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Clearing Up Some Windows 10 Misconceptions

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139 comments on “Clearing Up Some Windows 10 Misconceptions”

  1. Leo, I feel Windows 10 is finally maturing and is ready for prime time. I finally moved my desktop PC from Win8.1 Pro to Win10 Pro and my laptop PC from Win7 Home Premium to Win10 Home, something I’d done before but was unable to get them to work properly on my network. Now I’m happy to say the network between the two works nicely. I’ve also used the Classic Shell free software to get the look and feel of Windows 7, and last but not least, the 00ShurUp10 software to shut down many of the undesirable things running in the background which might compromise my privacy.

  2. Thank you for your discussion. Based on your earlier analysis, I have moved from Win 7 to Win 10 primarily because I did not want to be left with another operating system that Windows no longer supports. So far I think that it was the right thing to do. However, it has not been without problems. First of all it took almost seven hours to download (slow DSL) and another couple hours to install. Secondly it does not recognize my keyboard on startup. I have to unplug and replug the connector each time I power up. Secondly, I have not found a driver for my older scanner. I expect to be able to resolve problems such as these. It has taken some time for my own adjustment, but – as you say – it is not that much different. Thanks again for all you do for those of us who operate without a tech department.

  3. I have to agree with you Leo. I’ve had every version from Win 3.1 onward and the ‘feel’ of windows 10 is the same as the rest. Of course, the look is different but the basic methodology is the same. Familiarity with one version will allow just about any user learn how to operate Win 10. I understand that we all hate change but that fear should be thrust aside and just upgrade. Now there are exceptions; I noticed at one doctor’s office they are still using XP on one PC and 7 on another. I would hate for them to mix up my wife’s records when dealing with different systems. When I had XP I eventually got tired of always downloading apps to make changes. I did change 8.1 start but I am not going to change 10. Just like all the other versions I will learn as I go about in 10. Trying to resist change actually does little good with Windows because sooner or later you will move on so why fight it.

    • Leo, you say it’s just Windows, like 8. That is probably the problem. Not that it’s 8, but that people were expecting some new miracle and it’s ‘just Windows’.

      Of course, if it were all just Windows I wouldn’t see the same questions over and over appearing in the Microsoft Answers site.

      Maybe nobody is reading all they should about 10, and a huge problem with the 10 rollout is that a lot of people were thinking you just installed it and it worked…that was the impression that I saw was being tossed around. It DOESN’T work for everything, many chimed in that they didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to get a computer that would run well with 10 and there is also the ‘this year’s model’ syndrome, where people are tired of ‘buying the latest and greatest’ like it had bigger fins and the neighbors had one, that sort of thing.

      It’s hard to truly argue with that because it’s become a bit like politics…you can throw out the ‘bums;, so to speak, and you just get new bums.

      Why is that? Maybe it’s because people want what is familiar to them, right or wrong. Maybe it’s also due to being told almost every week that somebody has now hacked this improvement or something else and it’s inevitable that it will happen again.. That just zones them out.

      A big complaint, and a big misconception, has been that they should wait and put it out when it’s ‘finished’, which isn’t going to ever happen for an operating system because there are still to many variables.

      On the other hand there is a feeling that it was RUSHED, farmed out to foreign code writers to try and steal some thunder from the then-latest Mac OS version. I do feel that is somewhat true, and when combined with the sheer amount of misinformation and hype, and especially the FREE part it only served to confuse and disillusion people to the whole thing.

      The word on the street was that this was Microsoft’s last shot at it, which certainly magnified every bit of the public’s perception of any glitches, even though they were HUGE glitches. People trolled incessantly (fanboys and what not) because that’s what they do with anything. the ironic part is that if the internet didn’t exist, none of this would matter (and I’m being a wisenheimer)…

      Yet, as a 31 year Windows user I not only didn’t see the need, I really couldn’t understand the hype about EDGE. It’s only saving grace was that IE 11 was also included, someth8ing that seems to escape the occasion user even today. I heard, ‘it’s like Firefox’, and I know what Firefox is like because I have it on a Linux based drive and have used it. Sorry, it’s no Firefox, or John Kennedy etc. I tell people on Answer that if they really want Firefox or whatever, get it. It took long enough to make 10 work with non-Microsoft browsers. Every week or so they update a discussion on Microsoft Mail, which also was a big mess as I understood it and I stuck with ‘’/Live mail.

      So why should I care if it’s free when it was a lemon like people saw Detroit cars in the seventies (or anywhere in the world lately, based on all the recalls)? I was even told by the upgrade advisor at the time that some of my half dozen machines wouldn’t run 10 based on hardware and firmware issues, in addition to software legacy problems, yet I downloaded it to a stick and it installed anyway. Any machines I upgraded were soon downgraded anyway because there was either no solution I could find to the problems I was having or it just really gummed up an older machine needlessly.

      You’ve heard from me quite often that I’m on a low fixed income and I build up from donated computers, although some are fairly recent (2011, the computer shop owner GAVE it to me) and I’ve set up used computers for myself for nearly 25 years. I had to do some work to get a 7 DVD, and then more to get the computers that weren’t pre-loaded up to speed as it was. Now that’s old hat. I’m not so afraid to learn but I’m also not an eternal guinea pig and would never consider becoming a Microsoft Insider. My notion, and I believe one held by many, is that your computer is not your entire life, not your eternal job. I’d rather ride the bikes I build. listen to the stereo gear and recordings I buy and keep my cat happy a lot more often.

      When 2020 comes around, if both me and Microsoft are still alive, I’ll deal with it. I never got ‘social media’, I have membership in a few forums sites but the internet is either information or entertainment still in my opinion and a lot of it is simply frivolous to me. In the 21 years I’ve used it I find it’s matured to the point that you can only mash stuff, there is nothing new and old ideas are recycled in tech more than a Coke can.

      You can get it in any manner you can find, to the point where you lament that people are addicted to the little ‘me’ phones like drugs and you can now ‘lose your life’ by losing a phone.

      As such, I have three bikes and an AM radio that plays the 5,000 watt oldies station just down the street and I go out when I can.

      7 will run what I have worked on for since the 1990s, and it’s the best XP they ever made. I’d rather keep this ‘car’ awhile, there was no point in taxing my mind over it.

      The introduction was just really botched and it’s all PR and patches after that. It’s not the same as going from 3.1 to 95, not if you say it is the ‘same Windows’. Leo, the person I replied to is just resigned to it, that should speak volumes. They are gonna do whatever they want anyway, he says.

      Oh sure, he is a little more experienced. Okay.

      • Thank you Seven, for your serious. measured and information filled post. I agree 100% with it.

        One of the things that are particularly bothersome about Windows 10 is that you cannot control the updates that are downloaded automatically.

        I will not tolerate being stripped of my ability to decide what Microsoft downloads into my operating system.

