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By Nick Brazzi |

Get Ready for Windows 10 — with These 4 Steps

windows 10

With the return of the Start Menu, fantastic new search tools in Cortana, and lots of under-the-hood tweaks that will translate to speed boosts for many users, Windows 10 is a great step forward.

Follow these four steps to get ready for it.

1. Decide on the right time to upgrade.

Upgrading your operating system is a very big step. There’s no doubt that Windows 10 has a lot to offer. But it’s wise to be cautious.

You can’t always be sure if the applications you use will work seamlessly with a new operating system, and you can’t guarantee that the upgrade process will go perfectly for you. With any brand new release, there can be un-anticipated bugs.

This is why many users prefer to wait a few weeks before upgrading to a new OS. There’s a strongly held belief among video editors and audio producers that you should never upgrade an application or operating system when you’re in the middle of a project. I think that wisdom is true for other types of work as well. So if you’re not in the middle of any major projects and you’re excited about getting started with the new features in Windows, then you might want to dive right in.

But for a lot of users, it might be safer to set a date in the next few months when you can dedicate some time in-between projects to get your system upgraded. Find some downtime to get Windows upgraded, configured, and tested.

2. Make sure your backup is up to date.

On any normal day, it’s important to have a solid backup plan, in case anything happens that might cause you to lose your data. Upgrading your operating system is a disruptive event, and is even more risky than any normal day.

If anything goes wrong with the upgrade process or if there are bugs in your new operating system, you’re at a greater risk of losing the files on your computer. So it’s essential that you have an up-to-date backup before you start the upgrading process.

Before you upgrade to Windows 10, revisit Windows 8 Essential Training or Windows 7 Essential Training on lynda.com. There’s a chapter in both courses on creating a backup.

3. Check for the Get Windows 10 App.

Microsoft has provided a great utility that will let you place a pre-order for your free Windows 10 upgrade, called the Get Windows 10 app. Once you’ve placed your pre-order, the app will automatically download the Windows 10 upgrade to your computer so that you can easily install it after the July 29 release date.

But this has been confusing for some users. You cannot manually download and install this app. It will automatically show up on most computers running Windows 7 SP 1 or 8.1. It should show up as an icon in the System Tray that looks like the windows logo. Click on that icon to go through the reservation process.


However, there are some computers that will not get this app. So you may not see that icon in your computer’s system tray. According to Microsoft: “PCs that we determine cannot run Windows 10 will not see the Get Windows 10 app before July 29, 2015.

Microsoft does not clarify exactly which computers will receive the Get Windows 10 app and which will not. In the meantime, to increase your chances of seeing the Get Windows 10 app, try these steps:

  • Make sure you’re running a “Genuine,” activated version of Windows. Your copy of windows must be registered with a legitimate product ID.
  • Be exhaustive and run all of the updates. Go into Control Panel. Click on “System and Security,” then click on “Windows Update.” Make sure you install all updates, including the optional updates.
  • Check the FAQ from Microsoft for more information.

If the “Get Windows 10” app does not appear on your computer, you’re not out of luck. It’s likely that you can still install the upgrade; you just can’t participate in the pre-release reservation. On some computers, the “Get Windows 10” app will appear after July 29.

For more details on the upgrade and installation process, be sure to take a look at the Microsoft website and lynda.com. Windows 10 Essential Training is your complete guide to using the new version of windows, including the various options for installing or upgrading.

4. Check out Windows 10 courses on lynda.com.

Check out Windows 10 Essential Training or Windows 10 New Features to learn more.


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