Frequently Asked Questions: Windows 10
UPDATE: Due to the length of this article, navigating and finding the information you need might be tedious. Utilize the search command (normally Control + F) in your favorite web browser to find the appropriate answer.
UPDATE: If you recently upgraded to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or you are experiencing trouble getting the upgrade to install, be sure to check out the following article for Questions, Issues and Answers:
UPDATE: For the latest information about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, please review the latest FAQ.
Be sure to review PART 2 - Frequently Asked Questions: Windows 10 - PART 2
What is Windows 10?
Windows 10 is the name for Microsofts next generation client operating system.
What happened to Windows 9?
There was never a Windows 9, Microsoft skipped this number and went to 10 instead. Company officials decided to choose 10 because they believe this release is a 'Perfect 10' and to also signify this is the last major release of Windows. There will still be revisions of Windows 10, just don't expect there to be a Windows 11, Windows 12 etc. Initially revealed at BUILD 2014 as a minor update called ‘Threshold’, Windows 10 was originally intended be a minor Update 2 for Windows 8.1. Somewhere along the way, plans changed and the operating system evolved into the major revision we have today.
When will Windows 10 officially become available?
Microsoft launched Windows 10 world wide on July 29th 2015 at 12 AM EST. This is what Microsoft Program Manager for Windows, Terry Myerson had to say:
We continue to make great development progress and shared today that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages.
What is the build number of the public release?
How do I know if I have build 10240 installed?Resource: How to know the Edition, Architecture, Channel and build of Windows 10 installed.
Is build 10240 of Windows 10 made available July 29th 2015 recommended for everyday use?
The Windows 10 (which was made available to the general public on July 29th 2015) is a complete copy of the software that is designated as ready and fit for use in production environments. To reach this milestone, a particular build has to go through a series of thorough regression test and optimizations to reach a level of quality satisfactory for production. Unlike pre-release builds of Windows 10 the Windows 10 available today does not expire.
What does RTM mean?
RTM means Release to Manufacturering; which is a milestone in software development. Not specifically relevant to Windows 10, but symbolically in the past, it determined when a build is ready for production environments where it can be deployed and be used for everyday computing and preloaded on new computers.
Does Windows 10 require a Touch Screen?
No, Windows 10 works just fine with mouse and keyboard. If you have a standard LCD or CRT monitor, it works just fine with that too.
Is the Start Screen still available in Windows 10?
Have the touch features been removed from Windows 10?
No, they are there for devices that support it.
Will I be able to purchase a new computer preinstalled with Windows 10 on July 29th?
It is very likely you will be able to purchase a new computer with Windows 10 preinstalled on launch day. OEMs are usually given a grace period before general availability to have systems ready with a new version of Windows. Windows 10 is slightly different though and OEMs are able to have more time to have systems prepared because of earlier access to preview builds and closer engagement with Microsoft to work on unique features that are available in Windows 10 requiring new hardware.
Check out the following article for a list of some systems that will come preinstalled with Windows 10
If I buy a new PC today, can it upgrade to Windows 10?
Yes, new qualified PCs can run Windows 10. Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with the Windows 8.1 laptop, tablet or desktop PCs that are for sale now. Device manufacturers make decisions about their device models and some Windows 10 features may not be available on certain devices, so be sure to check with the retailer or manufacturer for details.
Will I need to be connected to the Internet in order to use Windows 10?
Windows 10 does not require an active Internet connection for everyday use. It works just fine offline and you can do everything you would normally do in Windows 7 or earlier.
How will I know when Windows 10 is available?
Between now and launch, the following KB update (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3035583) should be installed on your Windows 7/8.1 computer. Volume License customers will not receive this update because of IT requirements in managed environments. If its not already installed, open Windows Update and check for Updates.
To check if the updates is already installed:
Click Start (or press Windows key + S for Windows 8.1 users)
Type: view installed updates
Hit Enter on your keyboard
Look through the list for the KB3035583 update.
Once that is installed, you should see the following pop up in the Notification area of the Taskbar.
What is the Reserve Upgrade app?
The Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications*. We are hard at work to make this upgrade process a great experience.
You can reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade now through a simple reservation process. Look for this icon in your system tray at the bottom of your screen, simply click on the icon, and then complete the reservation process. You can find more details on how this works at Windows.com.
The reservation app is not working, it displays a blank screen:
If the Reservation application (Windows 10 app) has a blank screen or does not work or is not available, here are a list of things you can try:
The "Get Windows 10" app doesn’t appear in Windows 7 or 8.1
Please be aware even if you do not get the Windows 10 app, you can still download Windows 10 as a .ISO file, create a bootable copy and upgrade your system.
See instructions: How to download official Windows 10 ISO files
- Check Windows Update for an updated version of KB2952664 (Windows 7 SP1) or KB2976978 (Windows 8.x)
- After installing the Windows Update, re-run the Compatibility Appraiser. This will happen automatically within a day or it can be run manually from an admin command prompt:
- schtasks.exe /Run /TN "\Microsoft\Windows\Application Experience\Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser"
Once started, it may take 10 minutes or so for the appraiser to complete. Once complete, re-open the Get Windows 10 app and it will have the updated compatibility information. Restart your computer and try again. Dan Charlton - Windows DirectX Graphics team
If the above does not work, try uninstalling both updates and reinstall them:
Press Windows key + X (for Windows 7 click Start, type: cmd then right click cmd and click Run as administrator)
Click Command Prompt (Admin)
At the command prompt, enter the following commands:
wusa /uninstall /kb:3035583
wusa /uninstall /kb:2952664
Exit the command prompt, restart and run Windows Update again.