        There are many more problems with Windows 10 that are being glossed over by this unnecessary push to move to Windows 10 (and are listed at reputable sites like Ask Leo, but with a bit more objectivity).

        I, like you, am an old programmer that does continue to learn. The claim that not moving to Windows 10 is “irrational resistance to change” alluded to by some is groundless.

        As you say, computers are a tool that should never take more than a reasonable amount of time from our lives to keep up to snuff. I do not need a cell phone or lots of “cloud” razzle dazzle.

        I will remain with windows 7.

        • In addition to being able to control downloads just on principle, there is also what that lack of control does to those of us with metered internet access. When my mother-in-law’s computer was downloading W10, we spent a couple of months with painfully slow connections because her stupid computer wouldn’t let me control when it downloaded – it always just did it automatically when she shut it down, even though I had set it otherwise – used up our data allowance super quickly.

      • I HATE WINDOWS 10 !! on the user side, just an additional layer which forces more clicks to get the result we were used to !! the lower task bar gets crowded by duplicating the icons which agaaaiinn forces to more and more unnecessary clicks !!!!! awkward menus and colors… and the list goes on at least for me… c’mon microsoft guys.. remember the KISS principle .. loss of drivers and endless updates downloads… goshhhhh

    • “Trying to resist change actually does little good with Windows because sooner or later you will move on so why fight it.”

      Not sure how you could be on a forum discussing Win10 and believe this statement, since people fighting against Win8 was a big reason why Win10 now exists. While resisting change for the sake of resisting change is not a good reason, I believe its always important to resist if there is a valid reason.

  4. Thanks for the article. Have an older machine (Dell Precision 4300) which shipped with Win 7 Pro. After several years of limited use, it was pressed into service after the untimely demise of an older Dell Precision desktop. The person I hired to salvage what data possible wiped the 4300 disk, installing Win 7 Enterprise (32 bit) along with apps & data from the deceased machine. Guy was lead IT (an MVP) for a major client at that time. Bottom line: what are my options (if any) for a free Win 10 upgrade?

    Have followed your efforts for many years, and very much appreciate them.

    • Enterprise is not part of the free upgrade program. You will have to buy it.

    • Honestly, given the inaccuracy of the compatibility tests I keep hearing of, if you REALLY wanted to see if it’ll work I would download the Windows 10 image, and then image backup the machine and try installing 10. If you don’t like it, or it doesn’t work, restore the image. In other words: with a backup, try it and see.

  5. The old control panel is still there, just hidden. Put control panel in the search box, click it when it shows, when it opens, go to upper right and change icons to small icons, and you have the modern equivalent of the old XP control panel

  6. I disagree with most positive comments. I find Windows 10 erratic and a time waster. I find text size changes often when I touch the desktop; microphone comes on for no apparent reason; a window with hand signals to move window comes up with no action on my part. The list goes on and on. When I try to actually use the microphone with “Cortana” there is no response. I had a support contract for a year. I would call MS and for the most part they had no idea what I was talking about and/or how to correct. I finally disabled the Charms tool bar so it did not pop up randomly and now appears no way to access it when I would really like to as for support or searches. Actually there was one item they said needed work. I have a photo with white background on my desktop and there is no way to change the font color from white. What a great idea that was for Windows 10. We still use Windows 7 at work and will hold out as long as it is supported.

      • I installed the free w-10 when it first became available. (sev. months ago). ten hoses my machine up so badly that it was un-usable for 3 days. At which time I tried to revert back to w-7 as MS said I would be able to do, within 30 days. After reverting back I have had so many screwwwy issue to fix, that I am really PO-ed at MS & their (not so illustrious) w-10! I still have not figured out how to fix my “CORRUPTED” task Host errors and am therefore unable to even backup my system. VERY UNHAPPY, perhaps will go w/Mac next time!

  7. I am still unclear on one thing after having read the article. If I take up the free Windows 10 upgrade offer on my current XP machine, is it on a subscription basis, that is, I have to pay so much annually afterwards? Or is it truly free and I can get all future updates free?

  8. Thanks for another great article. On my home PC (six years old running Win 7 with excellent hardware), I use firefox, open office, google search and other programs that compete with microsoft products like Bing. I’m willing to learn how to use the program differently, but I do not want to be forced into using programs like Cortana. I wonder if you plan to due an in depth article on just exactly what changes we need to incorporate and also how specifically to change the various settings to use our existing programs that MS would prefer we replace with their versions?

    An obvious example is Cortana, which you have turned off. But, what might we lose, if anything when we turn it off? How about firefox extensions and add-ons like no-squint for permanent site specific font size changes and ad-block, etc.

    Can you help us migrate more seamlessly? Thanks.

    • I have turned off Cortana and uninstalled ever Tile app which allowed me to uninstall. The rest, I just ignore, and I haven’t noticed any negative effects from that. Firefox and most other programs are independent of those apps.

  9. I agree, in spades, with Leo’s statement that the Windows Search bar is better than in previous versions. . . and it’s good that it is because I have to use it all the time to find things that were far easier to find in Win 7. While the desktop looks exactly the same as Win 7, the Start Menu looks like the unpopular “metro” interface that came with the original Win 8. The amount of space the tiles take up is ridiculous; a whopping 6.25 sq. cm. on a 15.5″ laptop screen to display the short item name — like “Control Panel”, “This PC”, “Cortana” — in what looks like an 8 pt. Arial font. And many items that used to be available on the Start Menu (e.g., Windows Update) are no longer there. I use my desktop for a consulting business and did not want to risk having to use it with an OS I didn’t like, so installed it only on my laptop to try it out. Glad I did, because it’s not going on the PC anytime soon. I will probably install it on my PC before the free offer expires, but probably with Classic Shell so it looks and feels like Win 7.

    • “The Start Menu looks like the unpopular “metro” interface that came with the original Win 8.” – Do you maybe have the Start menu set to full screen mode? Look under Personalization….

      • I just deleted all of the tiles I could and accessed everything from the Start Menu.

        Of course, I got rid of 10 later, in the name of disclosure.

  10. Thank you for clearing up those misconceptions about Windows 10. I installed Windows 10 on my laptop and desktop and the two desktops at our church. We have had no significant problems. As you indicate in your article, so much of Windows 10 is pretty much like it was with Windows 7. I wanted to put Windows 10 on one of our older computers at the church but it had Windows XP which, I believe, cannot legitimately be upgraded to Windows 10 for free. I said “legitimately” because someone indicated there was a way to work around that limitation. Thank you for sharing your expertise with us.

    • I was wondering about this as well. My 2nd system is a desktop using Windows XP. This means I need to upgrade to WIn7 in a month; then to Windows 10 before the deadline. I might do this and see how it works out before upgrading my primariy desktop system to WIn10. BTW, what minimum harddrive space is required for WIn 10? Thanks.

