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HP PCs - Installing the latest version of Windows 10

New Windows 10 versions are delivered to your computer through Windows Update. Learn what happens if Windows installs the update automatically, and find information for manually installing the update.

For more information about new features in Windows 10, see The Best Windows Ever Keeps Getting Better from Microsoft (in English).

Windows Update requires a minimum amount of free space on the hard drive to install the latest update. You might be prompted to connect external storage to complete the update. See HP PCs - Resolving Low Disk Space Errors (Windows 10, 8) for steps to free additional storage space on your hard drive.

For business computers, operating system installation might be managed at the IT level and might not be available to install a later version of Windows. To confirm, contact your company's IT department or your local IT service.

Automatically installing Windows 10

Windows Update can automatically install a new Windows 10 version to your computer.


Windows allows you to reset the update schedule up to five days later. However, you can only use this reschedule option once.

  1. The first time you use your computer during the day, the sign-in screen opens.

  2. After you sign in, a screen opens with a Hi message, followed by a series of screens that show the progress of the installation.

  3. When the installation completes, a Let's start screen displays, and then your desktop opens.

    The Windows 10 version has successfully installed.

Performing a manual installation of Windows 10

If you do not want to wait for Windows to automatically download a new Windows 10 version, use Windows Update to install it manually.

  1. Using the search box on the taskbar, search for and open Windows Update.

  2. Click Check for updates. The download begins and the download progress displays as a percentage.

  3. When the download completes, click Restart now.


    If you do not want to restart your PC immediately, Windows 10 restarts automatically during inactive hours to complete the installation.

    When your computer restarts, the update configures.

Installing Windows 10 from a USB drive using Media Creation Tool

You can install Windows 10 from a USB drive using the Media Creation Tool.

Creating the installation media to download Windows 10

Download the Media Creation Tool and create the installation media.


You can run the Media Creation Tool and create the Windows installation media on any computer.

  1. Go to the Microsoft Download Windows 10 webpage (in English).

  2. Click Download tool now to download the file MediaCreationTool.exe.

  3. Accept the license terms.

    License terms screen with Accept selected
  4. Select Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC, and then click Next.

    What do you want to do? screen with Create installation media for another PC selected
  5. Select the language, edition, and architecture (64-bit or 32-bit) for the Windows 10 installation, and then click Next.

    Select language, architecture, and edition
  6. Insert a blank USB drive (16 GB or larger is recommended), select USB flash drive, and then click Next.

    Choose which media to use screen with USB flash drive selected
  7. Select the USB flash drive, and then click Next.

    Selecting a USB flash drive and clicking Next
  8. After the Media Creation Tool finishes writing the Windows installation media on the USB drive, click Finish.

    Clicking Finish on the Your USB flash drive is ready window

Installing Windows 10 on your computer

Windows 10 Setup allows you to do a clean installation of Windows 10 (erases all data) or to keep your personal files and apps. HP still recommends backing up all data in the event of any data loss.


If you are prompted to supply the Windows 10 product key, type the product key, and then click Next.


If your computer has less than 128 GB of free hard drive space, you are prompted to connect a USB hard drive to continue with the installation. Use a blank USB hard drive 32 GB or larger. When the installation is complete, Windows 10 Upgrade copies the windows.old file to the USB hard drive. Keep this file on the USB hard drive. The file is required if you decide to go back to the previous operating system.

  1. Insert the Windows installation USB drive into the computer.

  2. Open the USB drive in File Explorer, and then double-click the setup file.

    If a User Account Control window displays, click Yes.

  3. When the Get important updates window opens, select Download and install updates (recommended), and then click Next.

    License terms screen with Accept selected
  4. Accept the license terms.

    What do you want to do? screen with Create installation media for another PC selected
  5. In the Choose what to keep window, select what you want to keep, and then click Next.

    • Keep personal files and apps: Keeps all your personal files, settings, and apps.

    • Keep personal files only: Keeps your personal files, but no settings or apps.

    • Nothing: Keeps nothing and erases all data.

