Without an operating system, a computer can’t function properly. Therefore, every non-Mac user must know how to install Windows 10.
Most devices are pre-configured, so you don’t have to install Windows manually. There are times when Windows 10 might be necessary to be installed manually.
You might need to update to Windows 10, or your device may be running an older version of Windows. You may also want to do a clean install if your operating system is having issues. You may also want Windows 10 installed on a new laptop or PC.
No matter what reason you have, our guide will show you how to install Windows 10. A walkthrough has been included for upgrading from an older version of Windows.
It is worth noting, however, that Windows 10 installation can take a while. Make sure to allow enough time for it to complete.
How to install Windows 10: Complete installation
Before we go into the installation walkthrough, let’s not forget that Windows 10 can take a while. You should allow enough time for it to finish.
- Verify that your device meets Windows 10 system requirements. Here are the minimum requirements to run Windows 10. Make sure your device meets these requirements.
CPU: 1GHz processor or faster
RAM: 1GB Windows 10 32-bit, or 2GB Windows 10 64-bit
Storage:32GB or More
GPU:DirectX 9 compatible with WDDM 2.0 driver
Display: 800×600 resolution, or higher
Check out our list of top laptops. You can also get a powerful machine by selecting one of our best gaming computers.
The Dell XPS 15 Windows10 laptop is a great choice (Image credit: Tom’s Guide).
- Make USB installation media. Go to Microsoft’s Windows 10 download page. Click the “Download tool now” link under “create Windows 10 Installation Media”. Copy the installer tool from your computer to a USB flash drive.
- Start the installer tool. Click on the icon to open the installer tool. Accept Microsoft’s terms and then choose “Create an installation media for another computer” from the “What are you looking to do?” page. After choosing the language Windows 10 will run in and the edition (32-bit, 62-bit), you will be asked which type of media you prefer.
Although installing from a USB stick is the best option, you can also use an ISO or CD file. After you select your device, the installer will download all the files required and place them on your drive.
- Use your installation media. Your installation media should be inserted into your device. These systems allow you to control the core hardware of your computer.
Each device has its own access procedure, but the manufacturer’s site should be able give you some guidance. As soon as your computer boots, press F2, F12, or Delete keys.
- You can change the boot order of your computer. Once you have access the BIOS/UEFI of your computer, you can locate the boot order settings. The Windows 10 installation tool must be at the top of the list above the current boot drive. This is the SSD/HDD where your OS is stored. Move the folder containing the installer files to the top of the boot menu. When you restart your device, the Windows 10 installer will load first.
- Restart your device.
- Finish the installation. Now your device should load the Windows 10 installer tool upon restart. This will take you through the rest.
How to upgrade from an older Windows version?
It’s much easier to upgrade Windows 10 from Windows 7 and Windows 8. Here are the steps to upgrade from an older Windows version.
- The installer tool can be downloaded from Microsoft’s Windows 10 Download Page (opens in a new tab). Click “Download tool now” to access the “create Windows 10 Installation Media” section.
- Run installer tool. The installer tool can be used to upgrade Windows without the need for separate media. Select “Upgrade this computer now” when you get to the What do you want? section.
- Complete Windows 10 installation. The installer tool will now guide you through the rest. Follow the steps to finish the installation process. Windows 10 will be installed on your device.