How Microsoft Office Users Can Upgrade to Windows 10

Where to Find Downloads or a Simple Upgrade Assistant

Microsoft Office 365 subscription software package
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If you're a Microsoft Office user who hasn't yet upgraded to Windows 10, you may be wondering whether your Office experience is affected by the operating system.

Keeping Windows current means you can access more features than if you stay with older versions. Is it necessary for users of Microsoft Office? No, but you may be missing out on some extra features that affect how you work with those programs.

How to Upgrade

You can upgrade to a later version such as Windows 10 or 8 (or 8.1) from earlier versions such as Windows 7, Vista, or XP, using Microsoft’s site and possibly a simple Windows Upgrade Assistant. In fact, you may be able to use the Windows Upgrade Assistant to assess your computer’s compatibility and readiness for Windows features before you buy Windows 8. 

What Users of Earlier Windows Versions Can Expect

Currently using an earlier version of the operating system? Your files, apps, and settings should easily transfer to an updated version of Windows. However, as a current Windows XP or Vista user, expect to possibly uninstall then reinstall certain aspects of your system, such as apps. You'll be prompted on how to go about this.

Using Microsoft’s Upgrade Assistant

Microsoft has so much information to present in the latest version of Windows that its resources can be a bit of a maze. These steps will get you connected to a useful resource that Microsoft may or may not be using for more recent versions of Windows once you read this: the Windows Upgrade Assistant. For example, it does not appear to be Microsoft's preferred way for you to upgrade to Windows 10, but it's worth checking out for older versions.

Step 1: Go to the Windows Upgrade Assistant site (note: this option may not work if you have a much older version of Windows).

You will see a pretty lengthy page describing what this tool accomplishes. We've condensed this information below to help you get moving faster, but for full detail, refer to the full Microsoft site.

Step 2: Power on all peripheral devices you use. The Windows Upgrade Assistant will scan connected hardware, apps, and devices for compatibility.

Step 3: Read the resulting compatibility report.

Expect most Windows 7 elements to work with Windows 8, but there are definitely exceptions. There are four examples that should come up with a manual compatibility check: Checking Windows 8 Compatibility for Software, Apps, Devices, and More.

Troubleshoot your incompatible elements. The great thing about this report is, even if something is listed as not working with Windows 8, you will be prompted regarding how you might bridge the incompatibility. For example, you may just need to reinstall a device after you upgrade.

Step 4: Print or save the compatibility report if you so desire.

Step 5: You may also see warnings regarding the Windows 8 features your device does not support.

Step 6: The Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant then gives the option to buy, download, and install Windows 8.

Step 7: Follow the steps for the upgrade, and you should be good to go.

While every system is unique, hopefully, the Windows Upgrade Assistant will have you up and running by this point.

Purchasing a DVD or Upgrading to a New Bit Version

You may be using a 32-bit version of a past Windows, but your computer is capable of 64-bit versions. However, you can only make that leap if you buy the DVD.

Finding the Official Windows System Requirements

The Windows Upgrade Assistant aims to save you from deciphering Windows system requirements. You may have your reasons for reviewing them, particularly if you are using Windows within a larger IT system at an organization.