Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free; a How-to Guide
Install Windows 10 from a USB flash drive or DVD

Update to Windows 8.1 from Windows 8

John's earlier article about user accounts

John's review of Windows 10 wherein he discusses what's so great about Microsoft Accounts

Microsoft's article on Microsoft accounts

Uninstall a program like Norton or McAfee

Did you miss any of John's previous articles? Click here.

Thomas Computer Services Web Site
Microsoft wants as many as possible to do this upgrade and so has made this procedure simple enough for the average user. This tutorial also makes some assumptions about you and your computer. (Please read to the end of this article before you decide if it's for you.)

a] You're ready to begin the upgrade. You've waited for Windows 10 to mature enough that you're not going to be an unpaid beta-tester of the new system for Microsoft. Let's say it's at least December 2015 or January 2016.

b] You're going to use the little "Get Windows 10" icon that's been sitting at the right end of your taskbar, and NOT a Windows 10 installer DVD or flash drive, which are useful in case there's no such icon present, or in case you need to completely erase the hard drive. (Installing from a DVD or flash drive requires a few extra steps as described in a link below.)

c] You are ONLY upgrading from a perfectly legal and activated copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. If you're currently using Windows 8, you are hereby advised to update to Windows 8.1 first, and then follow this procedure to upgrade to Windows 10. There's no reason not to; the Windows 8.1 update is also free for you and improves your chances of a hassle-free process, so do that one first. Read the link below on this.

Before you begin
Make sure your Windows is up to date. Click Start and type update. When the Windows Update button appears, click it. In the Windows Update window, click Check for updates, and then click to install any updates that are found.

It's a good idea to update your anti-virus program, run a complete scan and then turn it off when the scan is done. If you're running any third-party firewall or ad-blocker programs, turn them off as well.

If you're upgrading a laptop, plug it in. If a low battery were to  cause the process to stop before it's done, you might have ruined your chance for the 'free' part of the upgrade.

Let's begin
1. Click the little, white "Get Windows 10" icon in your taskbar. Not sure which one it is? Hover the mouse pointer over each of those icons briefly. Each one will pop a little descriptive balloon. This icon's balloon says, "Get Windows 10."

The "Get Windows 10" application runs. It checks your computer for compatibility, and then automatically downloads the Windows 10 installer; or it may tell you that "Unfortunately, this PC is unable to run Windows 10," and why this is so. You can click the "View report" link in any case for a list of your Windows 7 or 8.1 applications and drivers that won't work in Windows 10. In case there are any issues, it's a good idea to click the "Print Report" link at the bottom of this window because you may have some extra things to do to get your printer and other hardware working after the installation concludes.

2. After a while, the installer window says, "Your free Windows 10 upgrade is here!" Click the "OK, let's continue" link.

3. Next, you're invited to read some legal stuff. Click the [Accept] button.

4. Next you have a choice to "Schedule it for later," or "Start the upgrade now." You're ready to start, right? So click that link and let the installer do its thing.

5. At the Welcome back window, click [Next].

6. At the Get going fast window, decide if you're OK with Microsoft's "Express settings." They have to do with privacy, advertising and connecting automatically to wi-fi hotspots. These are all settings that may be changed later and are safe to accept for now. You can alternatively click the "Customize settings" link and decide on these things singly and more carefully if you are so inclined.

7. Next you'll see a "New apps for the new Windows" message wherein Microsoft notifies you about the Photos, Music, Movies and TV applications, and the new Windows 10 browser, called Edge. Click [Next.]

8. As the installer proceeds, you are treated to successive windows extolling other new features of Windows 10. Finally (the entire installation can take an hour or more), you come to your new Windows 10 desktop. Your old Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 files, settings and programs are still with you.

Very important things to do next
A. The User Accounts thing: Windows 10 is more secure than previous versions, but Microsoft still advises everyone to browse the Internet as a Standard User but keep a password protected Administrator account handy also. If your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 user accounts were set up this way, this setting will be the same in Windows 10 if you followed this guide, but it won't hurt to check. Click the Settings button in your Windows 10 Start menu, and then click Accounts. You'll see a description of your account. If it says Administrator, you need to change that. Follow the link to John's earlier article for this procedure.

While you're looking at it, you can click the "Manage my account link" and convert your local account to a Microsoft account. For a good reason to do this, see John's earlier review of Windows 10 (link below.) For a tutorial on how to do this, see the link after that one, also below.

B. Turn on Windows Defender: If you used Windows Defender with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you'll find that it's in place and turned on. It's not a bad idea to check whether Nortons or McAfee is installed or running. In case one of them is present, you are hereby advised to uninstall this aggressive trialware and make sure Windows Defender is up and running. See the link below to accomplish this.

Call or email John if you have any issues or reservations, or would like assistance. He awaits your call.
November 9, 2015

John G. Thomas,  your all-natural geek for

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