Download Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft (Trial Version)

Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft

Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft

Download Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft (Trial Version). Method 1: You use web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft. The links given on our website will redirect you to the downloads on Microsoft. You can install Windows 10 Home without using a product key but. Note: Like method 1, you'll need to take a backup of all your data before resetting, as Windows will only save your files and wipe out apps, drivers and. Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft

Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft - have forgotten

Hi Community,

Dell Imaging Technology Support team brought your discussion to Dell's technical support department. Below are a couple notes to keep in mind regarding Dell's operating system download availability ( the process known as Dell Hosted Image ).

-Eligibility for Dell Hosted Image varies by service tag

-Dell Hosted Image hosts images available from Windows 7 SP1 and up

-There are 2 methods of download which are explained below

-If your service tag does not have an image available through the below 2 methods of download you can contact Dell technical support and mention article ID SLN308469. Dell technical support can use this ID in order to check on eligibility and/or to resolve image availability for specific service tags

-For eligible service tags image availability between the 2 download methods will vary. For example: An image may be available through browser download only and not available in the Dell USB Recovery tool

-If an image download is available through the below explained browser download option then Dell later makes the same tag's image available through the USB Recovery tool, the browser option will then no longer be available. The goal is to move away from the browser option and move all eligible downloads to the USB Recovery Tool.

Method 1. Download through Browser:

1. Go to support.dell.com

2. Enter your service tag then click 'submit'

3. Click on the 'Drivers & Downloads' tab

4. Pull the 'Catagory:' drop down and click on 'operating System'

5. Click the blue download button next to the listed image option

6. Enter your service tag again and proceed to download

Method 2. Download Through the Dell USB Recovery Tool:

1. Visit http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/drivers/osiso/recoverytool/w764

2. Follow the instructions listed on the page

 

Источник: [https://torrent-igruha.org/3551-portal.html]

How to Get Windows 10 for Free (or Under $30)

You can spend thousands on components for building a PC, but it won’t boot without an operating system (OS). Linux is a viable option, but most prefer Windows because it runs all their favorite software, including the latest games. Windows 11 isn't here yet, but fortunately, you can get Windows 10 for free or cheap -- if you know where to look.

Getting hold of the Windows installer is as easy as visiting support.microsoft.com. Whether you've paid for Windows 10 already or not, anyone is allowed to download a Windows 10 ISO file and burn it to a DVD or create installation media on a USB drive for free. Once that's done, you can boot from your installation media and load Windows 10 onto your PC. During installation, Microsoft asks for an activation key. You can skip it, but eventually, Windows will start alerting you that your install isn't activated.

There are many ways to get a Windows 10 activation / product key, and they range in price from completely free to $309, depending on which flavor of Windows 10 you want. Of course, you can buy a key from Microsoft online, but there are other websites selling Windows 10 keys for less. There’s also the option of downloading Windows 10 without a key and never activating the OS. But what, if anything, are you missing out on if you don’t activate Windows 10? And does your carefully crafted PC build face any risks?

Below we outline the top ways you can get Windows 10 -- from free, to cheap, to most expensive -- and the downsides of each option.

Upgrade From Windows 7 or 8Don't Activate WindowsStudent DiscountBuy a Cheap Key From a Third PartyBuy a Key From Microsoft
PriceFreeFreeFree (Windows 10 Education)About $30 (£11, $40 AU)Home: $139 (£119.99 / AU$225); Pro: $199.99 (£219.99 / AU$339); Workstation: $309 (£339 / AU$525)
ProsAccess to all personalization options; Microsoft support access; FreeFreeAccess to all personalization options; Microsoft support access; Equivalent to Windows 10 Enterprise; FreeAccess to all personalization options; Microsoft support accessAccess to all personalization options; Microsoft support access; Refunds
ConsThere’s a small chance Microsoft will reject activation, and you’ll have to contact supportDesktop watermark; Personalization options restricted; Can't use Microsoft supportYou have to be enrolled in an eligible schoolThere's a chance your key won't work, and you'll have to contact support to get it fixed; Some third parties have bad customer service; Some third parties don't offer refundsExpensive

Upgrade From Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10: Free

Nothing’s cheaper than free. If you’re looking for Windows 10 Home, or even Windows 10 Pro, it’s possible to get Windows 10 for free onto your PC if you have Windows 7, which has reached EoL, or later. (Yes, this still works, as a Microsoft rep has confirmed.) 

If you already have a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 a software/product key, you can upgrade to Windows 10 for free. You activate it by using the key from one of those older OSes. But note that you can only use a key on a single PC at a time, so if you use that key for a new PC build, any other PC running that key is out of luck.

To do this with a Windows 10-compatible PC (after backing up your important data, of course) download Windows 10. When asked, select "Upgrade this PC now." 

Note that if you've recently changed your PC's hardware, such as the motherboard, Windows may not find the license for you device. That means you'll have to reactive the OS. Here are Microsoft's instructions for reactivating Windows 10 after changing PC hardware. 

When using an older Windows key to activate Windows 10, you may run into complications if Microsoft isn't sure whether you're eligible to update or not. In that case, you’ll have to call a number and go through the process of entering your key and getting a code. However, that seems to be happening less in recent months and years.

Don't Activate Windows: Free

If you don't have a valid key, you can still use Windows 10 for free on your PC even if you don’t activate the OS. I have colleagues who have used non-activated versions of Windows for years without Microsoft ever shutting it down. In this way, you can have Windows 10 Home or Pro running on your PC nearly flawlessly. Nearly...

“If the user [installs Windows 10] before activating Windows, they will see an ‘Activate Windows’ watermark on their desktop, as well an experience a limit on Windows 10 personalization options,” Microsoft told Tom’s Hardware in a statement.

Microsoft brands PCs running an unactivated version of Windows 10 with a watermark in the bottom-right corner of the screen. A Microsoft spokesperson told me that activating Windows 10 ensures you have a legitimate copy of Windows 10, and the watermark is an attempt to alert consumers that their version could be false. However, if you downloaded your ISO directly from Microsoft, there's no way your copy can be a fake.

If you don’t activate Windows 10, you won’t be able to change Personalization options in the Settings menu. That means you can't choose personal desktop wallpapers, slideshow backgrounds, Start, taskbar, Action Center or title bar colors, light or dark color schemes, font choices or lock screen options.

The lack of custom aesthetics can be a downer, especially if you like to liven things up by changing colors and images. However, we checked, and you can still change your wallpaper if you right-click an image from the web or a personal photo and set it as your wallpaper. And if you have a wallpaper tied to your Microsoft account, it will appear if you sign into Windows with that account.

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft won't offer you any Windows 10 technical support if you don’t activate the OS. If you call or chat with their techs, they'll start off by asking you for your key, and you’ll have no response.

Use the Microsoft Student Discount: Free

Microsoft offers students attending certain universities and high schools the ability to get Windows 10 for free by allowing them to activate Windows 10 Education for free. Meanwhile, teachers can get Windows 10 Education for $14.99. You can see if your school is eligible and download your free Windows 10 key here. The key is yours even after you graduate.

But is Windows 10 Education any different from Windows 10 Home? It’s actually better. Windows 10 Education is the same as Windows 10 Enterprise, which Microsoft calls the most robust version of Windows 10. The OS has features targeting security, device control and management and deployment that Windows 10 Home lacks. Unlike Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Education has client and host remote desktop and remote app i(nstead of client only), Hyper-V (Microsoft’s hypervisor) and extra apps, like AppLocker and BitLocker. Although, it’s likely you won’t ever use any of those bonus features.

If you’re not currently a student but happen to have a .edu email, we don’t recommend scamming the system. In addition to ethical concerns, if you get caught, Microsoft can make you pay up anyway. “False representations of eligibility voids this offer, and Microsoft reserves the right to collect the full price of product(s) ordered,” Microsoft’s policy states.

If your school is eligible for the discount, there isn’t really a downside to this method of procuring Windows 10 free. Not all colleges / high schools have it, and you may need to make a special user account to download it. But if you can score Windows 10 Education for free, we don’t see any reason not to.

Buy a Cheap Windows 10 Key From a Third-Party Seller: Around $30

If you can’t stand living with the scarlet letter of an eternal watermark or want the comfort of knowing Microsoft won’t disown your PC’s OS should you call for help, you’ll have to buy a Windows 10 key. And while some turn to Microsoft for this purchase, there are third-party websites selling keys for much cheaper than Microsoft. 

For example, at the time of writing, Kinguin sells Windows 10 Home for $30, Amazon charges $130, and Newegg's pushing it for $109.99 or $130 for the Pro version for OEM. Even Walmart has it for $104.99, as well as a Pro OEM version. According to Wccftech, you can also buy Windows 10 from KeysOff, which is currently selling Windows 10 Home for $16.32 and Windows 10 Professional for $7.45, although we've never used the site so can't attest to its quality, customer service or reliability. Be sure to check their refund policy before buying. 

Now, let's address the elephant in the room. While we can't vouch for all of them, websites selling lower-priced Windows keys are likely selling legitimate codes. One popular site, Kinguin, has 37 merchants worldwide selling Windows keys. Mark Jordan, Kinguin’s VP of communications, told Tom's Hardware in 2019 that Kinguin's merchants acquire the codes from wholesalers who have surplus copies of Windows they don't need.

"It's not a gray market. It would be like buying Adidas or Puma or Nike from a discounter, from TJ Maxx," Jordan said. "There are no legal issues with buying it from us. It's just another marketplace."

According to Jordan, Kinguin's merchants have sold “several hundred thousand” keys and are not one-time sellers posting listings for codes they don’t want. As part of its fraud protection, a Kinguin employee randomly buys a key “every now and then” to make sure they’re legitimate, he said. Jordan added that it’s rare for a customer to get a key that’s been resold, but if they did, customer support would help them get a new one for free.

“If there's ever a problem with a key being already activated or something like that, our customer support team helps you get a new key… And that merchant would be in deep trouble, so they are very careful with it,” Jordan said. 

However, we've encountered reports of customer dissatisfaction, including from users who wanted a specific type of key (like non-OEM only), ended up with something different (like an OEM version) and could only get a refund, rather than the type of key they originally tried to buy.  We've also heard reports of slow customer service. Kinguin hasn't responded to requests for comment. 

You'll have to enter a key to activate Windows, but you won’t have a problem doing that if you bought your key from a place like Kinguin (or Amazon, Newegg, etc.). In fact, Microsoft still offers 24/7 technical support online and via phone even if you got your Windows 10 key from somewhere other than Microsoft.

If you do opt to get your key for less, make sure it’s from a legitimate site. A hint will be if that key is too cheap -- i.e. free or close to free. And, as with anything else, if you haven't heard of a seller, check their ratings or go elsewhere.

No matter where you get your product key, you shouldn't download Windows 10 from anyone besides Microsoft. As noted on Microsoft’s website: “When buying Microsoft software as a digital download, we recommend that you avoid auction sites and peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing sites. At the moment there are a limited number of sites where you can legally purchase digital downloads of Microsoft software.”

“Genuine Windows is published by Microsoft, properly licensed and supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. Non-genuine software results in a higher risk of malware, fraud, public exposure of your personal information and a higher risk for poor performance or feature malfunctions,” Microsoft added in a statement to Tom's Hardware.

These non-Microsoft websites have varying return policies for software key purchases. While Kinguin seems to have an open return policy, we've seen reports of  the service being too slow or the company insisting on replacing the key instead of refunding it or vice versa. 

Amazon and Newegg both have no-refund policies for software keys. Amazon claims all keys sold on its site are genuine, and any gripes you have with your key must be handled by the individual vendors. If a key you bought from Newegg doesn’t work, you'll have to contact Newegg’s product support team to get a new key.

Still, most, if not all, sites seem willing to accommodate you should you get a key that’s already been used or doesn’t work. Again, just make sure you’re buying your key from a legitimate source. For that reason we don’t recommend buying Windows 10 keys from individual sellers (or illegally).

This final downside is only applicable if you want to equip your PC with Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. While I was able to find Windows 10 Home on a number of genuine key-selling websites and Windows 10 Pro on some (although fewer) websites, I couldn’t find a place to download a key for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations anywhere besides Microsoft (Amazon sells it to ship for $293.83). The most advanced and pricey ($309) member of the Windows 10 clan, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations offers “support for the next generation of PC hardware, up to four CPUs and 6TB of memory,” according to Microsoft’s website. But it’s unlikely you’ll need the juggernaut of Windows 10 for your personal machine.

Buy a Windows Key From Microsoft: $139+ 

Want a version of Windows 10 where you can enjoy dynamic slideshows on your home screen and vibrant red, green, pink, or purple taskbars? Do you enjoy the thrills of a watermark-free screen and the comfort of knowing you can call Microsoft support if you have any problems? Then you need a key, which, as discussed, you can get from various retailers. But if you want to avoid any chance of getting an unusable key or want the guaranteed ability to get a full refund even if there’s no problem with the key, your best bet is buying from Microsoft.

