How to Install Windows 10 Laptop, Desktop or Tablet

Most people have heard of the free Windows 10 Upgrade by now. Available directly from Microsoft, the update brings new features to any PC running Windows 7 or Windows 8. Windows Vista machines can most likely run the update, but Microsoft isn’t giving it to them for free. For upgraders, the Windows 10 installation process is pretty straightforward.

Millions of people buy laptops, desktops, tablets and 2-in-1s running the operating system. For these users with new devices, the installation is quite easy. Here’s how to set up your Windows 10 laptop, desktop, or tablet.

Before You Begin

Before you start setting up your Windows 10 device, there are some things you need to make the process a little smoother. Don’t worry, you don’t need to buy extra software or accessories.

What you will want to do is make sure you know your Microsoft Account username and password. Windows 10 uses Microsoft Accounts to power its apps and the built-in store for movies, television shows, games, and apps. Knowing yours ahead of time can speed up the process. If you’re using Windows 8 on a different computer, go to the Settings app and look in the Account field for your Microsoft Account username. Your password can be, and probably is, the same password you use to log in to that PC. If you don’t already have a Microsoft Account, that’s fine. You can create one during the installation process.

Also, make sure you know your router’s PIN or password to get online. Routers supplied by cable companies often have passwords with a label on them. If a family member has set up your router, the code is written for you. Internet access is not required, but it makes the installation process for Windows 10 much easier.

Installation Process

Begin the setup process by plugging your new Windows 10 laptop, desktop, or tablet into a power outlet so it charges while you get everything ready. Now press the power button. If you don’t know where the power button is, refer to the reading section on your device’s button placement.

For the next few minutes, you’ll see the logo of the company that made your new device and a spinning wheel just below it.

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Welcome to the first Windows 10 setup screen. If your device has a touchscreen, Time Zone, and a few other details, you need to choose a keyboard layout here. Tap or click.

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You will now need to approve the different legal terms Microsoft and your hardware manufacturer offer. For this tutorial, we’re using a Lenovo machine that has separate terms of service only for the hardware itself. Installation of any Windows 10 device requires you to agree to terms from both Microsoft and the hardware manufacturer. Not optional. Click or tap .

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This is where the wireless connection is required. You must provide the password or WEP Key for your wireless network. Note that if your laptop, desktop computer or tablet is connected with a network cable, you will not see this screen at all.

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If your router supports WPA authentication, you will be prompted to press a physical button on your router. This saves you from having to enter a password.

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Tap or click More Info to explore all the different low-level settings that Windows 10 supports. It is recommended that you go together in almost all cases.

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If your computer successfully connects to the internet, at this point it will reach Microsoft servers to find the latest Windows 10 updates. You should not turn off your device while applying these updates.

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Now enter your Microsoft Account username and password and enter the . If you don’t have a Microsoft Account, click the link to create one. Microsoft also gives you the option to skip this step and create a local user account that is not tied to any Microsoft services. It’s a good idea to use if you’re set to never connect to Microsoft’s services, but it’s bad if you want to stream music in Groove, watch TV shows on Movies & TV, download apps through the Store, and use the Cortana personal assistant. Don’t worry, if you’re not sure, you can add a Microsoft Account to your User Account later if you want.

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Now create a pin number to use with your device. If you don’t want to use a PIN code and prefer a password, you can click or tap on it. Not having a PIN as a backup means you can’t sign in with your face or fingerprint if your device has hardware that supports these options.

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Click or tap if you’re open to taking advantage of Microsoft’s personal assistant. It is now available on smartphones and tablets running Windows, iOS and Android.

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After installing the applications for a while, your Windows 10 installation is complete. You will be automatically taken to your Desktop and Start Menu/Start Screen.