XDA Basics: How to install Windows 10 on a new PC
If you’ve assembled a new PC or bought one without an operating system, you may be wondering about the process of installing Windows on it. Thankfully, over the years, installing Windows has become quite easy. All you need is access to a USB drive and a Windows computer with an internet connection. If you don’t have either of those two things, then your best bet is getting a Windows 10 USB from Microsoft.
In this guide, we’ll explain how to create a bootable Windows 10 USB and using it to install the operating system on a new computer. Before going any further, make sure that your new computer meets the system requirements for Windows 10. Also, if you want to run Windows 10 on an Apple Silicon Mac, we’ve got a guide for that as well.
Let’s start by creating a bootable Windows 10 USB. You’ll need a USB drive with at least 8GB of space on it. You can also use a DVD to create the installation media but a USB is just easier.
How to create the Windows 10 installation media
If you already have a Windows 10 installation USB drive, then you can skip these steps and head directly over to the How to install Windows 10 section.
- Download the official tool to create the Windows 10 installation media by heading over to Microsoft’s website.
- Run the tool to get the Windows 10 installation media ready. You’ll get two options — choose “Create installation media for another PC.”
- Select the edition, language, and architecture of Windows 10 that you want to install.
- You’ll then be asked whether you want to use a USB or create an ISO file. Choose “USB flash drive”.
- Wait for the tool to finish copying Windows 10 installation files. Depending on your internet speed, it may take some time.
- After the process is done, you’re ready to install Windows 10 on your new PC.
How to install Windows 10
- Insert the Windows 10 installation USB into your new computer and switch it on. If your computer doesn’t directly boot to the USB drive, you’ll need to modify the boot order in the UEFI/ BIOS settings. To enter these settings, you’ll need to press the manufacturer key right after booting the system. Typically, it’ll be one of these keys – Esc, Delete, F1, F2, F10, F11, or F12. You can also search online to find the right key for your PC or carefully look at the first boot screen to identify it. The documentation that came with your computer or your motherboard (in case you assembled it) will include details about getting into the UEFI/ BIOS settings.
- Once you are in the UEFI/ BIOS settings, navigate to the boot section and change the order to take your installation USB drive to the top. Now save the settings and exit. Your computer will now automatically start using the new boot order and the Windows 10 setup will kick off. Some computers, depending on the motherboard manufacturer, may allow you to directly select the boot order without jumping around in the UEFI/ BIOS settings.
- Once in the Windows setup, select the language, time and currency format, and keyboard details. Click on ‘Next’ to continue.
- Then, click on ‘Install Now’ to begin the actual installation.
- Windows Setup will now ask you to activate Windows by entering a product key. If you’ve already purchased Windows 10, enter the key, otherwise click on “I don’t have a product key” to move forward. You can activate Windows after the installation. But if you don’t provide a product key, the setup will ask you to choose which Windows 10 version you want to install. Pick the one you’re planning to buy as you won’t be able to change it later.
- In the next step, the installer will ask you to choose the type of installation you want – Upgrade or Custom. Since this is the first time you’re installing Windows on this computer, choose ‘Custom’ and click ‘Next’ to continue.
- On the next screen, you’ll have to select the hard drive on which you’re going to install Windows. Most people here will just get one hard drive, but if your computer includes two hard drives, select the one on which you want Windows to be installed on. Rule of thumb is to select the faster one if you have multiple hard drives. At this stage, you can also create multiple disk partitions on your computer if you want. If you do end up creating multiple partitions, select the one on which you want to install Windows and click on ‘Next’ to continue.
- Windows 10 will now install itself. It may restart a few times. In between, it will ask you to customize some settings. Select what’s right for you.
- Once the installation is done, your computer will reboot. Remove the installation USB and you’re good to go.
This was a quick guide to help you install Windows 10 on your new PC. If you’re planning to mess around with your Android phone’s firmware, do check our guide on how to install ADB on your Windows PC. Also feel free to explore our top picks from the laptops that come with Windows Hello facial recognition.
If you used this guide to install Windows 10 on your PC, let us know about your experience in the comments section.