  11. I have a Windows 7 (Home Premium) laptop and I torn as to whether to upgrade. My primary concern is data usage. I have a small data cap (30gb) because of my rural location. If I upgrade, I will loose some of the control over when updates are pushed out. My connection is ethernet (too much interference between the router and my office), so I won’t be able to configure my connection as metered. I have office installed, and it seems like there are at least 0.5 gb of updates every month. At least with Windows 7, I can hold off on updates until I am connected to a non-metered wifi network. Are office updates automatically pushed out, or do we have control? I have never seen any articles address this. Can Windows 10 be configured to not use any more data than Windows 7 uses now?

    • I think the strict answer to your question is “no”. You can tell it that you’re on a metered connection if you have a WiFi adapter, but my guess is that Windows 10 will still push more data around than Windows 7.

      • It seems there are ways to set an ethernet connection as metered but it requires using Regedit. Windows doesn’t provide easy access to it. If you Google for the instructions you’ll find it.
        I haven’t tried it because while I have a metered connection I have a reasonably big data limit and haven’t come near exceeding it yet.
        And I’m not too concerned about automatic updates. I have always used the “Notify” option before for myself though but set up family and friends with “Automatic” without too many problems. I suspect that concern about the auto update issue will prove to be worse than the issue itself!

  12. I have Windows 10 on my new desktop and love it. Thought I would upgrade my Windows 8.1 laptop and spent a whole day trying and failing. Kept getting error 80070001 so Googled it and followed all the advice I could find, but to no avail. Will stick with 8.1 until I buy a new laptop probably next year.

  13. I would advise users to upgrade to Windows 10 free then roll back to their old version. This allows them to reinstall Windows 10 free after July 29th.

    • You may be a little mixed up on this. What you heard is that when you upgrade Microsoft now carries the ‘key’ as part of your Microsoft Account. Then you can do a clean installation if you needed to format the drive and start over or replace the drive.

      Don’t expect the download to be available after the this TRIAL period. Download the full installation of the version you use from Microsoft now and save it to an external drive or DVD for safekeeping like you would have with the ‘Windows disc’ of old.

      But you are not going to be able to get it online from Microsoft, if that is your notion, and it will require the same updating and work you used to get it going the ‘previous time’.

      Since 10 is a ‘work in progress’ a user might not even get the version they started with and I can see a new set of problems for the person who just got done fighting with it the last time.

  14. The small icon in the control panel refers to Backup (Windows 7). When will they give us the
    information to backup windows 10?

    The above article is very nice.

    • I think you are referring to reverting to Windows 7 in this case. If you are past the 30 day trial period this option will not work. Backing up should be the same as you are used to. I’m not sure why they chose that language.

  15. I was a took the free upgrade to Windows 10, as soon as it was released. I tried to get to grips with it but hated it so I uninstalled it and went back to Windows 8.1 which I had already tamed! But being mindful that the free upgrade was due to be withdrawn in July and the fact that MS had had nearly a year to iron out the teething problems, I decided to give it another go and installed it the day before yesterday.

    I was very pleasantly surprised when Classic Shell immediately detected the upgrade and offered to run it for Windows 10, which I gladly accepted! The only problem I’ve found so far is that I could no longer sign in to play MS Sudoku on my computer. I could sign in to Xbox on the web but not to Xbox on my computer? Instead it popped up a cryptic message every time I tried, saying “Choose another item. This in-app purchase is no longer available in Microsoft Sudoku” What the hell that means is anybody’s guess! Anyway, it took me what seemed like ages to try and find the solution but in the end, it was as simple as uninstalling Sudoku and then reinstalling it again! So now I’m using Windows 10 just as easily as I was using Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 :-) Even my Epson SX535WD printer still works just the same :-)

  16. Hi Leo

    I updated from XP. Yes I have to agree with a lot of the non tech points – the part I understand.
    While I am still learning my way around I now find that when I fire up the old XP machine I am finding it hard to find my way around. So as I forget how to use xp I feel like I am burning bridges, no point going back.

    Thanks Mark

  17. Interesting article.
    I am once again asking you to please do a Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 etc. easily understood procedure for us oldies that want to put both W10 and W7 on a partitioned disc or a separate inside disc on our PC so we can dual boot.
    Please do this before the W10 free offer expires.

    • I’ll be honest … dual boot is not something I’ll be getting around to in that time, if ever. I actually don’t use it, and generally don’t recommend it anyway. I much prefer having a single “primary” operating system, and then running any others in virtual machines within that primary. I realize that’s not for everyone, but I wanted to be clear about what to expect.

  18. I went from Windows 7 reluctantly but I have to say it took awhile to adjust but it wasn’t bad. I did have to get a new Version of my accounting program and I have not gotten used to the
    Email program as I was used to the split screen that I was able to use in Windows Live, but it’s a matter of taking your time and use the search for help.
    I’m also not liking the inability to easily find things like if you want to make your own icons or folders easily and I have not found a way to rename an icon., or choose the look of an icons have as the picture on it. Overall, my opintion is to take your time and look up things you need, eventually you get used to change and face it you will have to change at some point

  19. My upgrade experience has been “challenging”. In early April, I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade* from XP. Since then, my life has changed. In order to accomplish anything requires hours of study and lots of trial and error. Win 10 likes its own method of organizing folders and files. I frequently have to “search” for the file I need because Win 10 has moved it to another place from where I had saved it. I’m sure there is logic to the method, but I have yet to discover it. My suggestion to anyone contemplating upgrading from XP that they:
    1-back-up, back-up, back-up. (Yes backup everything you don’t want to lose in 3 different places.)
    2. Get a good book (or several) explaining Win 10 and really study it before making the shift. You really have to understand the lingo before you can work with it.
    3. Set aside a large amount of time for the conversion and be prepared for some surprises. This is a “new world”.
    4. Win 10 is very powerful, but you have to learn how to use it.
    * Upgrading from XP requires that you purchase a copy of Win 10 and completely clean out your present XP computer to accept the new OS.

  20. My problem with upgrading to W10 is my concerns with functionality that _may_ have changed, that might be running in the background of some that I use. I tend to not trust MS to do what’s best, and that has proved to be true (to me) over years of use.

    In terms past, I have seen functionality that I have relied on change to unrecognizable, as well as completely disappear. For that reason, while I currently use a W7 PC, I also have a WXP machine that I continue to use offline because of the MS Office data that is on it. In addition, I have a W98 PC mothballed under my desk.

    I would like to be able to consolidate most of this, but a PC that is not on the internet is much harder to compromise – particularly when it has most of my financial data on it.

    I would like to be able to log in to my XP machine from the W7 machine, but that might negate some of the current security advantages I have with using 2 PCs.

    The bottom line remains that I don’t trust Microsoft. That is something that it will take a long time to overcome.

