Windows has been a popular operating system for PCs for decades now. If you’re in the market to purchase a new PC, or if you simply want to know whether your current machine is compatible with Windows, then check out these quick and easy tips. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than purchasing a top-of-the-line computer only to find out later that it cannot run the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship desktop operating system. These tips will reveal whether your PC is compatible with Windows and whether an upgrade (or replacement) is worth it. Keep reading for details on these 8 simple ways to detect if your PC can run Windows.
Windows 7 or Newer
Windows 7 has been available for PCs since 2009, making it nearly 5 years old at this point. As such, many users might want to upgrade to the newer version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. If your PC can run Windows 7, you can consider upgrading to the newer version of Windows. If your PC can’t run Windows 7, you cannot upgrade to Windows 10. So, if you want to take advantage of the newest OS version, you need to purchase a new PC running Windows 10. Microsoft has also stopped supporting Windows XP and Windows Vista. This means that these operating systems are no longer safe to run on your computer. If your computer can’t run Windows 7 or newer, then you won’t be able to upgrade to Windows 10. So, if you want to take advantage of the newest OS version, you need to purchase a new PC running Windows 10.
64-Bit OS Required
For many years, the vast majority of PCs ran on 32-bit versions of Windows. However, the latest version of Windows, Windows 10, is only available as a 64-bit operating system. 64-bit operating systems allow your computer to run larger amounts of data at once, making them ideal for users with high-end audio and video setups. If your PC runs a 32-bit version of Windows, you’ll need to upgrade to an OS that supports 64-bit. If your OS isn’t 64-bit compatible, it is possible to purchase an inexpensive upgrade that would allow you to run a 64-bit OS.
HDMI is a type of high-definition video connection that connects your computer to a TV or monitor. If your computer doesn’t have an HDMI port, then you won’t be able to hook up a high-definition TV. Luckily, there are many inexpensive HDMI adapters available that would allow you to connect older TVs. You’ll also want to make sure that your computer’s motherboard is natively compatible with HDMI. If it isn’t, you’ll need to purchase an HDMI adapter or motherboard before you install Windows.
Mouse and Keyboard Supported
If you plan to use a mouse and keyboard with your new PC, you’ll want to make sure that the ports are compatible. Most laptops have ports specifically designed for a USB mouse and keyboard. If your laptop lacks these ports, you’ll need to go out and purchase a new laptop. Windows 10 provides a helpful listing of available ports, so you can easily check if your PC has any that are compatible with a mouse and keyboard. On desktops, the ports on the back of the computer are the most common spots. On some computers, they are side-mounted, while on others they are on top of the computer. If your PC doesn’t have any available ports that are compatible with a mouse and keyboard, then you’ll need to go out and purchase a new one.
Network Connectivity Test
If your PC can’t connect to the Internet, you won’t be able to download Windows 10. This is a critical step if you want to take advantage of Windows 10 features such as the Cortana digital assistant, Microsoft Edge web browser, or Windows Store apps. To perform this test, you’ll need to access a computer that has an active Internet connection. This computer will be used as a “tracker” computer to ensure that the testing computer has a solid Internet connection. The test computer should have the following settings: Your Network Settings: Use the automatic detection method (auto-detect) with the checkbox for “Enable automatic detection of settings” unchecked. Your DNS Servers: You don’t need to change these settings.
Windows 8.1 or Newer
Windows 8.1 is the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. Like Windows 10, Windows 8.1 is available only as a 64-bit OS. If your computer was successfully running Windows 8 or newer, you have a few different options. You can upgrade to Windows 10 and enjoy the benefits of the latest OS version. Alternatively, you can purchase a new Windows 7 or 8.1 machine, and then perform a free upgrade to Windows 10. If your computer can’t run Windows 8.1, then you’ll be unable to upgrade to Windows 10. If you want to take advantage of the newest OS version, you need to purchase a new PC running Windows 10. Keep in mind that if you purchase a new PC, it is also beneficial to purchase a branded Windows 10 laptop or tablet. This way, you can quickly access the latest OS version, regardless of what computer you are using.
DirectX Version Test
DirectX is a software library that allows your computer to run 3D graphics. This is what makes your computer able to play computer games and run 3D applications like CAD. Many games have come out recently that only work with DirectX 11 or higher. If your computer does not support DirectX 11 or higher, you’ll be unable to run these games. To perform this test, you’ll need to access a computer with a stable Internet connection. This computer will be used as a “tracker” computer to ensure that the testing computer has a solid Internet connection. The test computer should have these settings: Your Network Settings: Use the automatic detection method (auto-detect) with the checkbox for “Enable automatic detection of settings” unchecked. Your IP Address: Your testing computer should have an IP address that is different from your home computer. Your DNS Servers: You don’t need to change these settings.
Windows 10 Clean Install
A clean install is exactly what it sounds like. You will completely reinstall Windows on your PC, and you will not be able to upgrade from previous versions. Problems can arise from an upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, so if you’re not comfortable upgrading and would prefer to take this route, it is a great option. A clean installation is the only way to guarantee that you will have access to all of the latest features and security updates in Windows 10.
If you’ve made it this far, congrats! You’ve completed the 8-step check to see if your PC can run Windows 10. If you’ve found any issues, or you’d simply prefer to purchase a new computer running Windows 10, you can stop here. If you want to know whether your PC can run Windows 7, you can easily check it. All you have to do is follow the 8-step check and see if your PC can run Windows 7.