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When can I upgrade to Windows 10?

We want to give every customer a great upgrade experience, so we’re rolling it out in an organized way to manage high demand and to make sure that the upgrade is right for your device. After July 29, when Windows 10 is ready for your device, it will download in the background. You’ll then get a notification to schedule your upgrade right away or at another time that’s convenient for you.

Here are some common questions about the upgrade process. Click on the links for answers.

Should you need any help or have any additional questions after upgrading, a Microsoft Answer Tech will be available to assist you.

You’ll hit the ground running

Get Started app

The Get Started app comes pre-installed with Windows 10. It contains all the information you need to take advantage of the new features and be productive right out of the gate.

Cortana

Your truly personal digital assistant, Cortana helps you get more done no matter what device you’re on. By learning about you over time, Cortana becomes more useful every day.1

Microsoft Edge

Use Microsoft Edge to get on the web right away. You can write directly on a webpage and easily share your mark-ups with others, and read distraction-free with the reading view.

Microsoft Support

If you need help with Windows 10, support is easy to find. Just use the search box to get a quick answer, a step-by-step tutorial, or a connection to a real person through our Contact Support app.2

Optimize Windows 10 with a Microsoft account

With a free Microsoft account, you can take your settings, preferences, and files you have backed up on OneDrive with you across all your devices – and not just Windows devices. Plus, you’ll only need to remember one user ID and password. So sign up now, to get the most out of your Windows experience.

What are the basic facts of the Windows 10 upgrade?

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as free upgrade for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices. It will be available starting July 29, 2015; people can reserve their free upgrade today.

You only have until July 29, 2016 to take advantage of this offer. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.

Is the upgrade really free?

Yes, it’s free. This is a full version of Windows, not a trial or introductory version. It is available for a limited time:  you have one year from the time Windows 10 is available to take advantage of this offer.

How do I get my free upgrade?

You can do one of two things1:

a) Buy a new Windows 8.1 device and upgrade it to Windows 10 for free, or

b) Reserve a free upgrade for your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC

Not every device will run every feature of Windows 10. Be sure to check with your manufacturer before purchasing. Additional details on upgrade qualifications are below.

What happens when I reserve?

When you reserve, you can confirm your device is compatible with Windows 10. Between reservation and when your upgrade is ready, the files you need for the upgrade will be downloaded to your PC to make the final installation go more quickly. Then, when your upgrade is ready after July 29, 2015, you get a notification that lets you get started with your upgrade.

Are there any qualification requirements?

The only requirements are that a) your device is compatible, and b) you’re running genuine Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows 8.1 (Update).

Windows 10 is designed to run on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs. That means your device is likely compatible and will run Windows 10.1

See the full specifications here.

If I buy a new PC today, can it upgrade to Windows 10?

Yes, new qualified PCs can run Windows 10. Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with the Windows 8.1 laptop, tablet or desktop PCs that are for sale now. Device manufacturers make decisions about their device models and some Windows 10 features may not be available on certain devices, so be sure to check with the retailer or manufacturer for details.

How long does it take to install the upgrade?

Plan for about an hour for the installation. Newer devices may only take 20 minutes, and older devices may take more than an hour.

You’ll need to download the installation files before you begin. If you reserve, we’ll take care of downloading those files for you and let you know when you are ready to get started.

How do I reserve on my existing device?

Just open the Get Windows 10 app (description below) and click reserve.

  • Click on the small Windows icon located at the lower right side of the taskbar.
  • Click ‘Reserve your free upgrade’ when prompted.

There’s no obligation and you can cancel your reservation at any time. After you reserve, we will download Windows 10 to your device when it’s available. Then we will notify you when your device is ready to install the upgrade.

What is the Get Windows 10 app?
A shot of the desktop with a circle around the Windows icon in the bottom right corner.

Get Windows 10 is an app that’s designed to make the upgrade process easy. It checks to make sure your device is compatible, and it reserves your free upgrade; it also has information to help you learn about the features in Windows 10.

For devices running Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update with Windows Update enabled, the app shows up automatically as a Windows icon in your system tray at the bottom right-hand side of your screen.

How do I get a confirmation that I’ve reserved my upgrade?

Just click reserve in the Get Windows 10 app and then enter your email address at the confirmation screen.

