How to Update Vista to Windows 7

By David Weinberg

Due to their virtually identical hardware requirements, nearly any computer that can run Windows Vista can also run the newer Windows 7. Windows 7 features a number of improvements over Windows Vista, including improved stability, enhanced networking and Windows XP mode for running programs designed for older versions of Windows. Because you can upgrade your Windows Vista computer directly to Windows 7 without formatting your hard drive, all of your documents and files will remain in place after the upgrade.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows Vista installation disc

Step 1

Open your computer's start menu, right-click "My Computer" and select "Properties." Check your computer's system type in the system section of the properties page. If your computer is running a 32-bit operating system, you need to update to a 32-bit version of Windows 7. If it is running a 64-bit operating system, you need to update to a 64-bit version of Windows 7.

Step 2

Check the Windows edition section of the properties window to find information about your current service pack version. If you are running Windows Vista Service Pack 1 or later your computer is ready to upgrade. If you are not, click "Windows Update" or "Microsoft Update" in the start menu and follow the on-screen instructions to install Service Pack 1.

Step 3

Right-click on your anti-virus software's icon in the system tray. Click "Turn Off" or "Disable" to stop the antivirus software.

Step 4

Purchase a version of Windows 7 from Microsoft. If your current system is 32-bit, purchase a 32-bit version of Windows 7, otherwise purchase a 64-bit version. You can have Windows 7 sent to you as a disc or you can download it directly. If you have a Windows 7 disc, insert it into your computer's disc drive. If you downloaded Windows 7, double-click on the downloaded file on your computer.

Step 5

Click "Install Now." Click "Go Online To Get The Latest Updates For Installation." Your computer will automatically download and install the latest Windows 7 updates while it installs Windows 7.

Step 6

Read the Windows 7 licensing terms, check "I Accept The License Terms" and click "Next." Click "Upgrade" to begin upgrading Windows Vista to Windows 7. Your computer will restart when the upgrade is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • Windows Vista Home editions can upgrade to Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Ultimate. Windows Vista Business edition can upgrade to Windows 7 Professional or Windows 7 Ultimate. Windows Vista Ultimate can only upgrade to Windows 7 Ultimate.