If the problem persist, see the following:
Can I reserve even if I didn’t get a notification?
Yes. You can reserve your upgrade at any time on any compatible PC by clicking on the Get Windows 10 app or the Windows Update control panel.
This update is not required to get Windows 10, you can still get it even though you don't get the notification. Just download it on July 29th 2015 when it becomes available. You will have one year to do so. The Reserve app is just a reminder/notification for its availability.
How can I cancel my reservation? I don't want to upgrade to Windows 10 at all.
Open the Reservation app in the notification area (double click it)
Click the Hamburger menu in the upper left corner, then select View Confirmation.
In the lower left, click Cancel reservation and then confirm (twice).
Can I change the email address used to reserve the free upgrade?
You have to cancel the reservation and reserve Windows 10 again if you want it to use a different email address.
To cancel reservation follow the below steps:
Click/tap on the Get Windows 10 app icon on the taskbar notification area.
Click/tap on the "hamburger" style menu button at the top left corner in the Get Windows 10 app.
Click/tap on View confirmation under Getting the upgrade.
Click/tap on the Cancel reservation link.
Click/tap on Cancel reservation to confirm.
Click/tap on Close.
This will cancel the reservation, now go ahead and reserve it with the new email.
Can I uninstall the Reservation completely from my computer?
Click Start (or press Windows key + S for Windows 8.1 users)
Type: view installed updates
Hit Enter on your keyboard
Look through the list for the KB3035583 and KB2976978 update.
Right click each update and click Uninstall.
Other reasons why you might not be seeing it:
Why don’t I have the Get Windows 10 app?
If you don’t see the Get Windows 10 app on your PC, it might be because:
- Your device isn’t up-to-date with at least Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
- Windows Update is turned off or is not set to received updates automatically.
- You’ve blocked or uninstalled the necessary Windows Update functionality.
- Your device is not running genuine Windows.
- Your computer is part of a Windows Domain
- Microsoft has not determined your device capable of running Windows 10 even though it meets the minimum system requirements.
- You are running a volume license client: Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise (only retail store bought or preinstalled OEM licenses) get the upgrade offer.
Running Windows Update and installing any available updates will fix the first three issues. Need more help? Go to our Windows Community Forum.
PCs that we determine cannot run Windows 10 will not see the Get Windows 10 app before July 29, 2015. After July 29, 2015, we’ll enable the icon in the system tray. This is to help ensure that you can easily check your PC’s compatibility if you choose.
If your device is managed as part of a school or business network, please check with your IT administrator about upgrading to Windows 10.
How can I check my status or enter my email if I did not get the chance to?
You can check your upgrade status by right clicking this icon:
Enter your email and click Send confirmation.
Also, you can open Windows Update and check there.
Is it really necessary to reserve Windows 10?
No, it is completely optional and you will get Windows 10 either way, it is simply a reminder.
For systems running Windows 7 RTM or Windows 8.0 RTM that cannot be updated Service Pack 1 and Update 1 respectively; how can they qualify for the free upgrade?
Persons running those releases will need to perform an offline upgrade using the .ISO file for Windows 10 which will be available. Your personal files, apps and settings will still be preserved.
Click HERE to download official ISO media for Windows 10 from Microsoft.
Can I perform a clean install using the Free upgrade?
No, it will require that you are running a previous qualifying version and start the upgrade from within the qualifying version. You can initiate a clean install after completing the Upgrade.
Please be aware that you cannot use the free upgrade offer to perform a clean install on first attempt. You must first upgrade from the qualifying version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 (whether you do it through Windows Update or using the .ISO file). Ensure the upgrade is completed successfully and then ensure that it is activated. You can then proceed to do a clean install by using recovery media or using the Reset function in Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Reset this PC (Get Started).
I have multiple computers, do I have to download Windows 10 on each computer?
You can download a .ISO file and upgrade each computer offline. The ISO should be available by the time Windows 10 launches.
Please note, you might have to download the appropriate edition of Windows 10 for the version/edition/architecture of Windows you are upgrading. If you upgrade to the wrong edition, ie. Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Pro, you will have to purchase a license for Windows 10 Pro or go back to Windows 7 Home Premium and upgrade to Windows 10 Home. So make sure you upgrade to your logical edition.
- Version - Windows 7, Windows 8
- Edition - Home Premium, Profesional, Pro
- Architecture - 32 bit, 64 bit
Click HERE to download official ISO media for Windows 10 from Microsoft.
I downloaded the .ISO file but I am being prompted to enter a product key when I start setup.
Please note: The copy of Windows 10 you download must correspond with the edition of Windows you are upgrading from:
- Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Windows 8.0 Core, Windows 8.1 Core must use a Windows 10 Home ISO
- Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8.0 Pro, Windows 8.1 Pro must use a Windows 10 Pro ISO
- Your currently installed copy of Windows must be activated. If its not, you will be prompted to enter a product key.
