Frequently Asked Questions: Windows 10

Technical Level : Basic

Windows 10 was launched on July 29th 2015. This unofficial FAQ is intended to provide details and clarification about Windows 10. Windows 10 includes a streamlined user interface that spans Desktop and Mobile devices in addition to the company's popular gaming console, the XBOX One. Microsoft also revealed new projects such as a next generation web browser called Edge, virtual reality technology Windows HoloLens, collaboration solution called Surface Hub, support for IoT solutions such as Rasphberry PI and availability. 

UPDATE: If you are still running an older version of Windows, such as Windows 7, Windows 8.0 or Windows 8.1, you can still get Windows 10 for free, learn how:

Can You Still Get Windows 10 for Free? Yes! Here's How - groovyPost

Details Please be sure to follow me on Twitter @adacosta for the latest tips, tricks and updates in the world of 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:

Windows 10 Anniversary Update: Questions, Issues and Answers

UPDATE: For the latest information about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, please review the latest FAQ.

Frequently Asked Questions Windows 10 Anniversary Edition version 1607

Be sure to review PART 2 - Frequently Asked Questions: Windows 10 - PART 2

What is Windows 10?

Windows 10 is the name for Microsoft's 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 called Feature Updates, 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?

Build 10240

Build 10586

Build 14393

Build 15063 current

How do I know which build of Windows 10 I have installed?

Resource: How to Verify If You Downloaded or Installed the Latest Version Windows 10

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.

Please note, 10240 has been succeeded by newer Feature Updates.

What does RTM mean?

RTM means Release to Manufacturing; 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?

See: How to: enable the Start screen in Windows 10

Have the touch features been removed from Windows 10?

No, they are there for devices that support it.

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.

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.

How to: upgrade from previous versions of Windows using Windows 10 ISO file

Please note,you can use the Media Creation Tool to create bootable media that can upgrade different versions, editions and architectures of Windows. This will require a USB thumb drive with at least 16 GBs of space.

What are the editions of Windows 10 available?

  • 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.

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?


Learn more: How to: Upgrade a dual boot installation of Windows and Linux to Windows 10 - Part 1

I am on a slow connection, what options do I have?

See: How to: Upgrade to Windows 10 if you are on a slow or metered Internet connection?

I don't have a reliable Internet connection, suppose my computer is disconnected from the Internet during the download?
You will have to start the download again if you are downloading from Windows Update or you will need to redownload the ISO file. 

How do I troubleshoot Windows 10 installation messages?

How to: Troubleshoot common Setup and Stop Errors during Windows 10 Installation

Will I have the option of choosing a different drive or partition where I want the upgrade installed?

With the full version of Windows 10, yes, you can perform a custom install by choosing which partition or drive you would like to install it on it on.

Learn more: How to: Perform a custom installation of Windows

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:

Edition Pricing
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:

I want to switch from my currently installed architecture when migrating to Windows 10. Do I have that option with the free upgrade offer?

How to: Switch from 32 bit versions of Windows to Windows 10 64 bit

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.

Windows 72

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

Windows 83

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).


What are the editions of Windows 10 available?

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.

How to enable and use the built in Windows Defender for Antivirus Protection in 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.

Learn more: How to Install and Change Languages in Windows 10 - groovyPost

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, 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.

Please note, Microsoft will be removing support for Windows Essentials in January of 2017.

Learn more:

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.

Learn more:

How to setup a virtual machine using Hyper-V

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?

Yes: How to locate and open Windows Media Player 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

Please note: starting with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you have only 10 days to rollback.

What happens to the recovery partition used by my previous version of Windows?
In some cases, it might 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 10 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 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.

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.

Learn more:

How to: Install and Update drivers in Windows 10

How will I know if my computer can run Windows 10?

System requirements

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
Display:  1024x600

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.

Learn more:

Which editions of Windows 10 Support Multiple processors?

Windows 10 Home only supports one physical CPU.

Windows 10 Pro, Pro Edu, Education, Business and Enterprise supports multiple CPUs.

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.

Also see:

How to Install Windows 10 on Devices with Limited 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?

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.

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.


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.


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.

- Expensive

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.


Learn more:

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.

When you upgraded from a previous version of Windows or receive a new computer preinstalled with Windows 10, what happened is the hardware (your PC) will get a digital entitlement, where a unique signature of the computer will be stored on Microsoft Activation Servers. The Windows 7 or Windows 8 genuine license you were previously running will be exchanged for a diagnostics key.

Anytime you need to reinstall Windows 10 on that machine, just proceed to reinstall Windows 10. It will automatically reactivate.

So, there is no need to know or get a product key, if you need to reinstall Windows 10, you can use your Windows 7 or Windows 8 product key or use the reset function in Windows 10.

If you are prompted to enter a product key, click 'I don't have a key' and 'Do this later'

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.

What are the editions of Windows 10 available?

Resources: How to: upgrade from previous versions of Windows using Windows 10 ISO file

Click HERE to download official ISO media for Windows 10 from Microsoft.

Suppose I need to reinstall Windows 10 a year or two 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)

Learn more:

How much RAM does each edition of Windows 10 support?

Windows 10 Official Memory Limits is 2 TBs - groovyPost

For a complete breakdown:

What are the editions of Windows 10 available?

Resource: How to know the Edition, Architecture, Channel and build of Windows 10 installed. 

