This is one of the most frequent questions being asked at the moment… “should I upgrade to Windows 10 now or wait?” In most cases I would say wait. While the vast majority of upgrades have been successful there have also been plenty of reports of ensuing issues, most common among them being agonizingly slow boot-up times, system lag, wi-fi issues, and an unresponsive start menu.
According to widespread reports, Microsoft is working on a major Windows 10 update, code-named Threshold and expected to be delivered some time during the next two months (November is currently favored), which will almost certainly include fixes for the most common problems. So, for most, I would suggest waiting until after this major update has been released before upgrading.
Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10
Upgrading from Window 7 to Windows 10 appears to be the most problematic at the moment, which, considering it is an older operating system more often than not running on older hardware, makes sense. To date I’ve been involved with three of these upgrades and each one has been successful but not without issues.
It should also be pointed out that after experiencing issues following an upgrade, users who have tried to utilize the rollback option to return to Windows 7 have often been unsuccessful. Apparently, in some cases, whatever issues are affecting the upgrade can also affect the rollback process. So, if you are upgrading from Windows 7, it is strongly recommended that you create and save a full system image beforehand.
Another option is to utilize Windows 10’s Reset feature which has pretty much the same effect as performing a fresh install. You will lose all your installed programs as well as current settings and configurations of course, but this method has been entirely successful on all 3 upgraded machines I’ve been involved with. By the time I got to the third machine, I’d realized that the Reset method is in fact quicker than spending hours trying to resolve issues, even with having to re-install programs, etc.
I’ve no doubt there will be a loyal band of Windows 7 fans who flatly refuse to upgrade, and while I appreciate their position, I’d also urge them to reconsider. Windows 7 will only be supported for another 4 years, which might seem like a pretty long time right now but will go by quickly enough.
Also bear in mind that the Windows 10 upgrade is only free until 29th July 2016 after which time users will have to pay – currently $120us for Windows 10 Home and $200us for Windows 10 Pro.
Upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10
As far as I am concerned this is a no brainer, Windows 10 is like Windows 8 on steroids. This upgrade also appears to be less problematic than the Windows 7 upgrade. That said, I’ve only been involved with one Win 8.1 to Win 10 upgrade and that was on my own machine – and guess what, yep, I experienced issues. After hours of unsuccessful attempts to solve these issues, including long periods of time spent with Microsoft support, I ended up Resetting and re-installing all my programs, etc. Again, this method proved to be successful and, although somewhat inconvenient, starting off with a clean slate is not a bad way to go.
So, even when upgrading from the newer Windows 8.1, creating and saving a full system image beforehand is still a wise precaution.
Microsoft is working hard on fixing issues associated with the Windows 10 upgrade based on feedback through the Windows Insider program. Insider builds have already included a number of fixes and these, plus any additional fixes, will eventually be rolled out to all Windows 10 users as part of the major update – some time in November being the current expectation. So, unless you’re competent and confident enough to deal with potential issues following the upgrade, my advice is to wait at least until after the major update has been released.