If you’ve just purchased a new PC, it is likely running either Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Pro. While these two versions of Windows will help you accomplish the same everyday computing tasks, Windows 10 Pro is slightly more advanced and more expensive at $200.
It exclusively features encryption features like Bitlocker, and the ability to use Remote desktop to sign in from a PC while on the road. Other features in Windows 10 Pro include the ability to join a Domain or Azure Active Directory, and access company apps through the Microsoft Store. These features are all absent from the $140 Windows 10 Home. While all these features might not be for the average consumer, more technical-savvy users might want to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro to enjoy these.
Luckily, if you’re wanting to switch from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft makes it very easy.
Step 1: Check your Windows version
Before getting started with upgrading, you should check to see which version your PC is running. To do so, head to the search box in the Windows 10 Taskbar, or click on the Start Menu. Next, type in About.
In the list of results that appear, click on About Your PC. This should launch a settings window. Scroll down to the bottom portion of the screen, and check under Windows Specifications. There, you should see which version of Windows you’re running. If it lists Windows 10 Pro, then there will be no need to upgrade. If not, proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Click to upgrade
Next up, in that same window, click on Change product key or upgrade your edition of Windows. This should then open up the Activation settings page. You’ll now see two ways to upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro.
If you’ve already purchased a Windows 10 Pro product key, you can click on Change Product Key and simply enter your key to upgrade. Windows will check the key against Microsoft servers. If it validates, your computer will download some of the required files for Windows 10 Pro, prompt you to reboot and then switch you into the new version of the operating system.
Step 3: Purchase a product key
If you don’t already have a Windows 10 Pro product key, you can purchase a one-time upgrade from the built-in Microsoft Store in Windows. Simply click the Go to the Store link to open the Microsoft Store.
Through the Microsoft Store, a one-time upgrade to Windows 10 Pro will cost $99. You can pay with a credit or debit card linked to your Microsoft Account.
Step 4: Restart your PC
Once you purchase, the store will download the required files, and you’ll have to restart your PC to see the change to Windows 10 Pro. Once it boots up, the new features granted with Pro should be all yours to play with.
It should be noted that while a $99 upgrade to Windows 10 Pro seems like a good way to go if you’re building a PC, it will end up being more costly. It will be slightly more expensive to purchase Windows 10 Home and then upgrade to Windows 10 Pro later on. Windows 10 Home is the standalone price of $140, and adding in a $100 Windows 10 Pro Upgrade brings the price up to $240. On its own, Windows 10 Pro retails for $200. This should all be taken into consideration when you’re thinking about upgrading to Pro.