With the end of Windows 7 support, many users are faced with the task of switching to Windows 10. But there is no reason to despair. After more than four years, Microsoft Windows 10 drove out the teething troubles and, with a trick, the Windows 10 upgrade is even free. While the Windows installation used to be a day-filling affair, Microsoft has optimized the procedure for Windows 10 so that even Windows beginners can get the operating system onto the computer in less than 30 minutes.
At the start of the summer of 2015, Windows 10 still had to struggle with some problems that still affect the reputation of the operating system to this day. Thanks to the numerous Windows 10 updates, all of this hardly plays a role today. Because those who use Windows 10 at the beginning of 2020 will now receive the ninth, revised version with Windows 10 1909. Even if compared to the previous Windows 10 version it offers hardly any innovations, the technical and functional differences to Windows 7, which is now over ten years old, are dramatic. So there are many arguments in favor of switching to Windows 10.
Windows 10: The technical requirements
You don’t need a cutting-edge PC to install Windows 10. In general, if Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 8.1 are running on your computer, Windows 10 will also work. Microsoft recommends at least 2 gigabytes of RAM for the 32-bit version. If possible, however, you should prefer the 64-bit output. Your PC should have 4 gigabytes of RAM or more; At least 40 gigabytes of free hard disk or SSD storage space are also required. More extensive equipment is advantageous: COMPUTER BILD recommends at least 60 gigabytes of hard disk space. You can find more information about the minimum requirements of Windows 10 in the article Windows 10: Is your computer fit for the new operating system?
Install Windows 10: Upgrade
There are several paths that lead to Windows 10. The easiest way is to install from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. The setup routine even offers to take over all programs and files. Also good: Windows 10 takes over the activation of the existing Windows 7 or 8.1. Unfortunately, the “simple” installation does not always work. If this aborts with an error message or you have the impression that your Windows 7 or 8.1 is no longer running smoothly, reinstall Windows 10 from scratch.
This procedure is absolutely necessary if you are upgrading from Windows XP or Vista. You can find out how the complete reinstallation works further down in these instructions. To switch from running Windows 7 or 8.1, download the Windows 10 Update Assistant. After accepting the Microsoft license terms, the program asks you which data you want to keep. Select the desired option and confirm with Next. Then follow the installation instructions.
Which Windows version to buy?
If you are still using Windows XP or Vista, you have to set up Windows 10 from scratch. Such a clean install is recommended for Windows 7 or 8.1 if the change causes problems. In these cases, you need a Windows 10 installation stick or DVD. The setup process is very simple: the installation program automatically reads the activation code from the existing Windows or BIOS / UEFI.
If you want to be absolutely sure, you must manually determine the product key used before booting from the installation medium. ProduKey (also available as a 64-bit version) is ideal for this. It also works without: This is shown in the article Windows 7/8: Reading out license keys without additional software.