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How to Prepare Your Tablet for Windows 10

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How to Prepare Your Tablet for Windows 10

Microsoft has finally released its much anticipated next generation operating system upon the world, and users everywhere are currently patiently (or not so patiently) waiting to receive their update.  Unlike past versions of Windows, there is no separate version designed for tablets or smartphones.  There is only one version of Windows now, and Microsoft plans to roll this operating system out to devices over the coming weeks.  This means that your Windows tablet could be in line to receive Windows 10 sometime in the very near future.  But you want to be ready.  Today, let’s take a look at how you can prepare your tablet for Windows 10 so you are ready for the upgrade when it comes to your device.

When Will It Be Available

Officially, Windows 10 was released to everyone this past Wednesday on July 29, but that doesn’t mean you can download it right away.  There are billions of devices waiting to receive the update from Microsoft, so the company is staggering the release in order to make sure their servers don’t choke to death under the heavy load.

At the same time, Microsoft is also making the operating system available for computers running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 first, with members of the Windows Insider Program being the first to receive it.  Tablets running Windows 8.1 are a little farther down on the list.  That means that you will have to wait a bit longer before receiving the update although there has been no official word as of yet on how long you will have to wait.  Of course, that just gives you a little more time to get your tablet ready for the impending update that will be headed to you before you know it.

Windows 10 Cost

With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has departed from its traditional model and has offered the operating system for free for all devices running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.  That means that your tablet running Windows 8.1 could be set for the upgrade at no cost to you.  But there are a few requirements that you need to be aware of before you get too excited about the upcoming release.

Hardware Requirements

There are a few hardware requirements that you will need to check on before you can upgrade to Windows 10 on your tablet.  They are:

32-Bit Systems

  • 1 GHz Processor or better
  • 1 GB of RAM
  • 16 GB of Free Storage Space
  • DirectX 9 Compatibility

64-Bit Systems

  • 1 GHz Processor or better
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 20 GB Hard Drive Space
  • DirectX 9 Compatibility

If you are running a budget tablet that does not meet these requirements, unfortunately the Windows 10 update will not be available to you.  All is not lost, however.  Microsoft will continue to support Windows 8.1 for quite some time and you can expect that apps will continue to be released that will work quite well on both Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

Windows RT

If you have a device that is running Windows RT, unfortunately this update is not for you.  For now you will have to live with the existing version of Windows RT.  Microsoft hasn’t forgotten about you, though.  While you won’t ever receive Windows 10, Microsoft is working on a new version of Windows RT that features an interface with a start menu much like Windows 10.  Still, if you are running RT, start preparing yourself for an upgrade in the next year or two.  Microsoft is basically abandoning RT in favor of their new software model.  So, after this latest update, I wouldn’t expect too much from them in the way of upgrades outside of security updates.

Prepare Your Tablet for the Upgrade

Before you try to install the upgrade to Windows 10, there are a few things you should do ahead of time to prepare for the update.  Why do you need to bother?  By simply taking a few steps before you upgrade, you can greatly increase the chances of a successful and fast upgrade and limit the possibility of running into some unknown problem that could stop the update in its tracks.

Remove All Unused Apps

Before you do anything else, it is time to take inventory of the apps you have installed on your tablet.  If you are like me and thousands of other users, chances are there are some apps installed that you simply never use.  If you don’t use them, why keep them?  All they do is take up valuable space on your tablet.  This space you could need in order to get the Windows 10 update.

Clear Out Old Data

Just like your old apps, you should take the time to go through and delete any old data, music files, video files, etc. that you no longer use.  All of these files can be taking up a substantial amount of storage space on your tablet.  Tablets don’t have anywhere near as much storage as PC’s do, meaning you will need as much room as you can get on there if you want to be able to download and install the new update.

Backup Your Data

Once you have cleared out the apps and data you no longer need, go ahead and back up the data that is important to you.  If something does go wrong during the upgrade, you could lose that data forever.  Before you run any type of upgrade, go ahead and backup your data by moving it to cloud storage services such as Dropbox or copy it to a microSD card or even a USB hard drive.  While this does take a bit of time on your part, if you do run into problems during the upgrade, you will be glad you did.

