You have an old Windows 7 computer and you would like to cleanly install Windows 10 on it.
You do not need to buy a Windows 10 license, or installation media. This is Microsoft’s little open secret, but any valid Windows 7 key will work as Windows 10 key, and activate as genuine windows without any issue. All you need is the your old Windows 7 activation key. This will work for Pro and Home editions.
Most Windows 7 laptops have it printed on a sticker located on the bottom or back of the computer. Some laptops have it hidden behind a latch on the bottom. Laptops with removable batteries often have this sticker attached inside the battery compartment and you will have to remove the battery to see it. Laptops without removeable battery might have it attached on the inside of the bottom case (in this case you will have to unscrew and remove it).
Chances are that your old computer is low on memory.
Chances are your old computer has a HDD. You want to upgrade it to SSD. Once again Crucial can give you suggestions.
In most cases you’ll probably be buying a 2.5 inch SATA drive that fits in both laptops and desktops. For desktops you might need a [Mounting Braket], but good news, these are cheep.
If you have a working copy of MS Office on your Win 7 laptop, you might want to find the product key. If you can’t find it, log into your Mivrosoft account. If you own more than one copy, you can find the last 4 digits of the installed license key via this method: Find Product Key
Back all your stuff up. It’s best to do a clean install, and we will likely be upgrading to an SSD anyway.
Make sure you choose the correct version (home or pro) that matches your Windows 7 license.
By default Microsoft only makes the latest version of Windows 10 available via the Media Creation Tool. If you need to make installation media for a specific windows version (eg. 1909) for compatibility reasons, you can use the Media Creation Tool Wrapper script. It will allow you to choose which version you want to use.
❏ Max out UAC
❏ Run Windows Update
❏ Disable tips on lock screen
❏ Disable suggestions in Start Menu
❏ Disable combine in taskbar
❏ Enable Storage Sense (System → Storage)
❏ Disable unneeded tray icons
❏ Disable OneDrive if needed
❏ Unpin unneeded icons from taskbar
❏ Change Computer and Workgroup name
❏ Enable Admin:
net user Administrator /active:yes
❏ Change Admin pwd:
net user Administrator pwd
❏ Install MS Office & activate it with your product key
❏ Alternatively install Libre Office instead
❏ Install Chrome & Firefox
❏ Install Zoom & Skype
❏ Install iTunes & VLC
❏ Install TeamViewer
❏ Install Silverlight & Air
❏ Install Malwarebytes
❏ Organize Start Menu
❏ Set Browser home pages
❏ Install uBlock Origin
❏ Install Https Everywhere
❏ Install Malwarebytes Browser Guard
❏ Install Adobe Reader & set it as default
❏ Change Adobe Security Settings
❏ Set up Shadowcopy
❏ Drop down to regular user