How to Upgrade from Windows 10 S to Full Windows

A number of new laptops, including the HP Envy x2 and Asus NovaGo TP370QL, come with Windows 10 S (aka Windows 10 S mode) installed. Microsoft claims that 10 S is faster and more power efficient than the regular Windows, but in reality, it's just the main operating system with a few key restrictions. Namely, you can't install non-Windows store apps. That means that you're stuck with Edge as your only browser and you can't run a slew of programs you might really need. 

Fortunately, removing Windows 10 S is simple, free and doesn't require reinstalling the whole operating system. To upgrade to full Windows, follow these steps:

1.  Hit Windows Key + X then select System from the menu that appears.

2. Scroll down and click "Change product key or switch to Windows 10 Pro" (on yours it might be "Windows 10 Home").

3. Click "Go to Store." You'll be transported to a page in the Windows Store.

4. Click Get. The button changes.

5. Click Install.

6. Click "Yes, Let's Go."

The computer will not reboot, will not download anything and it probably won't even give you a status message. When we tried this on the HP Envy x2, the system changed to Windows 10 Pro instantly, but we only knew it had happened, because we checked system info and saw that it said "Windows 10 Pro" instead of "Windows 10 S." Should you change your mind, you can't revert to Windows 10 S, but why would you want to?

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Avram Piltch
Online Editorial Director
The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of 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.