How to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data

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Alejandra Rangel
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How to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data. No king rules forever, and after a long life of 10 years, support for Windows 7 comes to an end. As of January 2020, this operating system, which still holds nearly 40% market share, will stop receiving updates, maintenance, security (although businesses will continue to receive paid updates as they did with Windows XP), leaving users, who do not upgrade to a more modern version of the operating system, are in danger due to operating system vulnerabilities.

Windows 10 it was released almost 4 years ago and, in all that time, it has evolved, improved and updated, in privacy, security, stability and performance. Today, leaving aside the problems of the October 2018 update with older hardware, Windows 10 has become a worthy successor to Windows 7, and this operating system will work just like Windows 7 on any other computer.

Leveraging the end of support for Windows 7 which is just around the corner, in this article we will talk about how upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data.

Who can upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data?

If we run Windows 7 we can run Windows 10, there is no doubt about that. THE Windows 10 minimum requirements they are exactly the same as Windows 7 and consumption today is very similar, so if Windows 7 goes fast, Windows 10 will go even more. We cannot expect miracles if we use old hardware, unless we want to replace our computer's normal hard drive with an SSD, in this case we will see a noticeable performance improvement.

If we are using Windows Vista or Windows XP, the two operating systems prior to Windows 7, we may need to upgrade to Windows 7 first before upgrading to Windows 10, and Microsoft may not make the process very easy, so what we need to do in this case is format our computer directly e install Windows 10 from scratch, losing the programs and files stored on the hard drive (we have to do the backup first).

For the rest, we shouldn't have compatibility issues when going to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data. Virtually all modern and updated programs that work with Windows 7 will do the same with Windows 10 as they share the same kernel, we won't have problems we didn't already have with Windows 7.

Problems we can find inupgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data

What we need to take into consideration is that compatibility issues may not be the only ones we may face. The process of updating to the new version of Windows 10 is quite complex and sensitive, our operating system could become totally unusable and the data disappear forever.

To prevent this from happening, the first thing we need to have is a Windows 7 as up to date as possible with all updates released through Windows Update, as Microsoft typically releases patches to improve compatibility in the update process every so often. Also, it is necessary that the system files have not been modified from third party applications. 

If we have used aggressive activators or applications to change the appearance of Windows or other aspects of the operating system, we run a serious risk of the update going wrong. If so, before continuing, you should check the integrity of your Windows system files, restoring the original files to minimize the possibility of something going wrong.

Finally, some very aggressive applications, such as antivirus, firewalls or other applications that make changes at very low levels in our operating system, give a lot of problems while updating. Although the operating system itself will uninstall them if it detects any programs that may be causing problems, the best thing we can do is, before starting theupgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, manually uninstall antivirus and other programs that we believe may be causing problems. To avoid compatibility problems, we must also make sure that we are using the latest versions of all applications we have installed.

Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, one of the best antivirus we can find today. We can safely uninstall our antivirus because once finished upgrade to Windows 10, our computer will be perfectly protected.

What we need to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data

We have already mentioned that we need a computer with Windows 7, all security updates and features installed, antivirus uninstalled and applications updated to the latest versions. All this, together with an Internet connection, makes our computer ready to receive the new Windows 10. The Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade process will keep all the data on our hard drive intact, however, remember that it is a very delicate process and could fail for several reasons, so before continuing we recommend that you make a backup copy of your most important files.

The programs are data that we can return to download from the Internet, so they are not a problem. However, our music, our videos, vacation photos, documents ... we have to save all this on another hard disk (if we have it) or, at least, on a pen drive or in the cloud. That way, if something goes wrong during upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and the data is lost, we can recover it.

Backup copies are very important and are even more important when we are going to perform such a procedure.

With our computer already prepared and taking into account the requirements and possible problems we can face, let's see step by step how to upgrade windows 7 to windows 10 without losing data.

Step by step: how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data

Once Windows 7 has been updated and ready to receive the update, as well as backed up our most important files, the next thing to do is download the Windows 10 Upgrade Wizard, also known as Media Creation Tool, or multimedia creation software, from the following link.

Once this application is downloaded, we run it on our computer with administrator permissions. The application will perform some preparations and checks to ensure compatibility with the update process and to minimize the chances of something going wrong.

After accepting the terms of use and performing other checks and other preparations, we can see a new window in which you will be asked if you want to update this computer directly from the application (recommended option) or if we want to download the ISO to create an installation DVD or USB.

We choose the first option, the software itself will take care of everything else, that is, it will automatically download thelatest version of Windows 10, will create a temporary installation medium and will be responsible for all preparations and will search for updates to both Windows 7 and the version of Windows 10 you downloaded to make sure nothing goes wrong.

Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data, read line after line

We accept the terms of again Windows 10 license and let the software continue to do its checks.

Now we will see a new window with elements that require our attention. Here we will be able to check the files we want to be saved during the operating system update process. We can choose if we want to save all data and programs, only the data (by uninstalling the programs) or if we want to delete everything and install a clean Windows 10.

Also, if an incompatible driver or program is detected, the software will warn us, telling us that this could cause us problems.

If we have incompatible software, we recommend uninstalling it before continuing, because if we don't, we may have problems starting Windows after updating it. Once uninstalled we continue. We can also decide to go ahead without choosing to uninstall incompatible software, which is not recommended.

If everything is ready, we can see a summary with the update process. Here we will see the version of the new operating system and what will happen with the data and programs we have in our computer.

Let's make the right choices in upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10

So let's save everything we're doing, click the button "Install" and let's start update dto Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours depending on our hardware and the data on our computer. Also, during the process we will not be able to use the equipment, so… patience!

The assistant will take care of everything, install and will configure Windows 10 and will prepare it. The computer will restart several times during the process, although we will not have to do anything, the whole process will be completely automatic until the end, until we have to choose the privacy options and Microsoft services that we want to use.

We finally have upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 10. As you have seen, the process was very simple. If we have chosen to keep programs and personal files we find them in the same place where we kept them before.

What to do after upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10

When we are done upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without losing data, we will have the new Microsoft operating system installed on our computer, keeping (or not, as you have chosen) all data and all programs and configurations.

The first thing we need to do is be connected to the internet so that the operating system itself is responsible for checking for updates Windows Update, updates which could be minor patches to the operating system or, for example, graphics drivers or any other component of the operating system. 

The next thing will be to check that all programs that we have installed and used are also installed on Windows 10. Applications such as Photoshop, Google Chrome or the Office suite should be the same as in Windows 7 if we have decided to keep the programs installed. All our personal files should be in the corresponding folders; the update process only makes changes to the "Windows" and "Program Files" directory of the hard drive, and they should never be changed.

If we are missing some program that Windows removed it during the update, we simply have to search for it online again and reinstall it.

As for security, Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, an excellent antivirus installed by default that will allow us to be protected at any time while we are connected to the Internet. This antivirus, in addition to having one of the highest malware detection rates and the best score in tests such as AV-Test, also has additional security modules, such as an exploit module, or security measures against ranwomware.

We have already installed Windows 10 on our computer. Now we just have to find out all the news of this operating system.

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