How to download and install Windows 10
Windows 10 is the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system, and while it builds upon what made its previous versions (especially Windows 7 and Windows 8.1) so popular, it also brings new and improved features along with a revamped interface.
These changes mean that no matter how experienced you are with Windows, you might still need help getting to grips with Windows 10 – so we’ve gathered together the best tips, tricks and guides to getting the most out of the new software.
Make sure you visit the page often as we’ll be constantly updating it with new guides on how to use Windows 10.
Update: We’ve got some quick and easy tweaks to make Windows 10 run better than ever.
How to download and install Windows 10
Before learning how to use Windows 10, you’ll first need to download and install is, if your PC doesn’t already come with the software installed.
The good news is that Microsoft has made the Windows 10 upgrade free for people who own Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, so if you have one of the more recent versions of Windows you don’t have to spend any money getting Windows 10.
However don’t go clicking that download button just yet – first check out our guide on how to prepare for your upgrade to Windows 10.
This takes you through the essential steps to make sure your PC is ready for the upgrade to Windows 10, including using the Windows 10 Upgrade Advisor, creating a recovery drive, backing up your important files and more.
This will ensure that your upgrade to Windows 10 goes as smoothly as possible. If you’re not sure about upgrading, then let us explain why you should download Windows 10 right now.
Now that your PC is ready to install Windows 10 it should be a relatively straightforward process.
Step one: Check the Get Windows 10 app
When your PC is ready to download and install Windows 10, the Get Windows 10 app should appear in the notification area of your taskbar (in the bottom-right corner of your screen). This app will allow you to reserve your copy of Windows 10, letting Microsoft know you’re interested in upgrading.
Step two: Download Windows 10 via Windows Update
Once reserved your Windows 10 download should be ready – if Windows doesn’t automatically download it open up Windows Update (you can do this by typing “Windows Update” into the Start Men of Windows 7 or the Start Screen of Windows 8), and you should find it there ready to be downloaded and installed.
For a more in depth guide, head over to How to install Windows 10 to find out the best way to prepare your PC for an upgrade to Windows 10, and what to do if you want to roll back to a previous version of Windows.
This will download and install Windows 10 as an upgrade over your previous Windows installation, keeping your files and settings intact. However if you want to perform a clean install of Windows 10 then check out our guide on how to install Windows 10 via USB or DVD.
How to get Windows 10 if it won’t install
If for some reason the Windows 10 update doesn’t show in Windows Update, don’t panic! Check out our guide on how to get Windows 10 if it won’t install.
How to dual boot Windows 10
If you’re not quite sold on Windows 10 and want to run it alongside another operating system such as Windows 8.1 or Linux, then you can multiboot Windows 10, allowing you to switch between systems when you turn on your PC.
It’s a good way of testing out Windows 10 before fully committing, or if you need to keep an older operating system on your PC so you can still use certain programs that won’t work in Windows 10.
If you’re interested in giving it a go, check out our comprehensive guide on how to multiboot Windows 10 with another operating system.
How to reinstall Windows 10
You should find using Windows 10 pretty pain-free, however sometimes things can go wrong, in which case it is worth reinstalling Windows 10.
Reinstalling Windows 10 can also help speed up ageing PCs, and you’ll be surprised at the new lease of life your device gets when you perform a fresh install of Windows 10.
There are a number of options for reinstalling Windows 10, including a full reinstall, along with the more efficient restore and refresh methods.
To find out the best method for your needs check out our guide on how to reinstall Windows 10.
How to create a Microsoft account
Once you’ve installed Windows 10, to get the most out of it you should also create a Microsoft account. This not only allows you to log into Windows 10, but it also lets you buy and install apps from the Windows Store, as well as save your files and settings to the cloud.
How to delete Windows 7 or 8 after upgrading to Windows 10
When you install Windows 10, your previous version of Windows is kept in case you don’t like the new version – or you encounter any problems. However if you’re happy with Windows 10 then you can delete Windows7 or Windows 8 to help free up some space.
How to run Windows 10 on a Mac
Are you a Mac user who’s not too keen on El Capitan and is looking jealously at all the new Windows 10 features? The good news is that it’s relatively simple to switch operating systems – just check out our guide to how to run Windows 10 on a Mac.
How to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine
You can also install Windows 10 on a virtual machine. This lets you run Windows 10 in a different operating system, letting you test it out without having to fully install it on your PC.
It’s pretty straightforward, all you need is a program like VMware Player and our guide to how to run Windows 10 on a virtual machine.
How to get more from Windows 10
Want to find out what else you can do with Windows 10? Our guide on getting more from Windows 10 takes you through some of the excellent hidden – and not so hidden – features of Microsoft’s new operating system.
