Things You Should Know and Do Before Upgrading to Windows 10

Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10 is just around the corner. As mentioned here, starting tomorrow i.e. July 29, 2015, Microsoft will start sending Windows 10 RTM (final version) setup files to qualifying Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs. Windows 10 will also come pre-installed on new computer devices and will also be available on online stores for purchase very soon.

In fact, Microsoft has already started distributing Windows 10 setup files on some Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs which have been successfully reserved for free Windows 10 upgrade as mentioned in following article:

[FAQ] "Get Windows 10" App and "Reserve Your Free Upgrade" Notification Icon

If you are also planning to upgrade your existing Windows OS to Windows 10, you should first check out some important points given in this article before installing Windows 10.

Today in this topic, we are going to share a few important things which you should know and do before upgrading to Windows 10. It'll help you in deciding whether you should switch to Windows 10 or keep using your existing Windows version.

So without wasting time lets share the points:

Point 1:

Windows 10 RTM (final version) will be available for upgrade or purchase from tomorrow i.e. July 29, 2015. All Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users who have reserved their Windows 10 upgrade, will start receiving Windows 10 starting tomorrow.

Read more: Who Will Get Free Windows 10?

Point 2:

Only Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users can upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Also your Windows must be genuine as well as activated to be able to upgrade to Windows 10.

Read more:

Windows 10 Upgrade Paths and List of Deprecated Features

[FAQ] Upgrading to Windows 10 from Non-Genuine Windows

Point 3:

The free upgrade offer will be valid only for 1 year after Windows 10 launch. In other words, you can upgrade your existing Windows to Windows 10 before July 28, 2016.

Read more: [Guide] How to Free Upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7 or 8.1

Point 4:

Windows 10 RTM build number is 10240. Yes, the same build which was recently given to Windows Insiders for testing.

Read more: Windows 10 Preview Build 10240 for PC Available for Download

Point 5:

If you reserved Windows 10 upgrade in your Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 PC using "Get Windows 10" app, it'll automatically start downloading Windows 10 setup files from Microsoft servers. Once all required files are downloaded, it'll prompt you to install Windows 10 or schedule the installation at later time.

If you can't see "Get Windows 10" app in your Windows, following tutorial will help you:

[Fix] "Get Windows 10" Upgrade App Icon is Missing in Taskbar

Point 6:

Windows 10 setup files size will be around 3-4 GB depending upon the Windows 10 edition and type (32-bit or 64-bit).

Point 7:

Windows 10 setup files are stored inside "C:\$Windows.~BT" or "C:\$Windows.~WS" folder. Its a hidden system folder, so make sure to enable "Show hidden files and folders" option in Folder Options to be able to see the folder. If you remember, same thing has happened to Windows 8.1 RTM download as mentioned here.

Point 8:

After successfully upgrading to Windows 10, you'll be able to perform clean installation of Windows 10. You can do this by using "Reset PC" feature present in "Settings app -> Update and Security -> Recovery" section. It'll reinstall Windows 10 and you'll have a fresh Windows 10 in your computer.

Read more: How to Perform Clean Installation of Windows 10 with Activation?

Point 9:

There are also rumors that Microsoft will also release Windows 10 offline ISO files to perform clean installation of Windows 10. But no official information yet.

UPDATE: Download Windows 10 Offline ISO Files for Clean Install or Upgrade

Point 10:

After upgrading to Windows 10, if you decide to rollback to your previous Windows version, you can do so by using "Go Back to Windows 7/8.1" option present in "Settings app -> Update and Security -> Recovery" section. Remember this option will only be available for a month after you upgrade to Windows 10. After 1 month, previous Windows backup files (stored in "C:\Windows.old" folder) will be deleted automatically and you'll not be able to restore previous Windows version.

Read more: How to Restore Previous Windows Version After Upgrading to Windows 10?

Point 11:

Microsoft will also release a trial version of Windows 10 in ISO file format as the company has done in past with Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. If you are not sure whether you should upgrade your PC to Windows 10 or not, you can first check Windows 10 and its new features by installing the trial version in a virtualization software such as Virtual Box or built-in Hyper-V feature. If you like Windows 10, you can upgrade your PC otherwise keep using your existing Windows version.

UPDATE: Download Windows 10 Enterprise Free 90-day Trial Version

Point 12:

Before upgrading to Windows 10, make sure to backup your important files and folders. Also create a System Restore point so that you can restore your PC to a working state if something goes wrong while upgrading.


Also check out following topic to learn what new features and enhancements have been implemented in Windows 10 during development and testing phase:

Windows 10 RTM Build Changelog and History

Further Read:

[Guide] Things To Do After Installing Windows 10


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Posted in: Windows 10

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  • Thanks for the useful article, VG! Definitely looking forward to your series of articles on how to speed up Windows 10!

  • I really like your post, simple and read-like-sound...
    Could you make one about the updates of Windows 10?

  • @VG Is it possible to somehow enable Cortana for localized Windows versions?

  • Hi,

    Any detail about the license key for a clean installation scenario; after getting the upgrade from Windows 7 or 8/8.1 ?


  • Thanks for the info, VG! :) But in your previous post you had mentioned that 10240 isn't the RTM build. So is it the RTM after all?

  • How can we Windows Insider user get this released version of w10

  • VG

    ^^ Windows Insiders are already using this build:


    Check following:

    Did you try to change region and language using Regional settings in Control Panel?

  • I found the windows 10 easter egg in action center (not sure it's bug or easter egg).

  • @VG
    I didn‘t but I want to keep my localized Windows and use Cortana in English. It doesn‘t seem possible to do this now :/

  • Why is the hidden folder that should contain the downloaded setup files called '$Windows.~WS' instead of '$Windows.~BT' on my PC? I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate X64 with SP1 BTW.

  • VG, what is the build number of Windows 10 RTM version? Is it 10.0.10240?

  • VG

    ^^ Yes.

    You might see any or both of them.

  • Also, is the location where I live a factor in determining when I will get the upgrade? I'm living in Thailand and it's now 30th July (Thailand time) and there's no sign that Windows 10 is downloading or anything.

  • VG

    ^^ Yes. Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 in waves. So just wait for sometime.

  • Hmmm, somehow the Get Windows 10 notification icon disappeared after I turned on my computer today. The gwx files are still present in C:\Windows\System32\gwx, and in Windows Update it still says that my upgrade is reserved. Any clues into this?

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