Windows 10 is here! Well, it’s here for a lot of people, but many of us still cannot download it until Microsoft says it’s OK.
You see, Microsoft plans to release Windows 10 in waves. That means even if your computer is ready, you won’t necessarily be able to download Windows 10 right away. Waiting, however, is for suckers.
Even if the Windows 10 install app still says it will “notify you when ready,” you can force Windows 7 or Windows 8 to start downloading the Windows 10 files (thanks to Reddit’s Windows 10 subreddit for helping us figure this out). We’ve laid out the instructions with screenshots to guide you through it.
First, navigate to “C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download” (you may need to replace C: with a different drive letter if you installed Windows elsewhere) and delete all the files there. This will give Windows Update a clean slate.
Open Windows Update by hitting the Windows key, typing “Windows Update” and clicking on it.
Open up the command prompt by hitting the Windows key and typing in cmd. Don’t hit enter. Right click and choose “Run as administrator.”
Type (but do not enter yet) “wuauclt.exe /updatenow” — this is the command to force Windows Update to check for updates.
Back in the Windows Update window, click “Check for updates” on the left hand side. It should say “Checking for updates…”
While this is happening, switch back to the command prompt and enter the command you already typed in.
You should now see Windows Update say that it is downloading Windows 10. Before you actually install it though, back everything up and make sure you’re ready.