In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know before upgrading to Windows 10 and the steps to perform a clean installation of the new operating system.

How to upgrade to Windows 10 without losing files and apps Windows 10 system requirements How to create a full backup on Windows XP or Vista How to upgrade Windows XP or Vista to Windows 10

How to upgrade to Windows 10 without losing files and apps

Alternatively, users who want to migrate their files, apps, and settings can purchase a copy of Windows 7, upgrade their current installation, and only then upgrade to Windows 10. However, a clean installation will save you time and money and help you start with a fresh installation.

Windows 10 system requirements

Before upgrading, you’ll need to ensure your computer is compatible with Windows 10. Here’s the list with the minimum hardware requirements: If your PC meets the minimum hardware requirements, you’ll need to purchase a copy of the OS. You can find Windows 10 Home for $139, while Windows 10 Pro costs $199.99, but it includes additional features, such as the ability to join your computer to a corporate network, remote desktop, and Hyper-V.

Windows 10 from $139 (Home) | See at Microsoft Windows 10 from $150 (Pro) | See at Newegg

There is no direct upgrade path for Windows Vista (or the much older Windows XP) to Windows 10. As such, you’ll be doing a clean installation of the operating system, which will wipe your computer clean, deleting your files, apps, and settings to start from scratch again.

How to create a full backup on Windows XP or Vista

Before moving forward with the upgrade, you want to back up your files to an external drive and ensure you have the installation files and product key to reinstall any software after the upgrade. You could also try to make a full backup, but Windows XP or Windows Vista don’t feature a “reliable” backup tool. However, you could try third-party software, such as Macrium Reflect. It costs a little bit of money, but having a backup will ensure you can go back if anything goes wrong.

How to upgrade Windows XP or Vista to Windows 10

You cannot use the Media Creation Tool on Windows Vista or XP to download and create a bootable media. This means that you’ll have to use another computer running Windows 7/8.1/10 for the installation media creation, or you’ll need a third-party tool such as Rufus to create a USB bootable media with the Windows 10 ISO file.

Creating Windows 10 bootable media 

To create a USB bootable media to install Windows 10 to upgrade XP or Vista, use these steps: Once you complete the steps, you can proceed with the clean installation of Windows 10.

Clean installation of Windows 10

To upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows XP or Windows Vista using a clean installation, use these steps: After Windows 10 is completely installed, you’ll be presented with the new desktop and all the new features. At this time, it’s a good idea to go to Windows Update using the Settings app to check for updates. Also, go to Device Manager to confirm if the computer hardware is working correctly and you don’t need to reinstall any driver.

Finally, install the applications you used on your previous installation and restore your files from the backup. All content on this site is provided with no warranties, express or implied. Use any information at your own risk. Always backup of your device and files before making any changes. Privacy policy info.