So, chances are, if you bought your computer from Amazon., Best Buy, or another online site / store, the Windows version that came with the computer will be the basic version: Starter, Home, or Home Premium. In the case of Windows 10, it’s just Windows 10, not the Professional edition.
Why do you want to upgrade to a newer version? Well, the Windows Professional or Ultimate versions mostly have more features that power users can use, like the ability to join a domain, Bitlocker encryption, Remote Desktop, Hyper-V virtualization, and more. So, if you’ve decided to upgrade from Starter to Home Premium, Home to Professional or Professional to Ultimate, how do you go about it?
In this article, I will show you how to upgrade Windows version in Windows 7, 8.1 and 10. Please note that currently you can upgrade from 32-bit to another 32-bit and the same for 64-bit, but you can not. upgrade from 32-bit OS to 64-bit.
Upgrade Windows 10 to a higher version
There are only three editions for Windows 10: Home, Professional, and Enterprise. When upgrading from Home to Professional, you can roll back to a previous version within 30 days, unless you run Disk Cleanup and uninstall previous installations of Windows. You only have 30 days, because that’s how long Windows keeps the previous version of Windows before uninstalling it.
Also, in Windows 10, you cannot directly upgrade from Pro to Enterprise. You have to buy it directly from Microsoft and usually with a volume license. If you have Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 Enterprise, you can upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise.
To update Windows 10, click Start and then Settings.
Now click on “System” and then “About”. At the bottom you will see the link “Change product key or update Windows version”.
This will take you to an activation screen where you will see a Go to Store link at the bottom.
This will download the Windows Store app and allow you to purchase the upgrade for $ 99.99.
Once purchased, Windows will begin the process of upgrading Windows 10 Home to Pro. It only takes a few minutes, and you just need to restart your computer right after it finishes.
Upgrade Windows 8.1 to a higher version
As of October 2015, Microsoft no longer sells service packs from Windows 8 or 8.1 Home to Windows 8 or 8.1 Pro. Basically no one else is using Windows 8 and so they are trying to upgrade everyone to Windows 10.
If you try to go to Control Panel, Windows Update, click Add Features in Windows 8.1, and then click I want to buy a product key online, you will receive a message stating that no products were found in your region.
The only place you can get an upgrade to Windows 8.1 Pro is from a third-party seller like Amazon. for a whopping $ 137! That doesn’t make much sense considering you can upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 for free until July 29, 2016. Then the Home version will cost $ 99 and the Pro version will cost $ 199.
Please note that Amazon. only sells a key card that will contain the product key for Windows 8.1 Pro. To use it, follow the steps above, but select “I already have a product key” to enter a new key.
Upgrade Windows 7 with Windows Anytime Upgrade
As far as Windows 7 is concerned, after upgrading to a later version, you really can’t go back without a serious registry hack, etc. This really shouldn’t be a big problem, but it’s good to know. Also, for Windows 7, you can upgrade from Home Premium to Ultimate without upgrading to Professional first. You can skip the episodes.
Click Start, then type “Update Anytime” in the search box and click “Update Anytime Windows” to get started. Note that Windows Ultimate will not have this feature as it is already the most recent version.
Now, just follow the instructions to upgrade to a newer version of Windows 7. First, click Go to the Internet to select the edition of Windows 7 that suits you best.
In the same dialog box, you will get a list of different versions with a nice function table for each. It’s also a great way to compare different versions of Windows 7 and see what the difference is.
You can also click the tabs at the top to view the features of each version separately. After purchasing the new version and receiving the update key, click “Enter the update key”.
That’s all! After you enter the key, Microsoft will validate it and all new features of the higher version will be available immediately! There is no need to download anything or install additional software. Enjoy!