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How to upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1

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

Windows 8.1 upgrade to Windows 10
  • To upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, open Media Creation Tool, select “Upgrade this PC now,” and click Install.
  • Yes, you can still upgrade for free since the Windows 8.1 product key will activate Windows 10.
  • Although files and apps will be preserved, you still want to create a backup of your computer.

Windows 8.1 support ends on January 10, 2023, so you should upgrade to Windows 10 as soon as possible. Fortunately, you can upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 without losing your files and apps using the Media Creation Tool, which is also available to upgrade to Windows 7 machines. However, you need to make sure that the hardware meets the minimum requirements.

Before proceeding with the upgrade, it’s recommended to 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 peripheral (including printer, phone, camera, external hard drive, and other USB devices). Sometimes this can be the reason why your system fails during the upgrade.

Also, the upgrade can always fail, so you want to create a full backup to roll back if anything happens to avoid any problems. Luckily, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 come with the System Image Backup tool to create a backup of your entire computer.

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

Upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 10

To easily upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft website.

  2. Under the “Create Windows 10 installation media” section, click the Download Now button.

    Windows 10 Media Creation Tool

  3. Double-click the MediaCreationTool21H2.exe to launch the Windows 10 setup wizard.

  4. Click Accept to the licensing agreement.

  5. Select the “Upgrade this PC now” option.

    Windows 10 upgrade option

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Select the “Keep personal files and apps” option. Alternatively, you can click the Change what to keep link if you want to upgrade without preserving your files and apps.

  8. Click the Install button.

Once you complete the steps, you’ll need to go through the easy out-of-box experience (OOBE) to finish setting up Windows 10 with your desired preferences. And then you’ll 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, and reinstall your antivirus and any other software you uninstall before the upgrade.

Hardware requirements

Also, to install Windows 10, the device must meet the minimum system 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.