How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free
By now, you’ve realized that Windows 10 is the only officially supported version of Microsoft’s operating system available to businesses or consumers. If you have not upgraded to Windows 10 – either the home version or Windows 10 Pro, now is the time to make the leap to Win 10.
If you’ve procrastinated in moving up to Windows 10 due to the expense, you’ll be pleased to know that there are still ways to get the upgrade without the cost. Yes – you really can upgrade to Windows 10 for free.
2 Important Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10
There are many reasons to get your computer upgraded to Windows 10. Two of the more critical reasons:
1. Windows XP has been on life support since Spring 2014.
That means bad news for WIN XP users:
- No enhancements to the OS
- No support if you encounter problems
- Security updates stop – this alone is justification to upgrade, due to vulnerability to hackers, viruses, and malware
Windows 7 provided many new features and support for computer users, which was great news.
2. The bad news is: Windows 7 has also been dropped from support by Microsoft, making Windows 10 the only game in town for computers running the Windows OS.
Microsoft is no longer sending out enhancements to Windows 7, with the exception of some security updates, which the company terms “extended support”.
- After January 2020, extended support ends, meaning even security updates will no longer be provided.
- Some hardware and software providers are now focusing only on WIN 10 support for their products. If you want the latest software and newest technology, it’s very likely that you will need Windows 10 to get the best performance and compatibility from your devices.
- Security is everyone’s concern, including home and business users. Soon only Windows 10 will be upgraded with the latest defenses against spam, malware and virus attacks.
Convinced? Let’s discuss how to upgrade to Windows 10 – free.
How to Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free
Microsoft initially provided a “Get Windows X” (referred to as GWX) tool to prod customers into action in upgrading to Windows 10, but that tool for upgrading officially expired in July 2016. Nonetheless, Windows 7 or 8.1 users have still been successful in acquiring the tool and performing the upgrade without the expense of purchasing a Windows 10 license.
Before you get started, be sure your computer is capable of running Windows 10. That can be determined very quickly by accessing Microsoft resources for Windows 10 system requirements.
The whole process can be amazingly simple, with a minimum of technical expertise (assuming of course that you have an authorized copy of Windows 7 currently installed):
Navigate to the Windows 10 download site, and take the option to download the upgrade.
Once downloaded, you will have the options for either upgrading the current computer immediately, or creating media for later use:
You can either proceed with the installation, or create media on a USB drive to either use for installing WIN 10 on another computer, or if you’re not ready to upgrade the computer you’re using yet, save it to make the transition to WIN 10 later.
If you save the download to USB, be sure you have at least 8GB available. You can optionally create an ISO file that you can use to burn a DVD for later installation.
Once you’ve created the installation media on USB or by burning the ISO data to a DVD, just mount the media in your computer, and reboot from the media. Your system will then begin the installation process.
If you choose to upgrade now, the installation will begin without the need to create media.
Once you start the installation, you will be prompted for the usual Windows options such as preferred language and keyboard layout, then the installation will proceed.
You’ve Upgraded to Windows 10 – Now What?
Now that you’re up-to-date with Windows 10, and can enjoy improved features and performance, you may feel the transformation is complete. To ensure the latest functionality, stability, and security of your system, you still need to check for updates to your version of Windows 10, and make sure you have the latest drivers to support your devices.
It’s a simple process to utilize Windows Update to check for any updates to your WIN 10 system that you may need.
You can use the handy search option on the Windows 10 taskbar, keying the word “Settings”, or simply open “Notifications” on the right side of the taskbar. Just click on “All Settings” to start the process.
Select the Update and Security link to view your Windows Update options, and click the option to check for updates.
Windows 10 will reach out to Microsoft for any updates that may apply to your system. Once the search is complete, a list of available updates will be presented, with an option to download them and install them on your system.
You’re almost there! One last critical step is to check for any updates to the drivers on your computer. Devices such as monitors, external drives, printers, and graphics cards may not function the same with WIN 10 as they did with your prior Windows OS.
An ideal solution for this final step is registering with a driver service that will examine your system for devices and associated drivers. You can do this yourself for each device on your system, but identifying each manufacturer, model, and software version can be time-consuming and confusing.
If you want to do this the easy, secure way, enlist a service that can automate the search and update for all your drivers through a single process. This takes the guesswork out of driver updates, allowing the software to find all the drivers installed on your computer, updating them with the latest version regardless of the devices you have installed.
Driver Support is a secure and reliable service that will scan for the Windows drivers you need, download, and install them automatically. Driver Support professionals can answer any questions you have about drivers, and get your system running at peak performance with all the right drivers – without the headaches.