Should I upgrade my operating system? (Windows 10 & El Capitan)

This doc reviews the features of the major operating systems and whether or not you should upgrade to the newest operating system.

Potential for data loss CAUTION: Please make sure your important data is backed-up to Bucky Backup or an external storage device (such as a CD, DVD, or external hard drive) before attempting this procedure. DoIT assumes no liability for data loss that occurs as a result of this procedure.

Windows 10

Windows 10 may be right for you if. . .

  • You want to make sure your Operating System is up-to-date now and going forward.

  • Your current Operating System no longer runs current software.

  • Your current Operating System is no longer supported by Microsoft.

  • You have Windows 8 and do not like the tile start screen.

Windows 10 may NOT be right for you if. . .

  • You are satisfied with the functionality of your current Operating System.

  • You have low disk space on your current computer or your computer does not meet the minimum system requirements.

  • You don't have and don't want to create a Microsoft account.

Feature Windows 7 Windows 8/8.1 Windows 10
Start Screen Classic Desktop Title Menu with Mobile-Friendly Apps Classic Desktop with Apps in Start Menu
Search PC Search in Start Menu PC Search on Start Screen Cortana - PC and web search in Start Menu
Default Browser Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Microsoft Edge
Programs/Apps Microsoft programs for PC only Microsoft apps for tablet have fewer features than PC counterparts Microsoft Apps (e.g. Word, Excel, Outlook) have the same functionality across PC and tablet
Touchscreen Friendly No Yes Yes
Cloud Access No OneDrive – 5 GB free OneDrive – 5 GB free
Accessibility Ease of Access Center Ease of Access Center Ease of Access Center. More robust narrator. Voice control through Cortana
Security and Updates Security updates until January 14th, 2020 Security updates until January 10th, 2023 Continuous updates

Relevant Links

El Capitan

El Capitan may be right for you if. . .

  • You want to make sure your Operating System is up-to-date now

  • You have a Mac model from 2012 or newer

  • You have new hardware or a new program that is not compatible with an older operating system

  • You recently purchased a new iPad or new iPhone and need the latest Mac Operating System in order to sync it up properly

El Capitan may NOT be right for you if. . .

  • You are happy with your system and don't feel the need to change

  • You are not sure if specific programs you use, or special hardware devices (such as older digital cameras, or older printers) are compatible with it

  • You do not have enough available free space (you need a minimum of 8.8GB of free storage)

  • Your Mac model is from 2009 or older

Feature Mavericks (OS X 10.9) Yosemite (OS X 10.10) El Capitan (OS X 10.11)
Start Screen Classic with Dock for Apps Classic with Dock for Apps Classic with Dock for Apps
Search Spotlight – Command + Space bar Spotlight – Command + Space bar Spotlight – Command + Space bar
Default Browser Safari Safari Safari
Apps Launch Pad or Applications Folder Launch Pad or Applications Folder Launch Pad or Applications Folder
Touchscreen Friendly No No No
Cloud Access iCloud – 5GB free iCloud – 5GB free iCloud – 5GB free
Accessibility Dictation for Text-to-Speech, and other options in System Preferences Dictation for Text-to-Speech, and other options in System Preferences Enhanced Dictation, Text-to-Speech, and other options in System Preferences
Security and Updates Available through the App Store Available through the App Store Available through the App Store

Relevant Links

I've Decided to upgrade. Now What?

  1. Back up your data.

  2. Make sure your device is plugged into the power adapter.

  3. You will need a reliable internet connection.

  4. Be Patient!

    • The installation can sometimes take multiple hours.

    • Be willing to let the upgrade and installation run overnight (esp. for Windows 10 upgrades).

  5. NEVER interrupt an Operating System upgrade.

  6. And NEVER shut down your system during the upgrade process.

Upgrade vs. Clean Install

  • Some users have had issues after an OS upgrade, especially with Windows 10.

  • A clean install completely removes the old OS and overwrites the hard-drive. Afterwards, your computer will have the same software and settings that would come on a new machine.

    • Back up your data!

    • Make sure you have software installers and license codes available.

    • You will need a DVD or Flash Drive to perform the clean install.

  • Windows 10 clean install

  • El Capitan clean install

  • Please seek help from one of the services listed below if you have any reservations about doing a clean install on your own.

Need Help?




Keywords:Should I Upgrade My Computer Operating System Windows 7 8 10 OSX 10.9 10.10 10.11 El Capitan Yosemite Mavericks OS X   Doc ID:63668
Owner:Justin E.Group:DoIT Tech Store
Created:2016-05-26 18:11 CDTUpdated:2016-07-01 09:15 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store
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