  21. RE: “[we] do not plan to charge a recurring fee for Windows 10”

    If there is one thing I have learned it is that when a company says “we do not plan to …”, it isn’t the same thing as saying “we will not …”. The latter is a statement of fact and may have legal standing should that policy change. The former is an opinion which reflects the company policy at that particular time and may change down the road.

    • Anything can change at any time. Sure, you can speculate that things may change and make your decisions based on that if you care to. But the fact is that they have not, in any way, indicated that there will ever be a recurring fee for Windows 10. Everything else is simply speculation.

  22. Thanks, Leo.
    This helped a lot. But one misconception (or maybe it isn’t) that was not covered had to do with future upgrades if one did not take advantage of the Free Windows 10 upgrade offer, there would be some cost involved in future updates. Not very tech-savvy; you might have covered it but I’m too stupid to have recognized it.

    • After the free period it’ll be just like any other Windows – you’ll need to buy a copy. (Which, to be excruciatingly clear, is a one-time charge.)

  23. I got a new Dell XPS with Windows 10 to replace an old one running Vista. I like it well. Much faster internet. I had a computer shop install the old HD on it so file transfer is easy. I like that my photos are all gathered together by year and are easy to edit. However, I will keep Windows 7 on my Notebook as it run just fine.

  24. leo, great article again as always. I use windows 10 for months now and like it.

    Always enjoy your comments or talks.

    Thanks for all the good work

    Karl Menzel

  25. Hi Leo,
    I am 87yrs old. I have been technologically married 3 times (to XP, Win7 & Win 8) These ‘wives’ have served me well, and I loved them all. However, your advise on updating to Win 10 has not fully answered my concern. Will this new Win10, blonde, pubescent, chippie really love me or will she take my money and run off with the pool cleaner?

    As always, your columns have been very beneficial to this senior’s technical sanity.


    • Jason, Win10 is fine as I outlined above Google and research to get replacements for Start Menu, Task bar and how to get rid of the Metro Apps(I said Modern Apps above). Google is your best friend to make Win 10 user friendly.

    • Jason —

      Thanks for the laugh and for the inspiration. I hope to be half as funny when — and if, of course — I reach 87.

      May you live to 120…and keep dating young “chippies.”

      — Steve

  26. Leo,

    My 2012 HP g7 laptop came with Win7 and a free upgrade to Win8 which I did.

    I recently had an person upgrade it to Win10( or so I thought). What happened was, he some how put on Window 10 Enterprize Insider Preview version 10.0.14295 Build 14295. This has no key code and I don’t know how to get to the “real” Win10 that is being offered by Microsoft.

    What I would like to do is get rid of this and get to the free upgrade offered by Microsoft without wiping my computer clean and starting over.

    Any idea if this can be done.

    PS: I have Win10 on another laptop and don’t find it much different than Win8. In fact, I like(at the moment).

    Hoping you or someone can solve this issue. JimE

    • From my experience (installed win 10 on over 50 PC’s + 11 of my own ranging from PC’s 12 years old and including desktops laptops and tablets) It would depend on how log you’ve had it installed if it’s less than a month you could try rolling back to your earlier version. But I would backup all your data first. if that doesn’t work you could try doing a factory reinstall of your laptop if the image is still on your laptop. Or going onto the Microsoft site and downloading the windows 10 image and installing from a USB or DVD. I actually had a similar problem with one PC and rang the Microsoft win 10 help line and found them very helpful and got the problem fixed. In all my installations I have only found 1 that I couldn’t install win 10 on it was an old PC that had a CPU that couldn’t support a 64 bit operating system.

    • The only way to get the free upgrade is to have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 installed on the machine, and then upgrade it to 10. I know of no way for you to get there from here without a clean install.

      • Thanks Leo. I took Leslie’s advice and called the Win10 Help Line. At first it looked doable but at the end it wasn’t. Three MS techs later they told me I had to purchase the Home version for $199 or the Pro version at $199. Hard to believe when they are trying to give the thing away.

        They kept referring me to my Windows disc. As I informed them, it was on the laptop when I bought it and it didn’t come with a disc. That is when I learned something everyone else in the world probably knows but me. When I buy a new machine the Windows operating system belongs to the computer manufacture. It it goes kaput, I have to buy a new copy. I’m sure there is something here I don’t know either.

        At 72, I’m still learning but it’s costing me dearly.

        Thanks for the continued updating information. JimE

        • If you have any way of restoring your computer to its factory state, either through discs or a recovery partition, you could back up your computer, revert to the computer’s original state, reinstall your programs and finally the data from the backup,

        • “When I buy a new machine the Windows operating system belongs to the computer manufacture.” – It’d be more accurate to say that it belongs to the computer, rather than the manufacturer. When you buy a computer, the operating system is tied to that particular computer. In other words, you’re entitled to use Windows on that computer and that computer only and, if you get a new computer, you’ll need a new copy of Windows (which, of course, the new computer will probably come with).

          What you need to do is, as Mark said, to go back to Windows 7 and then upgrade to Windows 10, which will result in your Windows installation being properly licensed. To get back Windows 7, you’ll need to, again as Mark said, use either the recovery disks that came with the computer or its recovery partition (but, obviously, back up first). If you’re not sure how to use the disks or partition, either google instructions for your make/model of computer or ask the manufacturer for help.

  27. Another good article, Leo. I’ve enjoyed exploring and re-learning all the Window versions since tiled windows in the 1980’s and I’m finding it hard to resist the lure of another newer and better version. Still, I don’t think I want Microsoft or anyone else exploring the insides of my machines without so much as a by-your-leave, and to suggest that Win10 users still have a meaningful measure of control strikes me as disingenuous. Microsoft is able (and entitled) to do whatever it likes in there, and based on the sneaky way they have been pushing Win10 at us, what it likes might not be what we would like. In that respect Win10 is not just a new iteration of the previous Windows – it’s different. As you implicitly acknowledge, there is no answer to the privacy issue and that’s enough to rule out Win10 for me. To quote one of your correspondents ” trying to resist change actually does little good with Windows because sooner or later you will move on so why fight it.” Right, so I’m sticking with Win 7 while getting accustomed to Linux – and Mint is actually very good!

  28. Personally I like win 10 I have found it to perform faster on every PC I’ve updated which is over 50. I have no problems with the auto updates as I’ve always auto updated from since XP and lets face it updating is software or drivers is part of everyday life for a PC or Mac or Linux box.

  29. I really enjoyed your video on “Clearing Up Some Windows 10 Misconceptions”. I could really relate to the feeling of fear and panic when one needs to upgrade an operating system, especially to a controvertial one. Even now it is one of my greatest banes, along with setting up a home network on a newly buit computer and downloading and updating my main computer motherboard’s bios.
    A simple work-around for the OS update I used is quite painless. It cost a little more because you buy a new HDD, make a clone copy of you system HDD then swap drives and use the cloned HDD to do the upgrade. If you download a free ISO DVD from MS of Windows 10, this update can be done anytime. With the DVD disc in the drive, and cloned DVD in the computer, restart the computer and the Win 10 DVD will walk you through the update. When completed, you have the contents of your HDD running on the WIN 10 platform. Play with it at your leasure. When tired of experimenting, shut down, replace original HDD and your back to your original system.
    Note: Since I do cloning for backups also, I invested in 2 mobile HDD racks on my computer. This eliminates the need to open the computer to swap drives.