Run a Virus Scan

Viruses can cause all kinds of strange problems with your tablet, especially during a major upgrade such as Windows 10.  Before you make the move to Windows 10, run a virus scan and even a malware scan on your device and clean out anything that shouldn’t be there.  This will not only help you during the upgrade, but could improve your performance and increase the security of your tablet in the process.

Run All Windows Updates

Not everyone keeps Windows Updates set to automatic, although you should.  Having the latest Windows updates always ensures that your tablet is completely up to date with all the latest bug fixes and security patches.  Before any upgrade will run on your tablet, it will have to already be updated with all the latest patches from Microsoft for Windows 8.1.  So, one evening before you go to bed, take the time to visit Microsoft Update to update your copy.  This will ensure that your tablet is prepared with all the latest software from Microsoft when it is your turn in the upgrade line.

Sign Up for the Update

I should mention that in order for you to receive your free upgrade, you will need to sign up for it.  This will reserve your place in line for the update so the sooner you do it, the better.  To sign up all you need to do is go to the desktop on your tablet and look in the taskbar for a small Windows icon.  This is the notification that Windows 10 is here and by tapping on it you can go through the sign up process that will check your tablet and let you know if you are eligible.  If you are, it will then place you in line for the upgrade.

Reboot Your Tablet

Most mobile users rarely reboot their tablets.  I know I am guilty of not rebooting.  Remember, they are essentially a small hand held computer.  This means that like their bigger PC siblings, a good reboot is always a good idea every now and then.  Before the upgrade, try rebooting your tablet on occasion to make sure it is running in the best shape it can when Microsoft rolls the update out to you.

Keep It Charged

It would be a shame for your upgrade time to come when you don’t have any battery life on your tablet.  While I’m not saying plug it in and leave it until you get the upgrade, don’t let it sit with no battery power or, worse, completely dead for any length of time.  This could delay the upgrade for you making you wait even longer.  Instead, go ahead and use it just like you would normally.  But when you put it down, take the five seconds to plug it into its charger so your tablet stays on and has enough battery power to allow the upgrade to commence.


A Little Work Now Can Save You A lot Later

Simply by following this list, you can save a lot of time later when the upgrade is finally ready for your tablet.  I recommend just following this list like it was a checklist, checking off each step as you complete it.  In most cases, you can accomplish everything on this list in one evening on your tablet, depending on how many files you have and how long it takes for your virus scan and Windows update to run.  Still, all of this should be done before you even consider upgrading your tablet.  That way, you can make sure your tablet has the space it needs, your files are safe, and your tablet is running in the best condition that it can so your upgrade process is relatively quick and painless.

Final Thoughts

Windows 10 is finally here and it is most definitely a far superior operating system when compared to Windows 8.1.  In my opinion, if your tablet is compatible with Windows 10, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t upgrade.  Windows 10 provides the best of what Windows 7 and Windows 8 had to offer and combines them in a package that will run seamlessly across all devices.  Once you upgrade your PC, you will essentially be running the same operating system across all of your devices.  What is there not to love about that?

However, you want to be prepared for the update.  Once you have checked to make sure your tablet is compatible with the new upgrade, you need to take the proper steps to ensure that the upgrade itself will run smoothly.  By taking a few steps to ensure the safety of your data and by making sure that your tablet is in the best possible shape it can be, you can greatly increase your chances of a quick upgrade success and you can reduce the risk of failure during the update process.

Windows 10 is by far one of the best operating systems I have ever used, and tablet users everywhere will love how easily it functions with just a simply tap of your finger.  While tablet users will have to wait just a little longer before it rolls out to their devices, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go ahead and prepare it ahead of time for this major release from Microsoft.  In the end, you will be glad you did as you will find the upgrade process to run much more smoothly than you could have ever hoped and in no time, you will be running the latest software provided by Microsoft to the world.