case the developer of the program has two different versions of a program (one for windows 7 for example and one for windows 10, you would need to install the newer windows 10 version after the upgrade)
Once you have started the upgrade it should all be automated. You will be asked if you want to keep your files and apps and for most users this is the option you want to select as it will retain all your documents, pictures etc. as well as your apps.
Once the upgrade process has completed (You will see it work through its percentages) If you choose to use express setting everything will be set at defaults or you can choose customize settings and you will be presented with a number of options to “enhance” your experience with windows 10.
To me nearly all these are “can we collect this data about you” along with another screen that is about connecting and error reporting. My personal preference is to set everything to off apart from the error reporting (there is always the option to turn them on again if you decide you need certain features)
The last screen is about setting the default apps for windows and for most users can be left at the default settings
After clicking next and a few screens about introducing new features the upgrade should be completed and you will be presented with your new windows 10 desktop