How to prepare your computer for Windows 10

Microsoft will soon be ending its free Windows 10 upgrade – so if you haven’t made the switch, now’s the time to do it. We’ll show you how with our guide…

01 Aug 2016


From 29 July 2016, Microsoft will end all free Windows 10 downloads. You’ll still be able to get it, but it’ll cost you. If you’re thinking of upgrading, here’s everything you need to know, as well as our step-by-step instructions for downloading it.

Win 10resized

What is Windows 10?

Microsoft’s new operating system for PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. It was released last year and is designed to give you a seamless experience across all of your devices. Whether clicking a mouse or tapping a screen.

If you buy a new Windows device, it’ll come with Windows 10 preinstalled as standard.


Why make the switch?

Windows 10 has loads of really cool features to make computing more personal, efficient and secure. With it you can:

  • Stay organised with Cortana – the clever digital assistant that learns about you over time to give you a personalised experience. Set it up to get calendar reminders, search for files on your device or browse the internet to answer questions
  • Enjoy custom internet browsing with Edge – the browser lets you write on web pages, bring up instant search results without leaving the page you’re on and read without any distractions
  • Stay secure with Windows Hello facial recognition software that gets rid of the need for passwords
  • Stream games from your Xbox One to any Windows 10 PC

Want to know more? Here are 10 things to know about Windows 10

It may also be worth upgrading to keep your computer running at its best. If you’re currently using Internet Explorer 8, 9 or 10 for instance you won’t be able to get security updates anymore – as Windows is no longer supporting it. Instead it’s encouraging users to try its new browser, Microsoft Edge.

Find out more about Microsoft Edge


Is my computer or laptop compatible?

To upgrade to Windows 10 on your PC or laptop, make sure it meets the minimum system requirements by checking:

Which OS are you running? Make sure you’re already running the latest version of Windows – either Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

Find out which version of Windows you’re running


Does your computer have the right specs? For your computer to run Windows 10 it needs to have the following specifications:

Processor: 1GHz or faster 

RAM: 2 GB for 32-bit and 64-bit

Hard disk space: 16GB for 32-bit OS. 20GB for 64-bit OS

Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

Display: 800x600

Windows 10

How do I upgrade to Windows 10?

Right now the upgrade comes as a free download that you install by following these simple steps:

  1. Open your browser and go to the Windows 10 upgrade page
  2. Click the ‘Upgrade now’ button to begin your download, then ‘Run’ to continue
  3. The Upgrade App will guide you through the installation

How long will the upgrade take to install?

It depends on how old your computer is. Newer devices can install Windows 10 in around 20 minutes, while older ones can take longer than an hour.


I have a Windows laptop and a tablet – can I upgrade them both?

Yes. You can upgrade to Windows 10 for free on all of your Windows devices. Simply go through the installation process for each device.


Which version of Windows 10 will I get?

There are two versions, Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. Which you get depends on which version of Windows you’re upgrading from:

  • Upgrade from Windows 7 Home Premium/Basic or Windows 8.1 and you’ll get Windows 10 home
  • From Windows 7 Professional/Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro you’ll get Windows 10 Pro

Find out more about Windows 10

Want to run Windows 10 but not sure about doing it yourself? Our team of experts can do it for you


Related in Windows news

A quick window into Windows 11!

05 Oct 2021

Why you need Microsoft 365 on a Windows laptop

15 Sep 2021

How Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 help you get it all done

14 Apr 2021

5 great reasons to upgrade to Windows 10

18 Mar 2021

How to upgrade to a new Windows 10 computer

18 Mar 2021