Upgrading to Windows 10

The long awaited Windows 10 has finally arrived. It is a free upgrade for anyone with Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 providing you upgrade within the next 12 months. Windows 7 users who are happy with their current setup may not want to upgrade and will continue to receive fixes and security updates until 2020. People with Windows 8.1 will continue to receive fixes and security updates until 2023, however you may want to upgrade to reclaim the start menu not included in Windows 8.1. Other new features of Windows 10 are the ability to run apps in a window, the Internet Explorer replacement known as ‘Edge’ (Internet Explorer is still there for those that need it), the new action centre and the digital assistant Cortana.

There are several ways to upgrade to Windows 10. The easiest way is to register for the upgrade, via the ‘Get Windows 10’ icon in the task tray (near the clock on your monitor). After registering you will see a prompt to begin your Windows 10 upgrade, be aware this may take a few days to show up. If you wish to update more quickly you can download the ‘Windows 10 Media Creation Tool’ from here. This tool allows you to download and create a CD or Bootable USB stick from which to install your copy of Windows 10. This is handy if you have multiple devices to upgrade. The upgrade is around 3GB so if you are have prepaid mobile broadband or limited data for the month you may need to top up your data prior to the upgrade. Depending on the speed of your connection it may take a few hours to download.

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To run Windows 10 you will need a PC with at least 1GHz Processor, 1GB RAM and 16GB or more free hard drive space. If you are currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8 your computer should have enough resources to run Windows 10. To check your computer specifications press the Windows key + R and type ‘control system’. This will bring up a window showing the specifications of the hardware.

Before starting the upgrade you should ensure that all your important data including photos, contacts, documents and emails are backed up to an external device. If the update fails, you may need to reinstall Windows and any data on the device could be lost.  Ensure Windows is up to date. During the setup process the installer will check whether your PC and software is compatible and advise whether any outdated programs will need to be replaced. The upgrade may take some time to complete.

After the upgrade, you should run Windows Update to install any fixes and security updates. If you have limited disk space after the upgrade you can run disk clean-up to remove the setup files and old windows files. Only do this is you are sure you are not going to need to revert to your previous version of Windows.

A Windows 10 scam email is currently circulating claiming to be from Microsoft and encouraging you to install an upgrade by running an attached installer. If you do this you will inadvertently install ransomware known as CTP-Locker. This ransomware locks your files with an unbreakable encryption and asks you to pay to unlock the files. Even if you pay the fee there is no guarantee that your files will be restored. While some people have reportedly receiving unlock keys, I advise against paying a cybercriminal. Instead you should recover your files from a backup. If you receive an email with an attachment that you are not expecting, I recommend you immediately delete the email without opening it. This will almost certainly be a scam email preying on people who wanting rapid access to Windows 10.

If you would like advice on whether you should install Windows 10, pop in and see us at the Grenfell Internet Centre or Contact Us.

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