Graffiti Software

Web & Software Developers

Windows 10 FAQs and Tips

27 Sep

Q&A

When will I get my free upgrade?

If you reserved your free upgrade, it’s on the way. You’re part of the largest software upgrade event ever and we’re managing it so everyone has a great experience. Your notification to upgrade could come as soon as a few days or weeks. And you can always check your upgrade status in the Get Windows 10 app. Or, if you’re a tech-savvy user, you can use the Media Creation Tool to install immediately on one or more devices.

What are the basic facts of the free Windows 10 upgrade?

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as a free upgrade1 for qualified and genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 devices. The free upgrade for select Windows Phone 8.1 devices will start to be available later this year.

If you have reserved, we’ll notify you when your upgrade is ready. You have until July 29, 2016 to take advantage of this free upgrade offer. Once you upgrade, you’ll have Windows 10 for free on that device.

Is the upgrade really free?

Yes, it’s free. This is a full version of Windows, not a trial or introductory version. It is available for a limited time: you have until July 29, 2016 to take advantage of this offer. Once you upgrade, you’ll have Windows 10 for free on that device. You can learn more about the upgrade here.

How do I get my free upgrade?

You can do one of two things:

1. Buy a new device with Windows 10 already on it, or a new Windows 8.1 device and upgrade it to Windows 10 for free1, or

2. Upgrade your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 PC for free1

Not every device will run every feature of Windows 10. Be sure to check with your manufacturer before purchasing. Additional details on upgrade qualifications are below and on the Windows 10 specifications page.

What are the qualifications for the free upgrade?

The only requirements for the free Windows 10 Upgrade are that your device is compatible, and you’re running genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1.1

Windows 10 is designed to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs. That means your device is likely compatible and will run Windows 10. Not every device will run every feature of Windows 10. To learn more about feature availability, visit the Windows 10 Specifications page.

Can I get Windows 10 if I have a device running Windows XP or Windows Vista?

You may purchase Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store or other retailers and install it on your existing device running Windows XP or Windows Vista if your device meets the minimum spec requirements for Windows 10. You will need to back up any existing files before installing Windows 10. It will be a “clean” install.

However, we recommend you experience Windows 10 on a newer device. We think you’ll be happier with the affordable, great PCs that are available today. PCs have improved dramatically since Windows XP was released in 2001 and Windows Vista was released in 2006.

How do I upgrade my existing device?

Upgrading is simple:

Reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade now in the Get Windows 10 app.

Upgrade when you get the notification that Windows 10 has downloaded and is ready for your device.2

Enjoy Windows 10 for $119 free!1

What are the steps to upgrade?

Make your reservation through the Get Windows 10 app. (you can cancel at any time)

Click on the Windows icon located at the right end of the taskbar. (Don’t see it? Click here.)

Click “Reserve your free upgrade” in the app window.

Enter your email if you want confirmation of this reservation.

Once you’ve reserved, watch for your upgrade notification.

When Windows 10 is ready for your specific device, we’ll download it in the background to make the upgrade experience easier for you.

When the download is complete, you’ll get a notification on your desktop. At that point, you can choose to upgrade right away or at a time that’s good for you.

Enjoy. After you’ve upgraded, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.

How do I know the status of my upgrade?

We’ll notify you when your device is ready to upgrade.

Additionally, you can confirm your reservation and see if your device is ready to upgrade by opening the Get Windows 10.

What is the Get Windows 10 app?

Get Windows 10 is an app designed to make the upgrade process easy. It checks to make sure your device is compatible, has information to help you learn about the features in Windows 10, and allows you to begin your free upgrade1 to Windows 10.

For devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 Update with Windows Update enabled, the app shows up automatically as a Windows icon in your system tray at the bottom right-hand side of your screen.

Image of notification icon

Why don’t I have the Get Windows 10 app?

Your device might be missing an update. Running Windows Update and installing any available updates could fix this issue. Need more help? If you don’t see the Get Windows 10 app on your PC, take a look at this article that includes troubleshooting steps.

If your device is managed as part of a school or business network, please check with your IT administrator about upgrading to Windows 10.

When will I receive my notification to upgrade?

You’ll receive your notification to upgrade once we can confirm your device is ready to upgrade. We look at the specific compatibility for your device and overall demand for Windows 10 when deciding if a device is ready to upgrade.

Before we notify you, we’ll download the installation files needed in the background. Then, you will receive a notification on your desktop letting you know that you can upgrade right away or schedule a time that works best for you. We’re rolling things out in phases to manage the high demand, particularly in the first weeks following Windows 10 availability.

How long does it take to upgrade once I’ve received the notification?

Upgrade time depends on the age of your device and how it’s configured. Most devices will take about an hour to upgrade once the download2 is complete. While older devices could take longer, some newer, high performance devices may upgrade faster.

Why haven’t I gotten my upgrade notification yet?

We are rolling the upgrades out in phases to manage high demand and to make sure that your upgrade is right for your device. You might not have received a notification because we are working on a specific compatibility fix for your device, or it could be because of the overall volume of devices upgrading to Windows 10. Your upgrade notification will arrive when your device is ready to upgrade. You can check the status of your upgrade at any time in the Get Windows 10 app.

If I buy a new PC today, can it upgrade to Windows 10?

Yes, you can buy a new device with confidence that it will run Windows 10. While many new devices will come with Windows 10 installed, we designed Windows 10 to be compatible with new devices running Windows 8.1, and you can get Windows 10 through the free upgrade. Some features of Windows 10 may not be available on every device. Check with the device manufacturer for details.

