How to install Windows 10 using a DVD, an ISO file or a USB flash drive
Windows 10 is Microsoft's latest 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 DVD with the Windows 10 setup, a USB flash drive, or an ISO file with the installation, which you have downloaded from Microsoft or somewhere else on the web. In this guide we show you how to make a clean Windows 10 installation on your computer or device, using the following types of installation media: DVD, ISO file, or USB memory stick. Let's get started:
NOTE: This guide is based on Windows 10 October 2018 Update, the latest version of Windows 10 when this tutorial was created.
Read this before you begin installing Windows 10:
Before you install Windows 10, read the Windows 10 Specifications on Microsoft's website and review its system requirements. Windows 10 demands the following:
- Processor or System on a Chip (SoC): 1 GHz or faster, single core or multicore
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for the 32-bit version or 2 GB for the 64-bit version
- Free hard drive space: 16 GB for the 32-bit version or 32 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 should have the product key for Windows 10, even though you can install Windows 10 without a product key. However, you cannot fully use the operating system until you activate it and provide the product key. It is a more straightforward process to activate the operating system during its installation.
If you need the ISO setup image file for Windows 10, read this tutorial: How to create Windows 10 installation media (on a USB stick) or download a free ISO file. We also recommend a third-party tool that you can use to download any edition of Windows and Office: Download ISO files and disc images with any version of Windows and Microsoft Office (100% legal).
If you want to run the Windows 10 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, Hyper-V, and VMware Workstation. VMware Player, Hyper-V, and VirtualBox are the free products on this list. If you want to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine, you need to mount the Windows 10 ISO setup file, before starting the virtual machine. Make sure that you know how to create a virtual machine in your preferred virtualization product.
How to install Windows 10
Boot your computer or virtual machine using the installation DVD, USB flash drive, or the ISO file, with the Windows 10 installation. As soon as you boot, you see a quick message on the screen stating that you need to press any key to continue. Press any key on your keyboard, and the installation wizard is shown. Once the necessary files are copied, the Windows 10 Setup asks what language, time and currency format, and keyboard input settings you want to use. Make the selections you prefer and press Next.
Click or tap Install now to start the installation.
The setup takes a couple of seconds to start and asks you to enter the product key for Windows 10. Type it and press Next. If you are reinstalling Windows 10, click or tap that you do not have a product key and your copy is automatically activated later. You can also make a clean installation without providing a product key, by clicking "I don't have a product key."
After you do that, you have to select which Windows 10 edition you want to install: from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Education, 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 you want to perform. 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 configure your partitions in a specific way, do not hesitate to use the tools available for creating new partitions, deleting old ones, formatting and so on, before clicking Next.
The setup takes some minutes to copy all the required files and then installs the Windows 10 operating system. It also installs updates, if it detects that it can connect to the internet.
Once the installation is done, the Windows 10 setup automatically reboots at least once, to run the first-time configuration scripts. You need to wait patiently for the process to finish. If you see the prompt below, you can skip waiting a few seconds, and press Restart now.
During the waiting process, Windows 10 shows you the status of its activities, so that you know whether the installation is progressing or not.
How to customize your Windows 10 installation
After the reboots are finished, you are greeted by Cortana. She helps you configure your Windows 10 installation. Listen to what she has to say before moving forward. When you interact with Cortana, you can use the mouse and keyboard, the touchscreen (if you have one), or your voice, if you have a microphone connected to your computer.
Cortana asks you to choose the region where you live. Select it from the list, and then click or tap Yes. Alternatively, if you prefer, speak to Cortana and say what your region is, or confirm if she got it right.
Then, choose the keyboard layout that you want to use, from the list.
If you need to use a secondary keyboard layout, you can add a second one during the next step. Otherwise, choose Skip or say No to Cortana.
If you have a working internet connection, Windows 10 checks if there are any updates available. If there are, it downloads and installs them at this step.
You are asked to confirm the ownership of your Windows 10 device. If you are its owner, select "Set up for personal use." If the device belongs to an organization (for example, the company you work at), select "Set up for an organization," and you can use your business account to sign in and access your resources. Then, press Next.
Read the second page of this tutorial using the buttons below, to see how to personalize your Windows 10 installation.