Prepare for Windows 10

Jul 13 2015

July 29th is almost upon us, and that means that if you’re running Windows OS you’ll be able to upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 promises a slew of interesting, new features and is free for all users of Windows 7 and 8.1. However, upgrading to a new OS can lead to some unforeseen consequences. If you’re preparing to make the jump, here are some things you should consider.

First of all, do you really need Windows 10? Microsoft promises new features and improvements but for those already happy with their current OS, those improvements may not be that important. On the other hand, the new features could be monumental. It’s important to do your homework on the new features to see if they are worth it to you. Is the personal assistant Cortana a feature you could see yourself integrating into your daily routine? Is the new Edge browser something you would consider trading Chrome or Firefox for? If you’re a gamer find out how DX12 will impact your computer’s performance. Windows 10 aims to bring the best of Windows 7 and 8.1 together. However, as seen with the jarring transition from Windows 7 to 8.1, a new OS takes some time to get used to.

New OS releases are often buggy and Windows 10 will most likely follow suit. Despite Microsoft’s 5 million beta testers, the official release is not guaranteed to be free of any issues. Consider this if you are upgrading day one. If you don’t want to be hampered by any bugs, waiting a week or two for issues to be resolved may be a safer option. If you’re comfortable with your OS but plant to upgrade to Windows 10 eventually, make sure to do so by July 29th, 2016. Otherwise, you’ll have to pay $120 for Windows 10 home.

If you do decide to upgrade however, make sure you backup your data! While the Windows 10 upgrade won’t require a hard drive wipe, contingencies can always occur. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have valuable files on a secure drive before the upgrade process.

Windows 10 can be installed through an upgrade or a clean install. Users of Windows 7 and 8.1 can simply upgrade without losing any of their data. However, if you are on Windows Vista or XP, you’ll have to do a clean install. The process can take a while so make sure to set some time aside for the upgrade if you are a heavy computer user.

Before you upgrade, do these things to ensure stability and the smoothest transition. First, clean out all temporary files using a disc cleanup tool like CCleaner. Next, defragment your hard drive to improve performance. Finally, make sure you install all the latest Windows updates and make sure your hardware is updated to the latest version. This means updating graphics, processor, usb and audio drivers. This will ensure stability during the upgrade process and make sure all your hardware is compatible with Windows 10.