- If you are using Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8.0 Enterprise, Windows 8.1 Enterprise editions, you won't be able to do this unless you have access to a volume license program.
Will domain joined non volume license Windows Pro clients receive the upgrade offer?
Domain Joined computers are not supported at this time. Your best option is to download the .ISO file and upgrade the computers manually/offline.
How will Domain Joined computers that are not volume license clients be able to check their systems and reserve the Windows 10 upgrade?
You will need to use Enterprise Assessment tools for the range of computers you have. The reservation app does not work in complex IT environments.
Microsoft is likely to release a new version of its Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP) that will support Windows 10. It can help you quickly inventory small or large IT environments without requiring you to install any agent software in your environment.
Watch this blog for updates to know when it will be available with support for Windows 10.
Does Windows 10 support Windows Server 2003 Domains?
I am currently dual booting Windows and Linux; will the upgrade to Windows 10 affect my Linux installation?
Do I have the option of delaying the download?
You can configure Windows Update the day before July 29th 2015 to check for updates but let you decide when to install them to avoid having the upgrade download automatically.
If you set your Internet connected as metered, Windows Update will not download the upgrade.
In Windows 8/8.1, click the View Available Network icon in the system tray, then right click your Internet Connection and select the option to Set as metered connection.
Once this is enabled, then Windows Update will not download the Upgrade on such a connection.
For Windows 7 users:
If you don't want updates to be installed automatically, you can choose to be notified when updates apply to your computer instead. Then, you can download and install them yourself, or you can set Windows to automatically download updates, and then notify you so you can install them yourself. Here's how to change how Windows installs or notifies you about updates:
Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button . In the search box, type Update, and then, in the list of results, click Windows Update.
In the left pane, click Change settings.
Under Important updates, select the following:
Install updates automatically (recommended)
Download updates but let me choose whether to install them
Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them
Never check for updates (not recommended)
To schedule your automatic updates, next to Install new updates, select the day and time you want updates to occur.
Do I have to upgrade specifically on July 29th?
You have one entire year to take advantage of the free upgrade offer. Just make sure you do it before July 28th 2016.
Do I have the option of choosing when to install the Windows 10 upgrade?
- Reserve your FREE upgrade to Windows 10 now. It will download* once available, and you can cancel your reservation at any time.
- You'll get a notification after Windows 10 is downloaded to your device. Install it right away or pick a time that's good for you.
- After it's installed, Windows 10 is all yours.
Learn more about how the update works: How to install the latest Windows 10 build from within Windows 8.1 or Windows 7
I am on a slow connection, what options do I have?
I don't have a reliable Internet connection, suppose my computer is disconnected from the Internet during the download?
Windows 10 is downloaded in the background using Windows Update automatically, so even if your Internet connection is not reliable or you are intermittently disconnected at times, it will automatically resume once an active Internet connection is available and picks up from where it left off.
How do I monitor the download progress of Windows 10?
How do I troubleshoot Windows 10 installation messages?
Will I have the option of choosing a different drive or partition where I want the upgrade installed?
No, it will require that you are running a previous qualifying version and start the upgrade from within the qualifying version.
I am dual booting with another edition of Windows, will upgrading affect the other installation?
No, it will not affect the other operating system, only the version of Windows from which the upgrade is initiated will be replaced.
Will upgrading to Windows 10 affect other drives or partitions or files in those partitions in my computer?
No, only the drive where the upgrade is initiated from will be affected. You can always disconnect non-system drives as a precaution.
I want to dual boot instead of replace my current version of Windows.
If you need to install Windows 10 on a separate hard disk or partition, you will need to purchase a full license.
Retail pricing information:
|Windows 10 Home||US $119|
|Windows 10 Pro||US $199|
|Windows 10 Pro Pack||US $99|
Please note the Windows 10 Pro Pack can only be used to upgrade Windows 10 Home.
I want to try Windows 10 out before upgrading or buying it:
- You can download the Windows 10 Enterprise 90 day trial.
- You can also setup Windows 10 in a Virtual Machine if your computer is powerful enough.
How to: install the latest Windows 10 Build in Oracle VirtualBox
How to setup a virtual machine using Hyper-V
- Resource: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-10-enterprise
- How to: setup a dual boot configuration with Windows 10 and previous versions of Windows
I want to switch from my currently installed architecture when migrating to Windows 10. Do I have that option with the free upgrade offer?
The free upgrade does not have the option to switch architectures, so the architecture will remain the same. If you want to switch architectures, you will have to download the Window 10 .ISO file in the appropriate architecture (32 or 64 bit) and perform a custom install.
Learn more: How to reserve your free upgrade to Windows 10
How do I upgrade from 32 bit versions of Windows to 64 bit Windows 10?
Which edition of Windows 10 will be installed?
When you upgrade, you’ll stay on like-to-like editions of Windows. For example, Windows 7 Home Premium will upgrade to Windows 10 Home.
|From Edition||To Edition|
|Windows 7 Starter||Windows 10 Home|
|Windows 7 Home Basic|
|Windows 7 Home Premium|
|Windows 7 Professional||Windows 10 Pro|
|Windows 7 Ultimate|
|From Edition||To Edition|
|Windows Phone 8.15||Windows 10 Mobile|
|Windows 8.14||Windows 10 Home|
|Windows 8.1 Pro||Windows 10 Pro|
|Windows 8.1 Pro for Students|
“N” and “KN” editions follow the upgrade path of the parent edition (e.g., Windows 7 Professional N upgrades to Windows 10 Pro N).
Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.
The free upgrade does not have the option to switch architectures, so the architecture will remain the same. If you want to switch architectures, you will have to download the Window 10 .ISO file in the appropriate architecture (32 or 64 bit) and do a custom install.
Do unused Windows licenses qualify for the free upgrade to Windows 10?
No. In order to qualify for the free upgrade, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 with Update 1 must be installed and running. Unused licenses do not qualify.
Will my Antivirus be compatible with Windows 10?
Most likely not. Windows 10 will require that you have a version of your Antivirus or other security software that is designed for Windows 10. It is recommended that you uninstall your current Antivirus before intiating the upgrade. If you have a subscription that has not expired, contact the developer to find out about Windows 10 support. Most Antivirus utilities should be upgraded by the time Windows 10 launches. If your subscription is still active, then you should be entitled to a compatible update for Windows 10.
Can I choose a different language during the upgrade?
Cross language upgrades are not supported, the free upgrade will be installed in your local language.
In fact, you should uninstall any language packs before upgrading. For example, if the default language your copy of Windows 7 Ultimate was installed in is French and you added a English Language Pack; you will need to install a language pack for English after setup is complete if you are upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. If you have Windows 10 Home installed you will need to install the Windows 10 Pro Pack ($99) using Easy Upgrade then download the English Language Pack.
Which languages will Windows 10 be available in?
Arabic (Saudi Arabia), Bulgarian (Bulgaria), Chinese (Simplified, China), Chinese (Hong Kong), Chinese (Traditional, Taiwan), Croatian (Croatia), Czech (Czech Republic), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), English (United Kingdom), English (United States), Estonian (Estonia), Finnish (Finland), French (France), French (Canada), German (Germany), Greek (Greece), Hebrew (Israel), Hungarian (Hungary), Italian (Italy), Japanese (Japan), Korean (Korea), Latvian (Latvia), Lithuanian (Lithuania), Norwegian, Bokmål (Norway), Polish (Poland), Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian (Romania), Russian (Russia), Serbian (Latin, Serbia), Slovak (Slovakia), Slovenian (Slovenia), Spanish (Spain, International Sort), Spanish (Mexico), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey), Ukrainian (Ukraine)
Additional languages available as Language Interface Packs
I heard that Windows 10 will work on my phone?
Not just any phone. Windows 10 will be available to existing smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1.
Is there a list of supported phones?
So there is not going to be a separate Windows 10?
No, just Windows 10, whether its a Tablet, PC, Phone.
How will I get the update on my phone?
Do Windows Phone devices qualify for this free upgrade?
Yes. We are working with Windows Phone 8.1 partners to make the Windows 10 upgrade available to most phones later this year.****
Does Windows 10 require product activation?
Yes, you will need to activate Windows 10.
Learn more: How to activate the latest Windows 10 build
What are some of the new improvements in Windows 10?
- Customizable Start menu.
- Refreshed icons and graphics
- Integration with Microsoft's digital assistant - Cortana, can be used for finding and retrieving information on the Internet and your PC, such as files. You can also use it to control applications such as the Music Player and prepare an email message or track a package.
- Task View for managing applications using multiple desktops.
- Modern apps can now be windowed and behave just like desktop apps.
- Notification Center for centralized management of notifications and quick access to PC settings.
- Universal applications that work not only on your Windows 10 PC, but also your mobile phone running Windows 10 and also XBOX One.
- XBOX App for Streaming of live games to a PC or Tablet
- Touch optimized Office applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and PowerPoint). Providing the power of Office on devices with touch support. Users can edit, prepare documents, spreadsheets and presentations with full document fidelity regardless of device.
- Continuum Mode - if you own a 2 in 1 form factor that works both as a laptop and tablet, you can easily let Windows 10 decide the best environment for you. Once detached into Tablet mode for instance, you can work in a more touch optimized user interface. Users will also be able to remotely use Windows 10 Mobile apps on their Windows PCs.
- Microsoft Edge - Windows 10 will include a next generation web browser called Edge that support advances in Windows 10 such as Cortana for finding information on the web, Annotation, PDF support, superior reading experience.
- Music and playlist integration in OneDrive.
- Unified messaging using Skype Integration
- Windows Hello and Passport for personalized authentication without the use of passwords.
- Device Guard for protecting devices against malicious applications.
- Support for media formats such as FLAC and MKV
Which features will be removed when I upgrade from a previous version of Windows?
Feature deprecation section
- If you have Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 8 Pro with Media Center, or Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center and you install Windows 10, Windows Media Center will be removed.
- Watching DVDs requires separate playback software
- Windows 7 desktop gadgets will be removed as part of installing Windows 10.
- Windows 10 Home users will have updates from Windows Update automatically available. Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise users will have the ability to defer updates.
- Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts Games that come pre-installed on Windows 7 will be removed as part of installing the Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft has released our version of Solitaire and Minesweeper called the “Microsoft Solitaire Collection” and “Microsoft Minesweeper.”
- If you have a USB floppy drive, you will need to download the latest driver from Windows Update or from the manufacturer's website.
