Windows 10 Upgrade Guide

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Prerequisites

All editions of Windows 8.1 can be in-place upgraded to Windows 10. However, only retail editions of Windows 8.1 will receive the Get Windows 10 app delivered via Windows Update. Alternatively, Windows 8.1 computers can be upgraded to Windows 10 using the Media Creation Tool or directly from USB/DVD Media.

Before upgrading to Windows 10, it is recommended that you install all the available important Windows Updates. This will ensure a smooth upgrade process.

Genuine Microsoft Software

The free upgrade offer to Windows 10 is only available to genuine copies of Windows 8.1. Perform the following steps to determine if your copy of Windows 8.1 is genuine.

  1. From the Task Bar, open File Explorer. The File Explorer window will be displayed.
    File Explorer: System Properties

    File Explorer: System Properties

  2. Perform each of the following actions:
    1. Select This PC from the navigation view on the left.
    2. Select Computer from the tool menu at the top of the window.
    3. Click System properties from the tool ribbon.

    The View basic information about your computer window will be displayed.

    System Properties: Windows is activated

    System Properties: Windows is activated

    At the bottom of the window, under Windows activation, the status should appear as:

    Windows is activated

  3. Close the System Properties window.
Windows Update

Check for the latest Windows Update packages for your computer. In particular, you want ensure the KB3035583 update, which is the Get Windows 10 app for Windows 8.1 computers, has been installed.

  1. From the Task Bar, open File Explorer. The File Explorer window will be displayed.
    File Explorer: System Properties

    File Explorer: System Properties

  2. Perform each of the following actions:
    1. Select This PC from the navigation view on the left.
    2. Select Computer from the tool menu at the top of the window.
    3. Click System properties from the tool ribbon.

    The View basic information about your computer window will be displayed.

    System Properties: Windows is activated

    System Properties: Windows is activated

  3. From the lower left of the window, click Windows Update. The Checking for updates window will be displayed.
    Windows Update: Checking for updates...

    Windows Update: Checking for updates…

    Once Windows Update has finished checking for available updates, the You’re set to automatically install updates window will be displayed.

    Windows Update: You're set to automatically install updates

    Windows Update: You’re set to automatically install updates

  4. Click the Important updates are available link. The Downloading updates window will be displayed.
    Windows Update: Downloading updates...

    Windows Update: Downloading updates…

    Once Windows Update has finished downloading updates, the Installing updates window will be displayed.

    Windows Update: Installing updates...

    Windows Update: Installing updates…

    Once Windows Update has finished installing updates, the Updates were installed window will be displayed.

    Windows Update: The updates were installed

    Windows Update: The updates were installed

  5. Click the Review optional updates link. Once all important updates have been installed, the Upgrade to Windows 10 window will be displayed.
    Windows Update: Upgrade to Windows 10

    Windows Update: Upgrade to Windows 10

Microsoft released Windows 8.1 on 18th October 2013. At it’s peak in 2015, Windows 8.1 had captured some 13% of the desktop operating system market share.

Microsoft ends support for Windows 8.1 on 10th January 2023.

As of July 2015, the month Windows 10 was released, Windows 8.1 had 13.12% of the desktop operating system market share.


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3 comments

    1. Hi Paul!

      Thanks for your comment. I’ll try to clarify this better in both my Upgrade and Install guides.

      There is actually a way of doing a clean install and still qualify for the free upgrade, but only when upgrading from media (i.e. not from the Get Windows 10 app). At the very last screen Ready to install before you initiate the Windows 10 upgrade, there is a Change what to keep link. If you click this link, and then select Nothing, you end up with an activated clean installation rather than an upgrade.

      Windows 10 Setup: Change what to keep

      I’m not sure many people know about this!?

      Kind Regards,
      Chris.

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