  30. Dear Leo – at home, we have 2 computers (Win 7 64 bit installed at purchase for each) – a laptop and a PC, each about 6-7 years old. I accepted the free Win 10 upgrade for the laptop, which installed with no noticeable issues – but we don’t use it much anyway so experience is limited. Then the PC downloaded Windows 10 when it became available and tried to install, but failed – every time I switched on the PC it downloaded Win 10 (all 3-4 GB) and tried and failed to install – again and again. After a couple of weeks I realised my monthly download limits (I live outside a major city) were being used almost completely by these failed attempts and switched to manually accept updates (this improved the internet access at start-up greatly each day). I must also mention that various Windows updates have also regularly failed to install over the last year or so (though perhaps some have been superseded as they no longer sit on the list of updates to be installed – the same process of repeated downloads and failures (some have still not installed despite several attempts). I have now given up trying to install Win 10 and will stay with Win 7 until I eventually replace the PC. Another worry I have with Win 10 is my scanner (old but very good as it also copies photo slides) – I purchased that when I had a PC with XP, and had a lot of problems and some cost to upgrade the relevant software and drivers to make it work with Win 7. From what I have read about Win 10 I fear the same difficulties if I go to Win 10 so have decided not to upgrade until my PC is eventually replaced, perhaps at the time Win 7 ceases to be supported. That said, I have found your articles on this and other matters extremely useful and informative – my sincere thanks.

    • There is a program which blocks the GWX (Get Windows 10) from downloading the upgrade files. You have to keep it updated, as Microsoft, in true malware fashion, periodically changes the GWX program.

      If you prefer to download WIn 10 manually, perhaps at an unmetered location, you can download the appropriate version of Windows 10 for free from Microsoft and burn it to a DVD or unpack the .iso and run it directly from your hard drive or an external drive. It will register automatically if you have an upgrade eligible version installed.

  31. I like Win 10. When I have to search for an XP or Win 7 item, I just right click the Windows icon (the little clump of four windows in the lower left hand corner, where the Win 7 orb used to be) and the pop up menu has 95% of what I was looking for. Larry

  32. I believe Microsoft have said that updates to Windows 10 will be free for the lifetime of the machine. Initially that was very vague but I understand they then came out and specified things like the lifetime of a small laptop was like two years and a desktop like four years. As they apparently record the ID of a machine that upgrades to Windows 10, then they could obviously come back at some stage and say your machine has reached its expected lifetime and will not be eligible for any further free updates and you need to start paying for them now. The only other option would be to buy a new computer. At present my small Windows 8.1 Laptop will be supported until January 2023, whereas, if I upgrade to Windows 10, it may only be supported until the middle of 2018. What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s terminology of “lifetime of the machine” and have they specified what their definitions of lifetime is for different machines?

    • “What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s terminology of “lifetime of the machine” and have they specified what their definitions of lifetime is for different machines?” – I’m not sure whether or not Microsoft has provided any clarification as to exactly what this means, but the most logical interpretation would seem to be that you’ll be able to keep on using Windows 10 at no cost on a device for as long as that device keeps on working.

    • “the lifetime of a small laptop was like two years and a desktop like four years” If MS applied that principle, they would probably face a lot of lawsuits. It would be like a retirement insurance stopping payments at the life expectancy age :)

    • All it means to me is that you get Windows 10 on a machine, and you don’t have to pay for updates. If you get another machine you get another copy of Windows 10 and start over. There’s no “expected lifetime” – it’s however long the machine lasts for you. And once again THERE IS NO SUBSCRIPTION PAYMENT.

    • Thanks for your replies, however, there still seems to be nothing definite from Microsoft on this. I have seen articles which show how Microsoft have changed the rules or stated practices in relation to Windows 10 upgrades and usability so I am still weary about doing the upgrade especially as I have no problems with Windows 8.1 either in stability or usability. Still have a couple of months to decide so will wait for now.

  33. Today I was about to start some important work on my Windows 10 machine. It hadn’t been connected to the internet for two days. And there was no wireless or wired internet connection in my work place. So I turn on the machine and it starts an update. No asking. No mother may I. Just starts the update! 45 minutes later it was still only at 71%.

    I will stick with my XP machine at home. With proper precautions it’s humming along very nicely, thank you! And meeting all my needs.

  34. Well, a month or so ago I decided to cave and download Windows 10. I intended to put it on a laptop that is on the low end of the specs for fiddling with it to see if I liked it, but the download repeatedly hung–once at 33%, once at 71%. That’s a lot of downloading for no results. I was unable to determine why it kept hanging so I gave up.

    How can I (or can I) download once (assuming at some point it actually downloads) for installation on multiple computers/laptops? Thanks.

  35. “. . . does a really good job not only of locating those things within Windows 10 itself that perhaps you’ve lost track of . . . ”

    My experience with the search function to find Windows settings has been very disappointing. I entered the following key words and Search found nothing.

    Telemetry, WiFi Sense, Spynet, Inventory Collector, Synchronization, Geolocation, . . . . I stopped at this point. Unless one knows the name of setting or function in pretty precise terms, one is not likely to find it with this Search function.

  36. The majority of concerns with W10 always seem to occur from individuals not spending time to learn about the tool in hand. There is a plethora of info related to W10 and for almost everything that a user may dislike there is a solution. Some solutions take more time than others but that has been the situation since W95 and for every other change from one Windows o/s to another there has always been a lot of concerns by users. However generally it is PICNIC — Problem in Chair Not In Computer!

    Yes some programs may have issues as I have found a few programs that I used to use with Paltalk when working as an Admin in PC Tech just won’t function with that specific program but worked perfectly fine with all other programs they were meant to be used with. Yes, drivers can be an issue and most seem to be based with computers and/or scanners or scanners as part of a 3 part Printer (Scanner, Copier, Printer) and that is not the problem of Microsoft but rather that the printer company may consider that the printer in question is out of date and they are not prepared to create a driver for this particular o/s. Well, Ford stopped handing out whips for its cars many years ago as those good old horses just got up and ran without encouragement.

    Because our room in Paltalk — PC Tech so often gets the same type of questions that Leo is dealing with, I have, as I did with W8/8.1, created a .rtf file with info and many links to topics that will help users better learn how to use W 10 and this info is constantly updated with information gleaned from many sources and is free for users that either ask for or are offered this info.

    With some adjusting, it is possible to make W10 look so much like W7, one would hardly know the difference but it does just work much better than previous o/s’s.