In addition to selling keys for Windows 10 Home and Pro, Microsoft is the only place you can get a key for Windows 10 Pro for Workstations. Additionally, Microsoft offers the Assure Software Support Plan for an extra $99 (£95/ AU$120). This plan is valid for a year after activating Windows 10. It’s applicable for up to five devices and entitles you to online and phone support and one-on-one in-store training. One caveat: Microsoft says the plan is “for purchase and activation only in the region in which it was acquired.”

Microsoft charges the most for Windows 10 keys. Windows 10 Home goes for $139 (£119.99 / AU$225), while Pro is $199.99 (£219.99 /AU$339). Despite these high prices, you’re still getting the same OS as if you bought it from somewhere cheaper, and it’s still only usable for one PC.

Plus, the premium price doesn’t entitle you to any support perks. Microsoft’s 24/7 basic phone and online support is available to anyone with a Windows 10 key, even those who didn't get it from Microsoft. After already investing time and money building a PC , it can be difficult to convince yourself to spend over $100 for an OS that you can get with the same specs and support for cheaper.

What's the Best Way to Get Windows 10? 

If you have an old Windows key you can get Windows 10 free by carrying that key over from a previous build -- that's your best option. 

If you don't have a key on hand, you need to decide whether you're comfortable using an unactivated version of Windows 10, which limits your customization options, has an ugly watermark and leaves you ineligible for Microsoft support. Many would argue that downloading Windows without paying for or already owning a product key is ethically wrong. That said, Microsoft has made this process easier over various Windows iterations and lessened the limitations and nagging that happens when you don't activate. The company isn't trying to close this loophole, probably because it’s more interested in driving user numbers. I've even seen well-known vendors and Microsoft partners do press presentations with watermarks on their desktop.

If you must buy a Windows 10 key, you can save a lot with a low-cost seller such as Kinguin, although customer service will likely be lacking and isn't the best option if you only want a very specific type of Windows 10. Still, Microsoft's price is astronomically high. You can save $100 or more by buying a key from one of these third-party sites, which is money you can spend on one of the best graphics cards, a roomier SSD, or a few AAA games for your new PC.


MORE: Running Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi
MORE:
PC Building Tips for Beginners
MORE: How to Build A PC
MORE:
How to Factory Reset a Windows 10 PC
MORE: How to Set Up RAID In Windows 10

Scharon Harding has a special affinity for gaming peripherals (especially monitors), laptops and virtual reality. Previously, she covered business technology, including hardware, software, cyber security, cloud and other IT happenings, at Channelnomics, with bylines at CRN UK.

Источник: [https://torrent-igruha.org/3551-portal.html]

Windows 10product key has now become the world’s most popular operating system as 1.3 Billion users of Windows 10 to date are not wrong. Windows 10 was released on July 29, 2015 and it comes with great new features that let you do things fast and easily.

How to Activate Windows 10 with Product Key or Digital License

To activate Windows 10 you need a 25-character product key or digital license linked to your Microsoft account. For Windows 10 Activation status go to Settings >> Update & Security and from here click on Activation.

Depending on how you obtain your copy of Windows 10 the activation process is different. If you have digital license that usually came with a Windows 10 product then Windows 10 will be activated automatically once you enter your Microsoft account detail as shown in this screenshot below:

If you already have the product key then under Update Product Key option click on Change product key as shown here:

What Makes Windows 10 Unique?

The best windows operating system brings you the most innovative tools and security features that will not only make your device secure but also enables you to perform your daily task in most creative and productive way. Windows 10 uses and combines some cool features of windows 7 and windows 8 which make it stand out from other Microsoft Operating Systems.

In a very short period of time windows 10 has able to capture the attention of many peoples including IT professionals, businessman, and personnel relating to different fields. Before the official launch of Windows 10 Microsoft has also released Technical preview of the Windows 10 to attract tech expert and IT professionals.

How to Download Windows 10

If you are already using genuine version of windows 7 or windows 8 then its free to upgrade your older version of Windows to Windows 10. Microsoft is also allowing you to download ISO image file for Windows 10 32 bits and 64 bits through its media creation tool.

Windows 10 Product Key Working Serial Keys

In order to benefit from premium features of windows 10 you always need a product key or serial key to activate your copy of windows 10. There are several sites online providing activation key for windows but most of them do not work. Today we have find out and gonna share with you Windows 10 product key, serial keys that are guaranteed to work 100%.

You can activate almost all versions of windows 10 using our activation key provided below. With these key you can activate Windows 10 Home Premium, Windows 10 Professional and Windows 10 Ultimate.

Windows 10 Home Edition – YTMG3-N6DKC-DKB77-7M9GH-8HVX7

Windows 10 Pro Product Key– VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

Windows 10 Single Language Key

BT79Q-G7N6G-PGBYW-4YWX6-6F4BT

Windows 10 Enterprise Product Key Updated 2021

NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43

PBHCJ-Q2NYD-2PX34-T2TD6-233PK

Windows 10 Serial Key:

NPPR9-FWDCX-D2C8J-H872K-2YT43

Windows 10 OS key Professional Edition:

6P99N-YF42M-TPGBG-9VMJP-YKHCF

8N67H-M3CY9-QT7C4-2TR7M-TXYCV

Windows 10 product key Consumer Technical Preview:

334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPT

Windows 10 Serial key all Editions:

NKJFK-GPHP7-G8C3J-P6JXR-HQRJR

Windows 10 key Enterprise Edition:

CKFK9-QNGF2-D34FM-99QX2-8XC4K

Windows 10 product number:

VK7JG-NPHTM-C97JM-9MPGT-3V66T

W269N-WFGWX-YVC9B-4J6C9-T83GX

T44CG-JDJH7-VJ2WF-DY4X9-HCFC6

New Product Keys Windows 10

Windows 11 update on a laptop

Windows 11 will start rolling out to eligible devices today, but not everyone will get it right away. The free update brings plenty of new features, complete with a new start menu, widgets and a refreshed interface. Even the Microsoft Store is getting a big update (though don't expect to see Android apps right away).

Now playing:Watch this: Windows 11: Will your computer be able to run it? What...

3:43

Launches are bound to run into issues and bugs. Sometimes, those issues may force you to reinstall Windows 11. An easy way of doing that is by using a USB installation drive that has a copy of Windows 11 on it. With the update safely stored on a flash drive, you can reinstall it at any time, should any issues get bad enough that your only option is to reinstall the update. 

You can also use a USB drive to make it easier to install Windows 11 on multiple computers, or to quickly set up a virtual machine to make testing possible without risking your personal data. 

Stay current on the latest Microsoft news, plus reviews and advice on Windows PCs.

Microsoft has updated its Media Creation Tool to include Windows 11. You can download the ISO image straight from the source and flash to a USB drive yourself. 

To create a Windows 11 installation drive, you'll need an empty 8GB USB drive, a Windows PC and up to a few hours of your time. You can download the system image using a Linux computer or Mac, but we're going to focus on using a PC for this guide. Below are the steps you'll need to follow.

Now playing:Watch this: Windows 11 review: New OS has us asking, update or wait?

8:32

Download the latest Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft

To download the Windows 11 ISO image you'll need to create a USB bootable drive. First, visit the Download Windows 11 page. You'll see a few other options for installation, but you're looking for Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO).

Scroll down the page until you see a dropdown labeled Select Download. Click the dropdown and then select Windows 11, then click Download. Next you'll be asked to select a language, then click Confirm again, followed by clicking on the 64-bit Download button to finally begin downloading the ISO. It's a fairly large file at 5.1GB, so depending on your internet connection, it may take some time for the download to finish. 

Once the download finishes, your work isn't completely done. You need to burn that ISO image onto a USB drive. And to do that, you'll need some extra software. Don't worry, though, it's an easy process. 

How to flash Windows 11 to your USB drive

To turn a standard USB drive into an installation drive, you'll need to use a program called Rufus. It's the same app that Microsoft itself uses in its guide for creating a Windows 10 bootable drive. Visit the company's website to download and install Rufus, which should only take a few seconds. It's a small program. 

Plug in your USB drive and open Rufus. Select your USB drive using the Device dropdown. Remember, anything on your thumb drive will be erased during this process -- so make sure it's empty or you have everything you need off of it. 

Under Boot Selection select Disk or ISO image and then click on the text that reads SELECT and pick the ISO file you created in the previous step. 

There's a section in Rufus labeled Image option with several different settings -- leave everything as the default. The same can be said for format options unless you want to change the name of the USB drive to something like "Windows 11 install" or along those lines. 

Click Start when you're sure all of the options are set. You'll again have to wait while the program does its job, but it should be a much quicker process than downloading and creating the ISO. It took just over 15 minutes on a Surface Pro X for me. 

Windows 11 update on a laptop

What to do with a Windows 11 installation drive

Once Rufus finishes, you can remove the USB drive from your PC and either keep it somewhere safe in case you need to reinstall Windows 11 on your PC, or you can plug it into another PC and use it to install Windows 11 by opening the drive and double-clicking the setup.exe file. A few seconds later, a Windows 11 installation screen will appear, walking you through the rest of the process. 

Alternatively, you can try and use the USB drive as a bootable installation drive. However, this is where things get even more complicated, due to Windows 11 requiring Secure Boot, and the USB drive we just created not being compatible with that feature. I suggest waiting for Microsoft to release an official tool, but if you insist, I found a guide that walks you through the extra steps of making a bootable USB drive that's compatible with secure boot on Tom's Hardware, starting at step 11. 

Curious what all the fuss is about Windows 11? We have your back. There's a big interface redesign making its debut that includes a centered Start menu, but don't worry, you can move it back to the left corner if you want. And, finally, if you've ever had the desire to use Android apps on your PC, well, Microsoft is making that possible.

Источник: [https://torrent-igruha.org/3551-portal.html]

Windows 10

Personal computer operating system by Microsoft released in 2015

This article is about the operating system for personal computers. For the related (now discontinued) operating system for mobile devices, see Windows 10 Mobile.

Not to be confused with Windows 1.0.

Windows 10 Logo.svg
Windows 10 Home Version 21H1 Desktop.png

Screenshot of Windows 10 version 21H1, showing the Start Menu and Action Center in light theme

DeveloperMicrosoft
Written in
OS familyMicrosoft Windows
Source model
Released to
manufacturing
July 15, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-07-15)
General
availability
July 29, 2015; 6 years ago (2015-07-29)
Latest release21H2 (10.0.19044.1348) (November 16, 2021; 3 days ago (2021-11-16)[5]) [±]
Latest preview10.0.19044.1381 (November 18, 2021; 1 day ago (2021-11-18)[6]) [±]
Marketing targetPersonal computing
Available in110 languages[7][8] (Specific language packs included on the device depend on the mobile operator (for cellular connected devices) or device manufacturer. Additional language packs are available for download on the Microsoft Store, pursuant to manufacturer and carrier support.)

List of languages

Update method
PlatformsIA-32, x86-64, ARMv7,[9][10]ARM64[11][12][13]
Kernel typeHybrid (Windows NT kernel)
UserlandNative API
Windows API
.NET Framework
Universal Windows Platform
Windows Subsystem for Linux
NTVDM (IA-32 only)
Default
user interface
Windows shell (graphical)
LicenseTrialware,[14]Microsoft Software Assurance, MSDN subscription, Microsoft Imagine
Preceded byWindows 8.1 (2013)
Succeeded byWindows 11 (2021)
Official websitewww.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10
All editions except "Enterprise LTSB/LTSC" are supported until October 14, 2025 as long as they install the latest feature upgrades.[15][16] The Enterprise LTSB/LTSC editions are supported for 10 years after their release date. See § Support lifecycle for details.

Windows 10 is a major release of the Windows NToperating system developed by Microsoft. It is the successor to Windows 8.1, which was released nearly two years earlier, and itself was released to manufacturing on July 15, 2015, and broadly released for the general public on July 29, 2015.[17] Windows 10 was made available for download via MSDN and TechNet, as a free upgrade for retail copies of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 users via the Windows Store, and to Windows 7 users via Windows Update. Windows 10 receives new builds on an ongoing basis, which are available at no additional cost to users, in addition to additional test builds of Windows 10, which are available to Windows Insiders. Devices in enterprise environments can receive these updates at a slower pace, or use long-term support milestones that only receive critical updates, such as security patches, over their ten-year lifespan of extended support.[18][19]

Windows 10 received generally positive reviews upon its original release. Critics praised Microsoft's decision to provide the desktop-oriented interface in line with previous versions of Windows, contrasting the tablet-oriented approach of Windows 8, although Windows 10's touch-oriented user interface mode was criticized for containing regressions upon the touch-oriented interface of its predecessor. Critics also praised the improvements to Windows 10's bundled software over Windows 8.1, Xbox Live integration, as well as the functionality and capabilities of the Cortana personal assistant and the replacement of Internet Explorer with Microsoft Edge. However, media outlets have been critical of the changes to operating system behaviors, including mandatory update installation, privacy concerns over data collection performed by the OS for Microsoft and its partners, and adware-like tactics used to promote the operating system on its release.[20]

Microsoft initially aimed to have Windows 10 installed on over one billion devices within three years of its release;[18] that goal was ultimately reached almost five years after release on March 16, 2020.[21] By January 2018, Windows 10 surpassed Windows 7 as the most popular version of Windows worldwide.[22] As of June 2021[update], it is estimated that 79% of Windows PCs,[22] 58% of all PCs (the rest being older Windows versions and other operating systems such as macOS and Linux), and 24% of all devices (including mobile, tablet and console)[23] are running Windows 10. On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 10's successor, Windows 11, which was released on October 5, 2021.[24]

Windows 10 is the final version of Windows which supports IA-32 and ARMv7-based processors (also known as 32-bit processors). Its successor, Windows 11, requires a 64-bit processor in any supported architecture (x86-64/AMD64 for x86 and ARMv8 for ARM).

