• Installing Windows 10 will take about two hours.
  • You should back up all of your vital data before you install anything new.
  • The three steps to installing Windows 10.

Windows 10 has finally been released, and it exceeds expectations. For real estate agents considering a free upgrade, installing the latest Microsoft operating system is easier than ever. You’ll be glad you did because it looks and runs great.

My new Asus UX303 Ultrabook arrived two months ago with Windows 8.1 preinstalled. Microsoft released Windows 8.1 after complaints about the confusing interface in Windows 8.0.

Most users of 8.0 upgraded, free of charge, to 8.1, so they got back the classic desktop and other features.

Having been a beta tester for many years, I’m no stranger to installing Microsoft operating systems. Upgrades used to be scary, even for an engineer.

The upgrade process has evolved and become easier with each new release.

I installed the upgrade a day after the general release. It took about two hours and absolutely nothing went wrong.

It recognized every feature and every software program I had installed save one. No data was lost, and nothing has failed since then. It was as close to perfect as a consumer could want.

Preparing to upgrade

The only advice I give anyone before upgrading is to back up your data. If you’re using Google Drive or Dropbox to store all your files, congratulations — you don’t need a backup. It’s in the cloud, and both applications work seamlessly with Windows 10.

If you’re not using cloud storage, use a USB flash drive to back everything up. I never use a backup program but instead simply copy-and-paste files from critical folders.

The key folders I have are My Documents, Pictures, Movies and Desktop.

To make sure you retain all your browser favorites, I use Sync in Firefox. That copies all my favorites to any device. There is a similar feature in Chrome that allows you to backup bookmarks via your Google account.

Once you’re done backing up your data, it’s time to take the plunge on upgrading.


Easy upgrading

The process is simple — just follow these three easy steps:

1. Go to https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 and download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the installer tool. Just download it to your desktop, so it’s easy to find.

2. Run the installer tool, and when it starts, select “Upgrade this PC now” from the two options.

You’ll be prompted to choose the language and version. Then it will download updates, so the existing OS is up-to-date.

A couple of confirmation steps take place, and the upgrade begins.

3. Leave the system powered up and connected to Wi-Fi, and don’t try to do anything with it while it upgrades.

The Wi-Fi connection is used to download Windows 10; the installer tool was just the first of many downloads. About an hour or two later it’ll be all done.

Once the upgrade is complete, make sure the system has rebooted. It should do it automatically, but just in case, do it yourself.

I’ve noticed that Windows 10 is faster than Windows 8.1. After upgrading my laptop, I also upgraded two older HP laptops with second-generation Intel i3 processors that’re about 4 years old. Both went smoothly and had no issues.

Even if you’re not “tech-savvy,” you can do this. Enjoy the free upgrade.

Bryan Robertson is the co-founder and managing broker of Catarra Real Estate.

Email Bryan Robertson.

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