I’ve got good news and bad news for those of you running Windows 8. The good news is that you are eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 10! The bad news is that if you are running Windows 8 and not Windows 8.1, you have a ton of upgrading to do.
You’ll need to upgrade to Windows 8.1 and then install the updates you’ve missed so far for Windows 8.1. This is going to take some time. But it’s really worth the effort. Windows 10 is pretty nifty and offers the best features of Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you’re one of those who doesn’t like 8 one bit, you’ll definitely want to do this.
So let’s get started.
To update Windows 8, you’ll need to start with the Start Screen.
Choose the tile for the Windows Store.
When it opens, you’ll see the option to update to Windows 8.1 for free.
Select the upgrade and you should see this:
Click or tap Download to start the process. This download took me three hours on a high-speed Internet connection.
On the bright side, I was able to continue using my computer during the download.
A couple of times I was sure that it had stalled, but it kept going. It just took a long time.When it’s finished you’ll need to stop what you’re doing and restart the computer. During the configuration process it will start restart several times.
You’ll need to accept the terms of service and there is a pretty long configurations process. At least Microsoft breaks it up by changing the background colors as it loads.
When it’s finished, you’ll be able to choose between Express setting or customizing settings. I went with Express.
You will then need to log on with your Microsoft Account, that could be your Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live Mail or MSN e-mail address or an account you set up when you purchased Windows 8.
Microsoft will then send a security code to your cell phone or to an alternate e-mail address that you’ve set up for the account. You’ll have to enter that code to verify that you’re the owner of the account. If you haven’t set up alternate contact information, you’ll be asked for provide it. However, if you sign into your Microsoft account before you start the the 8.1 upgrade, then you might not have to enter the security code.
Once the security code is entered, this screen will appear explaining that SkyDrive is now front and center on your computer. The photos you take with your PC or tablet will be automatically backed up to SkyDrive and it is now the default location to save documents.
Click Next and you will be taken to the Start Screen.
Guess what? Now it’s time to run your update from 8.1 to 8.1.1 and to also make some other updates required to receive 10.
You can just start typing Windows update from the Metro/Modern start screen or search for Windows update in the Search Charm. Then choose Check for updates from the results.
The Windows Update center will open. You will either see available updates displayed or you can choose Check now to see what’s available. You can click on any available updates to install.
Then you can begin to install the important updates. You must have have the following updates installed to upgrade to 10:
Once you’ve got everything updated, you should see the icon that lets you make your Windows 10 reservation in the lower left corner of your desktop.