As most Windows users have learned, Microsoft has an inconsistent record when it comes to releasing operating systems.
Many users, including myself, found Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, to be difficult to use. Microsoft made a poor decision to remove the standard “Start” button in the lower left corner of the screen and replaced it with a crazy dual interface, which made users switch between the “tiles” and regular Windows screens.
It was such a pain that most users and companies did not even bother to upgrade from Windows 7 and those who did upgrade, some wound up going back to Windows 7. Many major PC makers like Dell and Lenovo, provided so-called Windows 7 “downgrades” to get people to buy Windows 8 computers.
Fortunately with Windows 10, Microsoft brought back the “Start” button and made the user interface similar to Windows 7 and XP.
I like Windows 10. If you are comfortable using Windows 7 and Windows XP, you will have no problems with Windows 10. Along with cosmetic changes, and a new browser called Edge, which replaces Internet Explorer, Windows 10 has improved security features and a built-in anti-virus program which is why I can recommend upgrading to Windows 10, especially for those users still using Windows 8.
(Note: If you are still using Windows XP, for security reasons I highly recommend that you get a new computer with Windows 10.)
The other good news is the Windows 10 upgrade is free for those who own computers running Windows 7 or Windows 8. In fact, if your computer is eligible for the free upgrade, you have probably seen the start-up messages asking you to upgrade to Windows 10. Hoping to build up its user base, Microsoft is providing a free upgrade to Windows 10 for owners of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 until July 29, 2016.
But before you go ahead and start the download, you need to have a plan. It is good idea to back-up all your important data. You might want to do this even if you have an automated back-up system because this way you will know that you have the data and it will be faster to replace.
The easiest way to make a back-up of your important files is use a USB thumb drive, which can be purchased at Staples and other office supply stores. Be sure to buy one large enough to accommodate your music and photo collections as well as your documents. You are probably safe with a 32GB or 64GB thumb drive.
Most Windows users keep their important data in the My Documents folder, which is also the place for music files, like iTunes, and videos. If you keep your data in another folder, you want to make a copy of that too. Just plugin your thumb drive and then drag and drop your files from the computer to the drive.
Once you have backed up your important data, you can safely take advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade.
The easiest way to install Windows 10 is by clicking on the Windows flag icon in the lower right corner and following the steps. This will upgrade your current operating system to Windows 10. This is big download – 6.07GB so make sure you are using a fast connection.
Although Microsoft says that you can work on your computer while the upgrade is occurring in the background, I suggest that you do not do any work while the upgrade is taking place.
If you are using an older PC, like pre-2011, give extra time. There might be times when the install seems to have stalled, please give it time. Nearly all Windows 10 upgrades are successful, but If nothing happens within 10 minutes, you should check your Internet connection to make sure you are connected.
If there are continued problems, you could contact Microsoft or call me. But DO NOT turn off your computer if it stalls during the upgrade, this could cause more damage.
Once you have finished the upgrade, you can start enjoying the improved security of Windows 10.
If you have questions or run into problems, please feel free to contact me.
If you would like to read more, Microsoft has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to the Windows 10 upgrade. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/upgrade-to-windows-10-faq