- System Prechecks
- Downloading a Windows 10 .iso
- Extracting a Windows 10 .iso (Windows 7 only)
- Upgrade Install from Windows 10 Installation Media
This will take you through an in place upgrade install retaining your Apps and Files from Windows 7, Windows 8.x or an earlier build of Windows 10 to the latest build Windows 10 RS3/Build 16299/Version 1709.
Note: A Clean Installation always yields superior performance but Microsoft have made vast improvements in reducing performance losses with Windows 10 Upgrade Installs.
The Free Upgrade
Windows 10 was released on the 29th of July 2015. Microsoft made it known that Windows 10 would be a Free Upgrade for those who took advantage of the Free Upgrade within the first year of release.
Theoretically the Free Upgrade should have ended on the 29th of July 2016 which has long passed. However all activation mechanisms work with the latest Windows 10 Version 1709 (September 2017) RS3 build.
The English Language Issue
Microsoft assume all Windows 7 English OEM Installs are Windows 7 English US OEM Installs.
The English UK time & date/regional and keyboard settings may be lost:
For this reason this guide launches the upgrade install from installation media.
It is advised to Create a Macrium Reflect Windows Image of your Old Windows Installation before carrying out this guide. For more details see Backing up your Windows Installation using Macrium Reflect.
Before you even begin the Windows 10 Download you should know some details about your system. This is best done by looking at system information.
Press [Windows] and [ r ] to bring up the run command:
In the run box type in
Then press ok.
OS Name and Version
Take a note of the OS Name and Version.
Technically Microsoft list the build number here and not what they call the version which is typically in the form yymm where yy is the year and mm is the month:
- Build 16299/Version 1709 – Windows 10 RS3 “Fall Creators Update”
- Build 15063/Version 1703 – Windows 10 RS2 “Creators Update”
- Build 14093/Version 1607 – Windows 10 RS1 “Anniversary Update”
- Build 10586/Version 1511 – Windows 10 TH2
- Build 10240/Version 1507 – Windows 10 TH1
- Build 9600/Version 1310 – Windows 8.1
- Build 9200/Version 1207 – Windows 8
- Build 7601/Version 1102 – Windows 7 SP1
- Build 7600/Version 0907 – Windows 7
If the OS Name contains the words Enterprise then this guide is not applicable.
Take a note of the SMBIOS revision if it is 2.7 or later you should ensure that you Enable a UEFI Boot and Secure Boot after your Upgrade Install. I will leave specific instructions to these near the End of this Guide.
Boot Mode and Secure Boot State
For systems with Windows 8 or Later installed you will have BIOS Mode and SecureBoot State shown. These technologies should be enabled where supported by the hardware.
This information doesn’t show if you are currently running Windows 7. For a Windows 7 install in all cases SecureBoot will be disabled (as its unsupported by Windows 7) and the UEFI Boot may also be disabled even on hardware which support these technologies (this will be rectified at the End of the Windows 7 to Windows 10 Upgrade Install).
Without the Latest UEFI BIOS Version – Installation of Windows 10 may Fail!!!
See my dedicated guide on the UEFI BIOS which gives more detailed instructions on updating the UEFI BIOS to the latest version.
Downloading a Windows 10 RS3 .iso
You must have either a Windows 10 RS3 .iso or Bootable USB to proceed. See Downloading a Windows 10 RS2 .iso using the Media Creation Tool and Creating a Windows 10 Bootable USB for a UEFI BIOS within Windows (optional).
Windows 8 and later have the option to natively mount .isos by right clicking and selecting mount. The Windows 10 RS3 .iso can be mounted and then used to initiate the in place upgrade. Windows 7 does not and while third party utilities can be used they don’t work after a restart and the upgrade install will fail due to the loss of installation media:
To overcome this one can either launch the setup from a Bootable USB or the .iso can be extracted and the setup can be launhed from the extracted files.
Extract the .iso onto the Desktop
To extract the .iso download and install 7zip which matches your architecture of Windows in my case 64 Bit:
Save the installer and run the setup:
Accept the User Account Control Prompt:
Then select close:
Right click the .iso and then select 7-zip and Extract to “”:
You will now have an extracted .iso on your Desktop. Select Close:
The setup.exe is in the root of this folder:
Beginning the Windows 10 Upgrade from the USB or Extracted .iso
Insert the Windows 10 RS3 Bootable USB. Open the USB from within Windows Explorer or alternatively open the Extracted Windows 10 Folder on the Desktop:
Double click the setup:
Select yes at the User Account Control prompt:
The Windows setup will load and prepare:
You will see Windows:
It will then prepare:
It’ll ask you if you want to check for updates. Select next:
Accept the license agreement:
Windows 10 assumes all English Windows 7 installs are English US so you may get this error message if you opt to Upgrade to English UK.
Then make sure your PC has enough space for the in place Upgrade Install:
Here you can decide what to keep. I’ll keep my personal files and apps so I’ll just select Install:
Windows 10 RS3 will now install and your computer will restart three times:
You will be prompted to select your user account and login:
If you are stuck on this screen and the Next Button does nothing you likely have an incompatible Wireless/Bluetooth driver. This can be resolved see Stuck on Windows 10 Screen Due to Incompatible Wireless/Bluetooth Driver.
Next you’ll be given the privacy options amend these in accordance to your own preferences then select Accept:
You will enter the last few screens of the Windows 10 RS3 install:
Finally you will be on the Windows 10 RS3 Desktop. You should leave your system idle for 30 minutes or so and then check whether your system is activated.
Right click the start button and select settings
There should be no Activation watermark on this screen. Select Update & Security:
It should say “Windows is Activated with a Digital License”: