Upgrade to Windows 10

This guide describes for PharmD student pharmacists at UCSF how to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 10 from either Windows 7 or 8.1 while ensuring maximum compatibility with software required by UCSF and UCSF School of Pharmacy.

If you need help during your upgrade

Contact the IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100, available 24/7.

Jump below to

If you are not a PharmD student 

This guide may be utilized by students in other schools at UCSF. If you are not a PharmD student, ignore the software requirement sections that do not apply to your school. As of August 2021, we are aware of only School of Dentistry and School of Pharmacy using Examplify.

What you need

  • MyAccess credentials

  • One to two hours to prepare and perform the upgrade (longer if you need to back up a lot of files)

  • One to eight hours while your computer encrypts; you may continue to use your computer
    normally during this time

  • A valid license for Windows 7 or 8

  • A reliable source of power for your computer

  • Stable internet connection

  • (Optional) A USB flash drive with 3 GB or larger storage for downloading Windows 10 installation files

Before you begin

  1. If your computer has already been encrypted with whole-disk encryption software, you’ll need to decrypt it before upgrading, then re-encrypt it after the upgrade.

  2. For 30 days after upgrading to Windows 10, you can revert to your previous version of Windows if needed.

  3. In rare cases this upgrade can render your computer inoperable, particularly if you skip steps or do not
    follow each step exactly. If you need help, contact the IT Service Desk at 415-514-4100, available 24/7.

  4. We strongly recommend that you create a computer backup:

    • Use an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or other device with adequate storage memory.
    • Use a service such as UCSF Box or Microsoft OneDrive.

    Reminder: As of June 2016, legally protected data at UCSF is permitted in external cloud services only in CrashPlan, Qualtrics and REDCap. Do not store these data in Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, or any other cloud service. All these data must be stored using encryption.

    For example, to backup with an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or other storage device:

    1. Open the Start Menu and click Control Panel.
    2. Click Back up your computer and select Set up backup.
    3. Select your preferred backup destination.

    4. Click Next and select Let Windows Choose.
    5. Click Save settings and run backup to create a Windows Backup of personal files and settings.
  5. Check that your computer meets Windows 10 system requirements.

    1. Open the Start Menu and right-click Computer.
    2. Select Properties.
    3. Check for the following system requirements:
      1. 1 GHz or faster processor.
      2. 2 GB or more of RAM.
      3. 32-bit or 64-bit edition of Windows. You will need this info in later steps.
      4. 16 GB or more of available disk space.


Decrypt & uninstall software



  • If your computer has not been encrypted with any whole-disk software, skip to Perform the upgrade.
  • If your computer has already been encrypted with encryption software (e.g., UCSF-provided DDPE), a UCSF support engineer must assist with your computer’s decryption. Either:
  • If you aren’t sure if your computer is encrypted or unencrypted, get help from the IT Service Desk or the Tech Commons as described directly above.


Uninstall software

If installed, uninstall the following software:

  • CipherCloud for Box

  • Citrix Workplace

  • Examplify

  • ForeScout SecureConnector

  • IBM Bigfix

  • Office 365 ProPlus

  • Pulse Secure

  • Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP)

  • Web Browsers: Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox

  • UCSF ChimeraX

  • Zoom Client


  1. Open the Start Menu and click Control Panel.
  2. Select Uninstall a program.
  3. Scroll through the list to find one of the above listed programs.
  4. Right-click the program and select Uninstall.
  5. Follow the onscreen directions to complete the uninstallation.
  6. If prompted to restart the computer, do so.
  7. Repeat these steps for each program.


Perform the upgrade


Download Windows 10

Choose any of the following options to download the Windows 10 installation files. We recommend Option 3 as it will provide you with a copy of Windows 10 that is separate from your computer. This may be useful when you encounter a problem with Windows in the future.

Option 1: Update to Windows 10 through Windows Updater

  1. Open the Start Menu and click Control Panel.
  2. Click System and Security and select Check for updates under Windows Update setting.
  3. Select the Windows 10 update option if available.

Option 2: Download the Windows 10 Upgrade Application

  1. Download Windows 10.
  2. Click the Upgrade now button.
  3. Run the installer and follow onscreen directions.

Option 3: Download Windows 10 installation files onto a USB flash drive

  1. Download Windows 10.
  2. Click Download tool now to download MediaCreationTool.exe.
  3. Insert a USB flash drive. The drive will be reformatted and any files on it will be erased.
  4. Run MediaCreationTool.exe and select Create installation media for another PC.
  5. Follow the onscreen directions and select USB flash drive as the destination.


Download Windows 10 Education (Free)

If you are not able to update your version of Windows or interested in upgrading to Windows 10 Education, we recommend Option 4. Current UCSF students are eligible to receive Windows 10
Education free of charge. Windows 10 Education includes features from Windows 10 Enterprise that are ideal for advanced security, and the comprehensive device control and management needs of today's educational institution. We recommend combining Option 3 and 4 as doing so will provide you with an accessible partition of Windows 10 Education. This partition may be useful when you
encounter a problem with Windows in the future.

Option 4: Download Windows 10 Education with UCSF Credentials

  1. Visit the UCSF on the Hub Portal.
  2. Log in with your UCSF credentials.
  3. Underneath the Product Search bar, click on Students.
  4. Select Windows 10 and add it to your cart. 
  5. Check out and download you free version of Windows 10 Education.



