Thanks to overwhelmingly positive reviews, excitement in the free Windows 10 upgrade is building. But even many people who reserved their upgrade ahead of the Windows 10 launch are finding that they haven’t been given access. No worries, you don’t have to wait. Here’s how you can upgrade to Windows 10 right now, without having to wait on Microsoft to get to you.
This method will also work for people who never received the Windows 10 reservation too, though I will point out that there is a reason you’ve not gotten that reservation and that it’s possible one or more missing or non-optimal drivers are likely the culprit and could impact your experience. For this reason, you should proceed carefully.
And by “carefully,” I mean by being prepared. First, ensure that the PC is completely up-to-date with Windows Updates. Then, follow the steps listed in Windows 10 Tip: Successfully Clean Install Windows 10 and create a system image backup and repair disk before proceeding so you can get back to your previous OS should anything go wrong during Setup. Seriously.
Now, navigate to Download Windows 10 on the Microsoft web site and click one of the “Download Tool Now” buttons. (Which you click will depend on whether your PC is currently running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8.1; you can find this information in the System control panel.) Then, run the Media Creation app that downloads.
As I wrote earlier in Microsoft Delivers Windows 10 on ISO, depending on which choices you make, there can be a number of steps to this wizard-based application. But it will be simpler for you. On the What do you want to do? screen choose “Upgrade this PC now.” Windows 10 Setup will download and then you can perform the in-place upgrade normally. No waiting.
Of course, after this process is complete, you will want to make sure everything went well. After the upgrade is complete, you should run Windows Update, rebooting and repeating as necessary until you have all of the available updates. You should also check Device Manager to make sure all of your hardware components are properly outfitted with drivers. And you should create a recovery drive (Cortana/Start Search, recovery drive) immediately as well. Only then should you move on with actually using the system.
If everything is not well, remember that you can roll-back to the previous OS using one of the following two methods:
Windows 10 Recovery. Navigate to Settings (WINKEY + I), Update & Security, Recovery and see if there is an option for returning to your previous OS version. (It is supposed to be there when you upgrade, and will be available for the first 30 days you’re using Windows 10.) If this option is available, use it.
Restore your system image backup. If you can’t recover using the Windows 10 functionality, boot your PC with the repair disk you created and then restore the system image backup you also made.