    • Here’s something which might work. You can download the appropriate version of Windows 10 for free from Microsoft and burn it to a DVD or unpack the .iso and run it directly from your hard drive or an external drive. It will register automatically if you have an upgrade eligible version installed.

  37. FWIW, I say Win 7 is perfect. Logical, great user interface. My 9-year-old computer is running 7 and without a hiccup.

    My wife’s newer computer came with 8.1, and was then upgraded to Win 10. Added Classic Shell, of course.

    It’ll be a sad day when 7 stops being supported.

    — Steve (on every MS OS since DOS 3.1)

  38. Hello Leo,

    I just finished viewing your video on Win 10 misconceptions and agree with you 100%. I purchased a new Dell laptop in January, with 10 Pro, replacing my 10 year old Dell, XP Pro. It has taken me a while to see that most of the features and controls are the same, just given new names and placed in different locations. But the operation is the same.

    You have explained it very well.


    Pete Ross
    Montrose, CO

  39. Dear Leo,
    I was happy to take advantage of the free W10 upgrade. Accordingly I upgraded. To my horror I found that Skype no longer worked. On activating Skype a continuous tone was heard. I know that W10 has a built-in Skype, nevertheless that did not work either. I tried downloading a new version of Skype but it still didn’t work. I have a LENOVO IDEAPAD (Y550),which has always worked well with Skype. I find this fault unusual since MS actually now owns Skype and one would have thought that upward compatibility of it’s own proprietary software would be essential. I rely on Skype for keeping in touch with my son who is working in the middle east and other friends elsewhere. Therefore, I reverted to W7 as a matter of necessity. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this problem.
    Thanks & regards,
    Geoff |clement (UK)

  40. I upgraded from Windows 7 to W-10 about 3 months ago. I hate Windows 10. Blue screens pop up instead of normal web pages and my biggest gripe is that with Windows 7 if I wanted to search for a picture I have on my computer and it has a label such as the name of the person all I had to do was open the start button and in search put the name and all instances of that name, be it a picture, a file or a document like a resume would be listed. I could then click on the one I wanted. With Windows 10 there is no way to do it and it is very frustrating. I have probably 500 resumes for my attorney recruiting business and all I had to do was put the candidates name and all documents with the name, be it cover letters, resumes, references, etc. showed up and I could click on the one I want. This has severely slowed down and negatively impacted my business. My question is, am I missing something with regard to search. Another gripe I have is when I went to the simple way you (Leo) suggested, some 20 or more programs, many I’ve had for years that require logins or passwords I no longer know are required and I just don’t want to go through with it. That being said I probably will because getting used to W-10 is such a pain.

  41. Thanks for the update, Leo. Valuable, as always.

    Probably like lots of folks, I’m leaning toward sticking with Windows 7 simply because it performs well and there’s evidently some risk in updating to 10. Risk, but no real reward of which I’m aware.

    In your upcoming recommendation, it would be great if you could point out what’s to be gained.

    • “Risk, but no real reward of which I’m aware.” – The reward is extended support – to 2025 for Windows 10 versus to 2020 for Windows 7 – and a number of new features:

      Whether or not you’ll consider these features sufficient reason to upgrade really just depends on how you use your computer.

      The only other point to consider is that Windows 10 is going to keep on evolving with new feature being added and – if you want to get those features after the July deadline for the free upgrade – you’ll need to pony up.

      I think the best advice for most folk in your position is to create an image backup and try the upgrade. That way, if Windows 10 isn’t to your liking, you can easily revert to Windows 7 simply by restoring the backup. It’s a fairly risk-free proposition.

      • And not only that, if you back up your Windows 10 installation before reverting back to Windows 7 or 8.1, you can always restore that to take advantage of any future features you might like.

  42. Team Leo – Another great article. It is obviously a subject of great interest to many.
    As July 29 is rolling around, could you (re)publish the guidelines and guides to the various forms of upgrading. What are the considerations for a new/clean install, vs an upgrade install, vs-there used to be a third option that was a bit fuzzy. And can you recommend tutorials to guide the uninitiated through the process?

  43. Win 10 is fine. I have upgraded 5 PCs plus my laptop so far, all from 8.1. With one exception they are all fine. On that one Edge doesn’t work and nor does the app that lets me play the Microsoft Solitaire collection. Neither of those is for me a major issue so I’ve not bothered to investigate.

    However, I have a bunch of older Win7 machines and when I try do upgrade those the download of Win10 never gets started; I even left one for 48 hours with the ring of dots chasing themselves around in circles. I wonder if anyone else has experienced the same issue.

    • Yes. I use Linux on my machines, but my mother-in-law has Win7, and her stupid computer keeps chewing up my data allowance by getting stuck in the middle of her upgrades. I seem to have finally gotten it to stop trying to auto-update, but it would continually attempt to do so whenever she tried to shut it down – I was afraid to turn it off during this process, and it would never complete – sometimes it would sit for 2-3 days “downloading”. Eventually, it *would* shut down, but there was no Win10 on it when she restarted – and then the whole process would start again the next time she tried to shut it down.

  44. I recently purchased a brand new Dell desktop, that came with Windows 10. I was “excited” about trying the new OS. Unfortunately, I soon found out that my expectations would get tarnished. I have over 150 games on CD’s, and have never had any problems installing them on any of my previous computers. I was unable to install ANY of my games on my new machine. The progress would stop at close to completion, or not even start at all. It didn’t matter what compatibility settings I tried, nothing would work. I assuming it’s because Microsoft wants you to purchase new games from their online stores. However, since I’m not a millionaire, I simply went and bought a new Windows 7 disc, wiped the hard-drive, and installed everything-no problems. Sad…

  45. Outstanding video. The 1st thing I did before updating to Windows 10 was to make clone of my Windows 7 disk and than I installed the clone and updated it to Windows 10 everything works, this way I still have a good copy of Windows 7 if needed.

  46. Thanks for the video Leo. At this time, I prefer Windows 7 over Windows 10. I have two laptops running Windows 10 and one desktop running Windows 7. I like the access I have to applications such as Word, Excell, the calculator, and others by using the auto-hide feature on the taskbar at the bottom of my screen. I find it very convenient to use the taskbar for applications I use frequently. On Windows 10 it is different. I have to go to the start button then view a panel of apps to initiate. A little more cumbersome than the taskbar and I prefer W7. Another issue is shutting down. It’s easier to shut down using W7 than W10. It’s less of an effort on W7 and I like that. Finally, as you mention in your video, the updates on W10 are quite a nuisance. In the middle of doing work or watching videos, W10 bogs down and I know that is because of the system uploading updates. Then a little while longer, the computer will want to restart and who knows how long it will take to do the whole update. Sometimes I let it continue and sometimes I have it wait. That can be bothersome. I find W7 a little more convenient to navigate and bare with when it comes to use and functionality. Thumbs up for W7 and thumbs down for W10. I do not plan to update my desktop to W10. That may change but, I doubt it. I like W7 much more.