Get started with Windows 10
Now that it is installed we can look at how to use Windows 10 to its full potential. For example the Settings and Action Center in Windows 10 is a key part of the operating system, so knowing how to make the most of them can help transform your Windows 10 experience.
Windows 10 is now even easier and more secure to log into once you know how to use the new Windows Hello feature, which allows you to unlock your Windows 10 device with your fingerprint – or even using your face and a webcam!
Once you’ve installed Windows 10 and it’s running the way you want it to, it’s worth making a Windows 10 recovery disk, which will allow you to fix or reinstall Windows 10 should anything go wrong.
How to use Microsoft Edge
Windows 10 comes with a brand new internet browser called Microsoft Edge. Edge is now the default way to get online, and it does quite a few things differently from Internet Explorer.
If you’re going to be using Edge as your main internet browser while using Windows 10, then make sure you check out our guide on how to use Microsoft Edge to get the most out of the new browser.
How to protect Windows 10 from viruses for free
The first thing you should do when you’re getting started with Windows 10 is make sure it’s protected from viruses.
Thankfully, Windows 10 comes with some pretty robust anti-virus and anti-malware software for free. To make sure your machine is secure, check out our how to protect Windows 10 from viruses for free guide.
How to manage Wi-Fi in Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with extensive Wi-Fi features – both old and new – so getting online wirelessly is easy and convenient.
However there are some new settings such as WiFi Sense which you should know about to make sure your wireless connection is as safe and secure as possible.
In our how to manage Wi-Fi in Windows 10 guide we look at all the settings you need to explore, as well as handy tips on managing your Wi-Fi network and recovering forgotten passwords.
How to use Family Safety in Windows 10
Windows 10 comes with a comprehensive set of parental control tools known as Microsoft Family Safety. These tools let you restrict children’s access to inappropriate websites and apps, as well as helping you control what times they use their Windows 10 device, as well as monitoring their behaviour.
Check out our how to use Family Safety in Windows 10 guide to find out how you can make sure using Windows 10 – and browsing the internet – is completely safe for the youngest members of your family.
How to use Cortana in Windows 10
Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, is one of the most exciting new features of Windows 10, and can revolutionise the way you interact with your PC.
Cortana can respond to voice commands, so as long as you have a device with a microphone you can speak directly to Windows 10 to open programs, browse the web and a whole lot more.
Cortana needs to be set up correctly before you use it, however, so check out our guide to how to use Cortana to get started.
How to use the Windows 10 touch keyboard
Windows 10 has been designed to work on touch screen devices as well as more conventional PCs, and the onscreen keyboard has been given an overhaul with improved autocorrect tools and new emojis.
So if you’re running Windows 10 on a tablet PC, make sure you read our guide on how to make the most out of the Windows 10 touch keyboard.
How to use Windows 10’s Control Panel
As with previous versions of Windows, the Control Panel in Windows 10 is one of the most important – and powerful – tools that comes with the operating system. Getting to know the Control Panel is essential if you want full control over how your PC looks and behaves.
In Windows 10 the Control Panel has been given an overhaul, so check out our guide on how to use Windows 10’s Control Panel to find out what’s new.
How to customise the Windows 10 taskbar
The taskbar is an essential part of the Windows 10 desktop, and because you’ll be using it so often, it’s important that you customise it so it works just the way you want it to.
Check out our guide on how to customise the Windows 10 taskbar to find out the best ways to make the taskbar in Windows 10 work for you.
How to use old programs in Windows 10
One of the biggest frustrations when upgrading to a new operating system is finding that older programs you’ve come to rely on are no longer compatible. If you find this is the case then don’t panic: just follow our guide on how to run old programs on Windows 10.
How to use Twitter in Windows 10
If you’re a keen Twitter user then you’ll know that while the standard Twitter website does an OK job, if you’re serious about keeping up with all your followers and never missing a tweet, then you need something a bit more robust.
The official Twitter app for Windows 10 is an excellent tool for this, so check out our guide on how to use it to its full potential.
How to get gaming on Windows 10
Using Windows 10 isn’t all about Control Panels and Virtual Desktops – it’s also about having a bit of fun. Microsoft has given Windows 10 some pretty nice new features to make playing games on your PC even better than ever, so check out our how to get gaming on Windows 10 article to find out how your games collection can benefit.
How to make Windows 10 awesome
Windows 10 is already pretty great, but as with previous versions of Windows there’s still plenty of scope for improvement. That’s why we’ve gathered together a range of tips on how to make Windows awesome – and the best thing is these tips can also be applied to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
100 Windows 10 tips and tricks
Do you really want to master Windows 10? If so then check out our 100 Windows 10 tips and tricks guide – we cover everything from tweaking the Start menu to more advanced hacks that can transform Windows 10.
