How Long Does It Take To Install Windows 10?

By Leonard Cucos •  Updated: 07/14/21 •  5 min read

If you are looking to find out how long does it take to install Windows 10 on your computer, the answers boil down to two main factors:

On a modern desktop or laptop computer equipped with a Solid State Disk [SSD] and a Gigabit Internet connection, the whole installation process, from the moment you launch the Windows 10 installer to the login screen, takes between 12 to 15 minutes.

Windows 10 installation may require considerably more time – 25 to 35 minutes if your computer is equipped with a Hard Disk Drive [HDD] instead of an SSD. I will explain why in a second.

Some other additional factors that may have an impact on a Windows 10 installation time are the installation medium [DVD/USB flash drive], CPU, and RAM. 

To find how much the disk type impacts the Windows 10 installation time, we performed several tests using a modern Lenovo Legion Y540 laptop equipped with an Intel Core i7 and 8GB RAM. and connected to the internet using WiFi well as an Ethernet cable.

Lenovo Y540 - Pick the Right Gaming Laptop!

Click Play to watch this guide on YouTube.

In addition, we installed Windows 10 on an older Asus K455L laptop equipped with an Intel Core i3 and 4GB RAM. 

To see how much the internet speed affects the Windows 10 installation time, we performed our test using the built-in WiFi and Ethernet connection on both laptops.

If you are using a desktop computer, make sure you use a good WiFi card that supports 5GHz as it will drastically impact the system update time.

To perform this test, we prepared a 32GB Windows 10 installation USB flash drive. 

Your computer doesn’t need to be connected to the Internet to install Windows 10. However, Windows 10 activation requires the internet and some additional steps during the installation process if your machine is online. 

How long does it take to install Windows 10 on a modern computer?

We installed Windows 10 on a Lenovo Legion Y540 laptop four times: twice using HDD and SSD. The Windows 10 installation time on an SSD drive was significantly lower, on average 12 minutes.

Windows 10 required 25 minutes on average after we swapped the SSD with an HDD on the same machine. Nothing else was changed in the configuration. 

How long does it take to install Windows 10 on an older computer?

The same installation procedure was performed on the older Asus K455L laptop. 

Using an SSD on this machine, Windows 10 clocked an average of 26 minutes from the time we started the installation until we logged in on Windows 10. 

However, when conducting the installation on an HDD drive, the time required to install Windows 10 was 35 minutes on average. 

The average time was calculated in such a way as to minimize the user input time as much as possible during the installation.

Please take note that the time required to install Windows 10 on our machines does not include the post-installation updates, which may take up to an hour depending on which Windows 10 build you used for installation and, of course, your internet speed. 

Is the disk type a leading factor for Windows 10 installation time? 

As you can see above, the type of disk [HDD/SSD] you use on your computer makes a big impact on the Windows 10 installation time and the speed of your computer during your daily activities.

In fact, the difference is so notable that many [including myself] advocate upgrading your old HDD to an SSD instead of going and purchasing a new laptop or desktop to use Windows 10.

But why do SSDs make such a big difference?

An SSD is similar to memory stick storage [USB stick] in that there are no moving components inside it. In contrast, an HDD reads information from the correct place located on a spinning storage platter using a mechanical arm with a read/write head attached. 

SSD vs HDD. Source:

This is why SSD speeds are much higher than HDD speeds when installing and operating a Windows 10 computer. 

Why is my Windows 10 installation taking so long?

Microsoft is constantly adding new features to its Windows operating system. New features mean more data, therefore, larger files that take longer to install. In addition, Windows 10 installation requires a few reboots to complete, and the reboot time is quickly adding to the overall installation time. 

The type of disk in your machine also has a major impact on how fast Windows 10 will complete an installation. As discussed above, the time required for Windows 10 installation on a Solid State Disk [SSD] is much lower compared with a Hard Disk Drive [HDD].

Can I install Windows 10 multiple times?

Yes. However, keep in mind that you can only use an activation key code on a restricted number of machines. According to the MS Windows 10 licensing, this may be as low as a single computer, or it could be a large number of computers if you have a volume license.

Nevertheless, you can reinstall Windows as many times as you want on the same disk and machine without any restrictions.


As you saw, there are a few essential factors that influence how long does it take to install Windows 10, and among all, probably the most essential is the disk type. 

If you really want to improve the speed and performance of your old PC or laptop running Windows 10, can’t stress enough how much of a difference a disk upgrade can make. 

Compared with a few years back, you can get Solid State Disks for as low as $35 – a small price to pay to put your Windows 10 on steroids.

Leonard Cucos

Leonard Cucos is an engineer with over 20 years of IT/Telco experience managing large UNIX/Linux-based server infrastructures, IP and Optics core networks, Information Security [red/blue], Data Science, and FinTech.