You can also check your reservation status here:

  • Right click on the Get Windows 10 app or Windows icon located at the right end of the taskbar.
  • Select “Check your upgrade status”
If I change my mind, can I cancel my reservation?

Yes, you can cancel your reservation at any time prior to installing Windows 10. Here’s how:

  • Right click on the Get Windows 10 app or Windows icon located in right end of the taskbar.
  • Select “Check your upgrade status”
  • Click the menu in the upper left corner, then select “View Confirmation.”
  • In the lower left, select “Cancel reservation.”
Can I get my free Windows 10 upgrade even if I didn’t reserve?

Yes. The easiest way to get the free upgrade is to reserve, but you can upgrade even if you don’t reserve.

Once Windows 10 is available, we’ll begin notifying devices that their free upgrade is available. Just open the Get Windows 10 app to schedule your upgrade. Note: Some notifications will go out as soon as Windows 10 is available; others may go out in the weeks or months following.

What if I have more than one Windows device—can I upgrade them all?

Yes, you can get a free upgrade for each of your eligible Windows devices. All you need to do is make a separate reservation for each device you want to upgrade.

Why don’t I have the Get Windows 10 app?

If you don’t see the Get Windows 10  app on your PC, it might be because:

  1. Your device isn’t up-to-date with at least Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.1 Update.
  2. Windows Update is turned off or is not set to received updates automatically.
  3. You’ve blocked or uninstalled the necessary Windows Update functionality.
  4. Your device is not running genuine Windows.

Running Windows Update and installing any available updates will fix the first three issues. Need more help? Go to the Windows Community Forum.

PCs that we determine cannot run Windows 10 will not see the Get Windows 10  app before July 29, 2015. After July 29, 2015, we’ll enable the icon in the system tray. This is to help ensure that you can easily check your PC’s compatibility if you choose.

If your device is managed as part of a school or business network, please check with your IT administrator about upgrading to Windows 10.

Why am I seeing notifications about Windows 10?
Image of notification icon

 

Notifications let you know about Windows 10 availability and the free-upgrade offer.

Can I turn off the notifications?

Yes. Click “Customize” in the System Tray and turn off the Get Windows 10 app notifications in the menu that comes up.

Can I reserve even if I didn’t get a notification?

Yes. You can reserve your upgrade at any time on any compatible PC by clicking on the Get Windows 10 app or the Windows Update control panel.

What edition of Windows will I get as part of this free upgrade?

When you upgrade, you’ll stay on like-to-like editions of Windows. For example, Windows 7 Home Premium will upgrade to Windows 10 Home.

Windows 72


From EditionTo Edition
Windows 7 StarterWindows 10 Home
Windows 7 Home Basic
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 ProfessionalWindows 10 Pro
Windows 7 Ultimate

Windows 83


From EditionTo Edition
Windows Phone 8.15Windows 10 Mobile
Windows 8.14Windows 10 Home
Windows 8.1 ProWindows 10 Pro
Windows 8.1 Pro for Students

“N” and “KN” editions follow the upgrade path of the parent edition (e.g., Windows 7 Professional N upgrades to Windows 10 Pro N).

Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.

Do Windows Phone devices qualify for this free upgrade?

Yes. We are working with Windows Phone 8.1 partners to make the Windows 10 upgrade available to most phones later this year.5

What about Windows RT?

If you’re running Windows RT, your device won’t upgrade to Windows 10, but we will have an update for you around the time of Windows 10 release.

Can Enterprise customers get the free Windows 10 upgrade?

Enterprise customers with active Software Assurance subscription in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer.

How much does Windows 10 cost?

The easiest way to get Windows 10 is to upgrade for free.1 We explain how to take advantage of this limited time offer above.

You may also purchase a copy of Windows 10 if you decide not to upgrade, or if you need to purchase a copy for other reasons like installing on a PC you built yourself.

The retail prices for Windows 10 are the same as Windows 8.1.6Windows 10 Home is $119.99. Windows 10 Pro is $199.99. And Windows 10 Pro Pack, which enables you to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro, is $99.99.7 All these are available in stores or online.

Will I get all of the features of Windows 10 once I upgrade?

Some Windows 10 features will require advanced hardware and not all features and services are available on every device, nor in every market. For instance, Cortana is not available in all markets.

See the Specifications page (for more details).

