Microsoft announced that all users on Windows 8 and Windows 7 would receive a free upgrade to Windows 10 once the OS launches later this year. With the release of the January Technical Preview, Microsoft is testing one of those systems.
For those of you on Windows 7 or 8.1, that have so far stayed away from the technical previews of the new OS, there’s a new way which allows you to upgrade your devices: Windows Update. The process is simple and the system will install a whole new version of Windows as if it were like a regular update.
For starters, those interested need to go to insider.windows.com or hit up our previous article to enable their machines to see the new version of the OS. After that, manually check for updates – we prefer using Control Panel for this, but PC Settings should work fine.
Updating can take a pretty long while, especially as Microsoft's servers are currently under heavy stress and because WU traditionally tries to not use up system resources. So make sure to give it a good long while - it took us a full 6 hours, though most of that was due to slow servers.
After the update is downloaded and unpacked, you'll need to restart your PC, after which it goes into the regular update process you'd go through with an ISO.
You'll find all you programs still working and most of your settings are still saved, so this should be an almost painless experience. Of course that's as long as you don't run into any of the common bugs.
Interesting to note, is that this new way of doing things is also found in the new Windows 10 9926 build, where the updating to new builds functionality has been integrated into Windows Update. This is obviously part of the company's plan to keep everyone on the latest version in a seamless manner.
Did you upgrade your machines straight from an older version of Windows? Let us know how it went in the comments below.