Quick and easy Windows 10 tweaks
We’ve gathered together a selection of quick and easy tweaks for Windows 10 that can help improve your Windows 10 experience.
You don’t need to be a PC expert to try these tweaks out, as they are easy enough for anyone to try, but you’ll be amazed at what a difference they make.
Windows 10 productivity tips
With Windows 10 set up just the way you want it to, let’s look at ways to make using the operating system even easier.
How to fix Windows 10 privacy issues
There’s a lot to love about Windows 10, but it also has a very well known issues with privacy. From sharing your WiFi with other people, to passing on information to Microsoft, there’s plenty of ways to tighten up privacy in Windows 10.
That’s why our guide to fixing Windows 10 privacy issues is an essential read – we’ll show you how to make sure you’re only sharing the information you’re comfortable with.
10 ways to optimise your copy of Windows 10
Windows 10 has loads of productivity options, so your first port of call should be our list of 10 ways to optimise your copy of Windows 10 – it will transform Microsoft’s latest operating system and get it running the way you want it to.
How to improve your Windows 10 laptop or tablet’s battery life
If you use Windows 10 on a laptop or tablet then you can eke out some much needed extra battery life thanks to Windows 10’s suite of power-saving options.
Check out our guide on how to improve your Windows 10 laptop or tablet’s battery life to find out how you can make your Windows 10 device last longer.
How to work with PDFs in Windows 10
The humble PDF is one of the most widely used file types in the World, so if you have spent any time on a computer then you’ve probably encountered one.
Windows 10 brings in a range of new features that makes opening, editing and creating PDFs easier than ever. For example in Windows 10 you can now create PDFs from Office documents by selecting the Microsoft Print to PDF option as a printer.
For more tips on how to use the new feature check out our how to work with PDFs in Windows 10 guide.
How to use virtual desktops in Windows 10
One of the best new features of Windows 10 is the ability to create virtual desktops and easily switch between them.
It can help keep your Windows 10 desktop from becoming too cluttered, and by placing shortcuts, apps and programs on other virtual desktops you can easily organise your workspace.
It’s easy to set it up, just check out our guide to using virtual desktops in Windows 10.
How to fix Windows 10 problems
For the most part Windows 10 is great, and it’s easily the best version of Windows since Windows 7 – but it’s not perfect.
There are niggles and complaints – as well as some bigger problems – so we’ve gathered together 20 common Windows 10 problems and show you how to solve them.
How to report Windows 10 problems
If you do run into problems or bugs then it’s always worth reporting them to Microsoft. By letting Microsoft what’s gone wrong with Windows 10 it can work on fixes to make the operating system even better.
Windows 10 comes with lots of useful error reporting tools, and all the information you provide is anonymous, so you don’t have to worry about Microsoft knowing too much. Check out our guide on how to report problems in Windows 10 for everything you need to know.
How to disable Windows 10 notifications
Windows 10 notifications can be useful for keeping you updated on what your apps are doing, when you receive new emails, upcoming birthdays and events and much more.
However, they can also be distracting, which isn’t ideal if you’re working on something. Check out our guide on how to disable Windows 10 notifications to find out the best ways to tame those popups when you’re working.
How to connect your phone to Windows 10
Connecting your smartphone up to your Windows 10 PC can be as simple as plugging in its USB lead, but you’re actually missing out on a lot of cool new features.
That’s because the new Windows Phone Companion tool gives you the power to synchronise your files, music and much more when you connect your phone.
It also allows Cortana to access your phone as well, and best of all you don’t need a Windows Phone device to use it – Android and iPhones are also supported.
Check out our guide to find out how to get the most out of connecting your phone to Windows 10.
How to use OneDrive in Windows 10
OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud computing service, has been given a huge overhaul in Windows 10, making it a key component of the new operating system.
This means it’s easier than ever to save your files to OneDrive and have them synchronised with all of your internet-connected devices.
Check out our guide on how to use OneDrive to find out how this service can change the way you work with documents in Windows 10.
How to safely clean Windows 10’s registry
Keeping Windows 10’s registry in order is a good way to keep your PC running well, but it can be complicated – as well as risky.
The registry is key to Windows 10 working as it should, so you should only tweak it if you’re certain you know what you’re doing. That’s why you should check out our guide on how to safely clean Windows 10’s registry, which will show you how to fix the registry without putting your PC at risk.
Windows 10 customization tips
As with previous version of Windows, in Windows 10 there are plenty of tools and features for customising the operating system to make it look and perform just the way you want it to.
How to customise Windows 10
Share desktop backgrounds between PCs with Windows 10
You can give all of your Windows 10 devices a consistent look by sharing the desktop theme across any PC or tablet that you’re logged in to.
Check out our in-depth guide on how to share desktop backgrounds between PCs with Windows 10 to find out more.
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