How to upgrade your computer to Windows 10

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 4/22/19

If you still have Windows 7 on your computer, you should strongly consider upgrading to Windows 10 soon. All support from Microsoft for this version ends Jan. 14, 2020.

Though your computer wouldn’t stop working altogether, it will become less secure since Microsoft won’t be updating the operating system anymore after that date. Other software companies may also stop supporting their programs on Windows 7 as well.

Checking your Windows version: If you aren’t sure of your Windows version, you can quickly check on your computer: click the Start Button in the lowerleft corner to bring up the Start Menu, look for “Computer” or “My Computer,” right-click whichever one you have, and then select “Properties.”

If you don’t see “Computer” or “My Computer” on the Start Menu, you may have Windows 8, 8.1, or 10.

In those versions, you’d right-click the Start Button itself in lower-left corner and select “System.”

Once you see the System window pop-up, you’ll find your Windows version and edition near the top of that window if using Windows 7 (or older) or near the bottom if using Windows 8, 8.1, or 10.

If you still have Windows XP or Vista, it’s strongly recommended to upgrade right away as support for those Windows versions ended years ago.

Upgrading your current computer: Upgrading your current computer to Windows 10 maybe possible if you have Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, and is still free — you don’t have to buy a Windows 10 license from Microsoft.

However, it’s not a quick and easy update. To do it properly, a tech should back up your data, install a clean copy of Windows 10, and then restore your data and re-install programs.

This can take hours. It can be well worth the investment of time and money on some computers, especially when upgrading to a newer drive called a solid state drive (SSD) at the same time.

I suggest contacting a tech to evaluate your computer’s specs, health, and hardware compatibility to see if you should upgrade your current computer or if you should just buy a new or refurbished computer with Windows 10 already loaded.

Buying a new computer: If you buy a new computer instead of upgrading yours, I suggest getting advice from a tech. They can evaluate what you have and help compare the options. A general rule of thumb: you get what you pay for. If you buy one of the cheap $250 new computers, it may actually be slower than your old computer. It all depends upon the specs of each computer.

If you bought a decent or higher-end computer 5 to 10 years ago, it’s processor may be the same or even faster than the processor in a cheap computer currently on the shelf.

I generally suggest spending at least $500 on a standard new computer tower to get something that will last. If that doesn’t work with your budget, I suggest looking at refurbished computers from a trusted source. For instance, most of the refurbished computers I sell are in the $300 range and already come with the new faster drive (SSD) and Windows 10.

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