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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: -3°C
Fast track

Don't want to wait for Windows 10 to arrive? Here's how to speed up the process

If you’re getting impatient, you can get it sooner rather than later.

IF YOU WERE one of the lucky ones, you probably got your hands on Windows 10, likely because you were part of the Windows Insider programme.

Installing it is incredibly simple. It works the exact same way that you would download updates for Windows 7 or 8.1 (think the same way you would update your phone) and will look like this.

Windows 10 download Windows 10 Installing Windows 10 on a Windows 7 device. Windows 10

Chances are you’re still waiting for it, but if you want to speed up the process, there’s a way to get it now. Just make sure to back up any important information just in case something goes wrong.

Ready? Ok, here’s what you do.

  • Go into Control Panel > Automatic Updates and turn on Updates.
  • Go into Start > All Programs > Accessories and right-click Command Prompt and select ‘act as administrator’.
  • When you’re in, type in wuauclt.exe/updatenow and it should update to Windows 10.
  • If it doesn’t work, then repeat the process until the Windows 10 download commences.

That said, there’s nothing to say whether it will install this way or not.  Let’s say that doesn’t work and you get an error message saying it can’t be installed. What then?

Well, there’s also a way to solve this.

  • Go into your C:\\ drive.
  • Go into Windows > Software Distribution > Download.
  • Delete everything in that folder (these are the files from the failed attempt to download Windows 10, but you can back up these files elsewhere if you really want to play it safe).
  • Now go back into Command Prompt as an administrator and type in wuauclt.exe/updatenow.
  • Go into updates, either through the status tray or Control Panel > Windows Update and Windows 10 should start downloading from scratch.

Make sure you don’t need your computer anytime soon – we’ll say to give yourself an hour/90 minutes just to be on the safe side – and you have at least 3GB of space free.

The installation process is pretty straightforward, but when you’re presented with the option, it’s best to ignore ‘express settings’ and go into ‘customise settings’ instead. The reason for this is it allows you to properly control the amount of data Microsoft has access to like:

  • Advertising ID.  
  • Location.
  • Sending contact and calendar details to Microsoft for personalisation of speech, typing and inking input. 
  • Sending browser data to Microsoft
  • Automatically connecting to suggested open hotspots, or networks shared by your contacts (if you own a laptop or tablet, it’s worth turning this off)

Also you get to choose the default apps installed like Photos, Microsoft Edge (its new browser) Music and Movies & TV.

If you went for express settings, you will still be able to edit the changes when it’s set up. Wait a few minutes and it’ll be up and running.

So what’s it like?

Most of the reviews of Windows 10 have been positive so far and from using it today, our first impressions of it are the same.

For one, everything feels faster and smoother. The start button and programmes boot up quickly, clicking the much-requested Start button brings up the familiar display and makes Metro apps inviting, and the general performance has been impressively fast.

MSFT gif 3 Windows 10 Windows 10

The same thing goes for Edge, Microsoft’s new browser which is a good first step in banishing the memories of Internet Explorer. It’s lightweight but it’s smooth, fast, and it provides Microsoft with a solid web browser.

However, there are still some bugs that need to be squashed. For us, the Windows Store became very picky when downloading apps – giving us error messages and sometimes crashing when we checked download progress – while there were some initial problems with connecting to the internet (it was quickly solved by downloading a driver update from Intel’s site but this is unlikely to happen to others).

But overall, there’s been surprisingly few problems so far and while we’re really only scratching the surface, the update is generally a good one.

If you been wishing for a change to Windows 8.1, then you can download it now and it will be an immediate improvement, even with bugs. Those who are content with 7 or 8.1, you’ll still like it, but it mightn’t be a bad idea to wait a bit longer so the bugs can be ironed out.

Going through the basics.

But there are many other features that will come in useful. For one, the first thing you should go and check is the start screen, which contains four main entries at the bottom: File Explorer (the same as ‘My Computer’), Settings, Power and All Apps.<

You can resize the start screen so it has more room or you can make it compact, depending on your preferences.

Windows 10 start screen Windows 10 Windows 10

The first thing you should do is go into settings, which has been overhauled and simplified for users.

Settings Windows 10 Windows 10

The first one you should look through is privacy. Even if you’ve gone through customised settings during the install process, it’s still recommended you go through each setting and make sure you’re know what features are on.

Location, Camera, Microphone, Contacts, Calendar, Messaging and Background Apps are some of the sections you can toggle here.

Privacy Windows 10 Windows 10

Once you’ve that done, you can play around with it for a bit. Go through the different settings, try out Microsoft Edge and customise your start screen. Either way, the future is beginning to look bright for Microsoft.

Read: This Dutch bank will let you log into your account using only your voice >

Read: Nokia isn’t making phones, but it is making this weird-looking 360-degree camera >

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