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Can’t upgrade from Windows 7 to 10? Here’s what to do

Hello 2020, goodbye, Windows 7. Microsoft stopped support for the OS on Jan. 14. and is urging users to upgrade to Windows 10. While some may claim the company just wants your money, we know the truth — it’s really just trying to protect you.

If they want to protect you, they’d just keep supporting Windows 7, right? Wrong. It’s so old, cybercriminals have had sufficient time to poke enough holes in it to render it digital tissue paper. Tap or click here to see why you should upgrade.

And don’t twiddle your fingers too long. The time to upgrade is now. Need a little extra push? Here’s why you should upgrade, starting with lack of sufficient security.

Do you stay or do you go?

Before you opt to stay with Windows 7, you should understand there are potentially severe consequences that come with this choice.

One such problem is you will no longer receive security updates. Without regular updates, your computer will be vulnerable to any number of outside threats, including viruses, malware, spyware and ransomware. In addition, it leaves your data at risk.

To help business customers transition to Windows 10, Microsoft will offer individual businesses and subscribers extended security updates (ESUs) for the next three years at a cost that varies and will increase each year.

For anyone who continues to use Windows 7 after the support cutoff date, Microsoft intends to introduce full-screen warnings. These notifications will inform users of the consequences of failing to upgrade to Windows 10.

If you receive this warning, you will have three options: Remind me later, Learn more or Don’t remind me again. FYI, if you do not select one of the options, you will continue to receive the notifications.

Microsoft made it a point to incessantly remind you to upgrade for free, but if you failed to take advantage of it, here’s how you make the switch.

How to upgrade to Windows 10

For those who would rather not have to perform a clean install, which requires the removal of all files from your PC, you can use the Media Creation Tool and upgrade while you keep your applications, files and folders in their current locations. Tap or click to check out five free Windows 10 apps you’ll love using.

Before you begin to upgrade, you must ensure your computer has the following minimum requirements.

  • You will also need to ensure your system is running Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which is the latest version of your current OS.
  • A valid Windows product key is required, which you can purchase here.
  • Create a full backup of Windows 7 with the System Image Backup Tool. For detailed instructions, visit Windows support.
  • It is recommended you uninstall software, including security and antivirus programs, along with any third-party applications before upgrading.
  • Disconnect any hardware such as a printer, external hard drive and USB devices.

Now that we have the prep work complete, it’s time to install Windows 10:

  • Download Media Creation Tool
  • Click Download tool now and save the installer onto your computer.
  • Double-click on the file MediaCreationTool.exe to launch the Windows 10 setup wizard.
  • Click Accept for the licensing agreement.
  • Select Upgrade this PC now.
  • Click Next .
  • Enter your Product key, click Next.
  • Click Accept.
  • Check Keep personal files and apps .
  • Click Install.

Once installed, you will need to follow the on-screen step-by-step guide to finish setting up Windows 10.

What if you want to get Windows 10 but can’t?

You have decided to move to Windows 10; however, your Windows 7 system is putting up a fuss and won’t upgrade. Before you run out and buy a new device, here are a few tips that can help.

RELATED: 7 ways to customize your Windows 10 computer

Run Update Troubleshooter. Open Control Panel and select Troubleshooting and Update Troubleshooter to see if there is a fix available. If not, try these other tricks:

  • If you chose not to uninstall antivirus software before upgrading, disable your firewall and antivirus software as this could fix installation issues. Attempt to reinstall Windows 10.
  • Ensure you are installing Windows 10 under the administrator account.
  • Remove any non-essential software and external hardware if you did not do so prior to installing Windows 10, and try reinstalling Windows 10.

Be sure your system meets the new system requirements. If it does not, your options may be limited to replacing individual components or upgrading your device.

While the time has come to say goodbye to Windows 7, it’s time to welcome in Windows 10. Tap or click here for 12 Windows 10 tips and tricks.

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