How to install Windows 10 step by step

Preparations

Minimum Windows 10 system requirements

Make sure your PC meets the minimum requirements of Windows 10:

  • Latest OS: it is easier to install Windows 10 if your PC is running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1

  • CPU: 1GHz or faster CPU or SoC

  • RAM: 1GB for 32-bit Windows 10 or 2 GB for 64-bit Windows 10

  • Hard disk space: 16 GB of disk space for 32-bit Windows 10 OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS

  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 support or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

  • Display resolution: 800 x 600

These are the minimum requirements to install Windows 10, but the more potent your PC is, the better performance you will have on your Windows 10.

Note: To have the best performance, Homeer recommends installing Windows 10 on an SSD instead of an HDD. A SATA 3 SSD is good enough for the task, but an NMVe SSD is even better.

Backup your data 

Backup your data regularly is a good habit even you don’t plan on changing anything. It helps when your system or your PC suddenly has a problem.

Keep copies of your essential files in another location: another disk or cloud. Ensure you don’t leave anything important on the System drive (drive C) because it will be erased.

Necessary files, tools, hardware

Depending on the way you are installing your Windows 10, there are few things you need to download, borrow or buy:

  • An SSD for your computer if you didn’t install one already to have the best experience on Windows 10. You can use the old HDD for storing media.

  • A Windows 10 disk image (ISO file), or a Windows 10 installation disk (if you have the disk, you won’t need a USB anymore, but you will need a DVD reader connected to your PC)

  • Windows 10 activation key if your latest OS is not activated Windows 7 or Windows 8.1

  • A USB for creating the bootable USB (a 2GB USB for installing using the mini-Win USB, an 8GB USB for installing using the bootable Windows 10 USB)

  • Prepare all driver files for your PC components if those are heavy, or you don’t have a fast internet connection.

How to install Windows 10

Install Windows 10 from a working operating system

If your PC runs Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, this is the easiest way to install Windows 10.

One problem with this method is that you can only install the same 32 or 64 bit OS as you are using. That means if you are using 32 bit OS and you want to install the 64 Windows 10 now, you will have to use the way below: Install Windows 10 from a bootable USB or disk.

Inside Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: mount the Windows 10 ISO disk image, open it

Install Windows 10 from a working operating system 1

  • Step 2: Run Setup application file, choose Yes if User Account Control asks

Install Windows 10 from a working operating system 2

  • Step 3: 

    • Choose “Download updates, new drivers…”: If you have a fast internet connection, you can choose to download and install new updates.

    • Otherwise, choose Not right now to download and install updates later.

    • Click Next -> Accept Microsoft software license terms to continue.

Install Windows 10 from a working operating system 3

  • Step 4: Choose what to keep: depending on the compatibility of programs between old and new Windows OS, you can keep:

    • Keep personal files and apps: keep all your compatible applications, all settings, and files.

    • Keep personal files only: Your settings and apps will be deleted, but your files will be kept.

    • Nothing: delete all files, apps, and settings, install a brand new OS. 

Install Windows 10 from a working operating system 5

  • Step 5: Click Next to choose the partition for installing new Windows 10, or go to step 6 if you choose to upgrade your old OS.

Install Windows 10 from a working operating system 6

  • Step 6: Click Next to let the Windows 10 Setup start copying files. After one or few restart times, your computer will quickly boot into a Windows 10 interface. Choose some personal settings, user, and password for your new Windows OS then you are ready to install games or apps to use.

Install Windows 10 from a bootable USB or disk

How to choose to boot from the bootable USB

There are two common ways to choose a device to boot from:

  • Press Function key to enter Boot Menu: each motherboard manufacturer uses a different key to enter Boot Menu, read on the motherboard’s manual. Common keys are: ECS, F8, F9, F10, F11, F12.

  • Switch Boot Priority #1 in BIOS settings to USB drives: Press F1 or Delete to enter BIOS (depending on your motherboard) - Go to Boot options tab - Switch device in Boot Priority #1 to Removable USB Flash drives.
    The names and function keys to use might be different on different motherboards.

boot from the bootable USB

Install Window 10 from a bootable mini Windows USB

You choose to install Windows 10 this way when you already have the Windows 10 disk image file saved on your hard drive, but your OS somehow corrupted, or you were using a 32 bit OS, and now you want to install 64 bit Windows 10.

After having a 64 bit mini Windows bootable USB, plug it into your USB port on the motherboard and follow the instructions:

  • Step 1: Choose to boot from your mini Windows USB and wait to boot into mini Windows.

  • Step 2: Follow the instructions of “Install Windows 10 from a working operating system” above.

You can use a 2GB USB flash drive to make a bootable mini Windows, unlike a USB for the Windows 10 installation USB must be at least 8GB.

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB

You need an 8GB USB for this method. 

The steps to install Windows 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB:

  • Step 1: Choose to boot from the installation USB, wait for it to run into installing interface.

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 0

  • Step 2: Choose Language, Time and currency format, Keyboard layout 

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB

  • Step 3: Click Next - Install now

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 2

  • Step 4: Enter the Windows product key or skip to enter the key later

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 3

  • Step 5: Accept Windows License terms

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 4

  • Step 6: Choose the type of installation:

    • Upgrade: keep files, settings, and applications of the previous OS. If you choose this option, follow instructions for Installing Windows 10 from a working OS.

    • Custom: install a new OS, delete all files, settings, and applications of the previous OS. We choose this option to continue.

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 5

  • Step 7: Choose the disk partition to install Windows: it is easy if you install a new SSD only for the OS. When you install Windows 10 on an old SSD with more than one partition, pay attention to choose the right partition for the OS. If you choose the wrong partition, all data on that partition will be wiped out. There are some options to execute this step:

    • Refresh: scan for disk and partition changes

    • Delete: delete format of the selected partition, turn it into Unallocated, all data will be lost

    • Format: format selected partition to use

    • New: create a new partition from a whole unallocated disk

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 6

  • Step 8: Click Next for Windows setup start copying and installing Windows

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 7

  • Step 9:When the Windows setup finishes the process, the computer will restart. Fill and choose some personal settings, then wait for a little more. Your new Windows 10 OS installation is basically done. You can install drivers, games, and apps now.

Install Window 10 from a bootable Windows 10 installation USB 8

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Paul Syverson
Paul Syverson
Working as a software engineer for a computer manufacturing company for many years, Paul Syverson has a wealth of experience to share with you about this intelligent device. There is no doubt that his information will be very useful for those who have the intention of buying the best functional computer meeting their needs.