If you’re one of the millions of Windows 7 and Windows 8 users out there, you can now update your systems with the latest operating system from Microsoft – Windows 10. In the latest edition, you’ll be able to enjoy Cortana, and for most people the relief of a more traditional “Start” menu. If you’re looking to update your Windows installation right now, but you can’t download the software because you’re stuck in a virtual line, here’s how to get things moving.

Method 1

First, and most importantly, you’ll want to be fully updated with your latest Windows 7/8 updates using the Windows Update feature in the system. This gets things out of your way so that there is nothing left to download through the Windows Update client except for Windows 10. Once all updates are finished for your system as it is, you’ll be prepared for a fairly simple process that subverts that little icon by your clock completely.

Open up your file explorer [anything like “My Documents”] and enter the following location. You can move their folder-by-folder if you prefer.

C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download

In this folder you’re going to see a ton of files here. These include old Windows Updates and failed or pre-loaded updates which you’ve picked up over the years. Delete all of these files, and yes, it’s perfectly safe – I did it myself. This having been complete, open your Windows Update again but don’t search for updates if you can help it.

Next, open your Command Prompt. If you don’t know how, press the “Windows Key+R” and type CMD, then hit the enter key. With this open, you’ll likely see it say some white text on a black background. Type in the following [this is CASE SENSITIVE]:

C:\WINDOWS\system32\wuauclt.exe /updatenow

This will cause the Windows Update that is working in the background to say “Downloading Windows 10”. If you get any errors with this download, repeat the steps provided until the process works appropriately. You will download a 2700-2800 MB file, this being Windows 10 and the installation may take an hour to a few hours depending on your system specifications.

As always, be sure to back up any information before completing a Windows software update – you never know what could go wrong when installing new software.

Method 2

Microsoft has the upgrade for Windows 10 64-bit and 32-bit available on their website.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

When you download the version of your choice, a wizard will guide you through the upgrade process. It will first download the files to your computer, but does not give you a chance to change the directory. So make sure you have at least 3 GB of available space on your primary partition with Windows installed. It will then extract the file and begin the upgrade from the wizard. Once it reaches about 85% in the wizard, your computer will restart and you will see a new install progress bar that will start at 0%. It will restart several times in the process. Once that is done, your upgrade will be complete.

When you first load up Windows 10, it would be wise to check your video drivers for the latest version and then check device manager for any other devices that might need new drivers. In my case, it was just new graphics drivers.

Now enjoy and explore Windows 10!