Frequently Asked Question
Upgrade form Windows 8 to 10
Last Updated 5 years ago
Step 1 - Make sure you're running the latest version of your OS First, run Windows Update from the Control Panel and make sure that your computer is up to date and running the latest service packs: you need Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 installed in order to upgrade to Windows 10.
Step 2 - Get the Windows 10 upgrade tool.You can download both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the tool, so make sure to get the one that matches your current operating system. You can find out which you have by simply typing ‘System’ into the Start Screen on Windows 8 and selecting that options, or by clicking the Start button in Windows 7, right-click Computer and select Properties. Download the correct tool and then run it from your browser or the downloads folder.
While you're waiting for that to download we recommend that you use Belarc Advisor to find out your Windows product key/CD key. This way you've got the original key to hand should you ever need it later on. This bit of software gives you all kinds of information about your computer, including your product key. Once installed, launch Belarc Advisor. You can ignore the prompt about Administrator privileges, as they're not needed. You'll need to agree to the UAC prompt, and don't worry about downloading the new Belarc security definitions. Belarc Advisor will now analyse your computer and produce a local web page with the information it finds. Your version of Windows and its product key will appear towards the bottom of the page. You should copy and paste this into Notepad and save it. It’s worth copying this text file to an external location, just in case something goes wrong with the upgrade and you need to reinstall your original Windows.
Step 3 - Install the upgradeWhen it comes to installing the upgrade, you've got two options. The first option the easiest, as it lets Microsoft do everything for you; the second option isn't quite as straightforward, but it gives you a bit more flexibility and gives you the installation media that you need.
Method 1 - Use the upgrade toolyoutube The upgrade tool will ask you if you want to upgrade this PC or create an installation ISO for another PC. Choose the option to ‘Upgrade this PC now’ and the tool will start downloading Windows 10. This may take some time as demand is high for the new operating system. Once you've finished downloading the operating system simply follow the instructions to upgrade.
Method 2 - Create the installation mediaThe second option is to use the Microsoft upgrade tool to create the installation media. It's straight forward to do so using the wizard, but our how to clean install Windows 10 guide has full instructions if you'd rather follow those. Once you've created the installation media on a USB drive, you can either run Setup straight from Explorer and upgrade your computer, or reboot from the USB drive and perform an installation from the regular Windows 10 installer. The benefit of this method is that you've then got the installation media, which you can use to upgrade other computers or to perform a clean installation with later. Please note, if you create the USB drive directly from the upgrade tool (you don't download the ISO file), you can only use the USB drive to upgrade PCs that are running the same version of Windows 7 or Windows 8. If you download the ISO file and create the installation media from that, you have the files to upgrade to Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro. The only restriction is that your installation media is set for 32-bit or 64-bit Windows only.
Step 4 - Complete upgradeAfter your computer has upgraded to Windows 10 it will connect to Microsoft's activation server and will upgrade your existing licence to a Windows 10 version. For this to happen your computer needs to be connected to the internet. Activation happens quickly in the background without you having to do anything. To check if your computer has been activated click on the Start Menu, click Settings and choose Update & Security, Activation. If your computer is activated, it will clearly say so (see screenshot below).
If your computer has not been activated, then you can force it to do so. Get up a command prompt from the Start Menu and type, slmgr.vbs /ato. This will force your computer to activate its new license with Microsoft. If the process fails, give it a few tries.