Base install

NB The author doesn’t have a tripod, nor the feeling of relevance for this part of the guide, so the quality of screen photos here is not as good as other guides out there — this version is only included in case you need the information right here, rather than to draw people to the site for an often-covered topic.

Boot from installation media

Core install

  1. Once Windows Setup completes booting, select your ‘Time and currency format’ (this sets your default country and your language variant) then click ‘Next’. Windows 10 Pro English Great Britain BootScreen
  2. Click on the ‘Install now’ button on the next page.
    Windows 10 Pro English Install ButtonScreen
  3. If this is the first time installing Windows 10 Pro on this computer, enter your product key on the next screen, otherwise select “I don’t have a product key” (Windows Activation should recognize that this computer already has a license when it does its thing), then click ‘Next’. Windows 10 Pro English Product Key Entry (Activation)   Screen
  4. Select the Edition of Windows 10 for which you have a product key and you wish to install (this guide assumes Windows 10 Pro), and click ‘Next’. Windows 10 Edition SelectionPage
  5. Accept the license agreement after reading it (it’s not like you have a choice if you want to use Windows) Windows 10 License AcceptancePage
  6. Choose “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” since we want a fresh install. Windows 10 Choose Installation Type (Upgrade orInstall)
  7. On the install location screen, if you see an OEM partition, DO NOT delete it. Windows 10 install location screen, warning on OEMpartition
  8. Delete any other partitions, select the resulting free space, and click ‘Next’. Select free space from delete all but OEM partition on Windows 10 installlocationscreen
  9. The installer will go through a number of steps. The installer performing the initialinstall
  10. The installer will then reboot. The installer counting down toreboot

Initial setup wizard

Your computer will reboot (possibly more than once) and eventually start the Windows setup wizard, starting with asking you what country you are in; the wizard steps are as follows:

  1. Choose your region (this may be a country or a Province/State). List of countries with Canadahighlighted
  2. Choose your keyboard layout. List of keyboard layouts with US (QWERTY)highlighted
  3. Choose whether to add another layout (this guide chooses ‘Skip’, as the author doesn’t need another layout). Choice of adding another keyboardlayout
  4. Windows will emit various messages to let you know it is doing ‘stuff’ and to wait for it complete. For example: Windows ‘Just a moment…’screen

Primary user (Administrator) account

The next steps are the setup of the primary user. The primary user is part of the Administrators group, and for a personal use computer has full control of the computer. Since this guide is only intended to cover personal use, we won’t worry about the ‘school or work’ scenario.

  1. Choose to set up for Personal Use (since that is what this guide is about). Chose of setting of as a ‘Personal Use’ computer or an organizationcontrolled ‘School or Work’computer

  2. Enter your Microsoft Account email address (if you don’t have a Microsoft Account you will need to create one). While you have the option of creating a local/offline (non-Microsoft) account, this guide is written with the assumption you are using an existing Microsoft Account. Prompt for your Microsoft account (or to use a local/offline accountinstead, shown on the bottomleft)

  3. When prompted enter your password. Prompt for your Microsoft Accountpassword

  4. If prompted, enter your second factor authentication code (assuming you have two factor authentication (2FA) set up, which you really should)

  5. You will be prompted to create a PIN (or to skip). I recommend creating a PIN, as it allows use of ‘Windows Hello’. Prompt to choose to create aPIN

  6. Enter and confirm your new PIN. PIN creation and confirmationdialogue

  7. You will next be asked to make choices about a series of privacy-related options (e.g. choosing to send Microsoft full diagnostics and usage patterns, or only basic diagnostics). This guide won’t walk through those steps as it’s a rather individual matter what one is comfortable with or believes matters when it comes to privacy options.

  8. Next are some more personal choices, this time for

    1. If applicable and/or you wish, choosing to have Windows customized according to the use you expect to make if it (The author skips this because he doesn’t fit in their nice check boxes).
    2. Choosing whether to link your phone to your PC (The author prefers to do that outside the wizard, so this is another options he skips).
    3. Choosing whether to back you files up to One Drive. This likely only makes sense if you have a Microsoft 365 subscription or One Drive Premium as the free OneDrive doesn’t have much storage, so this guide doesn’t show making a choice here.
  9. You will then get various ‘please wait’ variety messages as Windows is configured and set up.

First steps, post install

There’s a page for that; Windows 10 Pro, first steps post-install