Microsoft is providing Windows 10 as a free update for most computers running Windows 7 or later. But the company is doing a phased rollout, which means that even if you signed up for the free update, you might not be prompted to download and install Windows 10 today.

For the most part that’s a good thing, because Microsoft plans to keep an eye on the installation process and update the system in the coming weeks to address any issues.

Don’t want to wait? There are a few ways to get Windows 10 right now.

upgrading

Option 1: Force Windows Update to download Windows 10

This is probably the quickest and easiest way to upgrade a PC that’s already running Windows 7 or later.

updatenow

Just open the Start Menu or Start Screen, type “cmd” into the search bar, and when you see Command Prompt, right-click that option and choose “run as administrator.”

Next, type this command

wuauclt.exe/updatenow

That’s it. When you open Windows Update, you should see that your computer is downloading Windows 10 and preparing to install it.

installing

Option 2: Create a bootable disc or USB flash drive

Want to create bootable media that you can use to install Windows 10? This method might come in handy if you plan to update multiple computers and don’t want to wait for the OS to download on all of them. It also gives you media you can use to re-install the operating system if necessary.

All you have to do is visit the Download Windows 10 web page and choose the 32-bit or 64-bit tool, depending on whether you’re planning to install Windows 10 32-bit or Windows 10 64-bit software. Then run the tool and follow the instructions.

The Windows 10 media creation tool is less than 20MB, but you’ll need a blank USB flash drive or DVD with at least 4GB of free space for the Windows 10 installer.

Once you’ve created your installation media, you can boot your computer from the flash drive or DVD to begin the Windows upgrade process. Alternately, you can run the setup.exe file from the root directory of the media to begin the install process.

Note that you can use the tool to perform a clean install rather than an upgrade — but you may need to enter a valid Windows license key under some circumstances if you do that. You can find more details in the FAQ.

Also note that you can install Windows 10 32-bit on a system with a 64-bit processor, but not vice versa… and if you have a PC with a 64-bit chip that’s running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 32-bit, you’re only eligible for a free upgrade to the 32-bit version of Windows 10.

windows 10_001

The utility will let you install Windows 10 Home, Window 10 Pro, Windows 10 Home Single Language, or Windows 10 Home China, depending on the version of Windows you’re currently running.

Option 3: Use the Media Creation Tool to perform an upgrade

Don’t want to create a bootable drive? You can choose the “Upgrade this PC now” option when you first run the media creation tool mentioned in option 2.

This will download and install Windows 10 on your system without creating bootable media.

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15 replies on “How to get Windows 10 right now”

  1. Tried option 1 a few times does not seem to do anything.
    🙁
    Is there a min requirement for free space for the upgrade btw? ( I do have the get windows 10 app installed )

  2. for me option 1 seems to only be installing Windows 8.1 updates, not Windows 10. But this is an older computer that I haven’t updated or used in a quite a while. So maybe it has to do all of the 8.1 updates first?

  3. Thanks for this guide! I have followed its steps, made the USB key (took me 1hour 15 minutes) and made backup + retrieved the product-key, just in case…. After that made the update. Making of the USB was easy – well done MS, and the upgrade went flawless. Wonderful to get rid of several annoyances in Win 8.1! And I have found out that I now also can make a fresh install on my computer, if I feel for it!

  4. I can see why you would want to upgrade from 8 to 10, but why would you want to leave 7 behind? Does 10 have XP mode for older games?

  5. What happens if I need to reinstall Win10 after the one year free upgrade? If I replaced a failed HDD will I need to need to pay for the upgrade?

    1. No, you should have the tag that came with your computer, that MS number there is you product key and all you should need to reload the system on a new hard drive.

      1. Thanks for the info. I was wondering if you get a new 10 key to replace your 7 or 8 one.

        1. I believe you get a new key – I’ve seen warnings that if you want to do a fresh install, you should still upgrade first to pick up the new key. (I don’t know if you get told the new key or have to use a program to display it.)

  6. I did option 3, will be home in an hour. I wonder how my MacBook pro and Asus t200 are doing

  7. So does this ignore the “$Windows.~BT” folder download…which is 4GB right now?

    What happens if we just run the setup.exe in “$Windows.~BT”?

    1. navigate to C:WindowsSoftwareDistributionDownload in file explorer and delete everything in the folder. 80240020 means that the installation folder is incomplete/corrupt. delete the contents of the folder and run wuauclt.exe/updatenow as the article suggests and you should be good. hope this helps

      1. Did that, still getting the same error. This is not just one 1 PC, but have tried 2 different computers now. 1 desktop, 1 laptop. Both currently on 8.1 Update

  8. If you live near a brick-n-mortar Windows Store, you can take your computer to the store and they’ll install 10 for you. This morning the Windows Store in Portland had a group of techs busily installing 10 for people who brought in their laptops and tablets.

    1. Great advice. or you can contact customer service if you are still under warranty. There are also several blogs already posting information according to the problems reported!

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