- If you have Windows Live Essentials installed on your system, the OneDrive application is removed and replaced with the inbox version of OneDrive.
- Windows Virtual PC with Windows XP Mode
Is Media Center supported in Windows 10?
No. Persons who need to use Media Center should consider carefully before upgrading from their previous version of Windows. The Windows 10 upgrade will automatically remove any installations of Media Center.
So what are the alternatives if I need Media Center?
Your best option is to continue running your existing version of Windows with Media Center.
- Windows 7 editions that include Media Center will continue to be supported until January 2020.
- Windows 8 Pro with Media Center will continue to be supported until January 2023.
Will Windows Media Center be available in Windows 10?
Windows Media Center is not part of Windows 10 and won’t be available after upgrading to Windows 10. If you use Windows Media Center, we will alert you during upgrade that Windows Media Center is not available on Windows 10. We know that some users use Windows Media Center to play DVDs, and we are providing a free DVD playback app in Windows 10 for Windows Media Center users.
Are there any alternatives to Windows Media Center?
If you need the PVR (personal video recorder) features in Windows Media Center, then Media Portal is one alternative. If you just want a simple video player, I like MPC-HC (Media Player Classic – Home Cinema), but VLC will do the job. All three are open source and free.
Is Windows Live Mail versions 2009, 2011, 2012 compatible with Windows 10?
Yes, they are.
I use Windows Virtual PC with Windows XP Mode. What will happen to them if I upgrade to Windows 10?
Please note your existing Windows Virtual PC and Windows XP Mode will not work in Windows 10.
You can review the following as a possible work around if you need to.
Windows 10 Pro and Windows 10 Enterprise/Education includes a built in Hypervisor called Hyper-V which you can use to setup virtual machines.
Please note, Hyper-V does not include a Windows license, you will need to provide and install your own.
Is Windows Media Player still available in Windows 10?
What happens to my previous operating system when I upgrade to Windows 10?
Windows 10 replaces your previous version of Windows by moving it to the Windows.old folder. Windows 10 becomes the default operating system.
Can I uninstall Windows 10 if I do not like it or something goes wrong?
Yes, you can see the following: How to: Rollback to a previous version of Windows from Windows 10
What happens to the recovery partition used by my previous version of Windows?
It will become inoperable. That is why it is strongly advised you backup before upgrading.
Suppose I need to go back to Windows 8 or Windows 7?
You will either need to have recovery media or request recovery media from the manufacturer of your computer or try rolling back within the first 30 days of upgrading.
Will upgrading from Windows 7 or later preserve my personal files, applications and settings?
Yes, upgrading from Windows 7 or a later version will preserve your personal files (documents, music, pictures, videos, downloads, favorites, emails, contacts etc, applications (ie. Microsoft Office, Adobe applications etc), games and settings (ie. passwords, custom dictionary, application settings).
Will my existing programs, hardware and drivers work on Windows 10?
Most applications and hardware drivers designed for Windows 7 or later should work with Windows 10. Of course, with significant changes expected in Windows 10, it is best you contact the software developer and hardware vendor to find out about support for Windows 10. Windows 10 setup will keep, upgrade, replace and might require that you install new drivers through Windows Update or from the manufacturers website.
You can also download the Windows 10 Reservation App and use it to check your system readiness.
Click the hamburger menu at the upper left hand corner.
Click Check your PC
Wait while the scan prepares a report, when complete, you should see the following:
Backup your computer:
When making significant changes to your computer such as updating the operating system, you should always backup. See links to resources about backing up by clicking the link for the respective version of Windows you are running: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1
Once you have installed these important updates and followed the prerequisite instructions, you should be ready to receive your free update to Windows 10 this summer.
Which versions of Microsoft Office work on Windows 10?
The following versions of Microsoft Office with the latest Service Packs have been confirmed to be compatible with Windows 10:
- Office 2016 Preview
- Office 2013/Office 365
- Office 2010 with exception Office Starter 2010
- Office 2007
Older versions of Office such as Office 2000, Office 2003 and Office XP are not certified compatible with Windows 10 but might work using compatibility mode.
Is Microsoft Office Starter 2010 compatible with Windows 10?
Please be aware that Office Starter 2010 is not supported. You will be prompted to remove it before the upgrade starts.
Is Office included for free with Windows 10?
No, desktop Office 2016/Office 365 or no prior version will not be free. The Microsoft Office Team developed a special touch optimized version of Microsoft Office for Tablets running Windows 10. This will be a free limited functionality version gear towards basic editing in Tablet mode. It lacks many of the capabilities of desktop Office. You can download it from the store.
Suppose my computer cannot run Windows 10?
Well, this is a personal decision, you can continue to run your existing version of Windows throughout the life of the machine or upgrade to a currently supported version of Windows (ie, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1) or purchase a new device with Windows 8.1 today or wait for a new computer preinstalled with Windows 10.
The Reservation App indicates I have incompatible hardware (ie. CPU, Bluetooth, Video Card, Printer) and/or software, what should I do?
You can check the software developer and hardware vendor for the latest updates before performing the upgrade.
UPDATE: Please review the following article by Barb Bowman (Microsoft MVP) for solutions to this problem.
Microsoft's compatibility database is continually being updated with new data. What you can do is periodically run another scan to see if the database has updated information about your hardware. Even though you might get this message, you can always run Windows Update after installing Windows 10 and download the latest driver too.
I recently installed Windows 10 on an HP Elitebook to see how well the most recent Windows 10 build performs. The Elitebook is a fairly recent model notebook which includes an assortment of hardware technologies. Out of the box though I did not get a complete system, for instance the Intel HD Graphics 3000 was not detected and I was instead limited to the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter.
Apart from this, I had wi-fi ready, which meant, I could connect to the Internet right away.
Installing drivers through Windows Update
Windows Update is the premier starting point to resolve most common driver issues you might experience immediately after installing Windows 10.
Simply launch it from Start > Settings > Update and Security and click Check for Updates
Click Check for updates (make sure you have an active Internet connection).
Immediately, Windows Update will detect your system configuration and download all the appropriate drivers for your system. As you can see in the above screenshot, my Intel HD 3000 Graphics was installed automatically. I did not even have to reboot the system. In addition to that other hardware components were also detected and installed which includes my LAN adapter and card reader.
How will I know if my computer can run Windows 10?
If you want to upgrade to Windows 10 on your PC or tablet, here’s what it takes.
Latest OS: Make sure you are running the latest version either Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
For Windows 8.1, see the following article:
For Windows 7, see the following article:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20 GB for 64-bit OS
Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
How much actual free disk space is required by Windows 10 setup?
Windows 10 uses approximately 10 GBs of disk space. The minimum disk space available is to facilitate the installation process. Some install files are compressed and need to be expanded during setup. Some files are temporary and are deleted during or after installation. Also, because you might have data and apps on the hard disk, they will be moved around during migration.
My Tablet does not have 16 or 20 GBs of free space and I am not able to free up any additional space. What should I do?
Windows 10 will support systems with compressed installations. Windows 10 can upgrade such systems with as little as 8.5 GBs of free space.
Will Windows 10 require UEFI and Secure Boot?
No, Windows 10 works just fine on legacy BIOS systems. New devices that that come preinstalled with Windows 10 later this summer must have UEFI by default and Secure Boot enabled at the factory.
Does this mean I won't be able to dual boot with alternative operating systems and older versions of Windows?
Not necessarily, even though Secure Boot is enabled by default, you can still disable it in order to accommodate older versions of Windows or alternative operating systems.
I notice there was no mention of ARM or Windows RT devices, will there be Windows 10 support?
If you’re running Windows RT, your device won’t upgrade to Windows 10, but an update will be provided around the time of Windows 10 release.
Will I be able to purchase Windows 10 on DVD?
Yes, Windows 10 will certainly be available as a digital download of course. You can always create your own backup copy too either on a USB thumbdrive or blank DVD. Microsoft has provided an updated Media Creation Tool for Window 10 which streamlines downloading setup files for Windows 8.1 32 and 64 bit in different localizations. The media creation allows you save a .ISO file or create a bootable copy on a USB thumbdrive.
Is Windows 10 really free and do I have to pay for it after the first year has passed?
Windows 10 will be free for the first year to all Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Phone 8.1 users. This means, as long you upgrade within the first 12 months (July 29th 2015 to July 29th 2016), you will not have to pay for Windows 10 at all.
Wow, thats cool, but does that mean, I will have to pay for Windows 10 after the first year?
No. Its a promotion to get as many users to upgrade their existing Windows 7 PCs and Windows 8.1 devices to Windows 10. Once you upgrade within the first year for free, its yours forever at no additional cost. As Microsoft Program Manager for Windows Terry Myerson described it:
This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device –at no additional charge.
I heard Microsoft representatives mention they are moving to a servicing model for Windows 10, does that mean Windows 10 is going to require a subscription?
No, Windows 10 remains a perpetual license, which means, you can upgrade to Windows 10 and use it forever without it expiring or going into any reduced functional mode.
Are you saying there will be no more versions of Windows after Windows 10?
Microsoft is moving Windows to a servicing model with Windows 10. The days of major revisions or what are called big bang releases are no more. As Microsoft Program Manager for Windows Terry Myerson described it:
This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no additional charge. With Windows 10, the experience will evolve and get even better over time. We’ll deliver new features when they’re ready, not waiting for the next major release. We think of Windows as a Service – in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet.
And just like any Internet service, the idea of asking "What version are you on?" will cease to make sense – which is great news for our Windows developers.
Why is Windows 10 free, is there some catch?
No, its not a catch. We are computing in different times. Windows 10 is free so app developers can standardize on one platform and reduce the fragmented market of different versions and editions of Windows that have been an issue in the past. When everybody is on the same platform, it means better quality apps, a healthier ecosystem and more advances in hardware and software innovation.
Will I have to pay for updates and fixes for Windows 10?
No, updates, fixes, security updates, features all remain free.
What does lifetime of the device mean?
The logical conclusion is as long as the machine is operable, Microsoft will continue to support it with updates. So, if the machine still works 5 or 10 years from now, revisions and updates to Windows 10 will be made available to it. Please note that Windows 10 uses the same life cycle policy of 5 years mainstream support and 5 years extended support.
What are the official upgrade paths to Windows 10?
