Before you start, make sure your Windows installation has been activated. To check if Windows has been activated, right-click on the My Computer icon and select Properties. Under the Windows Activation section, you can check your activation status.
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Next, download and run the Media Creation tool. This is the first screen you will see. It will ask you if you want to upgrade the current Windows installation or if you want to create installation media (USB or DVD) for a different system. Since you want to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10, select the ‘Upgrade this PC now’ option and click next.
The Media Creation Tool will now start downloading files. This will be one of the longer waiting periods you will encounter during the upgrade. The files are now downloading and it can take up to 3 hours on a moderately fast connection. You can continue to use your PC in the mean time and minimize this window, however, DO NOT close it unless you want to abort the download.
Once Windows 10 files have been downloaded to your system, they will be prepared for installation and you will see the following screen. It will require some input from you after this step.
The next screen will indicate the start of the upgrade process. At this point, we’d like to warn you that you can abort the upgrade if you want but that you should do so only through the Media Creation tool. It will take some time to roll back any changes and you shouldn’t interrupt it.
You will be asked if you want to search for updates or not and that searching for and downloading the updates will help smooth the upgrade process. If you decide to search for and download updates, it will take longer. If you decide to skip the downloads, you will be able to download them after upgrading to Windows 10. Skipping them has no adverse effects.
You will be asked if you want to keep all your files and apps after the upgrade. By default, it will keep everything however, if you’re looking to start fresh with no apps or files, click the ‘Change what to keep’ option.
The tool will give you three options; keep files and apps, keep files but not apps, and keep nothing. Choose what you want to do and click Next.
Your PC will restart and that’s the last you will see of Windows 7 on your current system.
The rest of the update is divided into three steps the first of which is ‘Copying files’. This constitutes roughly 30% of the upgrade process.
And finally, you will get to the Configure Settings part (after another restart).
That’s it. If this completes successfully, your upgrade will be complete. What will follow are screens where Windows 10 asks for some basic information like your time zone, and which WiFi you want to connect to, as well as your Windows Live ID.
The upgrade takes time and several times Windows will tell you it’s preparing something and that it will only take a few minutes for it to do. It can actually take several minutes to do that so don’t worry and happy upgrading!