If you want to get the latest version of Windows 10 or are thinking of migrating from another operating system, the process can probably be a bit cumbersome if you don’t have the installation disc and are not a computer expert. But for everything to work as you need, we will explain how to download Windows 10 ISO (or disk image) and install the Microsoft operating system.
Step 1: Download the Windows 10 ISO legally from Microsoft on Windows
To get started, head over to the Windows 10 download page and click the blue button download now. If you are using a computer running Windows 7, 8 or 10, it will offer you the Windows 10 download tool. Otherwise, you can continue with step 2.
This tool makes it easy to convert any USB flash drive into a Windows 10 boot installer, and it also allows you to download the Windows 10 ISO file for future use. Once the tool is downloaded, run it. It will ask you if you want to update your current PC or create installation media for another computer.
Choose Create installation media for another PC, as shown above, and then click Following. It will ask you to select the language, architecture and edition of Windows that you want. Normally it is better to check the box Use this recommended option for this PC, but you can also customize and choose a language different from the Windows edition, such as Windows 10 Pro or Home.
Next, if you want to install Windows on your own computer, select the option ISO file. This will save a file that you can click on later (as in step 3) to upgrade your PC to Windows 10. You can also use the ISO to burn Windows 10 to DVD if you want, in which case you can go to Step 4.
If you want to create a USB flash drive, choose the option Usb flash drive. This will allow you to create a bootable USB drive that you can use to erase everything from your computer and go to what is known as a “Clean Install”. You can also use this USB drive on other computers to install Windows. With this option, you will only have to choose your USB drive and have Windows 10 downloaded to it, but keep in mind that everything on the drive will be erased.
However, for most people, the ISO file is the most secure method. When you select the ISO file, click Next. It will ask you where to save the ISO file. Once the download is complete, you will have the ISO file on your PC’s hard drive. You can continue with Step 3 for more information.
Step 2: (optional) Download Microsoft Windows 10 ISO on Mac, Linux and Windows Vista / XP computers
The Windows 10 download tool only works on computers running Windows 7, 8, or 10. If you’re not running one of those operating systems, you can also download the Windows 10 ISO from Microsoft. Just go to the Windows 10 download page and it will detect that you are not running a compatible operating system.
On this page, you can choose which version of Windows 10 you want to download and it will offer you both 32-bit and 64-bit ISO in the language of your choice. You can then copy the ISO file to a USB stick and take it to a Windows laptop or desktop computer to continue the installation.
Step 3: install Windows 10 directly from the ISO from within Windows 7 or 8 / 8.1
If you are using Windows 8 or a newer version, you can upgrade your PC or laptop to Windows 10 by mounting the ISO file you just downloaded. Just double click on it. Windows will display the ISO as if it were a DVD drive.
From here you can install Windows 10. Just open setup.exe and the installer will open. From here you can choose to install Windows 10 instead, leaving your files and programs. All the necessary files will be copied from the ISO to your computer which will eventually restart your PC to complete the installation process.
If you are using Windows 7 or earlier, the ability to mount ISO files is not built into Windows, but you can download Virtual Clone Drive and use it to do so. Once you have mounted the unit, the installation will work in the same way as described above. You can also try the Windows 10 Update Wizard, if you want to update from Windows 10.
Step 4: burn the Windows 10 ISO to DVD
If your computer has a DVD burner and you have a writable DVD, you can store the Windows 10 ISO on disk and install Windows 10 by booting from it. Just right-click the ISO file, then click Burn Disc Image. The Windows disk image recorder will open and ask you which disk drive you want to use.
When you’re ready, click Record to start the process. When you’re done, you’ll have a bootable DVD that you can use to install Windows. You can use other software to burn your ISO, but the built-in software is quite easy to use.
Most computers should boot from a DVD by default, but in some cases, you may have to access the computer’s boot menu to install Windows 10 from a DVD. It is annoying that this requires a different keyboard shortcut on different devices, but if you pay attention when the computer is starting up, you should see the instructions for accessing the start menu.
Other uses of the Windows 10 ISO file
There are many other uses for a Windows 10 ISO file. For example, you can install Windows 10 on your Mac or configure Windows 10 in a virtual machine program. In either case, the ISO file is the preferred tool for installing Windows 10.
In each and every case, you will need a valid Windows 10 product key to be able to install Windows 10. On computers currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8 / 8.1, this is not a problem. You can update in context and Windows 10 will detect your previous license. If not, you can use the product key on the device: just look for the sticker.
But the free ISO file is not a free Windows license. It is simply a more convenient way to install Windows 10. Mac users, custom PC creators, and anyone installing on a virtual machine are going to need a product key to legally install Windows 10. You can buy Windows 10 Home for $ 120 dollars ($ 145 euros).
* Updated by Rodrigo Orellana on June 28, 2020.