Your personal files will be safe, but you’ll need to track down installers for all the programs you want to keep using.The good news is that most software that runs in Windows XP should also work in Windows 8.
You can check exactly how ready your PC is for Windows 8 by downloading Microsoft’s Upgrade Assistant.
This free tool will scan your system and check that it meets the hardware requirements, and if you connect your peripherals it will scan those for compatibility too.
That’s a problem: when Microsoft stops supporting an OS, it doesn’t only withdraw its technical-support services – it also stops updating the software.
Among other things, this means no more monthly fixes to protect against new viruses and malware.
If you hit problems with a particular application, try running it in Compatibility Mode.
To do this, right-click its icon and choose Troubleshoot Compatibility – or search your computer for “Run programs made for previous versions of Windows”.This way, you can take your Windows 7 installed programs with you.In addition, the upgrade license is cheaper than the full version of Windows 8.1.Assuming everything is in order, you’ll then get the option to purchase and download Windows 8.Be warned that when you upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 8, all settings and applications will be wiped.In many cases, your easiest option will be simply to buy a new PC with a more up-to-date version of Windows preinstalled – especially if your current system dates from the early years of Windows XP.