Will my devices and apps work with Windows 10?

Windows 10 is designed to be compatible with the vast majority of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices — so your device is most likely compatible.

For details on your specific device and apps, you can use the Get Windows 10 app to do a compatibility check. Click the menu in the upper left of the app, and select “Check your PC” or “Your PC is good to go.” This displays any compatibility issues we find and recommends a resolution; while we don’t have info on every app or device in existence, it provides a comprehensive list of all known potential compatibility issues.

Some Windows 10 features will require advanced hardware and not all features and services are available on every device, nor in every market. For instance, Cortana is not available in all markets.

Will Windows Media Center be available in Windows 10?

Windows Media Center is not part of Windows 10 and won’t be available after upgrading to Windows 10. If you use Windows Media Center, we will alert you during upgrade that Windows Media Center is not available on Windows 10. We know that some users use Windows Media Center to play DVDs, and we are providing a free DVD playback app in Windows 10 for Windows Media Center users.

Can I reinstall Windows 10 on my computer after upgrading?

Yes. Once you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 using the free upgrade offer, you will be able to reinstall, including a clean install, on the same device. You won’t need to purchase Windows 10 or go back to your prior version of Windows and upgrade again.

You’ll also be able to create your own installation media like a USB drive or DVD, and use that to upgrade your device or reinstall after you’ve upgraded.

When do new Windows 10 devices arrive in stores?

New PCs running Windows 10 will begin to arrive after Windows 10 is available on July 29th.

Will all my stuff be in the cloud?

Your files are saved on the hard drive of your device by default. Windows 10 includes OneDrive which provides free storage space in the cloud; this is completely optional, but gives you the benefit of being able to access your personal files from anywhere.

Have additional questions? We can help.

Check to see if your question has already been answered in the Windows Community Forum, or post a new question. If you need help installing Windows 10 when it’s available on July 29, 2015, Microsoft will offer phone and chat support to make sure that you get up and running smoothly.

Download Windows 10

If you need to install or reinstall Windows 10, you can use the tools on this page to create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD.

Before you begin

  • Make sure you have:
    • An internet connection (internet service provider fees may apply).
    • Sufficient data storage available on a computer, USB or external drive for the download.
    • A blank USB or DVD (and DVD burner) with at least 4 GB of space if you want to create media. We recommend using a blank USB or blank DVD, because any content on it will be deleted.
  • Read the System Requirements.
  • If you will be installing the operating system for the first time, you will need your Windows product key (xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx). For more information about product keys and when they are required, visit the FAQ page.

Use the media creation tool to download Windows. This tool provides the best download experience for customers running Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. To learn how to use the tool, go to the Installing Windows 10 using the media creation tool page. Tool includes:

  • File formats optimized for download speed.
  • Built in media creation options for USBs and DVDs.
  • Optional conversion to ISO file format.
If you’re on an Enterprise edition, the media creation tool won’t work for an upgrade. Please see the Volume Licensing Service Center for more information.
1 Cortana experience may vary by region and device.
2 Chat available in select markets. Free up and running phone and chat support available 24/7 in English only; available in most other languages during extended business hours. Paid options available in China.
1Windows Offer Details
Yes, free! This upgrade offer is for a full version of Windows 10, not a trial. 3GB download required; standard data rates apply. To take advantage of this free offer, you must upgrade to Windows 10 within one year of availability. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.
Windows 10 Upgrade Offer is valid for qualified Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices, including devices you already own. Some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device and market. The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 enterprise offerings outside of this offer. To check for compatibility and other important installation information, visit your device manufacturer’s website and the Windows 10 Specifications page. Windows 10 is automatically updated. Additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See the Windows 10 How to Upgrade page for details.
2Must be running the latest version of Windows 7 (Service Pack 1) to receive the free upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update.
3Must be running the latest version of Windows 8 (Windows 8.1 Update) to receive the free upgrade to Windows 10 via Windows Update.
4Also applies to Windows 8.1 country specific editions, Windows 8.1 Single Language, Windows 8.1 with Bing.
5The availability of Windows 10 upgrade for Windows Phone 8.1 devices may vary by OEM, mobile operator or carrier.
6Suggested retail price for the USA.
7Estimated prices shown; actual prices may vary by retailer and market. Some markets may see an increased price due to currency exchange rates.