    Choosing to keep personal files and apps or personal files on the Choose what to keep window
  6. In the Ready to install window, click Install.

    The installation begins.

    During the installation process, your computer restarts several times. Do not turn off your computer or interrupt the installation process. If the sign-in window displays, sign in to your account.

    Ready to install screen with Install selected

Completing setup and signing in to Windows 10 (clean installation only)

If you have completed a clean installation of Windows and kept nothing, navigate the setup experience with the help of Cortana. If you chose to keep your personal files and apps, you do not need to set up Windows 10 again.

  1. When the Cortana introductory screen displays, you can choose to use Cortana voice recognition (if your computer has a working microphone) or your keyboard and mouse to complete the setup.

    If you do not want to use Cortana, click the speaker icon in the lower right corner, and then mute the volume.

    Cortana introductory screen
  2. When the Let's start with region. Is this right? screen displays, select your region, and then click Yes.

  3. When the Is this the right keyboard layout? screen displays, select your keyboard layout, and then click Yes.

  4. When the Want to add a second keyboard layout? screen displays, click Add layout and follow the on-screen instructions to add another keyboard layout, or click Skip to continue without a second keyboard layout.

  5. When the Let's connect you to a network screen displays, select the network you want to connect to, and then click Connect and type your network user name and password, or click Skip for now to continue without connecting to a network.

  6. On the Sign in with Microsoft screen, type your email, phone, or Skype name in the text field, or create an account, and then click Next.

    Sign in with Microsoft screen with text field highlighted and Next selected
  7. Type your password in the text field, and then click Next.

    Type your password screen with text field highlighted and Next selected
  8. If you see a Call us overprotective screen requesting an additional method of account verification, select the way you want to verify the account, and then click Next.

  9. Read the options displayed on each screen, select the options you want, and then follow the on-screen instructions to continue.

  10. When the Choose privacy settings for your device screen displays, select the options you want, and then click Accept.

    Choose privacy settings for your device screen with Accept selected

The installation completes, and the desktop opens.

Deleting Windows 10 installation files to regain storage space

The Go Back feature, which allows you to reinstall a previous version of Windows, is available for 10 days after upgrading to Windows 10 (or updating Windows 10 to a new version). The Windows installation files occupy a large amount of hard drive storage space during that time. The files are deleted automatically after 10 days. However, you can delete them manually if you want to free up storage space before then.


After deleting the files, the Go Back feature is no longer available for restoring a previous version of Windows.

  1. Using the search box on the taskbar, search for and open Disk Cleanup.

    Windows search for Disk Cleanup
  2. Select the hard drive where the Windows installation files are stored (usually C:), and then click OK.

    Disk Cleanup window with the C: drive selected
  3. When the Disk Cleanup window opens, click Clean up system files.

    Clean up system files
  4. Select the hard drive where the Windows installation files are stored (usually C:), and then click OK.

    Wait while Disk Cleanup scans the drive for system files that can be deleted.

  5. Select Previous Windows installation(s) and Temporary Windows installation files, and then click OK to start the cleanup.

  6. Click Delete Files.

    When the disk cleanup is complete, more free space is available on the computer hard drive.

Resolving Windows 10 issues with HP Recovery Manager

If your computer shipped with Windows 10 preinstalled at the factory, HP Recovery Manager might not work with the latest update.


The HP Recovery Manager program is part of the original hard drive image on HP computers released before 2018. It can be used to recover the operating system from files stored in a partition on the hard drive without needing recovery media. It can also be used to create a personalized recovery disc or USB drive for a specific computer.

A Can’t open file: X:\sources\Recovery\tools\HP\Rita-tool\ message might display if you attempt to open HP Recovery Manager using either of the following methods:

  • Pressing the F11 key, clicking Troubleshoot, and then selecting HP Recovery Manager.

    - or -

  • Searching for and selecting HP Recovery Manager, and then clicking Windows Recovery Environment.

To resolve the issue, download and install HP Recovery Manager Update.


When you click the link, the file is downloaded using your internet browser download capabilities.






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