If you’re using Windows 7, you’ve likely seen this message. Like it or not, support for Windows 7 is ending. That doesn’t mean Windows 7 will cease to work. It does mean that Microsoft will stop providing free updates for it as of January 14, 2020. If your computer is connected to the internet, that matters. Any issues or security problems won’t be patched or fixed beyond that date, leaving computers vulnerable to being taken advantage of or compromised.
Suffice to say, it’s had a good run, but it’s time to upgrade, and you might as well do so for FREE until January 14, 2020. Windows 10 is, for most people, a completely worthy upgrade, and will last you another 10 years, hopefully mostly problem free. Yes, there are some changes, but the learning curve isn’t huge, particularly with a couple of “tweaks”.
Go to this page on Microsoft’s website to download the Media Creation Tool. It’s free, and will scan your computer to ensure it qualifies for Windows 10. If your system is in fact 10 years old, it might not. But if it’s newer, hopefully it will.
Once Windows determines your system qualifies, either choose “Upgrade This PC Now” or “Create Installation Media”. I’d recommend the second option, as it provides more peace of mind since the installation files won’t be located on the same hard drive (or SSD) you’re trying to upgrade in case something goes wrong.
After Windows installs the files on your external hard drive or USB thumb drive, run the “setup” file from there, and it’ll walk you through the steps to upgrade to Windows 10. The amount of time it takes will vary depending on your computer, how old it is, if you’re using and SSD or not, among other factors.
Suffice to say, the upgrade should go quite smoothly. Windows 10 will ask you a bunch of questions on how you’d like it to be setup post-install. Read those carefully, as some relate to privacy and how you Windows will behave and how data collected will be used.
The screen above is after I’ve changed some settings and installed a few programs. Otherwise, this is what Windows 10 looks like.
Be sure to check Windows Update to ensure you have all the latest updates installed as well. (Start Menu > type “Windows Update” and click it, OR Start Menu > Control Panel > Updates and Security)
To view information about your PC and Windows 10, open the Control Panel (Start > type “Control Panel” w/o quotes), then click on “System”.
This isn’t the default (factory settings) Start Menu. Since the day I started using Windows 10, my first install is “Classic Shell“. It’s free, and makes it look closer to what the Start Menu looked like in Windows 7. I have recommended it for years, and everyone I’ve installed it for loves it.
That’s it. You’ve just upgraded to Windows 10. Personally, I love it, and especially for the fact I got it legitimately for FREE! I’m a serious computer geek, and it’s been reliable for me since day one! Hopefully it treats you just as well! 🙂