How to download Windows 10: Install Microsoft’s operating system on your laptop or desktop
Windows 10 is the latest version of Windows and, despite a few early teething problems, now easily one of the best. This time round, Windows 10 adds an all-new UI, more intuitive operation features, and an in-built AI assistant in the shape of Cortana. All of these changes make Windows 10 a worthy competitor to Apple’s OS X.
Microsoft has also done a great job of making Windows 10 its most-secure operating system yet. This means that if you’re concerned about malware, ransomware and the rest you have good reasons to upgrade. All in all, staying on the latest version of an operating system is always a great idea for security reasons, so Windows 10 is a good option for keeping your PC’s security up to scratch.
Okay, so there’s some bad news. Although Microsoft offered Windows 10 for free initially, it didn’t take the Apple approach of making upgrades free forever. Unfortunately, you’ve now missed your chance to download the free upgrade version and you’re going to have to buy a copy. The Home version of the software costs £120, while the Pro version of the software is priced at £220, although you can also find bargains on Amazon.
However if you’re a user who needs to use Assistive Technologies, you can still update Windows 10 for free, as Microsoft has very kindly extended its free license to users who need this. You can find out more details on the Microsoft website.
So, are you ready to get Windows 10, Microsoft’s most impressive operating system? If the answer is yes, read on to find out everything you need to know.
How to download Windows 10: Is my computer fast enough?
Windows 10’s requirements are similar to those of Windows 7 and 8.1, so it’s likely your computer will be compatible. In our experience, lower-powered devices – particularly those with Atom processors – run slightly more smoothly with Windows 10 installed than with its predecessors, thanks to some optimisation work that Microsoft has put in. However, it’s worth making sure your computer has more than 20GB of free disk space – the maximum space required by Windows 10.
Before purchasing Windows 10 for a new computer, it’s important to check your machine meets the new OS’s system requirements. If your computer doesn’t meet the minimum specs below, you will need to upgrade your machine – or buy a whole new one – to use Windows 10.
RAM: 1GB for 32-bit or 2GB for 64-bit
Storage: 16GB for 32-bit or 20GB for 64-bit
Graphics support: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1 driver
- Display: 800 x 600 resolution
How to download Windows 10: What’s new in Windows 10?
Windows 10 is a dramatic upgrade. The grand aim is to unite all your Microsoft devices, and offer a far more seamless, intuitive user experience. And yes, the Start menu is back where it belongs.
In all honesty, Windows 10 won’t be an essential upgrade for every desktop PC user, but it makes a huge difference for tablets and hybrid devices. We’ve installed it on a variety of 2-in-1 devices, and it’s clear that Windows 10 is a huge leap forward for usability, not least as it flits automatically from laptop to tablet modes in the blink of an eye. All things told, it finally makes for a pretty decent tablet operating system.
There are other changes, too. Microsoft has jettisoned Internet Explorer and replaced it with the stripped-down, super-fast Microsoft Edge, and Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-equivalent, is now an integral part of Windows 10. Another big change is that the new OS is being rolled out across Xbox, PCs, tablets and smartphones.
Despite the naysayers, Windows 10 seems to be proving popular with users too: Microsoft claims the software is now installed on over 200 million devices.
How to download Windows 10 now
You can download a Windows 10 disc image (an ISO file) from Microsoft’s website, here. This image can be burned to a DVD or installed via a USB stick, but if you choose the latter it’ll need to have at least 4GB of space.
And as with any major upgrade, update or system setting change, it’s also best to back up your data before proceeding. We’ve seen a handful of machines get stuck in a loop of crashing and restarting, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. If you can be bothered, we’d make a clone of your existing hard disk onto a secondary or external drive – that way you can always go back to a working system if things go horribly, horribly wrong.
Looking for a VPN to use with Windows? Check out Buffered, voted as best VPN for the United Kingdom by BestVPN.com.
Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.