For any of these options, you will be prompted to choose your edition and architecture. For Edition, choose Windows 10 or Windows 10 Education (Option 4) . For Architecture, choose either 32-bit or 64-bit based on your system version. If unsure, select Both.



Install Windows 10

This step should take about 10 to 20 minutes.

  1. Close all programs.
  2. Confirm that your computer is plugged into a reliable power source.
  3. Begin the setup installer.
  4. Select Install Now.
  5. Select Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and applications to upgrade the
    operating system while keeping all installed programs and files.
  6. Select the correct hard drive destination to install Windows 10.
  7. Installation will begin, and your computer will restart on its own. Interrupting this process could render your computer inoperable.
  8. Click Use Express settings when prompted, then select Set this up as a new PC.
  9. Installation is complete and you will be prompted to log in.


Install required software


Cipher-Cloud for Box

CipherCloud scans UCSF Box and automatically encrypts all file formats that contain matches to UCSF PHI. You will know a file is encrypted when it is renamed with a .ccsecure extension. The CipherCloud agent is required to open these encrypted files.

  1. Visit the UCSF Other Software Portal:
  2. Log in with your MyAccess credentials.
  3. Download CipherCloud for Box and OneDrive - Windows
  4. Run the installer, then follow the onscreen directions to complete the installation.


Citrix Workspace

Citrix is used to access our electronic medical record system called APeX.

  1. Visit the Citrix webpage and Download Citrix Workspace App.
  2. Click Download for Windows.
  3. Run the installer, then follow the onscreen directions to complete the installation.



Examplify is used to take remote assessments. You are required to install ExamSoft Examplify on your laptop and use this software for all computer-based exams.

Install the most current version of Examplify for Windows by following the instructions provided by


ForeScout SecureConnector

SecureConnector is a Network Access Control (NAC) agent used to determine if your system meets the minimum security requirements before connecting your device to the network.

  1. Visit the UCSF Software Portal:
  2. Log in with your MyAccess credentials.
  3. Click the Secure Connector link, then download ForeScout SecureConnector
    for Windows 32-bit/64-bit

Do not select the dissolvable version. 

  1. Run the installer, then follow the onscreen directions to complete the installation.


IBM Bigfix & Dell Data Protection Encryption (DDPE)

UCSF requires the use of the following file-based encryption applications that prevent unauthorized persons from accessing legally protected information. Whereas IBM BigFix is used for inventory,
software, and patch management. IBM BigFix is included with Device Encryption installers. Please read and follow the instructions before installing or you may encounter issues.

Follow the instructions at the Windows section of How to Encrypt Your Computer.

Important: When tasked to select a file encryption software from the UCSF software portal,
download and install Dell Encryption Enterprise BitLocker Manager - Windows 64-bit (x64).

Do not use DDPE as it has compatibility issues with some versions of Windows.


Office 365 ProPlus

UCSF provides Office 365 ProPlus for Mac and PC users which includes desktop versions of Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Publisher (PC only), and Access (PC only). You can install Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs, 5 tablets, and 5 smartphones. The Office installer can be accessed by
following the instructions below:

  1. Login to your UCSF email.
  2. Select your profile icon from the upper-right menu.
  3. Click My account.
  4. Select Apps & Devices from the left menu.
  5. Click Install Office.
  6. Follow on-screen prompts to download and install Office ProPlus.


Pulse Secure

Pulse Secure is a Virtual Private Network (VPN) client. When off campus, Pulse Secure connects your computer to the UCSF network in order to protect the transfer of all data. VPN connection is required for access to certain library resources and needed to send or receive your UCSF email when using desktop applications such as Outlook and Apple Mail.

  1. Visit the UCSF Software Portal:
  2. Log in with your MyAccess credentials.
  3. Click the Pulse Secure VPN link, download Pulse Secure-Dual Authentication-Windows.
  4. Run the installer and follow the onscreen directions to complete the installation.


Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP)

SEP includes anti-virus, anti-malware, host intrusion prevention system, and client firewall (PC only).

  1. Visit UCSF Software:
  2. Log in with your MyAccess credentials.
  3. Click the Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) link, then download the 32-bit or 64-bit version of the installer depending on your Windows 10 version.
  4. Run the installer, then follow the onscreen directions to complete the installation.


Web Browsers: Google Chrome & Mozilla Firefox

Some of our required software or websites may be incompatible with your preferred web browser. If this happens, you will need to use an alternative browser to access that particular resource. We
encourage you to become comfortable using more than one browser. Click on the following links to download the following web browsing software:


UCSF ChimeraX

UCSF ChimeraX is the next-generation visualization program from the Resource for Biocomputing, Visualization, and Informatics at UC San Francisco. This program will be used as part of your
coursework. ChimeraX portal can be downloaded free of charge for academic use through the
following link:


Zoom Client

UCSF utilizes Zoom as it's web conferencing solution and it is an integral part of delivering remote education. Download Zoom with the following link: 


Using Windows 10

Reverting to Windows 7 or 8.1

An option to return to your previous Windows version is available for one month following your upgrade to Windows 10. If you wish to revert:

  1. Open the Start Menu and click Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security, then the Recovery tab on the side menu
  3. Under Go back to Windows 7/8.1, click Get started and follow the onscreen directions.



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