If your computer is running Windows 7, it is likely that it will also run Windows 10. Both operating systems have the same hardware requirements. Any new PC you buy or build will almost certainly run Windows 10 as well.

You can still upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 for free. If you’re on the edge, we recommend taking advantage of this offer before Microsoft stops supporting Windows 7.

Windows 10 system requirements are (almost) the same as Windows 7

Here are the Windows 10 hardware requirements, straight from Microsoft:

  • CPU : 1 GHz or faster
  • RAM : 1 GB for 32-bit Windows or 2 GB for 64-bit Windows
  • HDD : 32 GB or more
  • video card : DirectX 9 compatible or later with WDDM 1.0 driver

The requirements of Windows 7 made a decade earlier are the same, although Windows 10 needs a bit more hard drive space. Windows 7 requires 16 GB of disk space for 32-bit systems or 20 GB for 64-bit systems. The system requirements for Windows 8 are the same as for Windows 7.

In other words, if your computer is running Windows 7 or 8 today, Windows 10 should be running on it — assuming it doesn’t have a tiny hard drive.

To check how much internal memory your Windows 7 computer has, open Windows Explorer and look under Computer.

Windows 7 computer panel with local drive.

These are the minimum system requirements

To be clear, these are the minimum requirements. We don’t recommend running Windows 10 on an underpowered computer that just meets this minimum scale, but we also don’t recommend running Windows 7 on such a system.

For example, although a 32 GB drive has enough space to install the Windows 10 operating system, you will need more space to install programs and download files.

And while a 1 GHz CPU and 1 GB of RAM can technically run Windows 10 32-bit, modern programs and even modern websites can struggle to run well. This is true for Windows 7 as well.

If your computer can run Windows 7, it can probably run Windows 10. If Windows 7 and your apps are slow on your system, expect the same from Windows 10.

Windows 10 may even be faster than Windows 7

It’s worth noting that Windows 10 may even be faster in some respects. For example, recent versions of Windows 10 include a better, faster fix for the Specter flaw. If you have an older processor, it will run slower on Windows 7, which has a less complex Specter patch that slows your system down even more.

Windows 10 also has a lot of work that has been going on for a decade since the release of Windows 7. For example, Microsoft designed Windows 8 to use less RAM than Windows 7. Fast Startup, enabled by default, can make your computer boot faster.

The base operating system may need more disk space, but this has been simplified. This is no different with Windows Vista: Windows 10 was designed to run well on Windows 8 PCs, while Windows 8 was designed to run well on Windows 7 PCs.

You can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free

Windows 10 installer to Windows 7 background image.

If you’re using Windows 7, you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free. All you need is a valid Windows 7 (or 8) key and you can install a properly licensed, activated version of Windows 10.

We recommend that you take advantage of this before Microsoft ends support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. Upgrading to Windows 10 means your PC will continue to receive security updates. Without an update, only companies that pay for expensive support contracts can receive .

CONNECTED: You can still get Windows 10 for free with a Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 key

Consider Buying a New PC

If you’re worried that your PC can’t run Windows 10 properly and you’re still running Windows 7, consider purchasing a new PC. Modern computers have faster processors, faster storage, better graphics hardware, and better battery life than older systems.

If you’re looking for a budget laptop or desktop PC that won’t break the bank, there are plenty of great options out there that won’t break the bank. If your Windows 7 system has served you for many years, there’s a good chance your new PC will do the same.

RELATED: 5 of our favorite laptops under $500

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