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6 Oct 2014

How to download and install the Windows 10 Technical Preview


Windows 10 Technical Preview download pageMicrosoft, right on schedule, has made the windows 10 Technical Preview avaliable to download.
There are 64-bit and 32-bit versions available for US English, Real English, Chinese, and Brazilian Portuguese. Follow these instructions to download and install the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
Updated: I have just completed upgrading Windows 8.1 Pro to Windows 10 Technical Preview. The upgrade appears to have worked cleanly. I haven’t spotted any issues yet, but will run a full suite of tests now.

My first Windows 10 Technical Preview screenshot, showing Photoshop and the new Start menu

Be prepared

As always with beta/preview software, you shouldn’t install it unless you’re fully prepared. This means you should back up any important files, and ideally you should have a separate hard drive/partition to install the Technical Preview on. You cannot revert from Windows 10 Technical Preview to Windows 7 or Windows 8; if you have second thoughts, you will have to reinstall from scratch.

Download the Windows 10 Technical Preview

To begin, head on over to preview.windows.com and join the Windows Insider Program. This only takes a few clicks if you already have a Microsoft account.
You then need to download the appropriate installation file (an ISO) for your system. This is probably the 64-bit (x64) version — though if you have an older system, or you want to test out the 32-bit version, grab the 32-bit download instead. The download will probably take quite a while: the 64-bit ISO comes in at 4GB.
Note down your license key (though you will be able to visit the page later, too).
windows 10 technical preview, burning to USB
With the ISO fully downloaded, you then need to transfer it to either a USB thumb drive (preferred) or burn it to a DVD. If you have Windows 8/8.1, burning a DVD is fairly easy — you can do it directly in Explorer. For burning an ISO image to a USB thumb drive, the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool is probably still your best bet.
If you want to install a fresh version of Windows 10 Technical Preview, reboot your computer, boot from the USB stick/DVD drive, and follow the on-screen prompts  (use “Advanced” mode when prompted). If you want to upgrade an existing version of Windows 7 or 8/8.1, just run setup.exe from the USB/DVD drive from Explorer.
Do read the next section before you go ahead with the install, though.
Screenshot from the Windows 10 Technical Preview upgrade client (in Windows 8.1)
Screenshot from the Windows 10 Technical Preview upgrade client (in Windows 8.1)
Screenshot from the Windows 10 Technical Preview upgrade client (in Windows 8.1)
Screenshot from the Windows 10 Technical Preview upgrade client (in Windows 8.1)

Caveats and other options

Windows 8 running in VirtualBoxAs far as we’re aware, you can upgrade your existing Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 installation to the Windows 10 Technical Preview. I would advise you to do a clean installation of the Technical Preview, however, on a separate partition or hard drive, in case something messes up. The Technical Preview license expires at the end of April 2015, but another Preview build will be released before then. Other potential caveats/pitfalls can be found on the Windows 10 Technical Preview FAQ.
Another option is installing Windows 10 Technical Preview in VirtualBox — our instructions for how to do it with Windows 8 should work for Windows 10, but we haven’t tested it yet.
Again, do not proceed unless you know what you’re doing: This is a very early build of Windows.

Now read: Windows 10 Technical Preview, hands on (or just watch the video below)


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