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How to Upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10

Windows 10 was officially launched to 190 countries recently and if you reserved your copy, you should be seeing a message to upgrade. If not, you can always download the Media Creation tool from Microsoft and install it or download the Windows 10 ISO for a clean install.

We already showed you how to upgrade your Windows 7 computer to Windows 10, now let’s take a look at going through the upgrade on Windows 8.1.

Note: Before starting the upgrade, make sure you have all of your important data backed up first. Or you might even want to make a system image, and create a recovery key before the upgrade. The upgrade process is relatively simple, but there’s always a chance of something going awry.

Upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10

Even if you don’t see a message from the get windows 10 app on the taskbar, if the upgrade files have been downloaded to your PC, you can start the process via Windows Update.

However, you won’t be doing it through Windows Update in the modern Settings app. If you try you will see the following message:

Windows 8 Updates

You need to use the desktop version of Windows Update. To do that, use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key+X or right-click the Start button and select Control Panel from the power user menu – which is also available in Windows 10 (it’s called the Quick Access menu in 10).

Control Panel Windows 8

Scroll down to the bottom of Control Panel and select Windows Update.

Windows Update

There you will see that the Windows 10 upgrade is ready and you can get started with the click of a button.

Windows 10 Ready

Note that the upgrade might fail at first. I retried it three times before it started to work. Once it does begin, just like with the upgrade in Windows 7, you’ll need to agree to the

eula

After that you get the option to begin the upgrade now, or schedule it for a later time. Again, just like upgrading Windows 7, you only get a three day window to schedule the upgrade.

Schedule upgrade

After it starts, just sit back, grab your mobile device and play some Angry Birds or something, because the process can take quite a while.

You’ll get the familiar screen shown below that lets you know where the upgrade process is at. If it seems to hang, just be patient, especially the first couple weeks…a lot of people are upgrading at the same time. Also note that your PC will restart a few times, just let it do its thing.

installing_windows_10

After it completes you’ll get a Welcome Back screen and you start clicking through the on-screen setup instructions.

Unless you’re particular about how you want your Windows settings, just go with Express Settings during setup (versus custom settings). It allows you to get up and running a lot faster, and if you want to make any adjustments, you can do that later.

Express Settings Windows 10

It will also tell you about new apps like Groove Music, TV&Movies Store, Photos, and the new Edge browser. And after that you can log in with the Microsoft Account credentials you used for Windows 8.1.

Log into Windows 10

Next you’ll need to wait a bit while Microsoft sets up your apps and gets things ready for you.

sshot-3

When that’s done, you will be brought to your new Windows 10 desktop and can start checking out all of the cool new features like the new Start menu, Cortana, and Action Center.

Windows 10 upgrade

Also keep in mind that there will be updates waiting for you. Windows 10 requires that you install updates automatically, so you will get them without thinking about it. But, if you want to make sure you have everything updated right away, after the upgrade completes, go to Settings > Update & Security > Check for Updates.

Windows Update-Brian8-1

If you’re running Windows 7 and looking to upgrade, check out our step-by-step guide: How to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10.

For tips, tricks, and how to articles on how to use the new OS, make sure to read through our Windows 10 article archive. We are adding new articles daily!

Also, for in-depth conversation of Windows 10 or specific questions you might have, join our free Windows 10 Forums.

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8 Responses to How to Upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10

  1. CrackberryMeister August 3, 2015 at 11:26 am #

    None of the above works on my HP Windows 8.1 laptop purchased about a year ago. Every attempt to update via Windows Update results in error code 80070005. I download the MediaCreation Tool and it fails to launch/run/install or whatever is is supposed to do. Thus far I have failed to find a solution to this error or for the download tool. Maybe someone reading this has a solution and will respond.

    • Ali August 5, 2015 at 9:14 am #

      The exact same is with me. I have a HP laptop with windows 8.1 single language x64, Everytime upgrade from windows update gives me error and the media creation tool also gives me a error. :something has happened”.

      • CrackberryMeister August 5, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

        I finally downloaded the ISO file, then did a reset on my laptop, ran the ISO file as a virtual drive and Windows 10 installed in less than an hour including all the updates. What a major pain in the butt! I then had to reinstall my apps and restore the personal settings and documents.

        However, I do like the new OS quite a bit.

  2. Rajesh Kumar Sharma August 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

    Now i agree window 10 version update,media creation tool install

    • Sarah September 28, 2015 at 3:05 pm #

      Hi,

      I have tried the above and did not work. I have a HP Pavilion laptop.

      Can someone please explain how run the ISO file as a virtual drive to me? I burned it on to a DVD and installation still failed.

      Regards,

      Sarah

  3. Kenneth Richardson August 4, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    Let’s get started upgrading from Windows 8.1 to 10.

  4. TIJO V VINU August 8, 2015 at 3:54 am #

    Hey i am having a win 8 preinstalled hp laptop. I dont why but i didnt get windows 10 reserve option.But My friend who has the same laptop model got so. so i guess my win 8 is corrupted or so. so any way i am going to download the official iso and i would like to know the version which i should be downloading. i have win 8 single language installed on my laptop. so should i download win 10 home or win 10 home single language? will i still be able to upgrade to win 10 if i choose win 10 home instead of win 10 home single language?

  5. swapnil kuwar August 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    hi frds I am reserved my free update but they shows your free update is on the way !
    I want to update my pc now then, what should I do ?

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