Development[edit]

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in 2011, Andrew Lees, the chief of Microsoft's mobile technologies, said that the company intended to have a single software ecosystem for PCs, phones, tablets, and other devices: "We won't have an ecosystem for PCs, and one for phones, and one for tablets‍—‌they'll all come together."[25][26]

In December 2013, technology writer Mary Jo Foley reported that Microsoft was working on an update to Windows 8 codenamed "Threshold", after a planet in its Halo franchise.[27] Similarly to "Blue" (which became Windows 8.1),[28] Foley described Threshold, not as a single operating system, but as a "wave of operating systems" across multiple Microsoft platforms and services, quoting Microsoft sources, scheduled for the second quarter of 2015. She also stated that one of the goals for Threshold was to create a unified application platform and development toolkit for Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One (which all use a similar kernel based on Windows NT).[27][29]

At the Build Conference in April 2014, Microsoft's Terry Myerson unveiled an updated version of Windows 8.1 (build 9697) that added the ability to run Windows Store apps inside desktop windows and a more traditional Start menu in place of the Start screen seen in Windows 8. The new Start menu takes after Windows 7's design by using only a portion of the screen and including a Windows 7-style application listing in the first column. The second column displays Windows 8-style app tiles. Myerson said that these changes would occur in a future update, but did not elaborate.[30][31] Microsoft also unveiled the concept of a "universal Windows app", allowing Windows Store apps created for Windows 8.1 to be ported to Windows Phone 8.1 and Xbox One while sharing a common codebase, with an interface designed for different device form factors, and allowing user data and licenses for an app to be shared between multiple platforms. Windows Phone 8.1 would share nearly 90% of the common Windows Runtime APIs with Windows 8.1 on PCs.[30][32][33][34]

Screenshots of a Windows build purported to be Threshold were leaked in July 2014, showing the previously presented Start menu and windowed Windows Store apps,[35] followed by a further screenshot of a build identifying itself as "Windows Technical Preview", numbered 9834, in September 2014, showing a new virtual desktop system, a notification center, and a new File Explorer icon.[36]

Announcement[edit]

"Windows 9" redirects here. For the Windows versions produced from 1995 to 2000, see Windows 9x.

On September 30, 2014, Microsoft officially announced that Threshold would be unveiled during a media event as Windows 10. Myerson said that Windows 10 would be Microsoft's "most comprehensive platform ever", providing a single, unified platform for desktop and laptop computers, tablets, smartphones, and all-in-one devices.[37][38][39] He emphasized that Windows 10 would take steps towards restoring user interface mechanics from Windows 7 to improve the experience for users on non-touch devices, noting criticism of Windows 8's touch-oriented interface by keyboard and mouse users.[40][41] Despite these concessions, Myerson noted that the touch-optimized interface would evolve as well on 10.[42]

In regards to Microsoft naming the new operating system Windows 10 instead of Windows 9, Terry Myerson said that "based on the product that's coming, and just how different our approach will be overall, it wouldn't be right to call it Windows 9."[43] He also joked that they could not call it "Windows One" (alluding to several recent Microsoft products with a similar brand, such as OneDrive, OneNote, and the Xbox One) because Windows 1.0 already existed.[44] At a San Francisco conference in October 2014, Tony Prophet, Microsoft's Vice President of Windows Marketing, said that Windows 9 "came and went", and that Windows 10 would not be "an incremental step from Windows 8.1," but "a material step. We're trying to create one platform, one eco-system that unites as many of the devices from the small embedded Internet of Things, through tablets, through phones, through PCs and, ultimately, into the Xbox."

Further details surrounding Windows 10's consumer-oriented features were presented during another media event held on January 21, 2015, entitled "Windows 10: The Next Chapter". The keynote featured the unveiling of Cortana integration within the operating system, new Xbox-oriented features, Windows 10 Mobile, an updated Office Mobile suite, Surface Hub‍—‌a large-screened Windows 10 device for enterprise collaboration based upon Perceptive Pixel technology,[46] along with HoloLens‑augmented reality eyewear and an associated platform for building apps that can render holograms through HoloLens.[47]

Additional developer-oriented details surrounding the "Universal Windows Platform" concept were revealed and discussed during Microsoft's Build developers' conference. Among them were the unveiling of "Islandwood", which provides a middlewaretoolchain for compiling Objective-C-based software (particularly iOS) to run as universal apps on Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. A port of Candy Crush Saga made using the toolkit, which shared much of its code with the iOS version, was demonstrated, alongside the announcement that the King-developed game would be bundled with Windows 10 at launch.[48][49][50][51]

At the 2015 Ignite conference, Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon stated that Windows 10 would be the "last version of Windows", a statement that Microsoft confirmed was "reflective" of its view of the operating system being a "service" with new versions and updates to be released over time.[52][53][54] In 2021, however, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be succeeded on compatible hardware by Windows 11–and that Windows 10 support will end on October 14, 2025.[55][56]

Release and marketing[edit]

On June 1, 2015, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would be released on July 29.[17] On July 20, 2015 Microsoft began "Upgrade Your World", an advertising campaign centering on Windows 10, with the premiere of television commercials in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The commercials focused on the tagline "A more human way to do", emphasizing new features and technologies supported by Windows 10 that sought to provide a more "personal" experience to users.[57][58] The campaign culminated with launch events in thirteen cities on July 29, 2015, which celebrated "the unprecedented role our biggest fans played in the development of Windows 10".[59]

Features[edit]

Main article: Features new to Windows 10

See also: List of features removed in Windows 10

Windows 10 makes its user experience and functionality more consistent between different classes of device and addresses most of the shortcomings in the user interface that were introduced in Windows 8.[40][41][60]Windows 10 Mobile, the successor to Windows Phone 8.1, shared some user interface elements and apps with its PC counterpart.[61]

Windows 10 supports universal apps, an expansion of the Metro-style first introduced in Windows 8. Universal apps can be designed to run across multiple Microsoft product families with nearly identical code‍—‌including PCs, tablets, smartphones, embedded systems, Xbox One, Surface Hub and Mixed Reality. The Windows user interface was revised to handle transitions between a mouse-oriented interface and a touchscreen-optimized interface based on available input devices‍—‌particularly on 2-in-1 PCs, both interfaces include an updated Start menu which incorporates elements of Windows 7's traditional Start menu with the tiles of Windows 8. Windows 10 also introduced the Microsoft Edgeweb browser, a virtual desktop system, a window and desktop management feature called Task View, support for fingerprint and face recognition login, new security features for enterprise environments, and DirectX 12.

The Windows Runtime app ecosystem was revised into the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).[32][62][63] These universal apps are made to run across multiple platforms and device classes, including smartphones, tablets, Xbox One consoles, and other devices compatible with Windows 10. Windows apps share code across platforms, have responsive designs that adapt to the needs of the device and available inputs, can synchronize data between Windows 10 devices (including notifications, credentials, and allowing cross-platform multiplayer for games), and are distributed through the Microsoft Store (rebranded from Windows Store since September 2017).[64] Developers can allow "cross-buys", where purchased licenses for an app apply to all of the user's compatible devices, rather than only the one they purchased on (e.g., a user purchasing an app on PC is also entitled to use the smartphone version at no extra cost).[33][65][66]

The ARM version of Windows 10 allows running applications for x86 processors through 32-bit software emulation.[67]

On Windows 10, Microsoft Store serves as a unified storefront for apps, video content, and eBooks.[68] Windows 10 also allows web apps and desktop software (using either Win32 or .NET Framework) to be packaged for distribution on Microsoft Store. Desktop software distributed through Windows Store is packaged using the App-V system to allow sandboxing.[69][70]

User interface and desktop[edit]

The "Task View" display is a new feature to Windows 10, allowing the use of multiple workspaces.

A new iteration of the Start menu is used on the Windows 10 desktop, with a list of places and other options on the left side, and tiles representing applications on the right. The menu can be resized, and expanded into a full-screen display, which is the default option in Tablet mode.[40][60][71] A new virtual desktop system was added by a feature known as Task View, which displays all open windows and allows users to switch between them, or switch between multiple workspaces.[40][60] Universal apps, which previously could be used only in full screen mode, can now be used in self-contained windows similarly to other programs.[40][60] Program windows can now be snapped to quadrants of the screen by dragging them to the corner. When a window is snapped to one side of the screen, Task View appears and the user is prompted to choose a second window to fill the unused side of the screen (called "Snap Assist").[60] The Windows system icons were also changed.[71]

Charms have been removed; their functionality in universal apps is accessed from an App commands menu on their title bar.[40][60] In its place is Action Center, which displays notifications and settings toggles. It is accessed by clicking an icon in the notification area, or dragging from the right of the screen. Notifications can be synced between multiple devices.[61][71] The Settings app (formerly PC Settings) was refreshed and now includes more options that were previously exclusive to the desktop Control Panel.

Windows 10 is designed to adapt its user interface based on the type of device being used and available input methods. It offers two separate user interface modes: a user interface optimized for mouse and keyboard, and a "Tablet mode" designed for touchscreens. Users can toggle between these two modes at any time, and Windows can prompt or automatically switch when certain events occur, such as disabling Tablet mode on a tablet if a keyboard or mouse is plugged in, or when a 2-in-1 PC is switched to its laptop state. In Tablet mode, programs default to a maximized view, and the taskbar contains a back button and hides buttons for opened or pinned programs by default; Task View is used instead to switch between programs. The full screen Start menu is used in this mode, similarly to Windows 8, but scrolls vertically instead of horizontally.[41][74][75][76]

System security[edit]

Windows 10 incorporates multi-factor authentication technology based upon standards developed by the FIDO Alliance.[77] The operating system includes improved support for biometric authentication through the Windows Hello platform. Devices with supported cameras (requiring infrared illumination, such as Intel RealSense) allow users to log in with iris or face recognition, similarly to Kinect. Devices with supported readers allow users to log in through fingerprint recognition. Support was also added for palm-vein scanning through a partnership with Fujitsu in February 2018.[78] Credentials are stored locally and protected using asymmetric encryption.[79]

In 2017, researchers demonstrated that Windows Hello could be bypassed on fully-updated Windows 10 1703 with a color printout of a person's picture taken with an IR camera.[80] In 2021, researchers were again able to bypass the Windows Hello functionalities by using custom hardware disguised as a camera, which presented an IR photo of the owner's face.[81]

In addition to biometric authentication, Windows Hello supports authentication with a PIN. By default, Windows requires a PIN to consist of four digits, but can be configured to permit more complex PINs. However, a PIN is not a simpler password. While passwords are transmitted to domain controllers, PINs are not. They are tied to one device, and if compromised, only one device is affected. Backed by a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip, Windows uses PINs to create strong asymmetric key pairs. As such, the authentication token transmitted to the server is harder to crack. In addition, whereas weak passwords may be broken via rainbow tables, TPM causes the much-simpler Windows PINs to be resilient to brute-force attacks.[82]

When Windows 10 was first introduced, multi-factor authentication was provided by two components: Windows Hello and Passport (not to be confused with the Passport platform of 1998). Later, Passport was merged into Windows Hello.[83][79]

The enterprise edition of Windows 10 offers additional security features; administrators can set up policies for the automatic encryption of sensitive data, selectively block applications from accessing encrypted data, and enable Device Guard‍—‌a system which allows administrators to enforce a high-security environment by blocking the execution of software that is not digitally signed by a trusted vendor or Microsoft. Device Guard is designed to protect against zero-day exploits, and runs inside a hypervisor so that its operation remains separated from the operating system itself.[77][84]

Command line[edit]

The console windows based on Windows Console (for any console app, not just PowerShell and Windows Command Prompt) can now be resized without any restrictions, can be made to cover the full screen by pressing +, and can use standard keyboard shortcuts, such as those for cut, copy, and paste. Other features such as word wrap and transparency were also added. These functions can be disabled to revert to the legacy console if needed.[85]

The Anniversary Update added Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), which allows the installation of a user space environment from a supported Linuxdistribution that runs natively on Windows. The subsystem translates Linux system calls to those of the Windows NT kernel (only claims full system call compatibility as of WSL 2, included in a later Windows update). The environment can execute the Bash shell and 64-bit command-line programs (WSL 2 also supports 32-bit Linux programs and graphics, assuming supporting software installed,[86] and GPUs support for other uses[87]). Windows applications cannot be executed from the Linux environment, and vice versa. Linux distributions for Windows Subsystem for Linux are obtained through Microsoft Store. The feature initially supported an Ubuntu-based environment; Microsoft announced in May 2017 that it would add Fedora and OpenSUSE environment options as well.[88][89][90][91][92][93][94]

