Will Windows 10 Work on My Computer?

Windows 10 clear background image logo.

If your computer is running Windows 7, chances are it is also running Windows 10. Both operating systems have similar hardware requirements. Any new PC you buy or build will almost certainly run Windows 10 as well.

You can always free upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. If you are on the fence, we recommend you take advantage of the offer before Microsoft stops supporting Windows 7.

Windows 10 system requirements are (almost) the same as Windows 7

Here are the hardware requirements for Windows 10, directly from Microsoft:

CPU: 1 GHz or faster
RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit Windows or 2 GB for 64-bit Windows
Hard disk: 32 GB or more
Graphic card: DirectX 9 or newer compatible with a WDDM 1.0 driver

Windows 7 system requirements from a decade earlier are the same, although Windows 10 needs a little more hard drive space. Windows 7 requires 16 GB of storage for 32-bit systems or 20 GB of storage for 64-bit systems. System requirements for Windows 8 are the same as those in Windows 7.

In other words, if your computer is running Windows 7 or 8 today, Windows 10 should be running on it, assuming it doesn't have a tiny hard drive.

To check the amount of internal storage on your PC on Windows 7, open Windows Explorer and look under Computer.

Windows 7 Computer pane showing a local drive.

These are the minimum system requirements

To be clear, these are minimum requirements. We don't recommend using Windows 10 on a malnourished PC that meets this minimum bar, but we also don't recommend running Windows 7 on such a system.

For example, while 32 GB is enough disk space to install the Windows 10 operating system, you will need more space to install programs and download files.

And, while a 1 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM can technically run the 32-bit version Windows 10, modern programs, and even modern websites can have trouble working well. This is also true on Windows 7.

If your computer can run Windows 7 well, it can probably run Windows 10 well. If Windows 7 and your apps run slowly on your system, expect the same from Windows 10.

Windows 10 may even be faster than Windows 7

It should be noted that Windows 10 may even be faster in some ways. For example, the latest versions of Windows 10 incorporate a better and faster solution to the Specter fault. If you have an older processor, it will run slower on Windows 7, which has a less sophisticated Specter patch that further slows down your system.

Windows 10 also has a lot of work under the hood that has taken place over a decade of development since the release of Windows 7. For example, Microsoft designed Windows 8 to use less RAM than Windows 7. Quick Start, enabled by default, can speed up the boot of your PC.

The main operating system may require more disk space, but it has been streamlined. This is not another situation in Windows Vista: Windows 10 was designed to work correctly on computers running Windows 8, and Windows 8 was designed to work correctly on PCs running Windows 7.

You can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free

Windows 10 installer on a Windows 7 background image.

If you are using Windows 7, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. All you need is a valid Windows 7 (or 8) key, and you can install a properly activated and licensed version of Windows 10.

We encourage you to take advantage of this before Microsoft ends support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Upgrading to Windows 10 means your PC will continue to receive security updates. Without an upgrade, only companies that pay for expensive support contracts can continue to receive updates.

RELATED: You can still get Windows 10 for free with a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 key

Consider buying a new PC

If you are concerned that your PC may not work properly with Windows 10 and you are still using Windows 7, consider taking the opportunity to buy a new PC. Modern computers have faster processors, faster storage, better graphics hardware, and better battery life than older systems.

Whether you are looking for a budget laptop or a desktop computer that won't break the bank, there are many great options out there that won't break the bank. If your Windows 7 system lasted you for many years, chances are a new PC will do the same.

RELATED: Our 5 favorite laptops under $ 500

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