How to Upgrade Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 to Windows 10?

How to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without a scratch? And what should you do before upgrading? You can get answers from this post.


By Emily / Updated on August 31, 2023

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About Windows 10

Windows 10, a newly released Windows operating system, is familiar to Windows 7, 8 users and with many improved and innovated features. With its extraordinary compatibility, any computer runs Win 7 (need to install SP1) or Win 8 or 8.1 can easily upgrade to Windows 10, and all the files and programs you have installed are available after upgrading. What's more, Win7 or Win8.1 user can free upgrade to Windows 10 within one year and access to free lifetime updates. Microsoft has addressed how to upgrade Windows 7, 8 to windows 10. However, free upgrade for XP system is not coming along with it, and Microsoft is working with its partners to develop.

Things you should know or do before upgrading to Windows 10

Before knowing how to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10, there are a few things you need to know or prepare.

1. Make sure the system drive (C:) has enough free disk space, since it needs about 8 GB free space to upgrade to Windows 10. If you do not have sufficient disk space, you can extend system partition.

2. Although upgrading to Windows 10 is pretty safe, it is never a fault to take extra precaution. In the event of data loss caused by upgrade failure, you would better create a backup image of your PC before upgrading to Windows 10.

3. Make sure your system meets the requirements for Windows 10:

▪ Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
▪ RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for a 32-bit version, or 2GB for 64-bit
▪ Hard disk space: 16GB for a 32-bit OS; 20GB for 64-bit OS
▪ Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
▪ Display: 1024x600

Actually Windows 10 needs no higher requirements of hardware than Windows 7.

4. Some features will be replaced or removed after upgrading to Windows 10 including Windows Media Center, Desktop Gadgets, Automatic updates for home users, and some Windows 7 built-in games.

5. Some features of Windows 10 cannot perform on old hardware, such as Windows Hello, which needs new deep camera or fingerprint processor.

Three main ways to upgrade to Windows 10

Generally speaking, there are three ways to get Windows 10.

1. Reserve your Windows 10 upgrade with the Get Windows 10 app. Since July 29, Windows has accepted Win10 released this way to allow subscribed users to free upgrade.

1.1. Open the Get Windows 10 app that you can find at the right side of theTask-bar.

Reserve Windows

1.2. Click “Reserve your free upgrade” and follow the instructions to finish the reservation.

Get Windows10

1.3. Then Windows will be automatically downloaded on your computer. You will be posted if Windows 10 is downloaded. Then you can install and enjoy the new Windows 10.

2. How to upgrade Windows 7/8.1 to Windows 10 if you don’t see the small Windows icon at the right corner of the Task-bar? You can manually download the Windows 10 ISO or buy a Windows 10 USB hard drive to upgrade to Windows 10.

2.1. If you use Windows 7, you need to use third-party software to mount or extract the Windows 10 ISO file. You can also burn the Windows 10 ISO to a USB device or CD/DVD. Do not boot from that device if you do not want a fresh install.

2.2. Run the setup.exe and follow the guide to upgrade. If you use Windows 8 or 8.1, you can open the Windows 10 ISO file to run setup.exe.

Currently, as long as your Win7 or Win8.1 is activated, the activation status remains after using Build 10240 ISO to upgrade to Win10 professional to maintain, even if you format the hard drive partitions and try a new fresh Windows 10 install to SSD or HDD. Note that Win7, Win8.1 can upgrade only to the corresponding version of Win10, namely, cross-version upgrade is not free, such as the Win7 Home cannot directly upgrade to Win10 Professional. In addition, the activation process needs to keep networks open.

3. Although Microsoft has not addressed how to upgrade from Windows XP or Vista to Windows 10, there is still a way to get Windows 10. First, you need to join the Windows Insider program and install Windows 10 Technical Preview. Any version of Windows can install Windows 10 Technical Preview as long as it meets the hardware requirements. Then follow Windows to upgrade to Windows 10 final version. In this process, Win10 will always remain activated.

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.