If you're thinking of moving to Windows 10, here's how to get an upgrade for free.
Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade when it was released. The free upgrade officially ended July 29, 2016, but upgrades are still available from Microsoft. Here's how.
Ed Bott has been monitoring the status of free Windows 10 upgrades, and as of October 31, 2018, Windows 10 is still available to anyone who wants to upgrade. All the details including current information on licensing and obtaining an upgrade are in Ed's article (link below), but here are the basics:
Go to the Download Windows 10 page and click the button that says Download tool now (this is the Media Creation Tool). Install the file, and choose whether you want to upgrade your PC now or create installation media.
If you plan to upgrade the system you're using, go with 'Upgrade this PC' now.
The second option, creating installation media, will save the file to a USB flash drive or save it as an ISO. The ISO option lets you install Windows 10 on any PC that supports it (note that Windows 10 licenses are tied to the hardware footprint of the machine it's installed on. Licenses can also be tied to a Microsoft account).
If you have an older PC and are wondering if Windows 10 will run on your system, here are the requirements:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Free hard disk space: 16 GB
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
- A Microsoft account and Internet access (you can bypass the Microsoft account option, see this article).
You can check for hardware compatibility by downloading and running the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant. It will check your PC and tell you if your PC is compatible, but be warned: if your PC is compatible it will automatically start downloading and installing Windows 10. There's a 'Cancel upgrade' option but I had to click on the system notification tray (to the left of the time and date on the toolbar) and click on the blue Windows icon to open the screen to get the option to cancel the upgrade. You may also want to close it using Task Manager as it will keep running after the upgrade is cancelled.
If you plan on upgrading, it's a good idea to get the latest drivers for your PC before checking for compatibility or performing an upgrade. Windows versions earlier than Windows 7 and 8/8.1 can't upgrade.
Windows 10 has been known to replace device drivers from the manufacturer with generic Windows drivers, so checking drivers after upgrading is a good idea.
Check Ed Bott's article for all the details:
You can find more Tech Treats here.
Please rate this article: