Microsoft has announced that its Windows 10 operating system will be available from 29 July 2015 on new laptops, desktop computers and tablets, plus it will be available as a free upgrade for a year for any devices currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

This will mean that after the release date you will have up to a year to download Windows 10 and upgrade to the latest operating system for FREE.

If you want to upgrade shortly after release day there are things you can do now in preparation before the 29th.

How to reserve your free upgrade to Windows 10

If you currently run Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you should see a notification pop up in the lower-right corner of your screen. If the pop-up Window doesn’t appear, you can click on the Windows logo down by the clock and it should then appear.

Click on “reserve your free upgrade” in the app windows and enter an email address if you want to be informed that your reservation has been successful.

When the upgrade is ready on 29 July, you will receive a notification to allow you to schedule the installation for a time slot that suits you. It will already have been downloaded automatically.

How long will it take to install?

It can take up to an hour to upgrade your machine to Windows 10 depending on the spec of your device, Microsoft claims that it could take as little as 20 minutes on a latest machine. As the download will already have taken place automatically, you won’t have to wait for that to finish first.

What if I don’t get the reservation pop-up?

All Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices should get Windows icon appear in the taskbar if they have Windows Update enabled. If you don’t get the icon don’t worry, you can still reserve Windows 10 by clicking on the Windows Update control panel.

Microsoft will also allow you to download and install the free Windows 10 upgrade from day one even if you didn’t reserve it previously.

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