How to Dual Boot Windows 10 with Windows 7

May 21,2019 • Filed to: Partition Solutions • Proven solutions

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Contemplating whether to keep your Windows 7 on your computer or to upgrade to the new Windows 10 but can’t make up your mind? Fortunately, there’s a solution: dual boot. In this article, instructions are provided to perform the dual boot on your own computer.

Windows 10 is the current operating system released by Microsoft. It’s known for its increased functionality while maintaining its user-friendly features. Windows 7 is not lagging behind when it comes to features but it is not the latest OS and this brings up many security and privacy issues.

Why do you need to dual boot Windows?

All Windows operating systems have their own pros and cons. As a PC user, you would want to use the latest operating system available and regularly download updates for imrpoved security and ease-of-use. However, sometimes, we may use softwares that may no longer be compatible with the new OS, such as the new Windows 10. If you only have one computer, this may be a problem. Thus, most users resolve to a dual boot.

Before deciding whether to have dual boot Windows, here are some things to consider:

1. Backup Windows 10 installation prior to installing Windows 7 just in case any system crash or error occurs.

2. If your new device is preinstalled with Windows 10, check with your PC manufacturer’s site if there are available drivers for Windows 7 or 8. If none, your device may not be compatible with Windows 7.

3. If your device is originally installed with Windows 7 or 8 and you’ve upgraded it to Windows 10, the product key of your device can no longer be used to reinstall Windows 7 or 8. Thus, you need a new product key and installer for Windows 7 or 8. You may need to purchase a new Windows 7 or 8 for this.

4. Make sure to have an image back up for your current Windows 10 installation prior to any new installations of Windows 7 or 8.

5. When installing Windows 7 or 8, you need to shrink or decrease the size of the current partition for Windows 10 first in order to create a new space.

How to Dual Boot Windows with Windows 7

If you’ve read all the important information above and you’ve decided to proceed with the dual boot, we’ll provide you with the necessary steps. Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to Dual Boot Windows 10 with Windows 7

Step 1. Resize Your Windows 7 Partition to Make Space

1. Free up some space for Windows 10.

2. Open Disk Management Utility by pressing on Windows + R.

3. Type in diskmgmt.msc in the Run window and hit OK.

4. Find the system partition, most likely this is Drive C:

5. Right-click on the drive and choose Shrink Volume. In case you have many partitions, you may resize the partition to free up some space.

6. You need to shrink the volume to have enough space for Windows 10. Windows 8.1 (64-bit version) needs a minimum of 20GB of drive space. So you need more than 20GB of storage space.

Step 2. Download Windows 10 and Boot the Installer

1. There are many ways you can get Windows 10. You may download an ISO file of Windows 10 and burn it to a DVD. You may also create a bootable storage media such as a USB flash drive.

2. Once this is finished, keep the DVD or USB flash drive plugged into your device and restart your PC.

3. Once the PC reboots, you’ll be directed to the Windows 10 installer.

Step 3. Install Windows 10 Alongside Windows 7

1. Complete the process of Windows 10 installation. Choose the language you prefer and select Install now

2. Click on Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

3. On the Windows Setup window saying Where do you want to install Windows?, choose the drive Unallocated Space (this is here from your previous resizing of partition).

4. You will be asked for the size you want the partition to be. The default is to use up all available free space. Selec Apply to use that partition. Windows 10 installer will now create a a partition.

5. Select Next to install Windows 10.

6. The installation process will finish in a while.

Step 4. Choose Between Windows 10 and Windows 7

1. After doing the steps above, you can now choose whether to run Windows 10 or Windows 8 or 8 upon start-up. You will have the option to switch each time you restart your PC. Just select your desired Windows version to run it.

2. To modify the options, click on Change defaults or choose other options. Here you can select the default Windows OS that will run when you start up. You can also change the time it will take for the OS selection to show before it automatically runs the default/chosen Windows OS.

3. Files from both versions of Windows are easily accessible in File Explorer. For convenience, you may rename each drive to their respective Windows OS versions.

With all these steps, you’ll be able to successfully dual boot your computer.

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