    • Hmmm. I have a taskbar on Windows 10. Try pinning your favorite apps to the taskbar and see if they show.

    • The Taskbar in Windows 10 is pretty much exactly the same as it was in Windows 7. Perhaps you accidentally relocated it – to the top or left or right side of the screen – or maybe your display settings are incorrect and it’s simply not visible on the screen.

      Why do find it less of an effort to shutdown in Windows 7? In Windows take, it takes 3 clicks and, if you wanted to, you could streamline the process by creating a shutdown shortcut in the exact same way that you could in Windows 7.

  47. Thanks for your work on this, Leo. You’re a gem.
    For me though, this whole migration to Windows 10 has had red flags all over it from the outset. MS put pop-up adds for W10 on my W7 desktop that I have to suppress with a third-party app. Then they pushed installation files onto users’ machines without their knowledge. Those moves were way over the line. Now, I learn they’ll allow us almost no control over future W10 updates. Clearly, they’re willing to force stuff upon us despite our wishes. At this point, I have zero confidence that MS is going to deal honestly and fairly with windows users.

    Windows 10 may be free installation through July, but it’s no gift. They expect to make money from the thing, somehow. I don’t even want to try W10 for fear it will prove to be a Trojan Horse that I deeply regret allowing in.

  48. Like it or not Windows 10 is here to stay. After all, it’s not a bad OS and one can say without much fuss that Microsoft has the “upper hand”. The latter is a strong word because one can always change for another OS such as Linux or Mac XOS. The point I am trying to make is this: if one doesn’t have any intention of going for another OS, biting the bullet by upgrading to Win 10 right now is worth the shot while the upgrade is free. Even if I am no expert in ratiocination, my understanding is that in 5-10 years from now, there won’t be any support for Win 7 or Win 8.0 for that matter. Just like we are seeing it for XP nowadays.

    My only problem with Win 10 has to do with privacy. Despite of all the reassurance Microsoft is throwing at us, one thing is sure they will never acknowledge that they are doing something wrong with the data they are collecting. I am not implying that they are doing something wrong. What I meant is that we will never know for sure. In the meantime, one can always disable Cortana and fix the privacy settings in a way that is convenient to one’s liking. That’s exactly what I did.

    • “I am not implying that they are doing something wrong. What I meant is that we will never know for sure.” – You could, of course, say exactly the same thing about the information collected by Google, Facebook, your bank, your credit company, your cell phone, and even your grocery store when you make purchases using a loyalty card. All we can really do is accept that companies will adhere to the terms of their privacy statements – and Microsoft’s privacy statement is very detailed and granular:

      • We are in a sense both right. Same thing can be said about Google, Facebook, my bank and Credit Card and so on..And that’s the reason why I only give information strictly necessary for the proper functioning of the established relation between these aforementioned entities and me as a customer (client). Like many other people, I don’t have anything to hide but some information are too personal and we are inclined to use Encryption in order for them to remain private. Certainly, “private means private”.

        • I completely agree: privacy is something we need to start paying more attention to. I’m not talking about “Microsoft is spying on me” type paranoia, but rather the big picture implications of the fact that so much of our data is now held in databases and subject to being sold, traded and aggregated, sometimes without our knowledge and consent. Some comments I made in relation to another post….

          To take this a little further, I’ll add that most people have little understanding about the extent to which they’re tracked. You’ve got companies collecting social data and aggregating it with financial information, purchase history records obtained via customer loyalty programs as well as numerous other data points/sources (search: data brokers). You’ve got companies tracking you across whatever devices you use, irrespective of your cookie/privacy/telemetry settings (search: probabilistic cross-device tracking). You’ve got companies tracking you in a whole bunch of other ways – some overt, some covert. And all of this happens in what is very much a legal grey area with little legislative control or oversight. You’ve got no idea which companies track you, no idea what data they hold about you, no control what they do with that data and no ability to correct inaccuracies.

          Currently, this tracking is predominantly used for the purpose of serving up targeted advertising, which probably isn’t too much of a problem is many peoples’ eyes (mine included). However, it can be used for other purposes too. Online retailers already use demographics/profiles in order to adjust pricing on a per-customer basis (the price you see may not be the same as the price that I see). Travel comparison sites have even been found to display higher prices to Mac users (Mac users have a higher average income than Windows users, so are likely to be willing to pay more). Target used purchase history records – of things like calcium, magnesium, unscented moisturizers and charcoal-flavored ice cream – to work out which customers were pregnant (search: Target pregnancy). How much longer before picking up a friend’s anti-cancer meds – and putting it on your CVS loyalty card – starts affecting your life insurance premiums? There have even been instances of data brokers selling information to criminals who subsequently used it to fraudulently withdraw millions of dollars from peoples’ bank accounts (search: FTC vs LeapLab).

          Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom. Data collection/big data has the potential to be enormously beneficial. Never before have we had access to so much data about people on such a massive scale, and that data can certainly be put to good use. For example, aggregating the data from fitness tracking devices – such as Fitbits – with social and socioeconomic data pulled from other sources could provide us with an unprecedented level of insight into how a wide range of issues affect our health and wellness.

          The bottom line is that pretty much every aspect of our lives is recorded in a database somewhere: where we shop, what we buy, how much we exercise, what our heart rates are, how many flights of stairs we climb in a day, how much money we have, how much we owe, who we’re friends with, what we read, what we search for, etc., etc., etc. And all of that data is subject to nebulous privacy policy policies – that companies can change without notice – and is subject to be sold, traded and aggregated, either in anonymized or non-anonymized form. We need to start thinking about how we want that data to be used, who we want to be able to access it and put a proper legislative framework in place to ensure that it isn’t misused.

          As Spider-Man once said, “With big data comes big responsibility” (okay, maybe that’s not exactly what he said, but it’s nonetheless true).

    • You can’t prove a negative. We’ll never know, for certain, that Google, or Yahoo!, or Apple, or your ISP, or … heck, even friendly old Ask Leo! isn’t doing something wrong with your data. All any and all of these organizations can do is say that they are not. Then you choose who to believe and act accordingly.

  49. How long does it take to update from Windows 7 to Windows 10?

    If the update failed halfway or I do not like Windows 10, how can I uninstall the Windows 10 and go back to my Windows 7 (just like I have never upgraded to Windows 10)?


  50. Hi Leo ,

    Another reason I don’t trust Microsoft enough to change to Windows 10 with it’s free offer is that after giving us the
    free service of OneDrive with a generous amount of gigabytes they are now taking that back and giving us only 5 gigabytes
    So, what are we to do ? So many of us need the cloud space we were given and can’t afford to pay for the space we once
    got for free . Why should we trust that Windows 10 is going to remain “free” ?