Storage requirements[edit]

To reduce the storage footprint of the operating system, Windows 10 automatically compresses system files. The system can reduce the storage footprint of Windows by approximately 1.5 GB for 32-bit systems and 2.6 GB for 64-bit systems. The level of compression used is dependent on a performance assessment performed during installations or by OEMs, which tests how much compression can be used without harming operating system performance. Furthermore, the Refresh and Reset functions use runtime system files instead, making a separate recovery partition redundant, allowing patches and updates to remain installed following the operation, and further reducing the amount of space required for Windows 10 by up to 12 GB. These functions replace the WIMBoot mode introduced on Windows 8.1 Update, which allowed OEMs to configure low-capacity devices with flash-based storage to use Windows system files out of the compressed WIM image typically used for installation and recovery.[95][96][97] Windows 10 also includes a function in its Settings app that allows users to view a breakdown of how their device's storage capacity is being used by different types of files, and determine whether certain types of files are saved to internal storage or an SD card by default.[98]

Online services and functionality[edit]

Windows 10 introduces Microsoft Edge, a new default web browser. It initially featured a new standards-compliant rendering engine derived from Trident, and also includes annotation tools and integration with other Microsoft platforms present within Windows 10.[99][100][101] Internet Explorer 11 is maintained on Windows 10 for compatibility purposes, but is deprecated in favor of Edge and will no longer be actively developed.[102][103] In January 2020, the initial version of Edge was succeeded by a new iteration derived from the Chromium project and the Blink layout engine and the old Edge based on EdgeHTML is now called 'Microsoft Edge Legacy'.[104] The legacy version of Edge is currently being replaced by the new Chromium-based Edge via Windows Update, though this version can also be downloaded manually. Every Windows 10 version from 20H2, which was released on October 20, 2020, will come with the new version of the browser preinstalled.[105] The Windows 10 October 2020 update added a price comparison tool to the Edge browser.[106]

Windows 10 incorporates a universal search box located alongside the Start and Task View buttons, which can be hidden or condensed into a single button.[107][108] Previous versions featured Microsoft's intelligent personal assistant Cortana, which was first introduced with Windows Phone 8.1 in 2014, and supports both text and voice input. Many of its features are a direct carryover from Windows Phone, including integration with Bing, setting reminders, a Notebook feature for managing personal information, as well as searching for files, playing music, launching applications and setting reminders or sending emails.[109][110][71] Since the November 2019 update, Microsoft has begun to downplay Cortana as part of a repositioning of the product towards enterprise use, with the May 2020 update removing its Windows shell integration and consumer-oriented features.[111][112][107][113]

Microsoft Family Safety is replaced by Microsoft Family, a parental controls system that applies across Windows platforms and Microsoft online services. Users can create a designated family, and monitor and restrict the actions of users designated as children, such as access to websites, enforcing age ratings on Microsoft Store purchases, and other restrictions. The service can also send weekly e-mail reports to parents detailing a child's computer usage. Unlike previous versions of Windows, child accounts in a family must be associated with a Microsoft account‍—‌which allows these settings to apply across all Windows 10 devices that a particular child is using.[114][115]

Windows 10 also offers the Wi-Fi Sense feature originating from Windows Phone 8.1; users can optionally have their device automatically connect to suggested open hotspots, and share their home network's password with contacts (either via Skype, People, or Facebook) so they may automatically connect to the network on a Windows 10 device without needing to manually enter its password. Credentials are stored in an encrypted form on Microsoft servers and sent to the devices of the selected contacts. Passwords are not viewable by the guest user, and the guest user is not allowed to access other computers or devices on the network. Wi-Fi Sense is not usable on 802.1X-encrypted networks. Adding "_optout" at the end of the SSID will also block the corresponding network from being used for this feature.[116]

Universal calling and messaging apps for Windows 10 are built in as of the November 2015 update: Messaging, Skype Video, and Phone. These offer built-in alternatives to the Skype download and sync with Windows 10 Mobile.[117][118]

Multimedia and gaming[edit]

See also: List of Xbox Live Games on Windows 10

Windows 10 provides greater integration with the Xbox ecosystem. Xbox SmartGlass is succeeded by the Xbox Console Companion (formerly the Xbox app), which allows users to browse their game library (including both PC and Xbox console games), and Game DVR is also available using a keyboard shortcut, allowing users to save the last 30 seconds of gameplay as a video that can be shared to Xbox Live, OneDrive, or elsewhere.[119][120] Windows 10 also allows users to control and play games from an Xbox One console over a local network.[121] The Xbox Live SDK allows application developers to incorporate Xbox Live functionality into their apps, and future wireless Xbox One accessories, such as controllers, are supported on Windows with an adapter.[122] Microsoft also intends to allow cross-purchases and save synchronization between Xbox One and Windows 10 versions of games; Microsoft Studios games such as ReCore and Quantum Break are intended as being exclusive to Windows 10 and Xbox One.[123]

Candy Crush Saga and Microsoft Solitaire Collection are also automatically installed upon installation of Windows 10.[124][125]

Windows 10 adds native game recording and screenshot capture ability using the newly introduced Game Bar. Users can also have the OS continuously record gameplay in the background, which then allows the user to save the last few moments of gameplay to the storage device.[126]

Windows 10 adds FLAC and HEVC codecs and support for the Matroska media container, allowing these formats to be opened in Windows Media Player and other applications.[127][128][129]

DirectX 12[edit]

Windows 10 includes DirectX 12, alongside WDDM 2.0.[130][131] Unveiled March 2014 at GDC, DirectX 12 aims to provide "console-level efficiency" with "closer to the metal" access to hardware resources, and reduced CPU and graphics driver overhead.[132][133] Most of the performance improvements are achieved through low-level programming, which allow developers to use resources more efficiently and reduce single-threaded CPU bottlenecking caused by abstraction through higher level APIs.[134][135] DirectX 12 will also feature support for vendor agnostic multi-GPU setups.[136] WDDM 2.0 introduces a new virtual memory management and allocation system to reduce workload on the kernel-mode driver.[130][137]

Fonts[edit]

Main article: List of typefaces included with Microsoft Windows

Windows 10 adds three new default typefaces compared to Windows 8, but removes dozens of others. The removed typefaces are available in supplemental packs and may be added manually over a non-metered internet connection.

Editions and pricing[edit]

Main article: Windows 10 editions

Windows 10 is available in five main editions for personal computing devices; the Home and Pro editions of which are sold at retail in most countries, and as pre-loaded software on new computers. Home is aimed at home users, while Pro is aimed at power users and small businesses. Each edition of Windows 10 includes all of the capabilities and features of the edition below it, and add additional features oriented towards their market segments; for example, Pro adds additional networking and security features such as BitLocker, Device Guard, Windows Update for Business, and the ability to join a domain. Enterprise and Education, the other editions, contain additional features aimed towards business environments, and are only available through volume licensing.[138][139]

As part of Microsoft's unification strategies, Windows products that are based on Windows 10's common platform but meant for specialized platforms are marketed as editions of the operating system, rather than as separate product lines. An updated version of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system for smartphones, and also tablets, was branded as Windows 10 Mobile.[140] Editions of Enterprise and Mobile will also be produced for embedded systems, along with Windows 10 IoT Core, which is designed specifically for use in small footprint, low-cost devices and Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios and is similar to Windows Embedded.[138][139]

On May 2, 2017, Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 S (referred to in leaks as Windows 10 Cloud), a feature-limited edition of Windows 10 which was designed primarily for devices in the education market (competing, in particular, with Chrome OS netbooks), such as the Surface Laptop that Microsoft also unveiled at this time. The OS restricts software installation to applications obtained from Microsoft Store; the device may be upgraded to Windows 10 Pro for a fee to enable unrestricted software installation. As a time-limited promotion, Microsoft stated that this upgrade would be free on the Surface Laptop until March 31, 2018.[141] Windows 10 S also contains a faster initial setup and login process, and allows devices to be provisioned using a USB drive with the Windows Intune for Education platform.[142][143][144][145][146] In March 2018, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 S would be deprecated because of market confusion and would be replaced by "S Mode", an OEM option wherein Windows defaults to only allowing applications to be installed from Microsoft Store, but does not require payment in order to disable these restrictions.[147][148]

Preview releases[edit]

See also: Windows Insider

A public beta program for Windows 10 known as the Windows Insider Program began with the first publicly available preview release on October 1, 2014. Insider preview builds are aimed towards enthusiasts and enterprise users for the testing and evaluation of updates and new features.[149] Users of the Windows Insider program receive occasional updates to newer preview builds of the operating system and will continue to be able to evaluate preview releases after general availability (GA) in July 2015‍—‌this is in contrast to previous Windows beta programs, where public preview builds were released less frequently and only during the months preceding GA.[40][42][150][151][152] Windows Insider builds continued being released after the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows 10.[153]

Public release[edit]

On July 29, 2015, Microsoft officially announced that Windows 10 would be released for retail purchase as a free upgrade from earlier versions of Windows. In comparison to previous Windows releases, which had a longer turnover between the release to manufacturing (RTM) and general release to allow for testing by vendors (and in some cases, the development of "upgrade kits" to prepare systems for installation of the new version), an HP executive explained that because it knew Microsoft targeted the operating system for a 2015 release, the company was able to optimize its then-current and upcoming products for Windows 10 in advance of its release, negating the need for such a milestone.[155][better source needed]

The general availability build of Windows 10, numbered 10240, was first released to Windows Insider channels for pre-launch testing on July 15, 2015, prior to its formal release.[156] Although a Microsoft official said there would be no specific RTM build of Windows 10, 10240 was described as an RTM build by media outlets because it was released to all Windows Insider members at once (rather than to users on the "Fast ring" first), it no longer carried pre-release branding and desktop watermark text, and its build number had mathematical connections to the number 10 in reference to the operating system's naming.[158][159][160][161][162][163] The Enterprise edition was released to volume licensing on August 1, 2015.[164]

Windows 10 is distributed digitally through the "Media Creation Tool", which is functionally identical to the Windows 8 online installer, and can also be used to generate an ISO image or USB install media.[165] In-place upgrades are supported from most editions of Windows 7 with Service Pack 1 and Windows 8.1 with Update 1, while users with Windows 8 must first upgrade to Windows 8.1. Changing between architectures (e.g., upgrading from 32-bit edition to a 64-bit editions) via in-place upgrades is not supported; a clean install is required.[166][167] In-place upgrades may be rolled back to the device's previous version of Windows, provided that 30 days have not passed since installation, and backup files were not removed using Disk Cleanup.

Windows 10 was available in 190 countries and 111 languages upon its launch, and as part of efforts to "re-engage" with users in China, Microsoft also announced that it would partner with Qihoo and Tencent to help promote and distribute Windows 10 in China, and that Chinese PC maker Lenovo would provide assistance at its service centers and retail outlets for helping users upgrade to Windows 10.[168][169][170] At retail, Windows 10 is priced similarly to editions of Windows 8.1, with U.S. prices set at $119 and $199 for Windows 10 Home and Pro respectively. A Windows 10 Pro Pack license allows upgrades from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro.[171][172] Retail copies only ship on USB flash drive media; however, system builder copies still ship as DVD-ROM media.[173] New devices shipping with Windows 10 were also released during the operating system's launch window.[174]

Windows RT devices cannot be upgraded to Windows 10.[167][175]

Free upgrade offer[edit]

Main article: Windows 10 editions § Free upgrade

During its first year of availability,[176] upgrade licenses for Windows 10 could be obtained at no charge for devices with a genuine license for an eligible edition of Windows 7 or 8.1.[172][177][178]

This offer did not apply to Enterprise editions, as customers under an active Software Assurance (SA) contract with upgrade rights are entitled to obtain Windows 10 Enterprise under their existing terms. All users running non-genuine copies of Windows, and those without an existing Windows 7 or 8 license, were ineligible for this promotion; although upgrades from a non-genuine version were possible, they result in a non-genuine copy of 10.[153][168][178][179][180]

On the general availability build of Windows 10 (version 1507), to activate and generate the "digital entitlement" for Windows 10, the operating system must have first been installed as an in-place upgrade. During the free upgrade, a file is created in the background and the system's motherboard details are registered with a Microsoft Product Activation server. Once installed, the operating system can be reinstalled on that particular system via normal means without a product key, and the system's license will automatically be detected via online activation - in essence, the Microsoft Product Activation Server will remember the system's motherboard and give it the green light for product re-activation.[166][181][182] Because of installation issues with Upgrade Only installs, the November Update (version 1511) included additional activation mechanisms. This build treated Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 product keys as Windows 10 product keys, meaning they could be entered during installation to activate the free license, without the need to upgrade first to "activate" the hardware with Microsoft's activation servers.[183] For major Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 OEM product keys are embedded in the firmware of the motherboard and if the correct edition of Windows 10 is present on the installation media, they are automatically inputted during installation. Since the release of the Fall Creators Update (version 1709), Microsoft decided to release multi-edition installation media, to alleviate installation and product activation issues users experienced because of accidentally installing the wrong edition of Windows 10.

