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Windows 10 how-to: Ed Bott's free tech support and troubleshooting guide

A curated list of the best sites for support information about Windows 10.

Windows 10 upgrade: Survey finds half of users experience problems

Being a Windows expert doesn't mean you have to memorize every shortcut and secret. You just have to know where to find those details when you need them.

That's the point of this page, where I've collected the links I regularly use to find information and download tools and utilities. These include essential information, troubleshooting tools, and download sites, as well as some of my most popular FAQ pages and tips.

I update this page frequently. The most recent update was June 22, 2018.

ZDNet FAQs

How to install, reinstall, upgrade and activate Windows 10

Here's everything you need to know before you repair, reinstall, or upgrade Windows 10, including details about activation and product keys.

FAQ: How to manage Windows 10 updates

If you've spent years mastering the ins and outs of Windows Update, prepare to do some unlearning. Windows 10, with its emphasis on "Windows as a service," rewrites almost all the rules of updates and upgrades. Here's what you need to know.

Windows 10: You've got questions, I've got answers

A good starting point for anyone who's new to Windows 10. I cover what's included in the latest Windows 10 updates and address some common concerns about how Windows 10 works, including a long-running controversy over privacy.

Here's how you can still get a free Windows 10 upgrade

Microsoft's much-hyped free upgrade offer for Windows 10 ended in 2016, and the extension officially expired at the end of 2017. But you can still get a free digital license using these instructions.

How to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro for free

You've got a new PC running Windows 10 Home. You want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. Here's how to get that upgrade for free. All you need is a Pro/Ultimate product key from an older version of Windows.

Downloads and version information

Download Windows 10

This is the official download site for Windows 10, where you can update directly or use the Media Creation Tool to create an ISO or bootable USB flash drive.

Compare business features in Windows 10 editions

What's the difference between Windows 10 Enterprise, Windows 10 Pro, and Windows 10 in S Mode? This official page has a long, footnote-packed feature list.

Windows 10 release history (official)

Use this Microsoft-provided list to look up the availability date, OS build, and latest revision date for all currently supported Windows 10 versions. Scroll down for availability dates and links to KB articles for all cumulative updates.

Windows 10 version history (Wikipedia) (includes Insider Preview releases)

This long, independently curated page includes two large chunks of information not available on the official page: a history of Insider Preview releases for every Windows 10 version, and relse history for older Windows versions that are no longer supported.

Windows 10 update history

A well-organized index that includes details about every cumulative update for Windows 10, including improvements and fixes, known issues, and file information. Note that this link goes to the details for version 1803, but other versions are listed in the navigation pane on the left.

Microsoft Update Catalog

Don't be put off by the outdated design on this page. Use the search box to find any update (including device drivers) for any Windows 10 version, and then download a standalone installer package.

Troubleshooting tools

Windows Sysinternals Suite

Every would-be Windows expert should know about the Sysinternals utilities, which help you manage, troubleshoot and diagnose Windows systems and applications. The collection was originally created and is still maintained by Mark Russinovich.

Sysinternals Live

Execute any Sysinternals tool directly from the web by entering its path in Windows Explorer or at a command prompt.

Temporarily prevent a Windows Update from reinstalling in Windows 10

If a Windows update (including device drivers) is causing stability problems, you can prevent it from reinstalling automatically using the "Show or hide updates" troubleshooter package.

Windows Update troubleshooter

Use this downloadable utility to automatically repair some common causes of update issues in Windows 10. (This page also includes links for Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions of the tool.)

Documentation for IT pros

Windows 10 how-to and support

The official Windows 10 documentation (Microsoft Docs), aimed at IT pros, complete with extensive technical information. These pages are updated regularly to reflect the most recent feature updates.

Deploy and update Windows 10

Detailed documentation to help IT pros plan, test, and manage deployment of Windows 10 in enterprise scenarios.

Configure Windows 10

A grab bag of documentation covering features and methods to help configure or lock down specific parts of Windows 10.

Windows 10 Enterprise Security

For corporate customers, detailed information on security features built into Windows 10 Enterprise and Microsoft 365 E3 and E5.

Windows Privacy

How to view and configure Windows diagnostic data in an organization. Includes details about what Windows diagnostic data is collected at each setting, as well as a new section on GDPR compliance.

Troubleshooting Windows 10

Microsoft's top support solutions for common issues experienced when using Windows 10 in an enterprise or IT pro environment. Links include tools for dealing with update issue, bugchecks (the Blue Screen of Death), and installation/configuration errors.

Help and support resources

Support policies

Windows Insider Program

Windows Insider Program home

Visit this page to sign up for access to preview releases of Windows 10. You can use a Microsoft account or a corporate email address.

Flight Hub

This dashboard identifies the latest Windows Insider Preview releases for PC, Server, and IoT. You can also look up the status of the SDK and ISO images.

Windows Insider Preview Build Highlights

An index of new features, organized by the build number in which they debuted.

Windows Insider Preview ISO downloads

When new builds are available in the Slow ring, they'll appear here in ISO format, suitable for testing deployment scenarios.