20 July 2016

The procrastinator's guide to free Windows 10 upgrades

The year-long free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ends in a matter of days. If you're on the fence, it's decision time. Here's how to streamline the upgrade process to make it fast, simple, and nearly foolproof.


By Ed Bott for The Ed Bott Report | July 20, 2016 -- 17:39 GMT (10:39 PDT)


You have only a few days left to claim your free upgrade.

Time is running out.

If you have a PC that's currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you qualify for a free upgrade to Windows 10. But that offer ends in a little over a week, on July 29, 2016, which means it's decision time.

You can stop right here if you're certain you don't want the upgrade. Just say no to the upgrade prompt and the nagging will stop at the end of this mon you're reasonably certain you'll want to upgrade in the next year, you should claim your upgrade now, then roll back to your current operating system. (Details here.)

For those who are ready to make the leap before the closing bell rings, here's how to do it with the maximum safety and minimum hassle.

1. Create an image-based backup of your current Windows installation.

This step is optional but highly recommended. Everyone should have a full backup anyway, and this is as good an excuse as any to make that happen. Both operating systems that support the free Windows 10 upgrade include the Windows 7 Backup tool, which has this capability built in.

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