The Windows Insider Preview version of Windows 10 automatically updated itself to the generally released version as part of the version progression and continues to be updated to new beta builds, as it had throughout the testing process. Microsoft explicitly stated that Windows Insider was not a valid upgrade path for those running a version of Windows that is ineligible for the upgrade offer; although, if it was not installed with a license carried over from an in-place upgrade to 10 Insider Preview from Windows 7 or 8, the Insider Preview does remain activated as long as the user does not exit the Windows Insider program.[153]

The offer was promoted and delivered via the "Get Windows 10" application (also known as GWX), which was automatically installed via Windows Update ahead of Windows 10's release, and activated on systems deemed eligible for the upgrade offer. Via a notification area icon, users could access an application that advertised Windows 10 and the free upgrade offer, check device compatibility, and "reserve" an automatic download of the operating system upon its release.[184][185] On July 28, a pre-download process began in which Windows 10 installation files were downloaded to some computers that had reserved it. Microsoft said that those who reserved Windows 10 would be able to install it through GWX in a phased rollout process. The operating system could alternatively be downloaded at any time using a separate "Media Creation Tool" setup program, that allows for the creation of DVD or USB installation media.[165][174][186][187]

In May 2016, Microsoft announced that the free upgrade offer would be extended to users of assistive technologies; however, Microsoft did not implement any means of certifying eligibility for this offer, which some outlets thereby promoted as being a loophole to fraudulently obtain a free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft said that the loophole is not intended to be used in this manner.[188][189][190] In November 2017, Microsoft announced that this program would end on December 31, 2017.[191]

However, another loophole was found that allowed Windows 7 and 8.1 users upgrade to Windows 10 using existing licenses, even though the free upgrade offers officially ended in 2017. No word from Microsoft was given whether it will be closed[192] and some outlets have continued to promote it as a free method of upgrading from the now-unsupported Windows 7.[193]

Licensing[edit]

During upgrades, Windows 10 licenses are not tied directly to a product key. Instead, the license status of the system's current installation of Windows is migrated, and a "Digital license" ( known as "Digital entitlement" in version 1511 or earlier) is generated during the activation process, which is bound to the hardware information collected during the process. If Windows 10 is reinstalled cleanly and there have not been any significant hardware changes since installation (such as a motherboard change), the online activation process will automatically recognize the system's digital entitlement if no product key is entered during installations. However, unique product keys are still distributed within retail copies of Windows 10. As with previous non-volume-licensed variants of Windows, significant hardware changes will invalidate the digital entitlement, and require Windows to be re-activated.[166][181]

Updates and support[edit]

Main article: Windows 10 version history

Unlike previous versions of Windows, Windows Update does not allow the selective installation of updates, and all updates (including patches, feature updates, and driver software) are downloaded and installed automatically. Users can only choose whether their system will reboot automatically to install updates when the system is inactive, or be notified to schedule a reboot.[194][195] If a wireless network is designated as "Metered"—a function which automatically reduces the operating system's background network activity to conserve limits on Internet usage—most updates are not downloaded until the device is connected to a non-metered network. Version 1703 allows wired (Ethernet) networks to be designated as metered, but Windows may still download certain updates while connected to a metered network.[196][197]

In version 2004, by installing the August 2020 security update and later versions, driver and non-security updates pushed via Windows Update that are considered optional are no longer automatically downloaded and installed in their devices. Users can access them on Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View optional update.[198]

Updates can cause compatibility or other problems; a Microsoft troubleshooter program allows bad updates to be uninstalled.[199][200]

Under the Windows end-user license agreement, users consent to the automatic installation of all updates, features and drivers provided by the service, and implicitly consent "without any additional notice" to the possibility of features being modified or removed.[201][202][203] The agreement also states, specifically for users of Windows 10 in Canada, that they may pause updates by disconnecting their device from the Internet.[204]

Windows Update can also use a peer to peer system for distributing updates; by default, users' bandwidth is used to distribute previously downloaded updates to other users, in combination with Microsoft servers. Users can instead choose to only use peer-to-peer updates within their local area network.[205]

Support lifecycle[edit]

Mainstream supportVaries by version[206][207]
Extended supportOctober 14, 2025 (2025-10-14)[206][207]
Home, Pro, Pro for Workstations, S, Education, Pro Education, Enterprise, IoT Enterprise, IoT Core, Team, Enterprise 2015 LTSB, and IoT Enterprise 2015 LTSB.[208]
Windows 10 Mobile, Mobile Enterprise, and IoT MobileUnsupported as of January 14, 2020[209]
Windows 10 Enterprise and IoT Enterprise 2016 LTSBMainstream support ended on October 12, 2021[207]
Extended support until October 13, 2026[207]
Windows 10 Enterprise, IoT Enterprise, and IoT Core 2019 LTSCMainstream support until January 9, 2024[207]
Extended support until January 9, 2029[207]
Windows 10 Enterprise 2021 LTSCMainstream support until January 12, 2027[207]
Windows 10 IoT Enterprise and IoT Core 2021 LTSCMainstream support until January 12, 2027[207]
Extended support until January 13, 2032[207]

The original release of Windows 10 receives mainstream support for five years after its original release, followed by five years of extended support, but this is subject to conditions. Microsoft's support lifecycle policy for the operating system notes that "Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it", that "a device needs to install the latest update to remain supported", and that a device's ability to receive future updates will depend on hardware compatibility, driver availability, and whether the device is within the OEM's "support period"‍—‌a new aspect not accounted for in lifecycle policies for previous versions.[210][178][211][212] This policy was first invoked in 2017 to block Intel Clover Trail devices from receiving the Creators Update, as Microsoft asserts that future updates "require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience", and that Intel no longer provided support or drivers for the platform. Microsoft stated that these devices would no longer receive feature updates, but would still receive security updates through January 2023.[213] Microsoft will continue to support at least one standard Windows 10 semi-annual channel release until October 14, 2025.[15][16]

The following table collects current status of the aforementioned updating and support of different branches of Windows 10:

Update branchMicrosoft internal channels
(more detail here)
Alpha software
Windows Insider Preview Branch
(WIPB)
Beta software
Semi-Annual Channel
(formerly CB)
"End user"
Long-term Servicing channel
(formerly LTSB)
"Mission critical"
EditionHome  
Pro  
Education  
Enterprise Enterprise LTSC
Critical updates
Security patches and stability updates
Continuous Continuous as made available
(choice of Beta, Dev, or Release Preview channel)
Automatic User can defer updates indefinitely
Feature upgrades
Non-critical functionality and feature updates
Automatic or defer[218]Only through LTSC in-place upgrades
Feature upgrades cadence Continuous Continuous as released Continuous, deferrable for 12 months at a time; once a deferral period is past, no further deferrals possible until latest updates are installed LTSC releases are stable 'snapshots' of SAC
Upgrade support Continuous updating, features come and go silently with new builds Continuous updating or in-place upgrade to supported LTSC builds In-place upgrade support for the three most recent LTSC builds
Update support Only the latest build is supported 10 years (or until future builds require hardware support the old device doesn't have or ~4 months after a missed cumulative update made into SAC.)[210]10 years (or ~6 months from deferring build upgrade or until future builds require hardware support the old device doesn't have.) 5 years (for 21H2 and newer, non IoT) or 5 years mainstream + 5 years extended (for 2019 and older, all IoT versions)
Update methods Windows UpdateWindows Update
Windows Update for Business
Windows Server Update Services

Feature updates[edit]

Windows 10 is often described by Microsoft as being a "service", as it receives regular "feature updates" that contain new features and other updates and fixes.[178][219][220][221] In April 2017, Microsoft stated that these updates would be released twice a year every March and September in the future.[222] Mainstream builds of Windows 10, until and including 2004, were labeled "YYMM", with "YY" representing the two-digit year and "MM" representing the month of release. For example, version 1809 was released in September (the ninth month) of 2018. This was changed with the 20H2 release where "MM" represents the half of the year in which the update was released, for example H1 for the first half and H2 for the second half.[223]

The pace at which feature updates are received by devices is dependent on which release channel is used. The default branch for all users of Windows 10 Home and Pro is "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)" (formerly "Current Branch", or "CB"),[221] which receives stable builds after they are publicly released by Microsoft. Each build of Windows 10 is supported for 18 months after its original release.[221] In enterprise environments, Microsoft officially intends that this branch is used for "targeted" deployments of newly-released stable versions so that they can be evaluated and tested on a limited number of devices before a wider deployment. Once a stable build is certified by Microsoft and its partners as being suitable for broad deployment, the build is then released on the "Semi-Annual Channel" (formerly "Current Branch for Business", or "CBB"), which is supported by the Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows 10.[221][195][224] Semi-Annual Channel receives stable builds on a four-month delay from their release on the Targeted channel,[221] Administrators can also use the "Windows Update for Business" system, as well as existing tools such as WSUS and System Center Configuration Manager, to organize structured deployments of feature updates across their networks.[221][195]

The Windows Insider branches receive unstable builds as they are released; it is divided into two channels, "Dev" (which receives new builds immediately after their release), and "Beta" (whose releases are slightly delayed from their "Dev" release).[221]

Enterprise licensees may use the Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC (formerly LTSB) edition, where "LTSC" stands for "long-term servicing channel", which only receive quality of life updates (i.e. security patches), and has a full, 5 or 10-year support lifecycle for each build.[221][224][217] This edition is designed for "special-purpose devices" that perform a fixed function (such as automated teller machines and medical equipment). For this reason, it excludes Cortana, Microsoft Store, and all bundled Universal Windows Platform apps (including but not limited to Microsoft Edge, hence these builds ship only with Internet Explorer as browser).[225][226][221][178][227][228] Microsoft director Stella Chernyak explained that "we have businesses [that] may have mission-critical environments where we respect the fact they want to test and stabilize the environment for a long time."[229] Four LTSC builds have been released, correlating with the 1507, 1607, 1809, and 21H2 versions of Windows 10, respectively.[230][231][232]

In July 2017, Microsoft announced changes in the terminology for Windows branches as part of its effort to unify the update cadence with that of Office 365 ProPlus and Windows Server 2016.[233][221] The branch system now defines two paces of upgrade deployment in enterprise environments, "targeted" initial deployment of a new version on selected systems immediately after its stable release for final testing, and "broad" deployment afterwards. Hence, "Current Branch" is now known as "Semi-Annual Channel (Targeted)", and "Current Branch for Business" for broad deployment is now referred to as "Semi-Annual Channel".[234][221]

In February 2019, Microsoft announced changes again in delivering updates in beginning of release of version 1903: a single SAC will be released and SAC-T will be retired, and users are no longer able to switch to different channels. Instead, these updates can be deferred from 30 to 90 days, or depending how the device was configured to deferred the updates.[235] In April 2019, it was announced that, in addition, feature updates will no longer be automatically pushed to users.[236] However after the release of version 2004, the update only pushed for those running a feature update version that is nearing end of service or it can be paused for up to 35 days.[237][238]

Feature updates prior to version 1909 are distributed solely as an in-place upgrade installation, requiring the download of a complete operating system package (approximately 3.5 GB in size for 64-bit systems). Unlike previous builds, version 1909 is designed primarily as an update rollup version of 1903, focusing primarily on minor feature additions and enhancements. For upgrades to 1909 from 1903, a new delivery method is used where its changes were delivered as part of the monthly cumulative update, but are left in a dormant state until the 1909 update "enablement" patch is installed. The full upgrade process is still used for those using builds prior to 1903.[239][240]

Features in development[edit]

In May 2017, Microsoft unveiled Fluent Design System (previously codenamed "Project Neon"), a revamp of Microsoft Design Language 2 that will include guidelines for the designs and interactions used within software designed for all Windows 10 devices and platforms. The new design language will include the more prominent use of motion, depth, and translucency effects. Microsoft stated that the implementation of this design language would be performed over time, and it had already started to implement elements of it in Creators Update and Fall Creators Update.[241]

On December 7, 2016, Microsoft announced that, as part of a partnership with Qualcomm, it planned to introduce support for running Win32 software on ARM architecture with a 32-bit x86 processor emulator, in 2017. Terry Myerson stated that this move would enable the production of Qualcomm Snapdragon-based Windows devices with cellular connectivity and improved power efficiency over Intel-compatible devices, and still capable of running the majority of existing Windows software (unlike the previous Windows RT, which was restricted to Windows Store apps). Microsoft is initially targeting this project towards laptops.[67] Microsoft launched the branding Always Connected PCs in December 2017 to market Windows 10 devices with cellular connectivity, which included two ARM-based 2-in-1 laptops from Asus and HP featuring the Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, and the announcement of a partnership between AMD and Qualcomm to integrate its Snapdragon X16 gigabit LTE modem with AMD's Ryzen Mobile platform.[242][243]

In August 2019, Microsoft began testing changes to its handling of the user interface on convertible devices—downplaying the existing "Tablet Mode" option in favor of presenting the normal desktop with optimizations for touch when a keyboard is not present, such as increasing the space between taskbar buttons and displaying the virtual keyboard when text fields are selected.[244]

In April 2021, the ability to run Linux applications using a graphical user interface, such as Audacity, directly in Windows, was introduced as a preview.[245] This feature would later be included as part of the updated Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 for Windows 11 only.

