Windows 10 Free Upgrade Offer Ends Today: Here's What to Do

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The deadline for taking advantage of Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer is only hours away. After 6 am ET on July 30th (according to Microsoft's website), you won't be able to upgrade your Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC to the latest version of the operating system without paying a hefty fee of at least $119.

If you've been sitting on the fence, wondering whether you should upgrade to Windows 10, we strongly recommend that you take the leap. Windows 10 offers faster boot and wake times, the Cortana digital assistant,  accounts that share your settings across the different devices you use and a whole new ecosystem of Universal Apps that you can't run on Windows 7 or 8.

Upgrade offer ending

Even if none of these features excites you, you should perform the update so you can future-proof yourself for all the features and apps yet to come. On August 2nd, Microsoft is releasing its Anniversay Update, which adds a slew of new capabilities, including smart sticky notes, the ability to get SMS messages from your phone on the desktop and biometric logins for your favorite apps and websites via Windows Hello. Microsoft adds new features several times a year. In the near future, you'll also be able to install Xbox Play Anywhere games which run on both your PC and an Xbox while syncing your progress and achievement between all your devices.

MORE: Stop Procrastinating and Install Windows 10 Already

So, if you're ready to make the Windows 10 upgrade, here's what you need to know:

How to Upgrade to Windows 10

upgrade icon

The easiest way to perform the upgrade is to click on the upgrade icon, which is probably sitting in your computer's taskbar right now and then follow the instructions. However, we prefer creating a Windows 10 install disk on a USB flash drive, because you don't have to worry about your computer falling asleep or losing connectivity in the middle of the installation download, as has happened on some machines we tested.

What to Do First

After you've successfully upgraded to Windows 10, you need to do a little tweaking, before you get back to doing work, playing games or answering emails. We've come up with a list of settings you need to change right away, including enabling a system restore point, unhiding file extensions and deleting the wasteful Windows.old folder, which holds all of the unnecessary files from your previous Windows.

Make Windows 10 Feel Like Home

If you haven't used Windows 10 before, you'll notice that its interface is "fresh but familiar." The desktop looks a lot like Windows 7, but the Start Menu is filled with Live Tiles, which first appeared in the Start Screen in Windows 8. Fortunately, it's easy to customize the look and feel of Windows 10 to bring it inline with your tastes. You can even make Windows 10 look and feel just like Windows 7, with a few tweaks.

Make the Most of Windows 10

After you're all set up, you'll want to take advantage of Windows 10's new features. Fortunately, we've put together a guide with more than 100 Windows 10 tutorials which explain how to stay organized with Cortana, surf the web with the Edge browser, improve your performance and secure your data.

Author Bio
Avram Piltch
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.
Avram Piltch, LAPTOP Online Editorial Director on
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10 comments
  • Bill piasecki Says:

    Can I get free upgrade for win xt to win 10?

  • MEWill Says:

    Dell Concierge upgraded our 2015 laptop from win8 to win10...they told me that our Dell bought in 2011 and which has win 7 wasn't eligible (my term...can't remember their exact wording) and couldn't/wouldn't upgrade to win10. Any ideas why not?

  • Joe Bean Says:

    As for drivers support, be warned that if you upgrade, your old printer might not work right away (happened on HP and Brother) and you might have to download and install a newer driver or sometimes reinstall the same old driver (it happened to me on a Brother printer, but it works well once reinstalled).

    So, if you are not comfortable with all those things, find a friend who is.

  • Joe Bean Says:

    To those who asked:

    The upgrade will give you a free Windows 10 for the lifetime of the device or 10 years max.

    Microsoft saves a digital fingerprint of your computer so if you reinstall, it remembers it has been activated. No need for key once you got the free upgrade.

    Basically, you are trading privacy for running the latest with Windows 10. It's your choice. If you use 8, upgrading might make more sense as there will not be many people still on 8 compared to 7, so support might not be as good (Adobe stopped supporting the latest versions of Reader on Vista before they dropped XP).

    Remember Windows 10 is a work in progress. It might get better (or worse) as MS has less pressure to sell the new features to upgraders and focus on their app store and get money only from selling the new licenses on new PCs.

    If you have an old computer or no SSD, I am not sure it is worth it to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, unless you really want to use the Windows Store and the things like Cortana, which I would prefer to disable and get the old search back.

    If you play video games and plan on buying a DX12 video card, you need Windows 10.

  • Myrtie Highsmith Says:

    I am not happy with windows 10 and would like my windows 8.1 back. can I do that? email me an answer

  • Sceptic Says:

    Too many questions not answered.
    What if you have to reinstall your PC?Will those who upgraded in the free period still get the product key to do that again afterwards? What about driver conflicts?

    If it were all also simple matter of an upgrade without adversely affecting currently installed software/drivers/BIOS, Motherboards, video/graphics cards/drivers, printers/scanners and if Microsoft could guarantee there wouldn't just be a BSOD pretty soon on start-up or thereabout with meaningless gobbledegook that just screwed everything potentially irrevocably for any qualifying make of PC that would be OK.

    Otherwise don't make these things available to the masses if you cant guarantee for any notionally compatible and qualifying PC that it will all JUST WORK!!

  • patrick Says:

    So I'll need to pay every year for a new service? This is the new model for all programs, Pay for the use not ownership. Adobe and now MS.

  • ian Says:

    apparently from what I have read you get windows 10 for the "life" of the device.

  • vittorio Says:

    good question, Florin. Was wondering that myself. Will anyone from laptopmag or Microsoft answer?

    unlikely!

  • Florin Says:

    What i don`t understand is that if i make my upgrade from 8.1 to 10 for free, after this year passes and i`ll need an OS reinstall (hardware changes or w/e) i`ll be forced to pay for Win 10 or i`ll still get it for free?

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