Microsoft revealed in a Channel 9 Video the official upgrade paths to Windows 10:
Windows XP, Windows Vista and LINUX users will have to purchase a full retail license and perform a clean install from a .ISO, Windows 8.0 users can use the .ISO file to perform an in place upgrade.
Will I be able to upgrade from the Windows 10 Insider Preview to the final release?
I just installed or reinstalled a preview build of Windows 10 and I want to upgrade to the final release, but it will not activate.
Microsoft has suspended Preview Builds and also deactivated their product keys at this time in preparation for the RTM release on July 29th. This means so you won't be able to download, install or activate builds 10162 and 10166 or earlier builds in order to qualify for the final release.
Your best option is to reinstall a valid license you have for either Windows 7, Windows 8.0 or Windows 8.1, make sure it is actvated, then upgrade from that to Windows 10 on July 29th or later.
When I upgrade a preinstalled (OEM) or retail version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 license to Windows 10, does that license remain OEM or become a retail license?
If you upgrade from a OEM or retail version of Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 to the free Windows 10 upgrade this summer, the license is consumed into it. Because the free upgrade is derived from the base qualifying license, Windows 10 will carry that licensing too.
If you upgrade from a retail version, it carries the rights of a retail version.
If you upgrade from a OEM version, it carries the rights of a OEM version.
Full version (Retail):
- Includes transfer rights to another computer.
- Doesn't require a previous qualifying version of Windows.
Upgrade version (Retail):
- Includes transfer rights to another computer.
- require a previous qualifying version of Windows.
- Expensive, but cheaper than full version
OEM versions of Windows are identical to Full License Retail versions except for the following:
- OEM versions do not offer any free Microsoft direct support from Microsoft support personnel
- OEM licenses are tied to the very first computer you install and activate it on
- OEM versions allow all hardware upgrades except for an upgrade to a different model motherboard
- OEM versions cannot be used to directly upgrade from an older Windows operating system
What happens if I change my motherboard?
As it pertains to the OEM license this will invalidate the Windows 10 upgrade license because it will no longer have a previous base qualifying license which is required for the free upgrade. You will then have to purchase a full retail Windows 10 license. If the base qualifying license (Windows 7 or Windows 8.1) was a full retail version, then yes, you can transfer it.
From the Windows 10 end user license agreement:
b. Stand-alone software. If you acquired the software as stand-alone software (and also if you upgraded from software you acquired as stand-alone software), you may transfer the software to another device that belongs to you. You may also transfer the software to a device owned by someone else if (i) you are the first licensed user of the software and (ii) the new user agrees to the terms of this agreement. You may use the backup copy we allow you to make or the media that the software came on to transfer the software. Every time you transfer the software to a new device, you must remove the software from the prior device. You may not transfer the software to share licenses between devices.
I am on a slow connection or I don't have access to the Internet. Is there an option to request backup media?
Microsoft says: "We’ll have options available for users who can’t download through Windows Update." These options have yet to be announced.
Will users who take advantage of the upgrade offer for Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 also be able to obtain recovery media?
Microsoft recently noted the following options available:
With Windows 10, you can create your own recovery media and back up the pristine state of the operating system and preinstalled software. If things go wrong and you are unable to refresh or reset your device successfully, you can boot the device using recovery media and reset to the prior pristine state.
- How to: Perform a clean install using Reset this PC in Windows 10
- How to: Create a Recovery Drive for reinstalling Windows 10
What happens if I reinstall Windows using the recovery partition?
Windows 10 will be reinstalled.
Will I get a product key, can I get a product key?
By default, Windows 10 builds are pre-keyed, meaning, you do not have to enter a product key and should not be prompted to enter one even after Windows 10 has completed setup.
Microsoft tells me that it will be possible to do so. And that a key part of this process is that it will save a product key tied to the previously upgraded PC or device in Windows Store. This is how Windows 10 will later know that the install is allowed: It’s “one of the benefits of the new delivery system,” a Microsoft representative told me.
Will ISO media be provided for the final release?
Yes, you will be able to download ISO media for Windows 10 RTM.
Please note, you might have to download the appropriate edition of Windows 10 for the version/edition of Windows you are upgrading. If you upgrade to the wrong edition, ie. Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 10 Pro, you will have to purchase a license for Windows 10 Pro or go back to Windows 7 Home Premium and upgrade to Windows 10 Home.
Click HERE to download official ISO media for Windows 10 from Microsoft.
Suppose I need to reinstall Windows 10 after one or two years from now or I install a new hard disk?
Windows 10 is registered to the device, not your hard disk. Just install a new hard disk and reinstall Windows 10 and it will reactivate automatically.
Does the ISO file support dual boot with another version of Windows?
You can download an ISO, but the installation must be performed from within a qualifying, genuine, activated version of Windows, either Windows 8.1, Windows 8.0, Windows 7 or Windows 10 Insider Preview. If you don't, it won't activate. Why? It has to do a compliance check against a qualifying operating system.
How many editions of Windows 10 are there?
Introducing Windows 10 Editions
As in the past, we will offer different Windows editions that are tailored for various device families and uses. These different editions address specific needs of our various customers, from consumers to small businesses to the largest enterprises.