System requirements[edit]

The basic hardware requirements to install Windows 10 were initially the same as those for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8, and only slightly higher than for Windows 7 and Windows Vista. As of the May 2019 update, the minimum disk space requirement has been increased to 32 GB. In addition, on new installations, Windows permanently reserves up to 7 GB of disk space in order to ensure proper installation of future feature updates.[247][248]

The 64-bit variants require a CPU that supports certain instructions.[249] Devices with low storage capacity must provide a USB flash drive or SD card with sufficient storage for temporary files during upgrades.[250]

Some pre-built devices may be described as "certified" by Microsoft. Certified tablets must include , , and keys; and keys are no longer required.[251]

As with Windows 8, all certified devices must ship with UEFI Secure Boot enabled by default. Unlike Windows 8, OEMs are no longer required to make Secure Boot settings user-configurable, meaning that devices may optionally be locked to run only Microsoft-signed operating systems.[252] A supported infrared-illuminated camera is required for Windows Hello face authentication, and a supported fingerprint reader is required for Windows Hello fingerprint authentication.[177] Device Guard requires a UEFI system with no third-party certificates loaded, and CPU virtualization extensions (including SLAT and IOMMU) enabled in firmware.

Beginning with Intel Kaby Lake and AMD Bristol Ridge, Windows 10 is the only version of Windows that Microsoft will officially support on newer CPU microarchitectures.[253][254] Terry Myerson stated that Microsoft did not want to make further investments in optimizing older versions of Windows and associated software for newer generations of processors.[255][256] These policies were criticized by the media, who especially noted that Microsoft was refusing to support newer hardware (particularly Intel's Skylake CPUs, which was also originally targeted by the new policy with a premature end of support that was ultimately retracted)[257][258] on Windows 8.1, a version of Windows that was still in mainstream support until January 2018.[259][260] In addition, an enthusiast-created modification was released that disabled the check and allowed Windows 8.1 and earlier to continue to work on the platform.[261]

Windows 10 version 1703 and later do not support Intel Clover Trail system-on-chips, per Microsoft's stated policy of only providing updates for devices during their OEM support period.[213][262]

Starting with Windows 10 version 2004, Microsoft will require new OEM devices to use 64-bit processors, and will therefore cease the distribution of x86 (32-bit) variants of Windows 10 via OEM channels. The 32-bit variants of Windows 10 will remain available via non-OEM channels, and Microsoft will continue to "[provide] feature and security updates on these devices".[263] This would later be followed by Windows 11 dropping 32-bit hardware support altogether, and thus making Windows 10 the final version of Windows to have a 32-bit version.[264]

Reception[edit]

Main article: Criticism of Windows 10

Critics characterized the initial release of Windows 10 as being rushed, citing the incomplete state of some of the operating system's bundled software, such as the Edge web browser, as well as the stability of the operating system itself on launch.[265][266][267] However, TechRadar felt that it could be "the new Windows 7", citing the operating system's more familiar user interface, improvements to bundled apps, performance improvements, a "rock solid" search system, and the Settings app being more full-featured than its equivalents on 8 and 8.1. The Edge browser was praised for its performance, although it was not in a feature-complete state at launch. While considering them a "great idea in principle", concerns were shown for Microsoft's focus on the universal app ecosystem:

It's by no means certain that developers are going to flock to Windows 10 from iOS and Android simply because they can convert their apps easily. It may well become a no-brainer for them, but at the moment a conscious decision is still required.[266]

Engadget was similarly positive, noting that the upgrade process was painless and that Windows 10's user interface had balanced aspects of Windows 8 with those of previous versions with a more mature aesthetic. Cortana's always-on voice detection was considered to be its "true strength", also citing its query capabilities and personalization features, but noting that it was not as pre-emptive as Google Now. Windows 10's stock applications were praised for being improved over their Windows 8 counterparts, and for supporting windowed modes. The Xbox app was also praised for its Xbox One streaming functionality, although recommending its use over a wired network because of inconsistent quality over Wi-Fi. In conclusion, it was argued that "Windows 10 delivers the most refined desktop experience ever from Microsoft, and yet it's so much more than that. It's also a decent tablet OS, and it's ready for a world filled with hybrid devices. And, barring another baffling screwup, it looks like a significant step forward for mobile. Heck, it makes the Xbox One a more useful machine."[268]

Ars Technica panned the new Tablet mode interface for removing the charms and app switching, making the Start button harder to use by requiring users to reach for the button on the bottom-left rather than at the center of the screen when swiping with a thumb, and for making application switching less instantaneous through the use of Task View. Microsoft Edge was praised for being "tremendously promising", and "a much better browser than Internet Explorer ever was", but criticized it for its lack of functionality on-launch. In conclusion, contrasting Windows 8 as being a "reliable" platform albeit consisting of unfinished concepts, Windows 10 was considered "the best Windows yet", and was praised for having a better overall concept in its ability to be "comfortable and effective" across a wide array of form factors, but that it was buggier than previous versions of Windows were on-launch.[265]ExtremeTech felt that Windows 10 restricted the choices of users, citing its more opaque setting menus, forcing users to give up bandwidth for the peer-to-peer distribution of updates, and for taking away user control of specific functions, such as updates, explaining that "it feels, once again, as if Microsoft has taken the seed of a good idea, like providing users with security updates automatically, and shoved the throttle to maximum."[269] Windows 10 has also received criticism because of deleting files without user permission after auto updates.[270]

Critics have noted that Windows 10 heavily emphasizes freemium services, and contains various advertising facilities. Some outlets have considered these to be a hidden "cost" of the free upgrade offer.[271][272][273] Examples of these have included microtransactions in bundled games such as Microsoft Solitaire Collection,[274][271][275][276] default settings that display promotions of "suggested" apps in the Start menu, "tips" on the lock screen that may contain advertising,[272][273] ads displayed in File Explorer for Office 365 subscriptions on Creators' Update,[273] and various advertising notifications displayed by default which promote Microsoft Edge when it is not set as the default web browser (including, in a September 2018 build, nag pop-ups displayed to interrupt the installation process of competitors).[277][278]

Market share and sales[edit]

See also: Usage share of operating systems § Crossover to smartphones having majority share

Windows PC market share (of Windows) statistics
Windows 10

81.43%
Windows 7

13.57%
Windows 8.1

3.17%
Windows 8

1.07%
Windows XP

0.53%
Windows Vista

0.21%
Other

0.02%
"Desktop Windows Version Market Share Worldwide" according to StatCounter for October 2021.[279] Note, StatCounter tracks Windows vs. macOS, Linux etc. separately, and this statistic is only thereof Windows share.

Up to August 2016, Windows 10 usage was increasing, with it then plateauing,[280] while eventually in 2018, it became more popular than Windows 7[281][282] (though Windows 7 was still more used in some countries in Asia and Africa in 2019). As of March 2020[update], the operating system is running on over a billion devices, reaching the goal set by Microsoft two years after the initial deadline.[21]

Twenty-four hours after it was released, Microsoft announced that over 14 million devices were running Windows 10.[283] On August 26, Microsoft said over 75 million devices were running Windows 10, in 192 countries, and on over 90,000 unique PC or tablet models.[284] According to Terry Myerson, there were over 110 million devices running Windows 10 as of October 6, 2015.[285] On January 4, 2016, Microsoft reported that Windows 10 had been activated on over 200 million devices since the operating system's launch in July 2015.[286][287]

According to StatCounter, Windows 10 overtook Windows 8.1 in December 2015.[288][289]Iceland was the first country where Windows 10 was ranked first (not only on the desktop, but across all platforms),[290] with several larger European countries following. For one week in late November 2016, Windows 10 overtook first rank from Windows 7 in the United States, before losing it again.[291] By February 2017, Windows 10 was losing market share to Windows 7.[292]

In mid-January 2018, Windows 10 had a slightly higher global market share than Windows 7,[281] with it noticeably more popular on weekends,[293] while popularity varies widely by region, e.g. Windows 10 was then still behind in Africa[294] and far ahead in some other regions e.g. Oceania.[295]

Update system changes[edit]

Windows 10 Home is permanently set to download all updates automatically, including cumulative updates, security patches, and drivers, and users cannot individually select updates to install or not.[296] Microsoft offers a diagnostic tool that can be used to hide updates and prevent them from being reinstalled, but only after they had been already installed, then uninstalled without rebooting the system.[297][298] Tom Warren of The Verge felt that, given web browsers such as Google Chrome had already adopted such an automatic update system, such a requirement would help to keep all Windows 10 devices secure, and felt that "if you're used to family members calling you for technical support because they've failed to upgrade to the latest Windows service pack or some malware disabled Windows Update then those days will hopefully be over."[299]

Concerns were raised that because of these changes, users would be unable to skip the automatic installation of updates that are faulty or cause issues with certain system configurations—although build upgrades will also be subject to public beta testing via Windows Insider program.[297][299] There were also concerns that the forced installation of driver updates through Windows Update, where they were previously designated as "optional", could cause conflicts with drivers that were installed independently of Windows Update. An example of such a situation occurred prior to the general release of the operating system, when an Nvidiagraphics card driver that was automatically pushed to Windows 10 users via Windows Update caused issues that prevented the use of certain functions, or prevented their system from booting at all.[297]

Criticism was also directed towards Microsoft's decision to no longer provide specific details on the contents of cumulative updates for Windows 10.[300] On February 9, 2016, Microsoft retracted this decision and began to provide release notes for cumulative updates on the Windows website.[301]

Some users reported that during the installation of the November upgrade, some applications (particularly utility programs such as CPU-Z and Speccy) were automatically uninstalled during the upgrade process, and some default programs were reset to Microsoft-specified defaults (such as Photos app, and Microsoft Edge for PDF viewing), both without warning.[302][303]

Further issues were discovered upon the launch of the Anniversary Update ("Redstone"), including a bug that caused some devices to freeze (but addressed by cumulative update KB3176938, released on August 31, 2016),[304][305] and that fundamental changes to how Windows handles webcams had caused many to stop working.[306]

In June 2017, a Redstone 3 Insider build (RS_EDGE_CASE in PC and rs_IoT on Mobile) was accidentally released to both Insider and non-Insider users on all Windows 10 devices, but the update was retracted, with Microsoft apologizing and releasing a note on their Windows Insider Program blog describing how to prevent the build from being installed on their device.[307] According to Dona Sarkar, this was due to "an inadvertent deployment to the engineering system that controls which builds/which rings to push out to insiders."[308]

A Gartner analyst felt that Windows 10 Pro was becoming increasingly inappropriate for use in enterprise environments because of support policy changes by Microsoft, including consumer-oriented upgrade lifecycle length, and only offering extended support for individual builds to Enterprise and Education editions of Windows 10.[309]

Critics have acknowledged that Microsoft's update and testing practices had been affecting the overall quality of Windows 10. In particular, it was pointed out that Microsoft's internal testing departments had been prominently affected by a major round of layoffs undertaken by the company in 2014. Microsoft relies primarily on user testing and bug reports via the Windows Insider program (which may not always be of sufficient quality to identify a bug), as well as correspondence with OEMs and other stakeholders. In the wake of the known folder redirection data loss bug in the version 1809, it was pointed out that bug reports describing the issue had been present on the Feedback Hub app for several months prior to the public release. Following the incident, Microsoft updated Feedback Hub so that users may specify the severity of a particular bug report. When announcing the resumption of 1809's rollout, Microsoft stated that it planned to be more transparent in its handling of update quality in the future, through a series of blog posts that will detail its testing process and the planned development of a "dashboard" that will indicate the rollout progress of future updates.[310][311][312][313][314]

Distribution practices[edit

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Windows 11 ISO download

Windows 11 ISO images are now available! Despite Microsoft saying that Windows 11 is available for supported PCs only, it can be used on unsupported PCs using ISOs – at your own risk, see below – and all features do work well.

Windows 11 ISO contains Build 22000.194 (version 21H2) of the operating system and it is available in all editions (Pro, Home, Enterprise, Education, etc). The new operating system requires 64-bit processors, so the ISO file is not being offered in the 32-bit version.

Windows 11 version 21H2, otherwise known as October 2021 Update, started rolling out on October 5, but the availability depends on the location of the device. If you can’t wait for the free upgrade notification on Windows Update, you can download ISOs of Windows 11 version 21H2 to update your devices immediately or perform a clean install.

To download the ISO file for Windows 11 version 21H2, you’ve two options – create a media installation image using Media Creation Tool or download the file from Microsoft’s website.

Direct download Windows 11 ISO files from Microsoft

If you need the installation media immediately, follow the guide to get direct download links or use these official links:

The above link has been generated using Microsoft’s website and it will expire automatically after 24 hours. If you’ve downloaded the media image from another source, you can verify the authenticity of your download by following these steps:

  • Open Windows PowerShell.
  • Use PowerShell command Get-FileHash to compute the hash value for the file.
  • In this case, use the command Get-FileHash C:\Users\username\Downloads\Win11_English_x64.ISO

If the SHA256 value matches the below table, you can go ahead with the installation.

Windows 11 disk image

Note that the above file includes support for all editions of Windows. This includes Pro, Home, Enterprise, Workstation, Education, etc.

