Windows10 logoIf you have a computer with Windows 7 or Windows 8(.1), Microsoft has been bugging you since July to upgrade to Windows 10.  For those who haven’t succumbed to this siren call to update yet, you may want to dig in your heels a little while longer before making the jump.


Before You Decide to Upgrade to Windows 10

Many people have already made the plunge and enjoy using Windows 10, the newest operating system from Microsoft. But there are still sufficient compatibility issues with some software and hardware to give one pause.

Here are some guidelines to follow before upgrading to Windows 10:


Is Your Computer Able to Run Windows 10?

Windows10 - Compatibility Check

Click on the menu icon at the top left and choose “Check your PC.”

Some computers aren’t able to run Windows 10, and some programs on your computer may not be compatible with the platform.

If you’ve gotten Microsoft’s Windows 10 notification then you’ll see the Windows logo at the bottom right of your screen, near the date and time.  Click on this. In the pop-up window that appears, click on the menu icon at the top left and choose “Check your PC.”  After the app runs a scan, you’ll be shown a list of compatible and incompatible software and hardware.

Should you decide to do the upgrade then incompatible programs will be removed during the upgrade installation. So be sure to check the list carefully. Will your work and computer use be negatively impacted if those incompatible programs are removed? If so, then you should hold off on doing an upgrade to Windows 10.

If some of your computer’s hardware is flagged as incompatible then an upgrade to Windows 10 may not even be possible.


Will Your Software Run Under Windows 10?

The compatibility scan above will provide you with info about what installed programs are compatible with Windows 10. But it won’t tell you about the compatibility of software you may be considering installing after the upgrade.

To find out, go to the software publisher’s website or google the name of the product. Be sure to include the terms “Windows 10” and “compatibility” in your search.

QuickBooks 2015, for example, works nicely with Windows 10. But all earlier versions are not compatible.

Most of last year’s antivirus programs won’t make the update cut.

Windows10 - Office 2003 & below  NOT CompatibleYou would think all versions of Microsoft Office would be compatible with Windows 10. Ironically, that’s not the case.  Office 2007, 2010, 2013/365, and 2016 are certified as compatible. However, Office 2003 and below are not.  Surprisingly, Office Starter 2010 not only is not supported, but you will even be prompted to remove it before the upgrade starts.



Upgrading to Windows 10 Can Impact Keyboards, Printers, and Scanners

The compatibility check described above will provide you with answers, but it’s not always cut and dry.  A product may be listed as compatible. Yet peripherals like a keyboard, printer, or scanner might not work after the Windows 10 upgrade due to driver issues or installation snafus.

HPOfficeJet6500In the case of many HP printers, for example, the printer will be shown as “offline” despite being plugged in and ready to go.

The solution to this problem can vary. In some cases, right-clicking on the printer in Devices and Printers and removing the checkmark next to “Pause” is all that has to be done.  In other cases the printer has to be removed, the software uninstalled, the printer turned off, and the software reinstalled from scratch.  In extreme cases, the only solution is to revert back to the original operating system.

Windows 10 has some great features. It’s faster, more efficient, connects to networks more easily, and has a search assistant that you can talk to. Think you want to Upgrade? Before you do, read: 4 Steps Before you Upgrade to Windows 10

Need help with Windows 10?

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