Five Things You Need to Know Before Upgrading to Windows 10

Five Things You Need to Know Before Upgrading to Windows 10

Upgrading to a new version of Windows can be a long, painstaking process if you aren’t fully prepared.


It’s important to know in advance how much the new operating system will cost, where to get it and most importantly, whether or not your device actually can run it. Here are the basic things you need to know to get your device ready for Windows 10:

Windows 10 is free for now. Free OS upgrades have been a staple of Apple products for quite some time. This year, Microsoft finally embraced the trend by allowing most PC users to upgrade to Windows 10 absolutely free.

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s offering doesn’t come without limitations. First, Windows 10 will only be free for one year. Microsoft will start charging for the upgrade after July 29, 2016. Additionally, to be eligible for the free upgrade, your PC must be running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or 8.1. Finally, even if your PC is eligible for a free upgrade, it still may not be able to run all of Windows 10’s features. Before you upgrade, check with your PC’s manufacturer to confirm your device’s compatibility. You also can find out if your device is compatible by using the ‘Get Windows 10’ app to reserve the new Windows.

The Get Windows 10 app. You can use the Get Windows 10 app to upgrade your PC to Windows 10. Currently, the app will reserve your Windows 10 upgrade and test the compatibility of your PC. If your PC makes the grade, Microsoft will begin sending you periodic updates to prepare your computer for the new OS. These gradual updates are meant to make the final upgrading process quick and easy.

Finding the Get Windows 10 app is simple. It will show up automatically on your Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 computer and resembles the classic Windows logo. It’s located in your system tray at the bottom, right-hand side of your screen, near the battery indicator. If you don’t see the app, try updating your PC.

Reservations are optional. If you forget to reserve Windows 10 between now and July 29, don’t be alarmed because reservations are completely optional. The purpose of reserving Windows 10 is to make the upgrade a smoother process. As long as your device is eligible, free upgrades are unlimited. You don’t have to worry about securing yourself an early copy. You should also keep in mind that reservations aren’t set in stone, you can cancel at any time.

Upgrades and editions. There are several editions of Windows 7 and 8.1. Therefore, the edition of Windows 10 that you’ll receive will be the closest match to the edition you’re already using. Specific edition upgrades include: Windows 7 Starter Edition, Home Basic and Home Premium are upgraded to Windows 10 Home Edition. Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate are upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. Windows 8.1 is upgraded to Windows 10 Home. Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 8.1 Pro for Students are upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. Finally, Windows Phone 8.1 is upgraded to Windows 10 Mobile.

Eligible devices. All PCs and tablets that are running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 are eligible for a free upgrade, as long as the device is compatible. This is true even if you have multiple devices. Windows 8.1 phones also qualify for a free upgrade.

While most Windows users are eligible for a free upgrade, keep in mind that there are a few PC owners who will be left out in the cold. For example, if you are one of the unfortunate few who owns a Windows 8 device that wasn’t upgradable to Windows 8.1, then your device also will be ineligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10. Finally, always check with your device’s manufacturer before upgrading to a new OS. Manufacturers often have specific upgrade instructions and driver updates necessary to keep your computer running nice and smooth. Once you get your device prepped with all its needed updates and drivers, back-up your computer, reserve your upgrade and July 29, your PC will be Windows 10 ready.