I had a Windows 7 system running the Home edition that I upgraded to Windows 10 a while back. Of course, the upgrade gave me Windows 10 Home. For all practical purposes, the Home edition of Windows 10 is perfectly fine. However, if you are used to the Pro version, you may find it lacking in certain areas.
Below is a list of the features found in Windows 10 Pro but not in Windows 10 Home:
- Ability to join Azure Active Directory
- Assigned Access
- Client Hyper-V
- Domain Join
- Enterprise Mode Internet Explorer (EMIE)
- Group Policy Management
- Remote Desktop
- Trusted Boot
- Windows Store for Business
- Windows Update for Business
Most of these features are probably of little consequence to the typical home user and are more appropriate for business.
Now, working out of my home office, I don't need most of these features, but I use a couple of them all the time: BitLocker and Remote Desktop. I like having the extra security that BitLocker encryption provides and I use it on my laptops. But the tool I use most often is the Pro version of Remote Desktop.
The Home version of Remote Desktop offers only a one-way connection option. More specifically, the Home version can work only as a Remote Desktop client while the Pro version can function as both a client and a host. In other words, I can use Windows 10 Home to connect to a Windows 10 Pro system, but I can't use Windows 10 Pro to connect to a Windows 10 Home system.
To rectify this situation, I decided to upgrade my Windows 10 Home system to the Pro edition via the Windows Store. This type of upgrade isn't free: It costs $99.99. However, since I got Windows 10 Home for free, I figured I could justify the expense. I decided to write an article about the process so that other Windows 10 Home users will know what to expect if they decide to perform this type of upgrade. Let take a look.
Check your edition
To begin, press [Windows]+[Break] to take a look the System window, shown in Figure A, and verify that your system is indeed running Windows 10 Home. Once you have verified that you have Windows 10 Home, you can proceed.
You can verify your Windows edition in the System window.
Launch the upgrade
You'll get the Home to Pro upgrade from the Windows Store, but you'll begin the process from the Update & Security tool in Settings. To get there quickly, press [Windows]+I and then click the Update & Security tile, as shown in Figure B.
From within Settings, select the Update & Security tile.
When you arrive in the Update & Security tool, select the Activation tab on the left. As Figure C shows, the Activation tab also identifies your Windows 10 Home edition. To continue, click the Go To Store button.
From the Activation tab, select the Go To Store button.
When the Windows store opens, you'll see that you are in the right place to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro (Figure D). You can scroll through the Features list if you want more information on what's found in Windows 10 Pro but not in Windows 10 Home.
When you arrive at the Windows Store, you're taken to the Upgrade To Windows 10 Pro page.
Click the $99.99 button when you're ready to proceed. You'll be prompted to enter the password for your Microsoft Account, as shown in Figure E. Once you enter your password, click Sign In.
You'll be prompted to enter your Microsoft Account password.
When your account is confirmed, you'll be prompted to enter or verify your credit card information, as shown in Figure F. Click Buy to begin the download.
You'll be prompted to enter or verify your credit card information.
Performing the upgrade
When you click Buy, the upgrade will begin downloading and you'll see the Preparing For Upgrade screen, shown in Figure G.
When the download begins, you'll see the Preparing for upgrade dialog.
After the download is complete, your system will restart and the upgrade process will begin, as shown in Figure H.
When the download is complete, the upgrade will begin.
The update will progress through the various steps, as shown in Figure I. Just sit back and wait; it may take a little while to complete.
The update will progress through several steps that could take a while to perform.
Your system will restart again and you'll be alerted that the upgrade is complete, as shown in Figure J.
When the upgrade is complete, you'll see this window.
Press [Windows]+[Break] to view the System window again, as shown in Figure K. Here, you can verify that your system is now running Windows 10 Pro.
You can revisit the System tool to verify your upgrade.
What's your take?
If you're running Windows 10 Home, are you missing some of the Pro features such as BitLocker and the full version of Remote Desktop? Are you willing to shell out $99.99 to upgrade? Share your thoughts with fellow TechRepublic members.
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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.