Upgrade to Windows 10
Windows 10 is here, and Microsoft made it easy to reserve your upgrade copy of Windows 10 by adding an icon in your notification area (it’s a small white Windows logo). But if you haven’t seen this upgrade option appear, you might need to do a little tinkering to ensure that you’ll be able to get your free copy easily when the big day comes. Here’s how to check you’re running the right version of Windows, and what to do if the icon just won’t appear.
Missing Windows 10 upgrade icon: Check your version
While Microsoft said that Windows 10 is a free upgrade to existing Windows customers, it’s actually a little more complicated than that. There are only select versions of Windows that are eligible for the free offer – these are Windows 7 (SP1) and Windows 8.1. If you’re running Windows 8, Vista, XP, or Enterprise versions then the upgrade icon won’t appear as you don’t qualify for Windows 10. Of course you can upgrade Windows 7 and 8 to the necessary versions for free using Windows Update on your PC. If you’re not running an official copy of Windows then it doesn’t matter which version you have, as the system will know and stop you upgrading. Naturally, we realise that our readers are far too honest and splendid to dabble in such forms of piracy, but just thought we’d mention it in the spirit of completeness.
Missing Windows 10 upgrade icon: Windows Updates
Another reason why you might not be seeing the icon is if you have Windows Updates turned off. To remedy this on Windows 7 click on the Start button, type in update, then select Windows Updates. Now you can click Check for Updates, and Install Updates if any are found.
For Windows 8.1 users you’ll need to go to the Windows Store, open the Settings bar on the right side of the screen by either swiping in or moving the mouse pointer there, select App Updates, then ensure that Automatically update my apps is turned on.
Missing Windows 10 upgrade icon: Check tool
If all of the above is proving futile then there is another route left open. Some rather lovely folks on the Microsoft Support Forums have created a script file that can fix the most common problems that block the upgrade icon from appearing. Now, this isn’t an official Microsoft solution, and therefore must be attempted at your own risk, but from the research we’ve done it certainly seems a legitimate and non-nasty bit of code that is there simply to help people. It’s available to download from Dropbox here.
Once you have the wind10fix_full.zip file on your hard drive (it only takes a few seconds to download as it’s tiny) you can extract it, then right click on the file to bring up the contextual menu. In here you’ll want to select Run as Administrator, then Run the program.
Now read the instructions on the screen and after a couple of warnings you’ll be presented with a menu. Selecting the first option will run a system update to make sure everything is up to date. Then you can work your way through the other options until you hopefully see the icon appear.
How to force Windows 10 update: Reserving your copy of Windows 10
Once the mystery of the missing icon is resolved you need to click on the newly arrived Windows logo, then follow the simple instructions to reserve your free copy of Windows 10. If you have any qualms about leaving your old version behind you could take a look at these comparative guides “Windows 7 Vs Windows 10” and “Windows 8 vs Windows 10“.
How to force Windows 10 to download and install through Windows Update
Assuming you’ve done all of the above and Windows 10 still isn’t downloading in Windows Update, try the following.
1 – Make sure Windows Update is set to get updates automatically.
2 – In File Explorer go to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download and delete everything in it. This removes downloaded updates, and one of these could be corrupt or be causing another problem stopping Windows 10 from downloading.
3 – Press Win-R to bring up the Run box. In it, type cmd. A command prompt window will appear.
4 – Type wuauclt.exe /updatenow and press Enter. This forces Windows Update into action.
5 – Check in Windows Update and you should see that it’s downloading Windows 10:
Now follow our guide How to install Windows 10