Making The Jump

How to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7

Are you still running Windows 7? It's to upgrade to Windows 10. Here are the instructions that you'll need to keep files and apps without issues.

Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade process

You can upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free using the in-place upgrade option without losing your files, instead of having to erase your device clean. You can perform this task using the Media Creation Tool, which is not only available for Windows 7, but also for devices running Windows 8.1.

However, before the upgrade, you need to make sure to check the minimum hardware requirement to confirm compatibility, buy a license of Windows 10, and create a full backup in case you need to rollback. In addition, you’ll also need to be running the latest version of your current operating system, in this case “Windows 7 Service Pack 1”. If you don’t have this update already installed, you can download it here.

It’s recommended to uninstall any software, such as antivirus, security software, and old third-party programs that may prevent you from upgrading to Windows 10. You should also disconnect any hardware connected to the device, including printer, phone, camera, external hard drive, and other USB peripherals to avoid problems.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 making sure you don’t run into issues during the installation.

How to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10

To upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7, use these steps:

  1. Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft.

    Quick tip: If you have an older version of Internet Explorer, you probably won’t be able to access the Microsoft download website. If this is your case, you’ll need to use another web browser like Google Chrome.
  2. Click the Download tool now button and save the installer on your device.

  3. Double-click the MediaCreationTool.exe to launch the Windows 10 setup wizard.

  4. Click Accept to the licensing agreement.

  5. Select the Upgrade this PC now option to download the files and begin the upgrade.

    Media Creation Tool upgrade Windows 7 to WIndows 10 option
    Media Creation Tool upgrade Windows 7 to WIndows 10 option
  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Type a valid Windows 10 product key for the edition you’re trying to upgrade (if applicable).

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Click the Accept button to agree to the licensing agreement again.

  10. Select the Keep personal files and apps option.

  11. Click the Install button.

    Keep files during Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade option
    Keep files during Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade option

After the installation completes, you’ll need to go through the easy out-of-box-experience (OOBE) to finish setting up Windows 10, 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.

To upgrade your Windows 7 device, you need a valid Windows 10 product key, as the free upgrade offer ended in July 2016. However, it’s still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 using a Windows 7 product key, but it may or may not work. If you try, and you see the “This product key didn’t work. Please check it and try again, or try a different key” message, you’ll need to purchase a new license.

Microsoft has ended support of Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, and here’s what you need to know. If you prefer to upgrade performing a clean installation, then follow these step-by-step instructions.