How to install windows 10 on a computer - a step by step guide

How to install windows 10 on a computer or a notebook? This operating system can be installed in the same way as its previous versions of this system. But there is some nuances in the installation process of Windows 10. This article describes the whole installation process.

How to start? At first, you have to find out which version of Windows 10 to install - 32-bit or 64-bit. If your computer has a 32-bit processor (just like Athlon 64, Athlon II and so on), you'll need 32-bit version of Windows 10, otherwise you can install any version of Windows 10, but, of course, it is better to install 64-bit version because the 64-bit version allows you to utilize more memory.

How to find out what processor you have - 32-bit or 64-bit? It is described in the article "How to find out if your CPU is 32-bit or 64-bit", but this is suitable only for computers with already installed operating system.

System requirements

There are minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10:

Be sure that your system complies to these specifications. Note the WDDM 1.0 or higher driver - if your graphic card doesn't support it, you could use only low-resolution mode without acceleration using a standard Microsoft driver.

Where to get Windows 10? You can download it from the Microsoft site: download Windows 10 here. You have to download a special tool from that site. It is an exe file, 32-bit or 64-bit version, that download Windows 10 ISO file and save it to yore hard drive. If you are using Windows XP, there is available an ISO file (Win10_English_x32.iso or Win10_English_x64.iso, it depends on your choice). But using Windows XP, you can't install Windows 10 form this system, but there is a way - read the article How to install Windows 10 from Windows XP without DVD or USB stick.

We have noted that there is two ways to install Windows 10: with internet connection and without internet connection. In the first case, if the Ethernet cable is disconnected from the computer or Windows 10 can't find a network adapter or its drivers, then Windows 10 will ask you to create a local account. In the second case, if there is internet connection, then Windows 10 will ask you to sign in into your Microsoft account in ( If you don't have it, Windows 10 will ask you create a new account. Without this account the installation process can't go further. This article explains how to install windows 10 when the internet connection is down, so you don't need a Microsoft account, but if you want, you can get it later.

After choosing an appropriate version of Windows 10 to install (32-bit or 64-bit), switch the boot up order in BIOS to boot from DVDROM/CDROM, insert a CD/DVD and restart the computer. So we begin the installation process.

At first, you'll see a blue window and under it the circle animation. This is the boot screen. The circle animation shows that the computer is not hung up or frozen.

This is the boot screen of Windows 10 operating system with the circle animation at the installation process

After that a window will appear and ask for the language to install, the time and currency format, and the keyboard and input method.

The window that asks for language to install, the time and currency format, and the keyboard and input method

Select what you want, and press the button "Next". In another window press the button "Install now".

The window with the button asks to install the operating system

The message tells about beginning of installation of Windows 10

After that, the window with License Agreement will show up.

The window with license Agreement for Windows 10

Now you have to accept the License Agreement for Windows 10. Then you have to choose what you want - to upgrade an existing version of Windows or make a new custom instal - "Upgrade" or "Custom" options.

The window with a choose between Upgrade or Custom install

If you have any previously installed Windows on your PC, then you have to choose the "Upgrade" option, in this case all settings and files will be preserved. If you have a new PC, or you want to install Windows 10 on a new hard drive, or you want to do a clean install, then you have to choose the "Custom" option - but you have to save all your data on a flash drive or CD/DVD, because all your files will be deleted!

In our case the "Custom" option has been chosen, and now the next window asks for a hard drive to install Windows 10 on.

The window asks Where do you want to install Windows 10

Select the hard drive and press the button "Next" and you’ll be taken to the window that shows the installation process.

The window shows the installation process

The installation will copy files, and after that, the system will need to reboot.

The warning about the need to reboot the PC

Now when the system boots from CD/DVD, you'll see the message Press any key to boot from CD or DVD.....

Don't press any key, now the system will be redirected to boot from the hard drive. There will be a message about the installation progress.

The message about the installation progress of Windows 10

One more reboot will occur, and you'll see a screen with three options - "Get online", "Settings", "Sigh in".

The three options screen - Get online, Settings, Sigh in

Let's choose the "Settings" option. There will be another screen with two buttons "Use express settings" and "Customize".

You have to choose between options - Use express settings and Customize settings of the operating system Windows 10

In our installation, the button "Use express settings" has been chosen, Windows 10 trying to connect to the internet, but because it is disconnected from the internet (see the explanation above), the screen with buttons "Try again" and "Create a local account" appears.

Windows 10 asks to create a local account

Lets' choose the button "Create a local account". We have to enter a user name, a password (and confirm it), and a password hint. Windows 10 will ask for the user name and password on every login.

Warning! If you have an alternative keyboard and input method, be aware it switched in English (use "ALT+Shift" key combination to switch languages).

Creating a user account on Windows 10

Now press the button "Finish", and you can see some psychedelic message from Microsoft (in reality, the colors change very smoothly, you can see the video on youtube

psychedelic message from Microsoft at the and of installation of Windows 10

And now we see the desktop of Windows 10.

The desktop of Windows 10 after it's installed

That's all, the installation of Windows 10 is completed. Now you can connect the internet and the system will install all drivers. If Windows 10 can't find necessary drivers, then insert a disk with drivers into CD/DVD ROM and install them.

And at the end of the article, let's mention about Windows 10 activation. To do it, you have to click the button "Start", then click on "Settings" and select "Update & Security", then click on "Activation". After that, press the button "Change product key". There will be the window in which you have to enter a product key for Windows 10.