April 2014 represented a very important deadline for the Windows world. As of that date, in fact, Windows XPAfter 13 years of honorable career, it is no longer officially backed by Microsoft and no longer receiving security updates. Then an extension was applied until the beginning of April 2019 regarding the POS version, but now that type of support has also been discontinued. This means that the beloved old XP must be urgently replaced with a newer version of the operating system. What? How? Let's try to find out together.

Below you will find everything you need to know about the procedure for update Windows XP a Windows 10, 8.1 and 7. I anticipate you: the steps to follow are not complex, but first you must perform some very important operations to ensure that your PC is compatible with the latest versions of the Microsoft operating system and that your data is safe

It may take some time to do everything, so proceed slowly. Take a few hours off and follow the instructions I'm going to give you. With a pinch of goodwill, you can surely switch from the old XP to a more updated version of the Microsoft operating system without requiring the intervention of the technician or your regular PC friend, I assure you. Now, though, just talk and get to work right away!

Preliminary operations

As mentioned above, before getting to the heart of the matter, we are going to discover, in concrete terms, what are the operations that must be performed in order to update Windows XPThere are some preliminary steps you must necessarily take: For more information, read on.

Make a backup of your data

The first thing I advise you to do is protect the files on your PC by doing a reserve of the data the most important thing of a HDD external, to guarantee the possibility of being able to access it at another time. If you don't know how to do it, you can clarify your ideas on what to do by reading my guides on how to transfer files to a HDD external and how to make a Backup of your data.

If, on the other hand, you don't have a external hard drive, you're going to buy one but want some advice on it first, I suggest you read my dedicated external drive buying guide.

Find Windows ISO Image

To upgrade Windows XP to a newer version of Microsoft operating system, you obviously need to worry about recover the ISO image the Windows version of your interest and your product key, indispensable for activation.

If you already have the installation disc operating system or pendrive with the ISO image of it, you don't have to do absolutely anything and you can go directly to read the next step. If, on the other hand, you do not have one or the other, you must buy and / or download the system image in advance.

In the specific case of Windows 10, you can download the tool Microsoft Media Creation Tool, which downloads the ISO image of the operating system itself and creates discs or DVDs for the installation of the operating system. You can find it by visiting this page and clicking the button Download the tool now. Obviously, you will need to be careful to activate the operating system with a valid product key, which can be buy online.

As for the Windows 8.1, the purchase, at least in the official Microsoft store, is no longer possible (since only the most recent version of the operating system is marketed), but if you already have the product key of the operating system, you can download, also in this case, the aforementioned tool that allows you to automatically download the ISO image of the operating system and create sticks or DVD to install it. To do this, visit this other web page and press the button Download the tool now.

Please note, in both Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, if you are visiting the pages that I have linked to you a little earlier from a non-Windows operating system (for example, macOS) or earlier than Windows 7 (such as in the case of Windows XP), instead of the tool to create supports for the installation of the operating system, you will be offered theISO Image BONE.

As far as he is concerned Windows 7, also in this case, the purchase of the operating system is no longer possible through the official Microsoft store, so the only thing you can do, if you already have the product key of the operating system, is to download the ISO image of this page on the Microsoft website. Then enter your product key in the appropriate text field at the bottom of the page, click the button Check and follow the instructions on the screen.

In this regard, please note that Windows 7 download is only possible if the product key refers to a copy retail of the operating system. In fact, it is currently not possible to continue the download if you have a license OEM that is, you have a copy of Windows already installed on your PC.

Configure BIOS

Another thing you should do before proceeding with Windows XP upgrade is configure BIOS so that the CD / DVD player or the USB port of your PC starts up first. Also, in case you are operating on a PC equipped with UEFI (instead of the old BIOS) and want to install a 7-bit version of Windows 32, you will also need to disable the feature Safe start and activate that instead Legacy bios.

To perform all the operations listed above, just follow the instructions on what to do that I provided in my dedicated tutorial on how to enter the BIOS.

How to upgrade Windows XP to Windows 10

After completing the preliminary steps above, I would say that you are finally ready to take real action. So if you want to find out How to upgrade Windows XP to Windows 10, you must first make sure that your PC complies with i minimum requirements to install the operating system: here they are.

  • processor: from 1 GHz or higher.
  • RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit Windows or 2 GB for 64-bit Windows.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for the 32-bit operating system or 20 GB for the 64-bit operating system.
  • Graphic card: DirectX 9 or later with the WDDM 1.0 driver.

After making sure your PC has all the credentials to support the new operating system, insert the PC into the CD / DVD player installation disc Windows 10 or connect clef to one of the free USB ports, turn on or restart your PC and run the boot from the drive that contains the operating system installation files.

If you do not yet have support to install the operating system, you must first create it. To do this, if you are using a PC with Windows 7 or a newer operating system installed, start the .exe file related to Microsoft Media Creation Tool you downloaded from the Microsoft website click the button yes in the window that is displayed on the screen and then press the button to accept.

Now, select the option Create installation media (flash drive USB, DVD or ISO file) for other pc and press the button siguiente, remove the check from the box Use the recommended options for this PC and select, from the drop-down menus on the screen, the correct configuration for language, edition y architecture of the system. Then click the button siguiente and choose whether to create one USB installation or a DVD selecting one of the available options.

If, on the other hand, you have directly downloaded the ISO image of the operating system, regardless of whether you are operating from the PC with Windows XP installed or not, you can burn the latter on a disc or you can create one USB with the system installation files, respectively following my guides on how Record ISO and how to burn ISO to USB.

Then wait for the screen to appear to start the installation of Windows 10, choose language, time and currency format y distribution of keyboard using the appropriate drop-down menus that are displayed and click the buttons siguiente y install.

