How to Skip the Wait for Your Windows 10 Update

A big thanks to the team at ign for helping me update to windows 10 now

You can put Microsoft’s shiny new OS on your system right now.

By Alaina YeeMicrosoft’s gradual rollout of Windows 10 might mean you’re still waiting your turn to get your free upgrade—but you don’t actually have to be patient. You can skip the line (and escape automatic download woes) and cut straight to the good stuff.

How? By getting Windows 10 through the Media Creation Tool, which you can download from Microsoft’s website. It’s completely legal and legitimate, and doesn’t take much time at all. It also works whether you’ve already reserved a copy of Windows 10 or not.

[Reminder: Getting a free copy of Windows 10 only applies to Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users with valid license keys. All other Windows users (including pirates of Windows 7 and 8/8.1) will have to purchase an activation key. Windows XP and Vista users also don’t get the option to do an upgrade, and must instead do a clean install.]

Step One: Back Up Your PC

back up

 

Before performing any operating system upgrade, you should back up your machine. (You can find tips for that in Step 3 of our How to Prepare Your PC for Windows 10 feature.) Backing up is a good practice in general, but it’s especially important as a fail-safe should something go awry during this manual upgrade process—or if you decide you don’t like Windows 10 as much as you thought you would, roll back to your previous OS, and discover your system isn’t quite the same as it was before. (At the time of this writing, the reports on switching back to Windows 7 or 8/8.1 say that the results aren’t perfect and can require some cleanup, like reinstalling apps.)

Step Two: Download the Media Creation Tool

 

Now that you’re disaster-proof, head to Microsoft’s Windows 10 download page to grab the Media Creation Tool. Choose either the 32-bit version or the 64-bit version to begin your download.

Don’t know which version to grab? Pick the 64-bit option if you’re already using a 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8/8.1, or if you aren’t concerned about running into issues with legacy hardware or software that you use. Opt for the 32-bit version if you’re already running a 32-bit version of Windows 7 or 8/8.1 and want to avoid creating problems for your existing setup.

Step Three: Run the Media Creation Tool

Run the Media Creation Tool

Open the Media Creation Tool, then select “Upgrade this PC now” to begin the upgrade process. (Even if you ultimately want to end up with a clean install, you still need to run the upgrade first to properly activate Windows 10. You’ll perform the clean install afterward.)

The Media Creation Tool will then download Windows 10. When it’s done, accept the EULA, and then choose what you want to keep when upgrading. If you want to keep everything as it is, select “Keep personal files and apps.”

screencapkeeppng

After you’ve made your selection, the Media Creation Tool shows you a confirmation of the settings you’ve picked for upgrade; if everything looks right, click on Install.

Step Four: Enjoy (Or Not)

 

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Once the upgrade is complete, you can verify that your copy of Windows 10 has been activated by heading to Control Panel > System. If it is, you’re all set to go. Xbox One owners can get started by checking out the Xbox app and trying its game-streaming feature.

If it turns out that you don’t like Windows 10, you can roll back to your previous operating system (though keep in mind, as noted above, that current reports say that doing so comes with a bit of cleanup). To do so, go to Settings > Recovery, and then choose the middle option (e.g., “Go Back to Windows 8.1”). This option is only available for 30 days after you upgrade to Windows 10, so if you decide you hate it, make sure you don’t wait too long to switch back.

 

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