Everything You Need To Know About Upgrading Windows

Whether you’re running Windows 7, 8, 8.1, or 10, in this article I will explain your upgrade options.

Upgrading from Win 7/8/8.1 to Win 10

Win7/8/8.1 to Win10

Yes, it is still possible (at the time of writing this article) to upgrade from those older operating systems to Windows 10. You will need to be running a genuine, activated Windows 7, 8. or 8.1 and take several preliminary steps prior to attempting the upgrade:

  • Uninstall any third-party security software
  • Check for any driver and BIOS updates
  • Disconnect all unnecessary external devices, especially any USB drives
  • Back up everything

That said, even though the activation process is still working fine, I have serious reservations regarding compatibility issues with older hardware, especially driver compatibility. You might well find that the upgrade process balks, or completes fine (including activation) but subsequently discover that your upgraded operating system is fatally flawed.

All this, of course, depends largely on the age of the PC you are attempting to upgrade – the older the PC, the less chance there will be of a successful upgrade.

Upgrading from Windows 10 To Windows 11

If you are running Windows 10 on a PC that meets Windows 11’s stringent requirements, you should be seeing the following message under Windows Update (Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update):

Windows 11 Ready Message

If you’ve been putting off upgrading for some reason, perhaps now is a good time to rethink.

Should You Upgrade To Windows 11 Now?

In my opinion, if your PC running Windows 10 meets Windows 11 requirements, you should seriously consider upgrading now. Here’s why:

Windows 10 reaches end-of-support in October 2025 (a mere two years away) at which time you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 11, run an unsupported (insecure) Windows 10, or install Linux.

Bearing that in mind, and with the likely advent of a Windows 12. The differences between Windows 10 and Windows 11 are not overly significant, and the differences between Windows 11 and Windows 12 will probably not be overly significant either. However, the differences between Windows 10 and Windows 12 will almost certainly be significant.

My point is, that upgrading now will give you plenty of time to familiarize yourself with Windows 11 making the eventual transition to Windows 12 (or whatever Microsoft decides to name it) a lot more palatable.

I’m currently running Windows 10 and Windows 11 on separate internal SSDs and, in my opinion, Windows 11 is a very good operating system. Sure, Windows 11 has some minor issues, but it is still under active development with frequent feature updates, and improving all the time.

What operating system are you running? If one of the older operating systems, are you thinking of upgrading? Let us know in the comments.

7 thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About Upgrading Windows”

  1. Thanks Jim
    This old dog personally doesn’t like Windows 11 (I have got it on a new laptop) and especially hate trying to find where Microsft have hidden stuff three clicks away that on 10 takes me one click. So rather than try to get used to 11 now on my main PC with it’s seemingly constant updates as they try to polish it up and then have to adapt again to likely even more Windows 12 changes, I would be quite happy to skip from 10 straight to 12 and have to only go through the learning annoyances once as Win 10 currently suits me perfectly.

    I was thinking that I could take a Win 10 image now, then let my system upgrade to 11 once, register it in Windows servers, take an image of the new Win 11 update and pop it aside somewhere safely and then happily return to my beloved Windows 10 until it’s time to have to upgrade at EOL.

    At that time I could simply install the previously saved Windows 11 image to get the free 12 upgrade (and that’s assuming Microsoft won’t let you upgrade from 10 direct to 12 at the time which they may well do anyway if 12 comes out before Win 10’s EOL with still 2 years to go).

    If you see a flaw in my dastardly plan please let me know 🙂 !
    Cheers Reg

    1. Hey Reg,

      The only possible problem I can see with your “dastardly plan” would be the age of that Windows 11 image. You might need to apply 101 updates prior to upgrading to the next Windows version. Some drivers might need updating too.

      If you’re not concerned about the learning curve, why not stick with Windows 10 until (say) 2-3 weeks prior to EOL and then upgrade to Windows 11? That might be a safer option.

      In my opinion, based on Microsoft’s handling of the Windows 10 upgrade, I’m fairly certain users will be able to upgrade from 10 to 12 (or whatever) without a problem. However, that’s purely an educated guess on my part.

      Cheers mate… Jim

  2. I agree with most of the cons you mention and will like to add that I have upgraded from Windows 10 to 11 on two laptops, one Lenovo an one Dell, and in both of them started to get the blue screens after upgrading. Hope this issue gets fixed. On the Lenovo I decided to format and get back to Windows 10, since then I have not had the blue screen problem. Hope this is useful.

    1. Hi Jorge,

      The cause of the BSODs is more than likely down to incompatible drivers. With PCs that are getting on a bit in age, it can be problematic to locate the necessary (updated) drivers. Not so much of a problem with newer PC models though.

      Thanks for your useful comment, appreciated.

  3. Jim. Last year I purchased a new computer with Windows 11 preinstalled. After installing my programs and doing the tweaking to get the computer setup to the way I like to see things, I experienced minor glitches ever now and then. Believed this was due to the new operating system and bugs that would get cleared up eventually. Well, after much wasted time, tried to install Windows 10 on this computer. But, I did not have the required drivers, as they were not included on CD or DVD. So I purchased a second have computer with Windows 10. Took much less time to get it working as I like it, as I used a cheat (which I did not know would work). I replaced the ssd with a clone from my other computer. It has been several months now and it was working as if I installed all my programs. Strange tht there were no driver problems. Now I have with spare computer with Windows 11, waiting to have Windows 12 correctly install itself. Such goes the story of Windows 11 from my point of view, Mindblower!

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