At this point, write the product key Windows 10 in your possession (or choose to enter it later, by selecting the item I don't have a product key ), indicates the edition Windows 10 you want to install (if necessary) and press the button one more time siguiente. Then check the box related to the acceptance of terms of use of the software and click the button one more time siguiente.

Now you have to choose, by clicking on the appropriate items on the screen, if you want to make a update a copy of Windows XP or whether to make a custom install formatting the hard drive or installing the operating system on a partition. Then follow the provided instructions to start the procedure and wait for the Windows 10 installation to complete.

Then the Pc will reboot, after which you will have to stick to the simple initial setup procedure Windows 10 during which you can adjust various operating system settings as you see fit. For more details, check out my specific tutorial on how to install Windows 10.

How to upgrade Windows XP to Windows 8.1

You decided upgrade Windows XP to Windows 8.1 ? Then, first make sure that the PC on which you are going to install the new version of the operating system meets the minimum requirements for «run»The system correctly: here they are.

  • processor: 1 GHz or higher with support for PAE, NX and SSE2.
  • RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit Windows or 2 GB for 64-bit Windows.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit Windows or 20 GB for 64-bit Windows.
  • Graphic card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver.

After making sure your PC meets the above characteristics, insert the floppy or installation key Windows 8.1, restart your PC and run the boot the drive that contains the operating system settings.

If you don't have support to install Windows 8.1 yet, you should create it first. You can do this using a PC with Windows 7 or a later version of the installed Microsoft home operating system, starting the .exe file la Microsoft Media Creation Tool and following the wizard that is proposed, which is practically the same as that indicated in the previous step dedicated to Windows 10.

If you then downloaded the ISO image from the operating system directly, regardless of whether you are operating from the PC with Windows XP installed or not, you can perform the Quema on a disc, following the instructions in my guide on how to burn ISO or you can create one USB with the Windows 8 installation files, following the instructions in my tutorial on how to burn ISO to USB.

Once the Windows 8.1 installation procedure has started, select the language the operating system using the appropriate dropdown menus and press the buttons siguiente y install. At this point, write the product key of your copy of Windows in the appropriate field and click the button again siguiente. Then check the box next to the wording I accept the license conditions. a and click the button again siguiente.

Now, you have to choose if you want to install Windows 8.1 by updating your copy of Windows XP by clicking on the item refresh, or if you want to install the operating system by formatting the hard disk of the PC, clicking on the item custom. In both cases, wait for device settings and follow the initial setup procedure Windows 8.1 For more information, I invite you to consult my guide on how to install Windows 8.

How to upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7

However, if you want upgrade Windows XP to Windows 7The minimum requirements that must be met are the following.

  • processor: 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) 1 GHz or higher.
  • RAM: 1 GB for 32-bit Windows or 2 GB for 64-bit Windows.
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit Windows or 20 GB for 64-bit Windows.
  • Graphic card: DirectX 9 with WDDM driver 1.0 or later.

If your PC meets the above minimum requirements, insert the installation diskette or key Windows 7, restart your PC and run the boot the drive that contains the operating system settings.

If you don't already have the support to install Windows 7, you can create it yourself Quema the image to disk, as I explained to you in my tutorial on how to burn ISOo write the files needed to install the system in one pendrive, as I stated in my guide on how to burn ISO to USB.

In the specific case of creating the USB flash drive for the installation of the operating system, if you are using a PC with Windows 7 or a later version of Windows installed, you can use Windows USB / DVD Download Tool, a tool provided directly by Microsoft that allows you to create USB flash drives with the image of the operating system.

To download it, go to the program's website. and click the button Download. So check the rumor Windows7-USB-DVD-Download-Tool-Installer-in-en.exe to get the Italian version of the program and click on the button siguiente.

When the download is complete, open the .exe file obtained and, in the window that opens, click on the buttons siguiente, install y ends. If you see a warning about downloading . Net Framework 2.0, you accept the thing, since it is a fundamental component for the operation of the program.

Then start the Windows USB / DVD Download Tool by double clicking on it link added to desktop and click the button yes in the window that opens. Then click the button Surf, select the Windows 7 ISO image, press the button siguiente and click the button for the first USB device (making sure to choose the unit related to the key of your interest) and then on that copy.

Once the installation of the operating system has started, click on the button siguiente and then on that installselect (if necessary) the edition Windows 7 you want to use and press the button again siguiente. Then check the box I accept the license conditions. and click once more on the button siguiente.

At this point, choose format the disk on which Windows XP is currently installed and click the buttons siguiente y good to begin the actual installation of the system. Finally, follow the wizard for the first start Windows 7 by providing and configuring your user account. If you think you need more explanations about it, read my article dedicated specifically to how to install Windows 7.

How to update Windows XP Services Pack 3

Not interested in upgrading Windows XP to another version of Windows, but would like to know how to proceed with downloading Service package that is, free updates that Microsoft has released over time to improve its operating system?

Well, as I told you at the beginning of the post, compatibility with Windows XP has ended, so the download of the SP is no longer possible through Windows Update, the system integrated into the Windows operating system to download the latest available updates. However, you can download the Service Pack 3, the latest available for XP, directly from the Microsoft website and install it independently.

To do this, go to this page on the Microsoft website, make sure the drop-down menu in the center has the one selected Italian as language (otherwise please provide) and click the button Download.

When the download is complete, open the .exe file proceed click on the button race in the window that opens on the screen and press the button siguiente. Then select the article I agree, click on the button again siguiente and then on that final. Once this is done, the PC will restart.

The next time you start the system, you can make sure that SP3 is actually installed by clicking Start button (the one who has Windows flag ) located in the lower left of the taskbar right-clicking the entry My PC located on the right side of the menu that opens, selecting the item your property from the context menu and checking that the wording is present Service Pack 3 in the section work of the card general in the window that opened.