If you need to install or reinstall Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10, you can go to the software download website and create your own installation media using either a USB flash drive or a DVD.
It's a good idea to back up your files before you install or reinstall Windows on your PC.
Before you begin, here are some things you’ll need:
- A PC with a reliable Internet connection. The download is about 4 GB, and the time it takes to download it will depend on your Internet connection.
- A USB flash drive or DVD. A blank USB flash drive or DVD with at least 4 GB of available drive space. Using a DVD requires a DVD burner and software on the PC you’re using to create the media and a DVD player on the PC where you want to install Windows.
- A product key. The 25-character product key.
Here are some things to check on the PC where you want to install Windows:
- 64-bit or 32-bit processor (CPU). You’ll need to download either the 64-bit or 32-bit version of Windows that’s appropriate for your CPU. To check this on your current PC, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for System type.
- System requirements. See the system requirements before installing Windows 8.1. We also recommend that you visit your PC manufacturer's website for info about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.
- Language in Windows. You'll need to choose the same language when you install Windows 8.1. To see which language you're currently using, go to Time and language in PC settings or Region in Control Panel.
- Edition of Windows. You should also choose the same edition of Windows. This might be Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 Pro. To check which edition you're currently running, go to PC info in PC settings or System in Control Panel, and look for Windows edition.
When you’re ready, select the link that matches the version of Windows you want to create media for and follow the instructions:
Article ID: 15088 - Last Review: Aug 31, 2016 - Revision: 27