- Windows 10 Home
- Windows 10 Pro
- Windows 10 Enterprise
- Windows 10 Education
- Windows 10 Mobile
- Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise
- Windows 10 IoT (Internet of Things)
How much RAM does each edition of Windows 10 support?
|Windows 10 Home 32 bit||4 GBs|
|Windows 10 Home 64 bit||128 GBs|
|Windows 10 Pro 32 bit||4 GBs|
|Windows 10 Pro 64 bit||512 GBs|
|Windows 10 Enterprise/Education 32 bit||4 GBs|
|Windows 10 Enterprise/Education 64 bit||512 GBs|
For a complete breakdown:
My system is eligible to upgrade to Windows 10 Home, but I want Pro instead.
You will need to purchase a Pro Pack license and perform an Easy Upgrade:
Can Easy Upgrade be used to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise?
Yes, if have a genuine Windows 10 Enterprise product key, you can use it it with Easy Upgrade.
How much will Windows 10 cost if I need to perform a new installation on a PC without a qualifying license or on a blank partition?
Retail pricing information:
|Windows 10 Home||US $119|
|Windows 10 Pro||US $199|
|Windows 10 Pro Pack||US $99|
Please note the Windows 10 Pro Pack can only be used to upgrade a genuine, activated Windows 10 Home installation.
Is it true I cannot prevent automatic updates in Windows 10 Home and Pro?
Yes, updates can deferred in Windows 10 Pro, but not indefinitely.
Defer upgrades in Windows 10
- Some Windows 10 editions let you defer upgrades to your PC. When you defer upgrades, new Windows features won’t be downloaded or installed for several months. Deferring upgrades doesn’t affect security updates. Note that deferring upgrades will prevent you from getting the latest Windows features as soon as they’re available.
Is there an option or work around to block updates or hardware drivers that might cause problems?
Yes, Microsoft has released a KB update (KB3073930) that will let users block or hide Windows or driver updates.
You can download it at the following link:
What does Windows as a Service entail?
Since the introduction of Windows Update as part of Windows, Microsoft has delivered updates as way to keep Windows updated and secure. This has always been the way the company keeps commercial versions of Windows on the market current.
With Windows 10, Microsoft is making significant changes to this model by delivering new methods of servicing Windows. Taking into account we now live in a mobile, constantly connected world, where threats happen all the time. Part of the solution to this is to keep users current by providing the latest updates as soon as they are available in addition to delivering features as soon as they ready too.
Microsoft will do this using three types of service branches for Windows 10:
Current Branch for Business (CBB)
Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)
Can I schedule when Windows Updates are installed and will these required updates force restart my computer?
You can schedule when Updates are installed and no, updates do not force restart your computer.
Open the Notification icon from the Notification Area and click Don't forget: a restart is scheduled...
Regarding the new servicing model for Windows 10, will Enterprise customers be required to adopt the rapid release cadence too?
No, Enterprise customers will continue to service and manage their Windows 10 clients the same way they do today. Here is what Terry Myerson had to say:
We understand that businesses require choice in how updates are delivered, and at what pace. So as I discussed on September 30th, with Windows 10, businesses will be able to pick the speed of innovation that is right for each group of their users, rather than rely on a one size fits all solution.
Business customers will be able to opt-in to the fast-moving consumer update pace, or lock-down mission critical environments to receive only security and critical updates to their systems. And businesses will have an additional option for systems that aren’t mission critical, but need to keep pace with the latest innovations while having the benefit to install updates after they have been tested in the broad market. And the choice isn’t one or the other for businesses; we expect that most corporations will require a mix of these options to accommodate their business scenarios. Take for example an investment bank, where mission critical systems on the trading floor receive only security updates, whereas mobile devices for financial advisors are kept up to date with the latest feature innovations – enabling the appropriate pace of updates for each device.
Will the new Microsoft Edge web browser replace Internet Explorer in Windows 10?
No, Windows 10 will continue to include an updated version of Internet Explorer 11 for compatibility with legacy web sites. Microsoft Edge is based on a new engine, so some older web sites will switch to the older Internet Explorer 11 engine for compatibility purposes.
I did a clean install of Windows 10 but cannot find Internet Explorer, what happened?
How does Windows 10 handle privacy?
Windows 10 includes a new Privacy setting so you can control how much information you share with Microsoft and apps installed on your computer. To adjust privacy settings, open Settings > Privacy.
Will non-genuine Windows licenses qualify for the Windows 10 upgrade?
The simple answer is no. This is what Terry Mason had to say:
Microsoft and our OEM partners know that many consumers are unwitting victims of piracy, and with Windows 10, we would like all of our customers to move forward with us together. While our free offer to upgrade to Windows 10 will not apply to Non-Genuine Windows devices, and as we’ve always done, we will continue to offer Windows 10 to customers running devices in a Non-Genuine state. In addition, in partnership with some of our valued OEM partners, we are planning very attractive Windows 10 upgrade offers for their customers running one of their older devices in a Non-Genuine state. Please stay tuned to learn more from our partners on the specifics of their offers.
Where can I get more information about Windows 10?
- Windows Insider Program: https://insider.windows.com/
- Windows Insider Forums on Microsoft Communities: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider
- Windows Team Blog: http://blogs.windows.com/
- Windows Insider Hub from the Windows 10 Start menu (if not installed click Start > Settings > System > Apps & Features > Manage Optional Features