    • Microsoft has clearly stated that Windows 10 will cost nothing during lifetime of the device on which it’s installed; no such assurances were made as to how long the 15GB OneDrive offer would last. No company is ever going to offer a set amount of storage for a set amount of money forever. Online storage companies will periodically amend their rates – or increase or decrease the amount of free capacity they offer – in the exact same way that, say, electric companies amend their rates. Things change.

      Microsoft did, by the way, enable people who already had a 15GB limit to retain it. They simply needed to opt-in to do so – and the deadline for opting in was, I think, January or February of this year.

  51. Just watched your video on “Should I upgrade to Windows 10”. Very informative, Thank you. I have a machine embroidery program that will not run on any operating system beyond Windows 7. I cannot afford to purchase a new program that will run on windows 10 at the cost of about $2400.00. Also I use a website called “” and friends tell me it will not run on windows 10 when trying to download coordinates to their GPSr and that they reverted back to their previous operating system. It is a shame that when windows makes changes it seems that programs people have will not operate under the new system and think about all the companies that make software have to go and make updates to their programs so it will be compatible with Microsoft’s new operating system. It seems it just gets more costly to all involved. The maker of my Embroidery software will not do updates to the older windows versions, I guess it’s easier to just make new versions and sell them. Good for them but not always good for the general public. These are just my comments on how Windows has complicated my computing tasks. I am in the process of trying to secure the Operating Disc’s for Windows 7 in case my computer ever dies. (Yes, I do have my backup’s) Thank you for you time

  52. Everybody here has something to say about Win 10, good, bad or whatever. I’m typing this on an old Dell running XP. I bought a new HP with 8.1 installed and went for 10. YeeHaw! I had a brand new toy to play with! It’s fun finding out what happens when I mess with it. I’ve been messing with computers since Theo Winkle taught me basic computer science, in the first grade, via hand made boards, And/Or, Nand/Nor and basic stuff like that there – what happens? Find out using basic circuits that used transistors, capacitors, resistors, diodes and wires on plexiglass(?) boards that did what they did and gave me an understanding of what these incredibly fast adding machines do when you’re busy trying to get the damned thing to work the way YOU think it has to. A computer is a high-speed tool. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s the folks that use them that cause problems. A computer is a brainless machine. All it does is what it’s programmed to do according to the instructions programmed into it. People can get into the ‘core’ using machine language and change the programming to make the damned thing behave the way we want it to. {obfuscated profanity removed}. It’s MY computer. I can mess with Linux but it’s not as much fun as it is to screw with Redmond’s ideas. Tell me I can’t, I dare you. I do it just to see what I can do. Ain’t nothing bullet-proof except the Sun.

  53. I am 76 years old and went from Windows 8.1 to 10 in less than 2 days without a bump in the road. There’s not a lot of difference between the two systems, and I couldn’t be happier.

  54. Many thanks Leo. I am happy to know that you are moving to Windows 10 soon. I know that where possible you will have looked at all potential problems with the switch and be ready to help us simpler mortals deal with these when the time comes. I wait to follow in your footsteps!

  55. No Subscription Fees

    There is a difference between Microsoft saying “they do not plan to charge a recurring fee for Windows 10”, and “there will be no recurring fee for Windows.” The first statement does not allow for a class action by users should “plans” change.

    No control over updates

    I have a laptop that is just over a month old. At home I have no data cap. At the cottage I pay extra if I exceed 3 gig per month. Before coming to the cottage I made sure I was fully updated. I set my connection to “metered” and turned off peer-to-peer update sharing. Even so, in the first two weeks, Windows background processes chewed up 2.6 gig of my 3 gig allotment.

    Unwanted features

    I do not like being reminded every couple of days that I have programs that start automatically that may impact boot time. Tell me once then let me disable future alerts.

    Don’t keep asking me if I want to use [app] to open a particular file type after I have already set [app] as the default for that file type. I’ve done this several times through the pop-up prompt as well as through the control panel) and yet Windows keeps asking me.

    Don’t run Cortana in the background after I have already decided I don’t want to use it.

    I have had complaints about Windows 10 and I have been quite vocal about them. These complaints were mostly to do with the heavy-handed way that Microsoft was essentially forcing the upgrade on the community, especially when Microsoft backtracked (temporarily) claiming that certain measures were taken in error (classifying the upgrade as recommended rather than optional, for example), or linking the close (X) window gadget to the “I accept the update” action. My new laptop, however, came with Windows 10 and except for certain objections (stated above) I have actually found it to be pretty decent.

  56. Another excellent article, Leo, which has inevitably prompted many comments most of which are valuable. I live and work in tne UK and am 73 years young. I should like to share a problem I had, and still have, in upgrading one device from 8.1 to 10. I have 3 computers, a Surtace Pro 4 which I use when travelling overseas and need to keep baggage weight to a minimum, a Samsung R730 [my main, office-based] laptop and a Samsung Q330 laptop I use when travelling on business in UK.
    I upgraded the Surface recently and it came with Windows 10 and works fine.
    Heeding Leo’s advise to wait a while before installing Win 10, I upgraded the Samsung R730 at the end of last year. The download/installation went well and I’ve had no problems at all. In fact, I like Windows 10.
    The Samsung Q330, however, stubbornly refused to update and after trying many times sporadically over several months without sucess, I contacted Microsoft Support last month. To their credit they were most helpful and after taking control of my laptop concluded that one or more of the original drivers was incompatible. They searched Samsung’s web site but were unable to find any updates. I contacted Samsung who were also helpful and explained that they were still working on new drivers for this particular model to make it compatible with Windows 10.
    The moral of this story is that there’s no value in continually trying to upgrade as I did without first checking that the device is ready!
    And that…is not as easy as it sounds.

  57. The one thing I hate about Windows 10 is that it won’t respect my Default choices. I want to read my PDFs in Adobe, not in Edge. My preference for managing pictures is the old Microsoft Office Picture Manager, not the new Photos App.

    I reset these defaults and after a few weeks i get a pop up saying they have been reverted to the Windows 10 defaults – can’t remember the exact wording right now.

  58. Leo, thanks again for these clarifications. However, please a have a Vista Laptop. Some time ago, I read about Microsoft knocking off support for Vista. What is the implication for me? Then, can I upgrade to Windows 10 now? If I do, will my old apps run well, or I must also find compatible versions? I ask this because I run a dear version of Dreamweaver on that Vista which I cannot afford to loose now (as u know, Dreamweaver is now purchased and no longer a free app). Thanks, Uncle Leo!

    • It depends on the applications and specific versions. Can’t say about your version of Dreamweaver.

      Windows 10 will not be an “upgrade” for you. It will be a clean install, as I understand it. (i.e. install Win 10, install applications from scratch, restore data backups). May not be worth it if things are working.

      Here’s what it means to be unsupported:

  59. This winX misconceptions vid helped me much in my mindset I would like to dual-boot with win7, what’s the easy way to do this?


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Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.