How to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 for Free
Windows 10 demands more computing resources than Windows 7. Our recommended minimum requirements to upgrade any computer to Windows 10 are as follows:
- i5 CPU Processor
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB Hard Drive (SSD preferable)
Also, upgrading from one operating system to another carries a risk that some of your existing applications and drivers (cameras, printers, etc.) may not function correctly. It’s good practice to back up your computer first, then perform the upgrade, or at least have installation media ready to reinstall any applications that do not function correctly after the update is completed.
Use these steps to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 using the Windows Media Creation Tool:
A quick tip: If you have an older version of Internet Explorer, you probably won’t be able to access the Microsoft download website. If this is your case, you’ll need to use another web browser like Google Chrome.
- Click the Download tool now button and save the installer on your device.
- Double-click the MediaCreationTool.exe to launch the Windows 10 setup wizard.
- Click Accept to the licensing agreement.
Select the Upgrade this PC now option to download the files and begin the upgrade.
- Click the Next button.
- Type a valid Windows 10 product key for the edition you’re trying to upgrade (if applicable).
- Click the Next button.
- Click the Accept button to agree to the licensing agreement again.
- Select the Keep personal files and apps option.
- Click the Install button.
After the installation completes, you’ll need to go through the easy out-of-box-experience (OOBE) to finish setting up Windows 10, and then you’ll once again see your familiar desktop and every new feature included with Windows 10.
Using Windows 10 installation media to upgrade
The installation process depends on the installation media.
Option 1: using USB or DVD installation media
This is probably the common option to upgrade a Windows 10 system. You need to have the installation media at hand to perform the upgrade.
- Connect the USB Flash drive to the PC you want to upgrade or insert the DVD into the drive.
- Start the PC or restart it.
- Some systems pick up the installation media automatically and boot from it.
- If that is not the case, you need to change the boot order (from default hard drive) to the installation media so that it is used. This is done in the BIOS of the PC. Check instructions on the screen to find out how to enter BIOS, usually using ESC, DEL, F1 or one of those keys.
- In BIOS, change the boot priority so that the PC checks USB or DVD boot media first before using hard drives.
- Make sure you select “keep files and apps” in the setup dialog if you want to upgrade and not do a clean install.
- Follow the instructions to install the Windows 10 upgrade on the device.
Option 2: installing directly using an ISO image
If you don’t want to install from USB or DVD, or cannot, you may run setup directly from the ISO image instead. Note that you need to select ISO during creation for that.
- Open File Explorer on the Windows 10 device.
- Navigate to the folder the ISO image has been saved to (e.g. the Downloads folder).
- Right-click on the ISO image and select Open With > Windows Explorer. Doing so mounts the ISO image on Windows so that you may browse it and run files directly.
- Open the mounted Windows installation ISO image from the sidebar list of all connected drives and locations if that did not happen automatically.
- Launch the setup.exe file that you find in the root folder of the mounted image; this starts the setup and thus the upgrade of the system.
- If you are asked whether you want to “get important updates”, select “not right now”.
- Make sure you select that “keep personal files and apps” is selected if you want to keep your programs, settings, and files.
- Follow the screens to upgrade the device using the ISO image.