How to Tell What Version Windows You Are Running

There are a few ways in which you can display information regarding your Windows operating system, depending on whether you need detailed info or not. The methods that work in Windows 10 will apply to older Windows editions too.

The only difference being the theme and how some information may be organized on the screen. Without further ado, here’s how you can display Windows version info and other important data with just a few clicks.

Use the Start Menu

This is the oldest and still most used path adopted by most Windows users.

  1. Click the Start menu button or press the Windows key on your keyboard.
  2. Click on the Settings option.
  3. Select System.
  4. Click on the About option.
  5. Scroll down until you reach Windows specifications.
about

By using this method you’ll be able to see not just the Windows edition and version but also the OS build and when it was installed.

You can also type ‘Computer’ into the Start Menu’s search bar. Click on ‘Computer’ and ‘Properties’ to access more information about your PC including details about the software.

Check Windows Edition from the Windows Explorer

If you have Windows explorer up, you can also reach an info screen that will show you some Windows information.

  1. From the explorer, right-click ‘This PC’ in the left pane.
  2. Click on Properties.
  3. Check the top for information on your Windows edition.
    basic info
  4. Check the bottom for information on the product ID and whether Windows is activated.

Unlike the first method, this information page won’t include the OS build or version information. Just the edition that you’re using.

As you can see from the picture, there’s also another path to reach this exact same window.

  • Go to Control Panel > Select System and Security > Select System

One-Word Winver Command

Another way to display some Windows information is to type the word winver into the Run cmd terminal. Doing so will bring up a small About Windows window containing information such as version and edition, as well as who the product is licensed to.

winver

This command can be used in Windows 10, 8, and 7 and will display the same amount of information. Therefore, whichever version you’re running, it should work on your laptop or PC.

That said, note that once again, the information in this window is somewhat limited compared to the information displayed when using the first recommended method. Power users should use the first method because the About System window also displays home helpful links for actions such as:

  • Changing the product key
  • Upgrading the Windows edition
  • Reading the software license terms
  • Reading the services agreement
  • A Windows Get help link
  • A link for sending quick feedback to Microsoft
  • A quick link to the Windows Security screen

Is Anyone Really Using Anything Else Anymore?

Although Windows 7 was a stable OS, for the most part, Windows 8 was a sore disappointment for most users. That said, the new and improved Windows 10, with all its kinks, seems to be going strong for everyone from regular users, to pro gamers, to software developers and beyond.

While it’s nice to know that you can check your Windows information whenever you want, how many people really use older versions anymore? Especially when the new security updates and library updates are done so fast and improve so much.

Upgrading Your Software

If you’re using Windows 7 or 8 with a genuine Windows key, you may upgrade to Windows 10 at no charge. Although some users prefer the older versions, there will come a time when you run into compatibility issues with other software rendering your PC useless. No time frame has been provided by Microsoft for how long you can access the free Windows 10 software so if your PC is running older software it may be time to consider an upgrade.

Let’s talk about how to upgrade your software to Windows 10.

Back-Up Your Files

Before doing anything, make sure that all of your information is backed up somewhere safe so that you don’t lose it. You can use an external hard drive to keep important copies of your information or a cloud-based service.

Using One Drive to store documents and the Google Suite to back up photos and other important information is a great way to store your computer’s information before performing the update. Theoretically, performing an update won’t actually remove any of your information, but it is best to be prepared.

Locate Your Windows Key

Windows will require a key for the free upgrade. This basically means that your current version of the software is legitimate and was originally purchased from Microsoft. To find your software key try this:

  • Assuming your current PC was purchased with the software look for the Certificate of Authenticity located on your computer. This is a sticker on your computer and could be located just about anywhere.
  • If you never throw away manuals, check for Windows label that has this information.
  • Check your emails if you purchased the Windows software. The confirmation with Windows Key should be in an email.

Although there is third-party software available online that can help you locate this information, it hasn’t been tested yet. If you cannot find your Windows Key using the methods above, you may want to look into a free software that can do this for you.

Upgrading Your PC

Once you’ve gathered all of the necessary information and your information is safely backed up to the cloud or an external hard drive, you can now begin the upgrade process.

Start by visiting the Microsoft website to begin a download of Windows 10. Click the option to ‘Download Now’ and begin the installation. You will have to follow the prompts and commands to run and update your computer.

You will be asked if you want to keep all of your information. To avoid losing anything important click ‘Yes’ on this prompt. The upgrade may take some time so be prepared for some downtime. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your PC through the process so that you can interact with any prompts that may pop-up.

Make sure that you’re connected to a reliable wifi and power source before beginning. The upgrade in this software is going to require that your computer remains connected to the internet while also keeping it powered on.

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