How to install Windows 10 using a retail disc, an ISO image or a flash drive

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s newest operating system, and many people want to install it on their computers or devices. One way is to do that is by upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. Another way is to use a retail DVD that you purchased with Windows 10 or an ISO image which you have downloaded from Microsoft or somewhere else on the web. In this guide we are going to show you how to make a clean Windows 10 installation on your computer or device, using a retail disk of Windows 10 or an ISO image. The process is different than when installing Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, so pay attention to our guide:

NOTE: This guide is based on Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the latest version of Windows 10, released on October 17th, 2017.

Read this before starting the installation!

Before you decide whether or not to install Windows 10, read the Windows 10 Specifications on Microsoft’s website and review its system requirements. Windows 10 demands the following:

  • Processor: 1 GHz or faster, single core or multicore
  • RAM: 1 GB for the 32-bit version or 2 GB for the 64-bit version
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB for the 32-bit version or 20 GB for the 64-bit version
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible graphics card
  • A display with a minimum resolution of 800x600 pixels

Before you start the installation, you need the product key for Windows 10. Make sure that you have it before moving forward with this guide. It’s also recommended to have a working internet connection available, and a Microsoft account. That will give you access to more features than when using a local user account.

If you need the ISO image for Windows 10, you can download it from here: Download Windows 10. Read this tutorial to see how to download the ISO file: How to download Windows 10 and create your installation media. We also recommend this guide for a third-party tool that you can use to download any edition of Windows and Office that you want: The easiest way to legally download ISO images for Windows and Office.

If you want to run the operating system in a virtual machine, the best virtualization applications that we tested and are capable of running Windows 10 are VirtualBox, VMware Player, VMware Player Pro and VMware Workstation. VMware Player and VirtualBox are the only free products on this list.

The Media Creation Tool lets you create a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10, or download the ISO file on your PC. If you create a Windows 10 USB memory stick, you will be able to use it on any computer, even if does not have an optical drive. It is also the best method if you want the installation to go faster.

If you prefer to use a DVD, download the ISO file and burn it to a disc. Finally, if you are going to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine, you do not need to burn the ISO or copy it, just mount it before you start the virtual machine.

How to install Windows 10

Boot your computer or virtual machine using the installation DVD, the ISO file or the USB flash drive that you have created, with the Windows 10 setup. Once the necessary files are copied, the installation starts by asking what language, time, currency and keyboard input settings you want to use. Make the selections you prefer and click or tap Next.

Click or tap Install now to start the installation.

The setup takes a couple of seconds to start and then, you are asked to enter the product key for Windows 10. Type it and click or tap Next.

NOTE: If you are reinstalling Windows 10, click or tap that you do not have a product key and your copy will be automatically activated later. After you do that, you have to select which Windows 10 edition you want to install: from Windows 10 S, to Windows 10 Home all the way to Windows 10 Pro.

You are shown the license terms. Click or tap “I accept the license terms” and then Next.

You are asked for the installation type. As you are installing Windows 10 from scratch, click or tap “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).”

Now you are asked to select where you want to install Windows. Choose the drive or partition that you want to use for Windows 10 and press Next.

If you need to setup your partitions in a specific way, do not hesitate to use the tools available for creating new partitions, formatting them and so on, before clicking Next.

The installation starts. The setup takes some minutes to copy all the required files and installs the Windows 10 operating system. It will also install updates, if it detects that it can connect to the internet.

Once the installation is done, the Windows 10 setup automatically reboots your computer or device at least once, to run the first-time configuration scripts. You just need to wait patiently for the process to finish.

During the waiting process, Windows 10 shares the status of its activities, so that you know whether the installation is progressing or not.

Read the next page of this tutorial to see how to personalize your Windows 10 installation.