In this guide, we’ll highlight step-by-step instructions to generate direct download links for Windows 11 ISO files and apply the upgrade manually.

How to download Windows 11 ISO

To download Windows 11 October 2021 Update ISO, use these steps:

  1. Open your favourite browser and visit the download page.
  2. Locate the section “Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)“.
    Windows 11 ISO disk image
  3. Select “Windows 11” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on “Download“.
  5. Select the preferred language. If you’re planning to upgrade the existing hardware, make sure that you verify the configuration by visiting Settings > System > About.
  6. Click on 64-bit download to begin the process.

What is the size of Windows 11?

The size of the ISO file is 5.1GB, but it could be slightly lower or higher depending on the language pack you select.

How to install Windows 11 using ISO

To install Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Right-click Win11_English_x64.ISO and click Mount.
    Mount ISO
  2. Open File Explorer and locate the drive containing the media image.
    Windows 11 Setup.exe
  3. Double click Setup.exe.
  4. Click Yes if Windows ask for administrator permission.
    Windows Setup screen
  5. Under the “Install Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft 11” screen, click on “Next“. You can uncheck “I want to help make the installation better” option if you want.
    Checking for updates
  6. On the next screen, you can choose to install any important updates before upgrading and click Next.
    Windows 11 agreement
  7. Accept the End User License Agreement.
  8. Click Install.
    Windows disk image
  9. Under the “ready to install” screen, make sure you select the option that lets you keep the personal files and apps.
  10. Click Install.

Windows install screen

Windows will check for updates multiple times to reduce compatibility issues. You can turn off the internet connection and run the setup again if you don’t Windows to check for updates during the setup.

This step is particularly helpful when you have a limited or slow internet connection.

How to perform a clean install of Windows

Doing a clean install of the operating system isn’t the same as performing the upgrade via Windows Update or setup.exe of the media image.

This method is particularly helpful if you’ve already upgraded to Windows 11 via Windows Update and the computer is experiencing slowdowns or design glitches.

To start, you will need access to an 8GB or larger USB flash drive. Once done, follow these steps:

  1. Download and run the Windows 11 installation tool from Microsoft.
    Windows 11 ISO generate
  2. Allow the setup to prepare your device and create installation media for another PC.
  3. Under “Choose which media to use”, select USB flash drive.
    Windows 11 USB drive
  4. Hit the “Next” button.
  5. Select your flash drive.
  6. Hit “Next” one more time.
  7. Select “Finish” to start the download process of Windows 11 and create the USB installation drive.

Once done, boot your PC from the USB drive. The boot menu keyboard shortcut depends on the manufacturer of the device, but you can try pressing ‘F2’, ‘F12’, or ‘Delete’ after turning on the PC.

When you see the blue screen with the installation window, the rest of the process is quite straightforward. Essentially, you’ll choose the partition, language, operating system edition and Microsoft will do the rest.

To clean install Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Boot using the USB flash drive.
  2. On the blue screen, select “Install now“.
    Install now
  3. Select your language (it should be selected automatically). Click Next.
    Windows Setup
  4. Select “I don’t have a product key” and click Next. Windows will be activated actually as the license is generally linked to the Microsoft account.
    Windows 11 activation
  5. Accept the license agreement and select Next.
    Windows licensing
  6. Select Custom Install and choose the Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft partition.
    Windows 11 editions
  7. On the next screen, select the edition of Windows. In our case, we’ve selected Windows 11 Pro.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Windows installer will begin copying files and it will boot to the OOBE screen.
  10. In the OOBE screen, select your country or region.
  11. Click Yes.
  12. Enter the name for your PC and click Next
    Windows 11 Microsoft account
  13. Sign in with your Microsoft account. If you’re not connected to the internet, you may not be able to install Windows 11 Home. In the case of Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise, it is possible to create a local account directly from the OOBE screen
    Windows OOBE PIN screen
  14. On the next screen, create a PIN.
    Windows interests
  15. Select your interests. For example, if you plan to use the PC for gaming or schoolwork, select those options. This will allow Microsoft to customize the Store and tips experience for you.
    Privacy policy screen
  16. Review privacy settings and enable/disable the options, and click Next.Windows OneDrive
  17. Set up OneDrive. If you don’t want to use OneDrive, select Only store files on this device option.

If you’ve followed the steps correctly, you should see the desktop and a new Start Menu of Windows 11.

Bypass “This PC can’t run Windows 11” error

This PC can't run Windows 11 screen

Windows 11 shares a lot in common with Windows 10. In fact, it’s essentially Windows 10 with a new skin, but it comes with new system requirements which are stricter than any previous version of Windows.

There’s been a lot of controversy around the system requirements and Microsoft has confirmed that it will block the upgrade on unsupported PCs.

Microsoft’s reasons for strict hardware requirements are not entirely clear, but the company claims that TPM 2.0 and new CPUs from AMD and Intel are required for better security and performance respectively.

For example, TPM 2.0 requirement unlocks new opportunities for anti-cheat systems. In fact, Valorant’s Riot Games have already started enforcing TPM 2.0 on Windows 11. On the other hand, newer CPUs ensure fewer Blue Screen of Death errors and better performance, according to Microsoft officials.

If you still want to install Windows 11, there is a solution.

There’s an open-source GitHub project called ‘Skip_TPM_Check_on_Dynamic_Update.cmd,’ a script that will allow users to download Windows 11 if your system doesn’t have a TPM 2.0.

The script can also be used to ignore the other requirements, but this could result in stability issues and Microsoft may disable Windows Updates on your device. Just because you can deploy the operating system doesn’t mean your PC will be considered eligible for future updates.

To bypass the requirements and install Windows 11 using ISO, use these steps:

  1. Head to the Github page.
  2. Download Universal MediaCreationTool wrapper.
  3. Extract the zip.
    Windows 11 bypass script
  4. Run MediaCreationTool.bat and ignore the security warnings.
    Windows 11 bypass
  5. Select 11.
    Create ISO
  6. Click “Create ISO

When you click on “Create ISO”, Media Creation Tool will begin checking for updates and start downloading Windows 11. Once done, simply follow the onscreen instructions to install Windows 11.

Features, improvements and known issues

Windows 11 is a huge release and it comes with impressive design improvements for Start Menu, notification center, Settings, Microsoft Store and more.

Windows 11 Start menu

One of the biggest improvements Muziza YouTube Downloader Converter 7.17.5 Crack 2021 Free Windows 11 is the redesigned Start menu. The menu is now placed in the center of the taskbar and it no longer comes with live tiles, which means the menu now comes with fewer customization options.

You can rearrange the icons or pin/unpin apps, but it’s no longer possible to change the Start Menu size to your liking.

Another feature of the Start menu is a new “recommendations” section which surfaces apps and files that you use frequently.

In addition to the new Start Menu, Windows 11 also comes with a new way to manage notifications and settings from the desktop. Likewise, Windows 11 features a modern taskbar, but it is no longer possible to drag-and-drop apps/files onto taskbar.

Microsoft has also confirmed three issues in Windows 11. For example, the tech giant is aware of compatibility issues with Intel Killer networking software, VirtualBox, and Coc Coc browser.

Microsoft noted that Intel Killer networking software is not compatible with Windows 11 and it could result in a drop in User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets. As a result, users might experience performance issues when browsing websites and video streaming platforms.

Similarly, Coc Coc browser won’t launch on upgraded systems.

Microsoft is planning to address these and other bugs in the coming weeks.

Mayank Parmar

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How to create a Windows 10 installation disk

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope

Create Windows 10 installation disk

If your computer runs Windows 10, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft, it's a good idea to have a bootable Windows installation disk, in case you ever want to reinstall Windows on your computer.

If you don't have a Windows 10 disk, you can create one using the methods described below.

Requirements

Before you create a bootable Windows 10 disk, make sure you have the following:

  • A computer connected to the Internet, with a USB port or DVD burner.
  • A USB flash drive with a capacity of at least 8 GB, which is either empty or ready to be completely erased; or a blank DVD-R disk.
  • A valid Windows 10 license; either a numeric license key or a Microsoft account with a Windows 10 license that is associated with your computer.

Method 1: Use the Media Creation Tool

The Media Creation Tool is a program provided by Microsoft that downloads all required files, and write them to your DVD or USB flash drive. Follow these instructions to download and use the Media Creation Tool.

Warning

The following steps will completely overwrite the data on your USB flash drive. All existing data on the disk will be destroyed.

  1. Open a web browser and go to Microsoft's Windows 10 download page. Under Create Windows 10 installation media, click Download tool now.

Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft

  1. Run the installer. At the UAC prompt, click Yes. The installer gets things ready, then displays Notices and License terms. Read the terms and click Accept to proceed.

Accept the Media Creation Tool license

  1. At the screen What do you want to do?, select Create installation media for another PC, and click Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft src="https://www.computerhope.com/issues/pictures/ch000333-method1-03-create-installation-media.jpg" width="400" height="142" alt="At What do you want to do?, select Create installation media for another PC">

    1. At Select language, architecture, and edition, don't change anything if you're creating the installer for this computer. Make sure Use the recommended settings for this PC remains checked. (If you're creating a disk for another computer, uncheck this box and make changes now.) To continue, click Next.
    1. At the screen Choose which media Visual MP3 4.0 crack serial keygen use, you can choose USB or Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft as the destination. In this example, we'll create a USB flash drive. Select USB flash drive, and click Next.

    Select the destination media

    1. You'll be asked to Select a USB flash drive. If your USB flash drive is not inserted, insert it now, wait a few moments and click Refresh drive list.

    No drive found; insert drive and click Refresh

    Then, select your USB flash drive, and click Next.

    Select USB flash drive

    1. Windows 10 downloads the installer and write it to your USB flash drive. You can continue using your PC while it runs in the background.
    1. When it's finished, you'll see Your USB flash drive is ready. Click Finish. Setup will clean up its temporary files and exit automatically.

    Disk creation complete

    You can now remove your USB flash drive from the computer. For information about how to use it, see how to boot with your installation disk, below.

    Method 2: Download ISO and create bootable USB

    You also have the option to download the Windows 10 ISO image file to your computer, then create your bootable disk manually with another program.

    If you're using Windows, you must use the Media Creation Tool to download the ISO. If you're using another operating system, such as macOS or Linux, Microsoft offers a direct download.

    Windows: Download ISO with Media Creation Tool

    If you're using Windows, follow these steps to download the Windows 10 ISO with the Media Creation Tool. (Steps 1–4 are the same as in method 1.)

    1. Open a web browser and go to Microsoft's Windows 10 download page. Click Download tool now.
    1. Run the installer. At the UAC prompt, click Yes. Read the license terms and click Accept.
    1. Select Create installation media for another PC, and click Next.
    1. At Select language, architecture, and edition, don't change anything if you're creating the installer for this computer. Click Next.
    1. At Choose which media to use, select TunesKit DRM Audio Converter 2.1.4.22 With Full Crack file, and click Next.

    In the Media Creation Tool, <b>Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft</b>, choose ISO file as the destination media.

    1. Choose a location on your computer to download the ISO file, such as your Downloads folder. Make sure you have enough space to download the file (it's big - between 3 and 5 gigabytes, depending on the version).

    Choose download location for the ISO file

    1. When the download is complete, Media Creation Tool offers to Burn the ISO to a DVD. It also displays the full path and file name of the ISO file on your computer.

    Optionally burn ISO to DVD

    Optional: If you'd like to verify the location of the file, click the file name to open the folder where it was downloaded.

    Optional: If you'd like to burn a DVD of the ISO now, click Open DVD Burner to open the Windows Disk Image Burner. Insert a blank DVD-R disk into your DVD drive and follow the instructions.

    Optionally, run the Windows Disk Image Burner

    1. Click Finish to close the Media Creation Tool.

    You can now skip to the step create bootable USB with Rufus.

    macOS X, Linux: Download ISO directly

    If you're using a non-Windows operating system, follow these instructions to download the Windows 10 ISO.

    1. Open a web browser and go to the Windows 10 ISO download site. Microsoft detects your operating system and reroute you to the direct download page.
    1. Under Select edition, select Windows 10 and click Confirm.
    1. Under Select the product language, select your language (English, for example), and click Confirm.

    On the Microsoft Windows 10 ISO download page, select the edition and language of Windows 10

    1. Under Downloads, you'll have the option to download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows. If your computer has a 64-bit CPU, choose the 64-bit Download. If you're not sure, see: How to determine if you have a 32-bit or 64-bit CPU.

    Choose architecture (32-bit or 64-bit)

    1. The download begins in your browser. Make sure you have enough disk space to download the file (it's big - between 3 and 5 gigabytes, depending on the version).

    Create SparkoCam 2.7.3 Crack Full Serial Number 2021 Latest USB with Rufus

    Now that you've downloaded the ISO file, you need special software to create a bootable USB flash drive with it. Only copying the file to the USB will not work.

    There are various programs which you can use to create a bootable USB flash drive in Windows, such as UNetbootin. In these instructions, we'll use a free Windows program called Rufus.

    Warning

    The following steps will completely overwrite the data on your USB flash drive. All existing data the USB flash drive will be destroyed.

