How to Repair or Upgrade Windows 10, using Windows 10 ISO

Microsoft has made available the Windows 10 ISO for download. In our last post, we saw how you could use Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to create an Installation media. In this post, we will see how to use this Windows 10 ISO to upgrade your Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 computer to Windows 10.

If you upgrade to Windows 10, the new OS will take the product key and activation details from your earlier OS. These are then saved on Microsoft servers, along with your PC details.

If you clean install Windows the first time, you may face activation problems. If you performed an upgrade the first time, activated Windows 10, and then clean installed Windows 10 on the same PC, then there will be no activation issues, as the OS will pull activation details from Microsoft servers.

So, if your Windows 10 isn’t activated, we suggest you not perform a clean install the first time. First Upgrade, Activate and then Clean Install.

You might want to first backup your important data to an external drive before you proceed with the upgrade process. Also, make sure you have Windows login password ready. And although you won’t need it during the upgrade process, it might be a good idea to find and down your Windows product key somewhere.

Upgrade to Windows 10 using ISO

Browse to the folder where you saved the Windows 10 ISO file and right-click on it. Select Open with Windows File Explorer.


You will be able to see the contents of the ISO file. Click on setup.


The setup will begin, and you will be asked if you want to download updates now or later.

Install or Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO and Media Creation Tool

Clicking on Next will start downloading the updates.

2 Install or Upgrade, using Windows 10 ISO

This will be followed by, the setup getting a few things ready.

3 Install or Upgrade, using Windows 10 ISO

Once you are all set, you will be asked to Accept the license terms.

4 Media Creation Tool

Click on Accept to proceed. You will see a Making sure …. message. The setup will make sure that your PC is ready to install. If anything requires your attention, it will be highlighted.

9 Media Creation Tool

It could be a message about Language Packs, media Center or anything else. Here you can also click on the Choose what to keep link-

  • Keep personal files, apps, and Windows settings
  • Keep personal files only
  • Nothing.

10 Media Creation Tool

Click on Confirm > Next. The setup will check if your PC has enough space and then a Ready to install message.

11 Media Creation Tool

Click on Install to proceed. Your computer will commence installation and restart several times.

6 Media Creation Tool

Finally, you will see the following screen at boot.

7 upgrade to windows 10

Once the upgrade is completed, you will see the following welcome screen.

9 Install or Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO

After logging for the first time, you may see the following screen. You can click on Use Express setting, or you may Customize.

10 Install or Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO

If you choose to Customize, you will be able to personalize your speech, typing, location settings …

11 Install or Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO

… set browser, connectivity and error reporting settings.

12 Install or Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO

You will be informed about the new apps in Windows 10. You may choose your default apps here or move on.

13 Install or Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO

Finally, after a few ‘Taking care of a few things’ messages, you will be taken to your Windows 10 desktop.


Once on your desktop, there are a few things you need to do after you upgrade to Windows 10. We will cover that shortly in a separate post.

Clean install Windows 10

If you wish to clean install Windows 10 on your computer, burn the Windows 10 ISO using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to create an Installation media. Make sure your BIOS settings allow you to boot from a USB. Plug in the USB and restart your PC.

On the restart, your PC will boot from the USB, and the installation process will start. The process is more or less the same. You will, however, be asked to choose the system drive and or if you want to format the drive.

This post shows how to clean install Windows 10 using a USB.

Read our Windows 10 review and become a ninja with these Windows 10 tips and tricks.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.