How to Upgrade from Windows 7: A Complete Guide
Windows 7 end of life is less than a week away, if you've put off upgrading, here is what you need to know:
Home Users: the ESU Doesn't Apply to You
Microsoft's ESU (Extended Service Updates) doesn't apply to home users, in other words anyone running Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic or Home Premium. You can sign up for it if you have Windows 7 Professional or Enterprise. However it is very expensive.
Minimum System Requirements
The system requirements for Windows 10 aren’t very rigorous, but first be sure your computer meets the following minimum standards:
- Processor:1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor
- RAM:1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
- Hard disk space:16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
- Graphics card:DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
- Display:800 x 600
If your computer doesn’t meet these requirements you need to consider upgrading your equipment. Microsoft has engineered Windows 10 to run on most systems and upgrading now will prevent a lot of frustration later on. Microsoft also has a tool to guide you in finding the best computer for your needs here
Backup your data
You never know what might go wrong while upgrading you system, and there are ways you can revert to the old operating system if the need arises. But losing important documents and photos can be devastating don't risk it.
Updates are critical
If your computer is telling you it can’t update to Windows 10 and you've meet the requirements it may be that you need a firmware upgrade on a critical component of your computer. Before installing Windows 10 make sure you’ve updated all of your core components firmware and software.
Those critical components would include:
- BIOS if applicable (Basic Input Output System) This system manages data flow between all other components in your system.
- CPU (Central Processing Unit) This is the “Brain” of your computer this performs all the calculations, decodes and then takes action by delivering the appropriate output to the components of your computer.
- Video Card or GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) This performs specialized functions for the video display of your computer. Your GPU works in concert with your CPU.
- Ethernet and Wireless Network Adapter This component handles all traffic between your local network and internet traffic.
- Motherboard The foundation of your computer, this component ties all other devices together and lets them communicate.
There may be other components installed on your computer, but these listed above are usually the culprits stopping Windows from updating. Updating these components is also an important part of staying ahead of hackers. You can find those firmware and software upgrades on websites of the component manufacturer.
Securing a Valid Windows 10 Key
After ensuring your computer has all its critical updates you can proceed to update to Windows 10. If you need a key for Windows 10 or need help with updating we've got you covered in the video below.
How Long Will it Take?
Once you’ve got your legitimate copy of the Windows 10 registry key, you can proceed to upgrade.
Your time to upgrade has many factors, if you are downloading from the internet or installing from a physical copy, upgrading from Windows 7 or doing a clean install. The computer you are installing it on will also contribute to the amount of time involved.
Be prepared to spend anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours on the process itself. This doesn’t take into account the amount of time it takes to download Windows 10 from the Microsoft servers which can vary greatly due to the size of the file which can change depending on the version of Windows 10 you've purchased and internet speed.
Following these tips can help you with a less hectic upgrade of Windows 10.