So it’s been a month since Windows 10 was released and you haven’t received your update notification, or you’re tired of waiting for your update to come. If you’re itching to get Windows 10 installed on your laptop or desktop after reading the many available reviews (there’s only one review you really need to read though), we’ve compiled this handy little Windows 10 upgrade guide with the assistance of the folks over at Acer who provided us with an Acer Aspire S7 laptop running Windows 8.1 to upgrade.
Backup, Backup, Backup!
Before we begin, whenever you upgrade your operating system you should ALWAYS backup your documents, photos, and other files you can’t afford to lose – just in case. If your computer or laptop came with Windows pre-installed and didn’t come with Windows installation or recovery disks, make sure you follow your manufacturer’s instructions for making a recovery disk set. This feature can usually be found by searching for “Recovery” on your system and selecting the “Recovery Drive” option. Oh, and did we mention? Make sure you backup your files – just in case something goes wrong during the upgrade.
NOTE: This guide will help you update your computer to Windows 10 assuming you have a valid install of Windows 7 or Windows 8.x on your computer.
Now that we have the warnings out of the way, let us proceed!
The first step is to verify what version of Windows you are currently running – Home or Pro. To do this, open your File Explorer, right click on This PC, and select Properties.
On the screen that follows you should see if you are running Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 Home or Pro as well as if you are running 32- or 64-bit version of the operating system. Make note of both of these (i.e. Windows 8.1 Home, 64-bit).
Download Windows 10 Update Tool
After you have the information from the previous step, head on over to the Microsoft site (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10) and download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the Upgrade Tool.
Run Upgrade Tool
Now for the hardest part of the upgrade (just kidding!). Locate the file that downloaded, it should be in your Downloads folder, and run it. During this process, you should still be able to use your computer as you normally would and these steps will run in the background.
Select “Upgrade this PC now” from the first screen.
If you wish to have a copy of the Windows 10 installation files to use later or on other PCs, you can also choose “Create installation media for another PC” which isn’t a bad idea, but Microsoft notes that you may be asked for a product key if installing from a USB device.
The next series of prompts basically keep you informed of the progress the Windows 10 upgrade download and media creation is taking. The time taken to download the upgrade will depend on your Internet connection speed.
NOTE: the Creating Windows 10 media prompt will appear regardless of which option you selected on the first prompt. If you selected the option to create installation media, you’ll be prompted to insert a USB stick during this step.
The next screen you should see is the License terms prompt, asking you to read and accept to continue the installation.
The install will then check your computer to make sure you have all the recent updates before upgrading to Windows 10.
Once any outstanding updates have been installed, you will be ready to upgrade to Windows 10.
You’ll notice on the screen above an option to “Change what to keep” which allows you to select from one of three self-explanatory options as shown in the screenshot below:
Installing Windows 10
After you’ve selected what to keep in the previous step, clicking next will start the first portion of the install.
This portion can take awhile. In typical Microsoft fashion, once this number nears 100% your computer will reboot and the REAL installation process begins.
During this process your PC will restart 2 or 3 times. Once the install is complete, if you chose to retain your settings you’ll see a brand spanking new Windows 10 Welcome Back screen.
The next few screens will guide you through a few more setup items. The first screen will have an “Express settings” button to select by default, if you’re concerned about privacy choose “Customize settings” instead.
After you customize your settings, you’ll see a screen outlining some of the new Windows 10 apps that replace older versions. At this point you can also choose which apps to set as defaults.
Click the “Next” button and you’ll be prompted to login. After logging in, you’ll have to wait a few more minutes – don’t worry, we’re on the home stretch here – as Microsoft finishes “setting up a few things for you” before you can start using Windows 10. Once you’re logged in, hit that Windows logo in the lower left corner to check out your long lost friend (if you were running Windows 8.x) – the Start Menu!
As you can see, it’s a hybrid between the Windows 7 Start Menu and Windows 8.x tiles.
And finally, you can confirm you’re running a legit copy by choosing Start (Windows logo) > Settings > Update & security > Activation.
If your copy isn’t activated, there may be something wrong with your key. You can try refreshing the activation, and if that doesn’t work you do have 30 days to activate so check back every so often to see if you’ve been activated. It shouldn’t take long so if after a few days you still aren’t activated you may want to call Microsoft support or the vendor of the PC you upgraded to Windows 10 on.
Once you’ve installed and are getting settled, don’t forget to check out our handy tips and tricks for protecting your privacy by disabling some of the reporting features in Windows 10 – especially if you chose the Express settings option during the upgrade.
So there you have it, a how to manually upgrade to Windows 10 guide from Techaris and Acer. Check back soon for our Acer Aspire S7 review, and be sure to let us know if you found this guide helpful and how the upgrade went for you in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.