Upgrading to Windows 7

If you are considering a Windows 7 upgrade, read this free lesson first to understand how to upgrade successfully.

Windows 7 requirements for upgrade

In order to run Windows 7, your PC must have the following:

Additional System Requirements may be needed to run certain features.

Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor

Microsoft is providing a tool called the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor so customers can determine if their PCs are able to run Windows 7. It is a good idea to download the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor before upgrading. It will analyze your computer's processor, memory, storage, graphics capabilities, and any other compatibility issues. If possible, it will also provide guidance for resolving issues.

Please note that you should plug in and connect all USB devices, printers, and external hard drives when running the Upgrade Advisor. This will provide the best analysis of your system.

Windows Experience Index

The Windows Experience Index is another indicator of how well your computer will respond to Windows 7. The Windows Experience Index tests your system and rates it with a score of between 1 and 7.9. The higher the score, the better your computer's performance. Some Windows 7 features, like Aero, need a score of at least 3 to run.

  1. To check your Windows Experience Index, click the Start Menu and select Computer. The Computer window will appear.
  2. Select System Properties in the button bar at the top of the screen. The System Window displays your computer's Windows Experience Index rating. It also shows other system info, including whether your computer has a 32-bit or 64-bit processor.
    Windows Experience Index RatingViewing System Properties
  3. Select the Windows Experience Index link to view the ratings of the individual computer components that are scored. The rating is determined by the lowest subscore.
    Windows Experience Index RatingExplanation of Windows Experience Index

In this case, a score of 4.3 should be sufficient to experience most of the new Windows 7 features. If your system scores lower than a 3, you may miss out on some of the digital media and graphics features, including Window's Aero.