How to Install Windows 7

By Steve McDonnell

Insert the Windows 7 CD into your optical drive, power on your computer and follow the instructions on the screen to install Windows.

Installing Windows 7 requires the installation media, a computer, and some patience while the system installs itself. To begin, insert the Windows 7 CD or DVD into your optical drive and power on your computer. Then, follow the instructions to install and activate the operating system.


Step 1

When Windows loads, change the default language, time and currency format and keyboard layout as necessary, and then choose Next.

Step 2

Choose Install Now.

Install Now

Step 3

Check the box to accept the license terms and then choose Next.

Accept License Terms

Step 4

Choose Custom (Advanced) to install a new copy of Windows.

Install a New Copy of Windows

Step 5

Select the drive on which you want to install Windows and then choose Next.

Select Destination Drive

Step 6

Wait while Windows installs itself. Your computer might reboot one or more times during this process.

Installing Windows


Step 1

After Windows installs, type a username for the computer, and adjust the computer name if desired. Then choose Next.

User and Computer Name

Step 2

Type a password for your account and then retype it for verification. Enter a hint for the computer to prompt you with if you forget your password. When done, choose Next.

Enter Password


Though it's not recommended to do so, you can also leave the password fields blank and simply select Next to proceed without assigning a password to your account.

Step 3

Locate and type the Windows 7 product key to activate your copy of Windows. Your product key appears on the label that's included with your Windows 7 purchase, on an email for an electronic purchase or on a sales receipt from a download order. Then choose Next.

Enter Windows Product Key


If you don't have your Windows product key handy, choose Skip and continue with the Windows installation. You can use Windows 7 as a trial version for 30 days before it becomes inactive. The system will periodically prompt you to enter your product key and activate your copy of Windows.

Step 4

Select an option for how you want to update your computer with security and other patches as they become available. If you're not sure, choose Use Recommended Settings to have the system update itself automatically.

Update Windows Selection

Step 5

Select the correct time zone and adjust the date and time as necessary, then choose Next.

Select Time Zone

Step 6

Select the type of network you're connected to based on your location. If you're installing Windows at home, choose Home Network. If you're installing Windows at work, choose Work Network. Otherwise, choose Public Network.

Select Network Location

Step 7

If you selected Home Network, check the appropriate boxes if you want to share media, files and printers with other members of your household who are on the same network. If you've set up a HomeGroup, locate and enter the password to join the HomeGroup with this computer. Choose Next when done, or select Skip to skip this step entirely and come back to it later.

Windows HomeGroup

Step 8

Start using your new Windows 7 installation!

Windows Screen