A quick tutorial to show you how to obtain a free copy of Windows 10. Since Microsoft has ended mainstream support for Windows 7 (We might see occasional security patches to shore up a cataclysmic/high-profile/voting-hack event), it’s time to consider alternatives. Linux? Maybe for a few of you. Apple’s Mac OS? Prepare to hate yourself if you’re a Windows Power User. Window 8? Nah! Upgrading to Windows 10, or alternately, replacing your current Windows 7 machine with a new one that comes with its own copy of Windows 10 is probably your best bet. Power users may have a multitude of programs they rely upon and need to stay within the Windows Universe. We’re right there with you. If your license is Home, you’ll migrate to Win 10 Home. Windows 7 Pro? Windows 10 Pro will be your OS after the upgrade. Note: If you start with Windows 7 Home but want to wind up with Windows 10 Pro, perform that upgrade to unlock the features and Pro edition when you’re safely over the initial upgrade hurdle.
Download Windows 10
Let’s get started. With a risk of sounding condescending, we’re going to remind our audience that something of this magnitude should be preceded by a thorough and complete backup. After installing Windows 10 there is an option to revert to your prior OS, but if working around computers for decades has taught us anything it’s backup, backup, backup! Now, on to the show…
1. Navigate to this URL and get the media creation tool: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
2. Run the program and wait for the dialogue to ask you if you wish to “Upgrade this PC” or create media for a future upgrade. Let’s assume you want to upgrade the PC you’ve downloaded the tool to. Choose “Upgrade this PC” and be prepared to wait anywhere from 10-40 minutes depending on the speed and contention of your broadband connection. You’ll see “Downloading Windows 10” in the dialogue box along with a progress counter that shows you in real time what level you’re at from 1-100%. Using some other connection to the internet? Have patience and good luck!
3. Pro-Tip (#TechMacGyverTip): In prepping for the Windows 10 upgrade process, run your PC with minimal programs and security software to speed up the upgrade and prevent potential glitches. Yes Virginia, the more junk running on your computer, the less reliable it becomes. Check out my scripts for closing some common software that runs in the background unseen but still hungry for your resources: Download/Copy Scripts Here
4. During the upgrade process, you’re going to possibly reboot multiple times while Windows 10 configures itself. Not all programs will make the journey into your Windows 10 future. Some are not compatible and others may be paired with services that have changed or were removed. Finally, you might even have some hardware refuse to work. We’ve mainly seen audio drivers as casualties but there are others and your choice to go back or replace your machine will depend on how well the transition goes.
5. Welcome to Windows 10. If you hate the start menu like we do, opt to install the nifty addon, Classic Shell that mimics Windows 7 in its clean look pretty well (or choose another option). Why Microsoft chose to muddy up their principal launcher with so much junk is another conversation altogether. Enjoy!