It’s Windows 10 Eve! Tonight at Midnight of July 29, 2015 Microsoft will begin rolling out upgrades to Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users. The upgrade will first go to Windows 10 Insiders, then to those who made a reservation months or weeks ago, and finally to everyone else. The upgrade won’t be done automatically and you will have to tell your PC when it’s okay to upgrade.
You may be apprehensive about updating to an entirely new operating system – and that’s normal. In this guide we’ll tell you when it’s best to wait on updating and how to safely update when it’s time.
You should hold off on upgrading if you:
Are an avid Windows Media Center user. Windows Media Center, created in 2002 and destroyed in 2009, will not be included on Windows 10. It will disappear completely if you decide to upgrade.
Regularly use older software. You might enjoy using older versions of software and if so, these programs might not work once you have Windows 10.
Are worried about bugs. The first version of a new operating system is often buggy and if the PC or tablet you are upgrading is your main computer, it might be best to wait a few weeks before upgrading so the bugs are fixed.
You have old or weak hardware. Windows 10 requires at least a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM for 32-bit machines or 2GB for 64-bit machines, 16GB hard disk space for 32-bit machines or 20GB hard disk space for 64-bit machines, a DirectX 9 or later graphics card with a WDDM 1.0 driver and an 800 x 600 display or better, according to Computer World.
Other features that will be lost in Windows 10 are older versions of Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Hearts, Windows 7 desktop gadgets (calendar, weather), the ability to automatically watch DVDs, and a floppy drive.
However, Windows 10 has some groundbreaking new features, which you can read about by following this link.
If you have decided to go ahead and take the plunge, here’s how to upgrade smartly and safely:
Backup, backup, backup. We can’t say it enough. Data is the worst thing you have to lose during your upgrade because unlike software, data can’t be replaced. We recommend using three backup locations: on your computer, in an off-site location such as with Carbonite, and locally with an external hard drive.
Make sure your device is good enough. Go through the specs we listed above and make sure your device will be able to handle the upgrade.
Don’t worry too much about bugs. While they still might happen, Microsoft has worked tirelessly for the past nine months to make sure they don’t have another Windows 8 disaster. In fact, 1.5 million Windows 10 Insiders have already discovered 1,300 bugs and defects in the software that have been fixed.
How to upgrade. If you put in your reservation weeks ago, you just have to wait until your system notifies you that an upgrade is available. However, you don’t have to upgrade right then and there. You have one year to be able to upgrade for free. If you haven’t reserved your upgrade, click on the Windows 10 App that should have automatically installed on your computer a couple of months ago. It will have the Windows logo and is in the lower right corner next to the clock. It will guide you through the process of reserving your upgrade.
Use the Windows 10 App to scan your device. It might be a good idea to give your device a good scan to check how compatible Windows 10 will be. The Windows 10 app will fully scan your PC and let you know which hardware and software isn’t going to be compatible.
Go back to your previous version if you want. After upgrading to Windows 10, you have 30 days to revert to the previous operating system if you notice anything funky. After that, you’re locked in.
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