Can I get my free Windows 10 upgrade even if I didn’t reserve?

Yes, you can still get your free upgrade. Making a reservation is the first step. click here to learn more about how to get the upgrade.

What if I have more than one Windows device—can I upgrade them all?

Yes, you can get a free upgrade1 for each of your eligible Windows devices. All you need to do is open the Get Windows 10 app and click “Reserve” on each of your devices.

You can also upgrade multiple devices by using a USB drive. This is helpful if you only want to download the installation files once, and don’t mind manually beginning the upgrade on each device. Click here to get started.

What edition of Windows will I get as part of this free upgrade?

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 73

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 84

From Edition To Edition
Windows Phone 8.15 Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 8.16 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 Pro 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.

What comes in each edition of Windows 10?

Visit the Windows 10 Editions page to view and compare the key features that are available in each edition of Windows 10: Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro.

Do Windows Phones 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 starting later this year5.For more information about the Windows 10 upgrade for phones, click here.

What about Windows RT?

If you’re running Windows RT, your device won’t upgrade to Windows 10. We will have an update available in September 2015 that will improve the Start menu and lock screen. Check Windows Update on your Windows RT device to make sure it is ready to download the update when available.

Can Enterprise customers get the free Windows 10 upgrade?

Enterprise customers with active Software Assurance subscription in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.

How much does Windows 10 cost?

The easiest way to get Windows 10 is to upgrade for free.1 Just click the Get Windows 10 app to get started.

You may also purchase a copy of Windows 10 if you decide not to upgrade, or if you need to purchase a copy for other reasons like installing Windows 10 on a PC you built yourself. The estimated retail prices for Windows 10 are the same as Windows 8.1.7 Windows 10 Home is $119.99. Windows 10 Pro is $199.99.7 These are available in stores or online.

Will I get all of the features of Windows 10 once I upgrade?

Some Windows 10 features will require advanced hardware and not all features and services are available on every device, nor in every market. For instance, Cortana is not available in all markets.

For more details, see the Windows 10 Specifications page and the Windows 10 Editions page for the list of features that come with each edition of Windows 10.

Can I go back to my previous version of Windows if I don’t like Windows 10?

Yes, while we think you will love all the features of Windows 10, you will have one month after upgrading to revert back to the previous version of Windows on your device.

Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading?

Yes. Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer, you will be able to reinstall, including a clean install, on the same device. You won’t need a product key for re-activations on the same hardware. If you make a meaningful change to your hardware, you may need to contact customer support to help with activation. You’ll also be able to create your own installation media, like a USB drive or DVD, and use that to upgrade your device or reinstall after you’ve upgraded. To learn more about the installation process, click here.

Will my devices and apps work with Windows 10?

Windows 10 is our most tested version ever, with millions of users involved in providing feedback. So while we can’t provide an iron-clad guarantee for every configuration of every device, Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with the vast majority of devices.

For details on your specific device and apps, use the Get Windows 10 app to do a compatibility check. Click the menu in the upper left and select “Check your PC” or “Your PC is good to go” to display any known compatibility issues and recommended resolutions. For the best upgrade experience, please plan your upgrade after getting the notification that Windows 10 is ready for your device.

How do I upgrade on a low storage device?

Small storage devices, like devices with 32GB hard drives or older devices with full hard drives, may need additional storage to complete the upgrade. You'll see instructions during the upgrade telling you what to do. You may need to insert a USB flash drive to complete the upgrade.

How do I free up additional disk space if needed?

You may easily remove temporary files to free up disk space. Click on the search box, and type “storage” and select the Storage system setting, or click on the Start Menu, Settings, System, Storage, and then your hard drive to see what is using disk space on your device. Then select the category, like temporary files, to get more information and to remove extra files.

Some devices with either little free space available or smaller hard drives, like 32 GB storage PCs, may have little free space available after upgrading. You can use the above steps to easily delete files like temporary files or your previous version of Windows to free up disk space.

Will Windows Media Center be available in Windows 10?

While Windows Media Center is not part of Windows 10, we are providing a free DVD playback app8 in Windows 10 called Windows DVD Player that will be installed after the first Windows Update.

When do new Windows 10 devices arrive in stores?

New PCs running Windows 10 are available now and will continue to be assorted across markets as we move into the holiday season. Exact device numbers will vary by market.

How do I get Windows 10 on a Mac or a virtual machine?

If you already have a genuine copy of Windows 7 or 8 on your Mac or in a virtual machine, visit the Windows 10 Upgrade page from your Windows installation to get your free upgrade. Before upgrading, please check the system requirements on the Windows 10 Specifications page to confirm compatibility and make sure your Mac supports installing Windows by checking the Apple Support page here. If you don’t already own a genuine copy of Windows 7 or 8, you may purchase Windows 10 through a local retailer or an online retailer like Microsoft Store here. Before purchasing Windows 10, please check the system requirements to confirm compatibility and make sure your Mac supports installing Windows by checking the Apple Support page here.

Will all my stuff be in the cloud?

Your files are saved on the hard drive of your device by default. Windows 10 includes integrated access to OneDrive, which provides free storage space in the cloud. This is completely optional, but gives you the benefit of being able to access your personal files from anywhere.

John Beck

I am a coder. I love the idea of taking a organic idea and tranforming it into a digital form.

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