Understanding Differences in Windows 10 and Windows 7

Many of our Members are hesitant to upgrade to Windows 10 due to its differences from Windows 7, but that’s why your Neighborhood Nerds are here to tell you what you need to know!

Prerequisites: Windows 7 user

Difficulty Level: Member • Nerd • Platypus

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Expected Outcome: You will understand the differences between Windows 7 and Windows 10

Tools Required: Your PCScreen Shot 2020-03-27 at 5.00.45 PM-1

Overall, you should not be hesitant to upgrade to Windows 10. It may look a bit different from Windows 7, but it is not nearly as different as it may feel at first. It can be intimidating to get used to a new operating system, but that is why your Neighborhood Nerds are here to support you! We have listed the major differences for you to consider!



Windows 10 security is one major difference from Windows 7 and is the number one reason you should upgrade!

  • Windows 7 is no longer supported or secured by Microsoft. While using Windows 7 you are more susceptible to viruses, spyware, adware, nagware, trojans, worms, and more.
  • Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender which is an excellent malware protection program. Your Windows 10 computer will be secure from attacks. 


Microsoft Account Integration

When Windows 10 is set up on your device, you will be prompted to log in through a Microsoft account. 

  • This is similar to MacBooks, iPhones, Chromebooks, Androids etc. 
  • You do not have to set up a Microsoft account, but it is recommended 
    • The account  will sync your desktop settings and Microsoft service logins (like OneDrive) across all of your PCs and is required to use the Microsoft store 


Start Menu

The start menu of Windows 10 may look different, but it has all of the same features + more!

  • You will still see a list of all of your installed applications and Power options for shutting down or restarting your PC, and shortcuts for your documents and pictures
  • You will also see what are called ‘live tiles’ to the right of the list of applications, and these can be customized however you like or removed if you don’t want them with the help of your Neighborhood Nerd!


Control Panel vs Settings

Instead of the Control Panel to customize your PC, Windows 10 has a more comprehensive Settings App which is the gear icon located in the start menu above the power icon on the left hand side

  • The Settings App is a one stop destination for making changes to your display, sound, notifications, power, devices (printer, Bluetooth, mouse etc.), network and internet, phone linking, background and lock screen, apps, accounts, ease of use (screen magnification, narrator etc.), privacy, time and language, updates and security, and more.


Windows Store

Windows 10 comes with the Windows Store where you can download all kinds of different applications from games to tools and everything in between. 

  • You have to have a Microsoft Account in order to shop in the store



Many programs you may use or want to use are not compatible with Windows 7.

  • For example, Microsoft Office’s latest versions will not be compatible with Windows 7.