Windows 10 Pro vs. Home: What's the difference?

Windows 10 Pro vs. Home: What's the difference?

While Windows 10 Home is intended for a casual use, Windows10 Pro will primarily be of interest to SMEs and professionals requiring access to specific administration or security features. What are the differences between Windows 10 Home and the Pro edition? Which edition of Windows 10 is right for you? All you need to know is in this article.

Which Windows 10 Edition is free?

Well, it all depends on your current version of Windows. You can either get a free upgrade to Windows 10 Home or Pro:

From To
Windows 7 Starter Windows 7 Home Basic Windows 7 Home Premium Windows 7 Professional Windows 7 Ultimate Windows 8.1 Windows 8.1 Pro Windows 8.1 Pro Student Windows 8.1 Pro WMC Windows Phone 8.1 Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Home Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Pro Windows 10 Mobile

Which features available on both versions?

There are several basic features shared by both Windows 10 Home and Pro:

Feature Home Edition Pro Edition
Customizable Start Menu Yes Yes
Windows Defender/Firewall Yes Yes
Fast start up with Hiberboot and InstantGo Yes Yes
TPM Support Yes Yes
Power Saving Mode Yes Yes
Windows Update Yes Yes
Cortana Yes Yes
Windows Hello (biometric) Yes Yes
Virtual Desktops Yes Yes
Snap Assist Yes Yes
Snap Apps Yes Yes
Continuum (sync PC and tablet) Yes Yes
Microsoft Edge Web browser Yes Yes

What about the administration and security features?

The major difference between the Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro lies in the number of administration and security tools available on the pro edition. For example, features such as BitLocker drive encryption, DirectAccess, or the Group Policy Editor are available only in the Windows 10 Pro edition:

Feature Home Edition Pro Edition
Device encryption Yes Yes
Joining domains No Yes
Group Policy No Yes
BitLocker No Yes
Internet Explorer Enterprise Mode No Yes
Kiosk Mode No Yes
Remote Desktop No Yes
Client Hyper-V No Yes
Enterprise-specific app on Windows Store No Yes
DirectAccess No Yes

What are the other features?

Most of the advanced management tools and apps are only available in the Pro edition:

Features Home Edition Pro Edition
Sideloading of Windows Store apps Yes Yes
Mobile Device Management Yes Yes
Azure Active Directory No Yes
Easily upgrade from Pro to Enterprise Edition No Yes
Easily upgrade from Home to Education Edition Yes No
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