Help with upgrading to Windows 10

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Here are some answers to questions you might have while upgrading your PC to Windows 10. If you're looking for info about how to get the free upgrade, including system requirements, go to the Windows 10 upgrade page.

If the manufacturer set up your PC to run from a compressed Windows image file (also known as Windows image file boot or WIMBoot) and included the option to restore factory settings, that option will no longer be available after you upgrade to Windows 10.

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Why do I need to activate Windows before I upgrade?

The free upgrade to Windows 10 is only available to you if you're running genuine Windows on an eligible device. Before you can upgrade, you'll need to activate your current version of Windows using a product key.
If you have a product key for your current version of Windows, but it doesn't work when you try to use it, go to theproduct activation article for more help.
If you don't have a product key or you're unable to activate your current version of Windows, you'll need to use installation media for Windows 10. For more info on how to create installation media for Windows 10, go to the Microsoft software download website.

How do I free up space for the upgrade?

You'll need at least 8 GB of free space to upgrade to Windows 10. If your PC doesn't have enough space, here are a few things you can try:
  • Remove files or apps you no longer need.
  • Use Disk Cleanup to free up space.
  • Attach an external drive with enough free space to continue with the upgrade. Make sure to keep this external drive in a safe place after the upgrade, in case you need it for recovery options.


  • For more info on how to free up space on your PC running Windows 7 Service Pack 1, see Strategies for freeing disk space.
  • For more info on how to free up space on your PC running Windows 8.1 Update, see Tips to free up drive space on your PC.

Why do I need to uninstall some of my apps during the upgrade?

Some apps need to be uninstalled because they might cause problems with the upgrade process. You'll be able to reinstall these apps after the upgrade to Windows 10 is done.
Other apps need to be uninstalled because they won't work correctly or might not work at all with Windows 10. You won't be able to reinstall or use these apps after the upgrade is done.

Will I be able to use Windows Media Center after the upgrade?

No, Windows Media Center isn't available as part of Windows 10 and will be removed during the upgrade. After the upgrade is done you won't be able to install Windows Media Center.
The Windows DVD Player app will be downloaded for free to your PC after you upgrade Windows 7 or Windows 8 with Windows Media Center to Windows 10. You can use this app to play DVDs. For more info about this app, see Windows DVD Player.

Can I change my language when I upgrade?

The easiest way to change your language is to upgrade using the same language you currently have on your PC, and then add a new language afterwards.
To add new languages in Windows 10, go to Settings > Time & language > Region & language > Add a language, and then choose the language you want.

Can I go back to my old operating system?

Yes, there are a few different ways for you to go back from Windows 10 to a previous version of Windows:
  • If it's been less than a month since you've upgraded to Windows 10, you'll be able to go back to your previous version of Windows from Settings > Update & security > Recovery.
  • If your PC manufacturer provided the option, you might be able to restore your device to factory settings.
  • If options to go back and restore factory settings aren’t available, you can use installation media and a product key to install a previous version of Windows.
For more info and requirements, see the go back to a previous version of Windows section of Recovery options in Windows 10.

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