I have Windows 7 installed for a long time and would like to make a fresh start. I have purchased a Windows 10 update for my Windows 7.

I see now two options:

  1. Make a factory reset of my notebook to Windows 7. Then update to Windows 10.
  2. Windows 10 media tool offers the option to leave "nothing" on disk (delete files, apps, settings) during the update from my current Win 7.

Both options seem equivalent, but option 2 would be less work. My question is, is option 2 really a "fresh" start or are old Windows files and potential problems I am having kept (remember my current OS has been runing for long)? If no, option 1 may be better.

  • Best always being relevant, my personal preference is always a fresh install. Windows 10 upgrades are generally pretty painless but generally a cleaner install just feels a little fresher and lets you ensure the application you use are all there, old useless apps are gone, and everything is up to date (For example perhaps try Skype for 10 instead of the classic app_ – Austin T French Sep 3 '17 at 16:02

I think the best way is a fresh installation of Windows 10 after the upgrade from Windows 7. After upgrading to Windows 10 once, you can reinstall Windows 10 whenever you want, it will always be activated automatically because of the digital license on the Microsoft servers. I would go on like this:

  1. Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10
  2. Check if activation of Windows 10 was successful
  3. If you don't have one -> create or download Windows 10 ISO
  4. Install Windows 10 from disk / usb-key and format C: during installation

Now you have a fresh, clean and activated Windows 10 installation.

  • I did step 1 as you suggested. I did not know I'd have a license for full win 10 now. How can I check this? – tomka Sep 5 '17 at 8:19
  • The license for Win 10 is also stored on (U)EFI, if you have a computer with it. No need to reactivate it after the first install. – FarO Sep 5 '17 at 8:29
  • @tomka You can check the state of activation at Settings > UPDATE & SECURITY > Activation. – mosesdd Sep 5 '17 at 9:10
  • @raz0r it says it's activated. So this means I have a license to full win10 now even though I purchased only an update to my win 7 OEM ? Can I use the same activation code I used for the upgrade? – tomka Sep 5 '17 at 13:58
  • If it says it's activated everything is fine and you have a full Windows 10 now. If the activation window says that Windows was activated by a digital license you don't have to use the activation code again. You can (re)install Windows 10 now without the key, it will always be automatically activated on this hardware. For more information have a look on this article: support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12440/windows-10-activation – mosesdd Sep 5 '17 at 14:27

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