Making The Jump

How to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1

These instructions will guide you to successfully upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 without running into issues.

Upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10

If you’re planning to upgrade your Windows 8.1 computer to Windows 10, you can do this without losing your data and apps using the media creation tool. This tool is not only available for Windows 8.1, but you can also upgrade Windows 7 machines.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 minimizing the chances of running into issues during the upgrade.

Windows 10 minimum hardware requirements

  • Processor: 1GHz or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1GB for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS 20GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics Card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 1024×600

You also need to be running the Windows 8.1 Update release, which is described as KB2919355. If you don’t have this update already installed, you can download it here.

While the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer has ended, it’s possible to activate the OS with a Windows 8.1 product key. However, it’s an option that may stop working at any time.

How to create a full backup of Windows 8.1

Although Microsoft has been improving the upgrade process with Windows 10, there are always chances that the upgrade will fail, and to avoid any problems, you should make sure to have a full backup of your system that you can use to roll back if anything happens. Luckily, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 come with the System Image Backup tool to create a backup of your entire computer.

How to upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10

Before proceeding with the upgrade, it’s recommended that you uninstall any software, such as antivirus, security software, or old third-party applications that may prevent you from successfully upgrading to Windows 10.

In addition, you should disconnect any hardware connected to your computer, including printer, phone, camera, external hard drive, and other USB peripherals. Sometimes this can be the reason why your system fails during the upgrade.

  1. Download the media creation tool from the Microsoft support website.

    Download Windows 10 from Microsoft
    Download Windows 10 from Microsoft
  2. Double-click the MediaCreationTool.exe to launch the Windows 10 setup wizard.

  3. Click Accept to the licensing agreement.

  4. Select the Upgrade this PC now option to download the files and begin the upgrade and click Next.

    Media Creation Tool, Upgrade this PC now
    Media Creation Tool, Upgrade this PC now option
  5. Select the Keep personal files and apps option. Alternatively, you can click the Change what to keep link if you want upgrade without preserving your files and apps.

  6. Click Install to begin the process.

After the installation completes, you’ll need to go through the easy out-of-box-experience (OOBE) to finish setting up Windows 10 with your desire configuration. And then you’ll once again see your familiar desktop and every new feature included with Windows 10.

Additionally, make sure to use Device Manager to check that every piece of hardware is installed correctly on your system, reinstall your antivirus, and any other software you uninstall before the upgrade.

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