Microsoft has officially released Windows 10, but for many users who reserved their free upgrade, July 29th may not be the day that you’re given the opportunity to update. Don’t worry, though, because you don’t need to wait for Microsoft’s say-so before you can move on up to Windows 10.
If you’re impatient to get started, we strongly recommend you take a full drive image backup of your system – if you don’t have a drive-imaging tool to hand, try EaseUS System GoBack Free.
With your fallback in place, download the appropriate tool depending on whether you’re currently running the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows (open System Properties by pressing [Win] + [Pause/Break] and check your System Type if you’re not sure).
Next, launch the tool – you’ll be asked if you want to upgrade Windows or burn installation media. Assuming you’re upgrading Windows, leave that selected and click Next, then wait while the install files are downloaded (this can take some time, so be patient).
Accept the license agreement and then choose the type of upgrade – to keep things as close to their current settings, choose “Keep personal files, apps and Windows settings”. Finally, review the upgrade tool’s compatibility findings – you may have to act on some detected incompatibilities – and then let Windows 10 get on with upgrading your PC.
The actual upgrade process can take around 30 minutes in total, and your PC will restart a number of times. When it reaches the desktop you may find things aren’t what they seem – be prepared for one last reboot if you need updated graphic drivers – and then hopefully you’ll find yourself at the new Windows 10 desktop, ready to embrace the new OS. Good luck!
Even if you’re not ready to upgrade yet – the world won’t end if you wait a week or two – you can still download the tool now and use it to create installation media (USB flash drive or DVD) ready for the moment you want to take the plunge.
Windows 10 32-bit and Windows 10 64-bit are both available now as free upgrades for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users (remember, this will only be free for one year). Windows 10 Home will cost $119 and Windows 10 Pro $199 for those systems where the upgrade hasn’t been made free.