    1. Open a web browser and go to the Rufus website. Scroll down to Download, and choose either Rufus or Rufus portable (either one works).

    Download Rufus from https://rufus.ie

    1. When the download is complete, run the Rufus executable. You don't need to install it because the program runs without being installed.
    1. If your USB flash drive is not inserted, insert it now. It will be immediately recognized by Rufus.
    1. Click the disk icon. It looks like an optical drive and disk. Navigate to the Windows ISO you downloaded, select the ISO file, and click Open.

    Click the disk icon in Rufus, select the Windows ISO file you downloaded, and click Open

    1. The Rufus status line will say "READY." To write the ISO to your USB flash drive, click Start.
    1. Rufus warns you that all data on the USB will be destroyed. If you have any important files on the USB flash drive, this is your last chance to cancel, and back up your files. To proceed, click OK.

    Final warning before overwriting USB

    1. The ISO is written to the USB flash drive. It should only take a few minutes.

    Rufus writing ISO to USB, in progress

    You'll know it's complete when the progress bar is fully green, and the status line says "READY" again.

    When the progress bar is completely green, and the status says READY, writing is complete

    Click Close to exit Rufus.

    How to boot with your installation disk

    To use your Windows 10 installation disk, follow these steps.

    1. Verify the computer's BIOS is configured to boot from a removable disk. To access your BIOS, you need to reboot the computer and press a specific key before boot sequence begins. For detailed instructions, see: How to enter the BIOS or CMOS setup.
    2. Then, if necessary, change your boot sequence so the DVD/USB drive is listed before your HDD or SSD in your boot order. (If you don't see your USB drive in the list, insert your installation USB flash drive before powering on the computer and try again.)
    3. If your BIOS is properly configured, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft, power down the computer.
    4. Insert your installation disk.
    5. Power on the computer.

    Instead of loading the operating system from your HDD/SSD, your computer boots from your removable disk, and the Windows installation begins.

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How 4U AVI MPEG Converter 3.3.0 crack serial keygen Activate Windows 10 with Product Key or Digital License

To activate Windows 10 you need a 25-character product key or digital license linked to your Microsoft account. For Windows 10 Activation status go to Settings >> Update & Security and from here click on Activation.

Depending on how you obtain your copy of Windows 10 the ESET Internet Security 14.2.24.0 License Key & Crack 2021 process is different. If you have digital license that usually came with a Windows 10 product then Windows 10 will be activated automatically once you enter your Microsoft account detail as shown in this screenshot below:

If you already have the product key then under Update Product Key option click on Change product key as shown here:

What Makes Windows 10 Unique?

The best windows operating system brings you the most innovative tools and security features that will not only make your device secure but also enables you to perform your daily task in most creative and productive way. Windows 10 uses and combines some cool features of windows 7 and windows 8 which make it stand out from other Microsoft Operating Systems.

In a very short period of time windows 10 has able to capture the attention of many peoples including IT professionals, businessman, and personnel relating to different fields. Before the official launch of Windows 10 Microsoft has also released Technical preview of the Windows 10 to attract tech expert and IT professionals.

How to Download Windows 10

If you are already using genuine version of windows 7 or windows 8 then its free to upgrade your older version of Windows to Windows 10. Microsoft is also allowing you to download ISO image file for Windows 10 32 bits and 64 bits through its media creation tool.

Windows 10 Product Key Working Serial Keys

In order to benefit from premium features of windows 10 you always need a product key or serial key to activate your copy of windows 10. There are several sites online providing activation key for windows but most of them do not work. Today we have find out and gonna share with you Windows 10 product key, serial keys that are guaranteed to work 100%.

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With the invention of laptops and computers, some software was also created so that the system could work well. In any PC or laptop, Windows is needed only as much as the breath of the body. It is not possible to do any work on a laptop or PC without Windows. After the invention of Windows, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft, Microsoft company released many updates related to it one after the other. In today’s time, windows 11 iso download made by Microsoft is being made available in 32 bit and 64 bit.

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Windows 11 update on a laptop

Windows 11 will start rolling out to eligible devices today, but not everyone will get it right away. The free update brings plenty of new features, complete with a new start menu, widgets and Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft refreshed interface. Even the Microsoft Store is getting a big update (though don't expect to see Android apps right away).

Now playing:Watch this: Windows 11: Will your computer be able to run it? What.

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Launches are bound to run into issues and bugs. Sometimes, those issues may force you to reinstall Windows 11. An easy way of doing that is by using a USB installation drive that has a copy of Windows 11 on it. With the update safely stored on a flash drive, you can reinstall it at any time, should any issues get bad enough that your only option is to reinstall Microsoft Visio Pro Crack With Product Key Free Download 2021 Latest update. 

You can also use a USB drive to make it easier to install Windows 11 on multiple computers, or to quickly set up a virtual machine to make testing possible without risking your personal data. 

Stay current on the latest Microsoft news, plus reviews and advice on Windows PCs.

Microsoft has updated its Media Creation Tool to include Windows 11. You can download the ISO image straight from the source and flash to a USB drive yourself. 

To create a Windows 11 installation drive, you'll need an empty 8GB USB drive, a Windows PC and up to a few hours of your time. You can download the system image using a Linux computer or Mac, but we're going to focus on using a PC for this guide. Below are the steps you'll need to follow.

Now playing:Watch this: Windows 11 review: New OS has us asking, update or wait?

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Download the latest Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft

To download the Windows 11 ISO image you'll need to create a USB bootable drive. First, visit the Download Windows 11 page. You'll see a few other options for installation, but you're looking for Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO).

Scroll down the page until you see a dropdown labeled Select Download. Click the dropdown and then select Windows 11, then click Download. Next you'll be asked to select a language, then click Confirm again, followed by clicking on the 64-bit Download button to finally begin downloading the ISO. It's a fairly large file at 5.1GB, so depending on your internet connection, it may take some time for the download to finish. 

Once the download finishes, your work isn't completely done, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft. You need to burn that ISO image onto a USB drive. And to do that, you'll need some extra software. Don't worry, though, it's an easy process. 

How to flash Windows 11 to your USB drive

To turn a standard USB drive into an installation drive, you'll need to use a program called Rufus. It's the same app that Microsoft itself uses in its guide for creating Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft Windows 10 bootable drive. Visit the company's website to download and install Rufus, which should only take a few seconds. It's a small program. 

Plug in your USB drive and open Rufus. Select your USB drive using the Device dropdown. Remember, anything on your thumb drive will be erased during this process -- so make sure it's empty or you have everything you need off of it. 

Under Boot Selection select Disk or ISO image and then click on the text that reads SELECT and pick the ISO file you created in the previous step. 

There's a section in Rufus labeled Image option with several different settings -- leave everything as the default. The same can be said for format options unless you want to change the name of the USB drive to something like "Windows 11 install" or along those lines. 

Click Start when you're sure all of the options are set. You'll Stranger Things Season 4 Release date, Cast, Trailer, Episode 1 date have to wait while the program does its job, but it should be a much quicker process than downloading and creating the ISO. It took just over 15 minutes on a Surface Pro X for me. 

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What to do with a Windows 11 installation drive

Once Rufus finishes, you can remove the USB drive from your PC and either keep it somewhere safe in case you need to reinstall Windows 11 on your PC, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft, or you can plug it into another PC and use it to install Windows 11 by opening the drive and double-clicking the setup.exe file. A few seconds later, a Windows 11 installation screen will appear, walking you through the rest of the process. 

Alternatively, you can try and use the USB drive as a bootable installation drive. However, this is where things get even more complicated, due to Windows 11 requiring Secure Boot, and the USB drive we just created not being compatible with that feature. I suggest waiting for Microsoft to release an official tool, but if you insist, I found a guide that walks you through the extra steps of making a bootable USB drive that's compatible with secure boot on Tom's Hardware, starting at step 11. 

Curious what all the fuss is about Windows 11? We have your back. There's a big interface redesign making its debut that includes a centered Start menu, but don't worry, you can move it back to the left corner if you want. And, finally, if you've ever had the desire to use Android apps on your PC, well, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft, Microsoft is making that possible.

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How to reinstall Windows 10 without losing data

When your PC suffers a fault and every fix fails, a frequent cure-all is to reset your PC. This can also Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft to operating systems, including Windows 10. 

If you keep running into blue screen of death (BSOD) errors, or your PC is noticeably slower or hangs indefinitely, reinstalling Windows 10 is a safe bet to mitigate downtime and loss of work. Reinstalling Windows 10 may also reverse a faulty update, security patch, or driver installation or update. 

Microsoft eases the resetting process with the option to retain existing data during reinstallation. 

In this guide, we'll explain how to reinstall Windows 10 and reset your computer to its default settings without losing data, including important files, personal data, and programs.

How to factory reset Windows 10 without losing data

Microsoft offers three processes for resetting Windows 10 without losing the existing data on the system. You can choose either process and achieve the same results. 

Method 1: Using the “Reset this PC” option

To reset your Windows 10 PC using the “Reset this PC” option, use the following steps:

  1. Right-click on the Windows start button on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen to open the settings menu.
  2. Click “Settings.”
  3. Click on “Update & Security.”
  4. In the left pane, select “Recovery.”
  5. Under“Reset this PC,” click “Get started.”
  6. Choose the "Keep my files" option in the popup message. Keep in mind, after this step, your device will update to the latest Windows 10 version. 
  7. If you are upgrading your PC from a previous version of Windows to Windows 10, you will see a warning message stating that you won’t be able to undo the upgrade or rollback to the previous version of Windows. Click “Next” to continue. 
  8. Click the “Reset” button in the “Ready to reset this PC” interface. Your PC will reboot and begin to reinstall Windows 10.

Note: The “Reset this PC” feature on Windows is arguably the fastest way to reset your PC. There is a caveat: “Reset this PC” allows you to keep files only, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft. The reset will uninstall all user-installed apps and programs, Method 1: You use the web to download Windows 10 ISO free from Microsoft. To avoid missing out on pre-existing apps, drivers and programs, make sure you have backups of all your important data before scheduling a reset. 

Method 2: Using the Advanced Startup menu 

To reinstall Windows 10 using the Advanced Startup option, use the following steps

  1. Click on the Start button on the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Click the “Settings” on the left pane in the Start menu.
  3. Click “Update & Security,” then click “Recovery.”
  4. Click on the “Restart now” under the “Advanced startup” section in the right pane. Windows will restart into the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) mode. Alternatively, pressing the ‘F11’ button as soon as you power on your PC will get you to the Windows 10 Advanced Startup options. This technique is beneficial when you can’t boot your PC the usual way. 
  5. Click “Troubleshoot” once you enter WinRE mode.
  6. Click “Reset this PC” in the following screen, leading you to the reset system window.
  7. Select “Keep my files” and click “Next” then “Reset.” 
  8. Click “Continue” when a popup appears and prompts you to continue reinstalling the Windows 10 operating system.

Note: Like method 1, you’ll need to take a backup of all your data before resetting, as Windows will only save your files and wipe out apps, drivers and programs during reinstallation.

Method 3: Using Windows 10 ISO image file

An ISO file, commonly known as ISO image, is an archive file that contains an identical copy or image of data found on an optical disc, such as a CD or DVD. It allows you to reinstall Windows 10 and keep files given your computer is bootable. 

Here are the steps you need to follow to reinstall Windows 10 using ISO image:

  1. Download Microsoft’s media creation tool to create Windows 10 ISO file.
  2. After downloading the newly-created ISO file, right-click on it and select “Mount” to continue. 
  3. Double-click the Setup.exe file at the root directory. 
  4. Choose the correct option when prompted to “Download and install updates.” Choose the option if your computer is connected to the internet. If not, select “Not right now.” Click “Next” to continue.
  5. Click on "Change what to keep" in the subsequent popup window.
  6. Choose between: "Keep personal files, apps, and Windows settings," "Keep personal files only," and “Nothing,” according to your storage needs.
  7. Click “Next” to install Windows 10.

Your PC will now reboot with the saved settings.

Restoring applications after reinstalling Windows 10 

Once you’ve reinstalled Windows 10, it’s time to restore applications.

Begin by verifying your account: Go to Start > Settings > Accounts > Your account and click the “Verify” link to get the code required to add your PC back into the saved accounts list. Once verified, log in to your Microsoft Waifu vs Evil PC full crack - Free Download - Repack - Hiu Games restore previously installed apps:

  • Go to “Start” > “All Apps” > “Store.” 
  • Click on user (your) photo.
  • Select “My Library”  on the left pane to access all previously installed apps.
  • Click the “Download” button next to the app(s) you wish to restore.

Final thoughts 

Windows 10 reinstallation can take a while, depending on your internet connection and size of the files you choose to keep. Plugging your device into a power source will ensure a low battery doesn’t interrupt the process. 

In situations where your PC is unable to boot, a recovery drive that stores a copy of your Windows 10 environment on a hardware source, such as a DVD or USB drive, can help restore your apps, programs and settings. 

Recovery drives are also useful when you’re unable to access the Windows desktop to reinstall or troubleshoot your device. Timely backup of data can also prove helpful in easing the reinstallation process.

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