We’ve had a few questions about virtual XP machines in Windws 10.  “I have Windows 7 Pro on my computer. I am thinking about loading Windows 10. I have a virtual machine on my PC with Windows XP Pro. If I download Windows 10 will I lose my virtual machine? My computer is a 64 bit.

I mostly use Windows XP for Outlook Express, as it has ability to allow code to remove the vertical (forward/blockquote) lines. I have never found a way to do this using Gmail or Outlook. There may be one, but don’t know about it.”

There are two ways to install Windows 10 on your computer. One is to erase the contents of the disk drive and to perform what is called a clean install. It involves deleting everything and this includes all your software and files like music, photos, videos, documents and virtual machines.

The other way to get Windows 10 is to upgrade the existing Windows installation. This is the default action and it will be performed by Windows Update if you let it. (It is getting increasingly hard to avoid, but that is another story.)

An upgrade will keep all of the software you have installed on the disk drive, all of your files and virtual machines.

Windows 10 doesn’t have Windows 7’s built-in XP mode, but you can use an emulator like VirtualBox.  Presumably. If you already have VirtualBox running on your computer,  it is compatible with Windows 10, so your virtual machine with Windows XP Pro will be unaffected. It will still be there after the upgrade and it will work fine.

Windows XP running in a virtual machine in Windows 10

Upgrading from Windows 7 to 10 involves a great many changes to the system and to files on the disk drive. It is a good idea to copy important files to a backup disk, such as a USB disk drive. It is very unlikely that anything bad will happen to your files, but it is best to have a copy of them elsewhere anyway.

When replying or forwarding email messages, some email software will indent the contents of the old message and put vertical bars in. It looks ugly and is unnecessary. The Mail app that is bundled with Windows 10 does not. When you reply to or forward an email message it draws a horizontal line across the page and the old message appears below it.

Adding common email accounts to the Mail app in Windows 10 is very easy and it recognises Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo!, and it allows any email account to be added if you know the details such as the mail server, username and password. These can be copied from Outlook Express in Windows XP.

~ Roland