How to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10

How to upgrade Windows XP PCs to Windows 10. What you need to consider and why you should upgrade from XP to Windows 10. Here's how to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10.
In this story we explain things you should consider before you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10. We also address the benefits of upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 10, before taking you step-by-step through the process of upgrading a Windows XP PC to Windows 10. If you want to jump straight to those sections, just click the links below.


How to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10: things to consider

Windows XP isn't eligible for a free update to Windows 10. That is more of a concern for home- rather than business users of Windows, but if you are running a Windows XP shop and looking to upgrade, there will be a cost attached. Of course, there is a cost attached to not moving on from XP. Potentially in terms of the security threat, but definitely when you take into consideration lack of support for third-party software and peripherals.
You knew that anyway. What may be of more concern is that you'll have to do a clean installation of Windows 10. Every, single, time.
There is simply no way to upgrade from Windows XP and keep your files, settings and programs. It isn't a limitation of Windows 10 but a built in limitation of XP. And that will cause a big problem in most offices. It is solvable, but before you start you need to think about backing up all files and folders, and making sure you have licences and code for all critical software programs. And warn people. A lot.
Even still you may also want to think about upgrading some of the hardware, for instance moving your PCs to SSDs. You definitely need to audit what you have in terms of hardware. Solid-state drives are much faster than traditional hard disks and can give a new lease of life to a PC you thought was destined for the scrap heap. But they are a cost, both in terms of the component and the time.
So given that running XP means that you have machines that are over seven years old, it may be a better idea to save the money on a Windows 10 licence, take the plunge and put the cash towards news laptop or PCs. Again: a short-term cost that may offset long term costs. (See also: iPad Pro vs Surface Pro for business.)

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