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:

How to Perform an Easy Upgrade in Windows 10

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 to Perform an Easy Upgrade in Windows 10

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:

Edition Pricing
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.
Source: Microsoft

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:

Service Branch



Current Branch

  • Security Updates, Features and Fixes are automatically applied.
  • There is no option to delay or customize these updates.
  • Windows 10 Home

Current Branch for Business (CBB)

  • CBB includes the requirements of the Current Branch, but also provides the option of customizing when and which Security Updates, Features and Fixes are applied, similar to how Windows Update works today in current versions of Windows. 
  • Updates cannot be deferred indefinitely.
  • Windows Updates can be managed using enterprise management tools such as Windows Update for Business and/ WSUS.
  • Windows 10 Pro
  • Windows 10 Enterprise
  • Windows 10 Education

Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB)

  • Only available to volume license customers running Windows 10 Enterprise.
  • Flexible options for managing Windows Updates.
  • Windows Updates can be customized to only accept Security Fixes.
  • Windows Updates can be managed using enterprise management tools such as Windows Update for Business and/ WSUS.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise

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.

Get Started with Microsoft Edge - Tips and Tricks for the new user.

I did a clean install of Windows 10 but cannot find Internet Explorer, what happened?

See: How to locate and open Internet Explorer in Windows 10

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?



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Last updated December 9, 2019 Views 735,250 Applies to:

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I am not happy with windows. I have a usb windows 10 installation (official Copy) I upgraded from win xp I lost the actyivation code and now my sound wont work and it says it cant be activated claimning that I don't have an official copy! its hog wash and makes me angry I have spent about 6 hours trying to get my sound working and activate my computer It has me sending comments like this !  If windows wants to call me a liar when I have the installation on a usb drive and yes it is the real one from the store has the windows logo and everything! And basically blocks me from having my sound work I will eventually stop buying Microsoft products altogether and start using macontosh! Right now im so mad at Microsoft I could take my computer and smash it to pieces!!!!!

I am not happy with windows. I have a usb windows 10 installation (official Copy) I upgraded from win xp I lost the actyivation code and now my sound wont work and it says it cant be activated claimning that I don't have an official copy! its hog wash and makes me angry I have spent about 6 hours trying to get my sound working and activate my computer It has me sending comments like this !  If windows wants to call me a liar when I have the installation on a usb drive and yes it is the real one from the store has the windows logo and everything! And basically blocks me from having my sound work I will eventually stop buying Microsoft products altogether and start using macontosh! Right now im so mad at Microsoft I could take my computer and smash it to pieces!!!!!

You cud give it a try to find the key in the registry

go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\SoftwareProtectionPlatform

For me the activation code is about the most important thing of software: it is like the registration certificate of your car. The only difference is the price, but they are equally important.

Personally, I store all registration/activation keys, together version, when and where purchased, email account passwords, as well as things like router password, etc.  in text document that I then zip to a self extracting,  password protected, file (.exe) saved on various places (pc, cloud, usb thumbdrive).

Even if the pc would entirely crash, at least I all the keys available somewhere.


Ok you guys are putting out a lot of information regarding an Extended WIN7 PRO 64bit Warranty at a price and your sales or tech division knows nothing and has NO pricing.

How is someone supposed to make an informed decision on to ....

1) UPGRADE NOT an OPTION  for us as we have CAM/CAD and applications that are NOT compatible with 10, and are too expensive to go elsewhere, Would send up broke.

2) Stay with our WIN7 PRO 64bit and purchase the WIN7 extended option.

3) Say goodbye to MS and go Linux and due to no response from MS we are already trailing this as an option.

Could someone from Microsoft please call or email us.

            *** Phone number removed ***

             *** Email address is removed for privacy ***


How to get the Windows 10 May 2019 Update now?. 

This did nothing to help me!!!! it is very annoying for someone who is not an IT professional!!!XXX!!!
You don't have to be an it expert for it. Everything is explained briefly.

How to get the Windows 10 May 2019 Update now?. 

It's now available after going through several peocess to make sure it's fully stable.

SORRY BUT I disagree it might be stable (by MS terms/definition) but on the update being force installed (I had WIN10 updates deferred) it trashed my NOTEBOOK and rendered my MAIN system unusable.

The UI is vastly changed in 1903....

a) Black screen with a dumped down Start.

b) Very hard to make changes and put on the Screen/Start what you want of back to what you had.

c) The update did NOT make a restore point first just went ahead and LOST everything on a notebook was using 1809.

d) on MY main computer presented me with a dumped down screen and very basic Start.

Had to get a copy of 1809 to enable me to reinstall from scratch (format and install.

With this level of O/S applications it is NO WONDER Business and people are NOT moving to WIN10

I had only just moved from WIN7 PRO 64bit to WIN10 PRO 64bit ISO install ( 30 days ago) and unless Microsoft step up their game I will be going back to WIN7 PRO 64bit.

Regards Carl


Always download the windows ISO file & then later use USB to make bootable pendrive.

Isn't this method, always upgrade windows 10 version. I always use this method to upgrade newer version. Moreover i keep my computer software up to date. So i don't get any issue with Windows 10. It's really a beautiful windows.

Besides, your computer hardware confog must be certified from it's manufacturer that it's compatible with windows 10. Or else, you will fave problem while running windows 10.

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