You may need to know when Windows was installed on your computer or device. Maybe you need this information for your work, or because you want to brag about how stable your Windows is after all these years of abuse, or just because you do not want it to run for more than six months without reinstalling it. Whatever the reason, we have simple ways for you to learn the correct answer, with incredible precision:
NOTE: This guide works for Windows 10, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1. All the methods we share are tested and confirmed to work in all three versions.
1. Use the systeminfo command in the Command Prompt or PowerShell
The first method involves using the Command Prompt or PowerShell. Open CMD or open PowerShell, depending on what you prefer. You do not have to open it with administrator rights. Type the following command and press Enter on your keyboard: systeminfo | find "Original Install Date".
In a second or two, you see the Original Install Date displayed.
2. Use File Explorer or Windows Explorer
If you use Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, open File Explorer. If you use Windows 7, open Windows Explorer. Then, navigate to the C: drive where Windows is installed. Right-click the Windows folder and choose Properties.
In the Windows Properties window, look for the Created field, in the General tab. It shows when the Windows folder was created on your computer or device. This folder was created when you installed Windows.
You can follow the same procedure using other system folders like Program Files.
IMPORTANT: We noticed that, in Windows 10, the other methods we described in this guide return the date when the last major update was installed, not when Windows 10 was installed initially. This method, however, seems to return useful results every time.
3. Use the Settings app to see when was Windows 10 installed
If you are using Windows 10, open the Settings app. Then, go to System, and choose About. On the right side of the Settings window, look for the Windows specifications section. There you have the installation date, in the Installed on field highlighted below.
4. Use PowerShell and different commands to check when was Windows installed
In PowerShell, you can run other, more complex commands that return the result you want. Open PowerShell, run the command ([WMI]'').ConvertToDateTime((Get-WmiObject Win32_OperatingSystem).InstallDate) and press Enter.
After a few seconds, you see the installation date, in a readable format.
Another command that you can use in PowerShell, reads the value of a registry key that stores the installation date. The command is the following: [timezone]::CurrentTimeZone.ToLocalTime(([datetime]'1/1/1970').AddSeconds($(get-itemproperty 'HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion').InstallDate))
It then displays the installation date, in a readable format. The only issue is that it is an extended command. Luckily, you can copy it from this tutorial, and paste it into your PowerShell window.
Do you know other methods for checking when Windows was installed?
There are other methods for getting the Windows installation date and time, but they do not produce results that are easy to understand. You need to convert the data they give so that you understand it. However, if you know other methods that give you the Windows installation date, in an easy-to-understand format, share them in a comment below, and we will update this tutorial to help other readers.