The answer to this question is not rocket science. It is not even a complicated thing to do. However, it is a question you may have to answer. If you have handled Windows devices before, the answer is only a couple of clicks away. On the other hand, if you are like our parents, you call your children or friends at 7 AM to ask them how to do it. This tutorial is, mainly, for everyone who wants to save the cost of a call and find out what version of Windows you have, on your own. Let’s get started:
1. Find out whether you have Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, just by looking at the sign-in screen
It may sound too easy to be true, but it is often enough to look at the Windows sign-in screen and find out whether your Windows is version 10, 7 or 8.1. Start your computer or device and wait for it to boot. When the sign-in screen shows up, check how it looks.
If the sign-in screen on your PC looks similar to the screenshot below, then you are using Windows 10:
If what you see when you sign in looks like the screenshot below, then you are using Windows 7. This version of Windows is all about lively blue colors. 🙂
NOTE: Windows 7 also tells you its name and edition at the bottom of the sign-in screen. For instance, the Windows 7 edition in the screenshot above is the Ultimate one.
And if your sign-in screen looks like the one below, then you are using Windows 8.1. It looks boring, doesn’t it? 🙂
2. Find out whether you have Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, by pressing the Windows key
Windows 10, Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 differ quite a lot in what their user interface looks like. Just by looking at your desktop, taskbar, icons, Start Menu or Start screen, you can immediately tell which Windows you have.
If you have Windows 10, then your desktop and icons have a flat design, your taskbar has a search field or at least search button on it. Press the Windows key and the Start Menu shows up. If it has tiles on it, like in the screenshot below, then you are using Windows 10.
When you press the Windows key, if your Start Menu is transparent and has a search field inside, and the edges of the taskbar and icons are rounded, then you are using Windows 7.
If you have a Start button on the bottom-left corner of your screen, but it does not open a Start Menu but a Start screen filled with tiles, then you are using Windows 8.1.
3. Find out whether you have Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, by locking your PC
You can also tell what version of Windows you have just by checking how the lock screen looks. The fastest way to lock your PC is to press the Windows + L keys on your keyboard, simultaneously. If you are using a Windows tablet, you can also press the Power button twice to do the same.
If the lock screen looks similar to the one in the screenshot below, with a beautiful wallpaper, and the icons for network and battery on the bottom-right side, then you are probably using Windows 10.
If the lock screen looks like the one below, it is evident that you are using Windows 7. Windows 7 even tells you what edition you have, on the bottom of the screen (the one below is Windows 7 Ultimate).
If your lock screen looks similar to the one below and the network and battery icons are shown on the bottom-left corner, then you are using Windows 8.1.
4. Find out whether you have Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, by running the winver command
To find which Windows edition you have, you can also use the winver command. There are several ways in which you can run this command:
Press the Windows + R keyboard keys to launch the Run window, type winver and press Enter.
You can also use the search feature to open winver.
Regardless of how you choose to run the winver command, it opens a window called About Windows. This shows you the operating system that you use, Microsoft’s internal version of the operating system, and the Windows edition that you own.
5. Find out whether you have Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, by using the System window
All the specifications of the operating system that you are using, are found in the System window. There are several ways to get there. The fastest way to get to the System window is to press the Windows + Pause/Break keys on your keyboard.
Another option is to open the Control Panel, go to the System and Security section and then click or tap System.
Except for a few minor visual differences, the System window is identical and display the same information, whether you have Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.
The first section of the System window is called Windows edition. There you can see what Windows version and edition you are using.
IMPORTANT: If you find out that you have Windows 10, here is another guide explaining the differences between all the editions and types: What version, edition, and type of Windows 10 do I have installed?. Also, if you want to know whether you are using a genuine copy of Windows or a pirated one, this guide might help: 3 ways to check whether your Windows is activated and genuine.
What Windows version do you have?
Now you know quite a few different ways to find out what version of Windows you are using. Before closing this guide, share with us in a comment below, the version of Windows that you are using. We are curious to see which version is the most popular with our readers. Comment and let’s discuss.