Stop being on the fence about Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade.

The clock is ticking. Microsoft is about to stop offering the upgrade free of charge. If for whatever reason you don't take this opportunity to get your PC up to date, you'll have to eventually pay for Windows 10 (it isn't cheap) when you do decide the time is right. Also, you can't take advantage of the new Windows 10 Anniversary Update if you aren't already running Windows 10.

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer officially expires 29 July at 11:59 pm. There's really no reason not to get out your old Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 machine and update now. However, if you are finally ready, then grab your laptop, desktop, or tablet computer, and let's go. Pocket-lint has explained everything you need to know, including system requirements.

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What is Windows 10?

It's the latest major version of Windows.

Here's some extra reading to get you up to speed on the software:

What is Windows 10 Anniversary Update?

Just eight months after Microsoft released Windows 10, it announced an "Anniversary Update" to the software that would rollout 2 August. Windows 10 boasts over 300 millions users and has over 500 different device designs, and soon, it'll get loads of new features, Microsoft said, thanks to the upcoming upgrade, which was previously dubbed Redstone.

The software is set to bring new features that focus on Windows Ink and improving stylus-use. It'll also bring extensions for Edge and upgrades for Hello and Cortona, among other things. Click here to see what else it features.

What are the system requirements for Windows 10?

You need to make sure your PC meets Microsoft's Windows 10 minimum requirements, which it should, because they’re not too outrageous. You just need a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM (or 2GB for 64-bit), and 20GB of free disk space. You also must be running Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1. You can check your current operating system on Microsoft's website.

  1. To update Windows 7, go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Update.
  2. To update Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, go to Start > PC Settings > Update and recovery > Windows Update.

Should you back up your PC first?

Yes. You should always back up your PC first - no matter if you are updating to Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10. Microsoft's support page details the several ways you can get this done. All set? Awesome.

How to update to Windows 10

Have you reserved your copy?

If you already reserved your Windows 10 upgrade, the upgrade files may already be downloaded to your PC. Simply look for the notification that says your upgrade is ready, and then run the installer. That should take up to an hour.

Have you not reserved your copy?

Now worries. Go to the “Get Windows 10” icon in your system tray. You can then reserve an upgrade or schedule an install. A notification from Microsoft will appear letting you know when can run the installer.

Is there another way to get your copy?

Sure is - here you go:

  1. Go to the Windows 10 download page.
  2. You'll see an Upgrade now button at the top of the page. Click it. This will download the Windows 10 download client.
  3. Double-click the Windows 10 download client to run it.
  4. A User Account Control (UAC) window will appear. It'll ask if you want to allow the program to make changes to your computer. Click OK.
  5. The client will then download Windows 10. Follow the on-screen prompts that'll walk you through the setup process.
  6. Prepare to wait up to an hour. Your device might restart several times while you're setting up Windows 10.

And that's it.

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