Microsoft details which features Windows 10 Home and Pro users don't get

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 3, 2015
Updated • Jul 5, 2017
Windows, Windows 10

If you plan to buy Windows 10 when it comes out, either retail, as a system builder copy or through a PC or tablet, you have the choice between Windows 10 Home and Pro as a consumer.

These are the two main retail versions of Windows 10 and naturally, they differ in some aspects. While Microsoft has not revealed official pricing yet, it is likely that it will match that of Windows 8.1, so that retail copies of Windows 10 Home will be available for $119 and of Windows 10 Pro for $199 in the US.

The question that should come up naturally is whether the $80 extra for the Pro edition are worth it.

Update: We have published a comparison of Windows 10 Home, Pro and S in 2017. Check it out!

Microsoft released a comparison chart for the four major Windows 10 editions, Home, Pro, Enterprise and Education that details the features they include.

While all versions share the same Core Experience according to Microsoft, with Cortana, Windows Hello biometric support, Microsoft Edge and Continuum, it is the business experience where they diverge.

windows 10 feature comparison editions

Windows 10 Home users get the fewest features of all editions. It is for instance still the case that Group Policy and Bitlocker are not available in Home editions.

Feature Home Pro Enterprise Education
Device Encryption yes yes yes yes
Domain Join yes yes yes
Group Policy Management yes yes yes
Bitlocker yes yes yes
Enterprise Mode yes yes yes
Assigned Access 8.1 yes yes yes
Remote Desktop yes yes yes
Direct Access yes yes
Windows To Go Creator yes yes
Applocker yes yes
Branchcache yes yes
Start Screen Control yes yes
Side-loading of business apps yes yes yes yes
Mobile device management yes yes yes yes
Join Azure Active Directory yes yes yes
Business Store yes yes yes
Granular UX Control yes yes
Upgrade Pro > Enterprise yes yes
Upgrade Home > Education yes yes
Microsoft Passport yes yes yes yes
Enterprise Data Protection yes yes yes
Current Branch for Business yes yes yes
Long Term Servicing Branch yes
Windows Update yes yes yes yes
Windows Update for Business yes yes yes
Current Branch for Business yes yes yes
Long Term Servicing Branch yes

Pro users get additional features that Home users won't. The feature set mimics that of Windows 8.1 for the most part as features such as Bitlocker, Group Policy Management or Remote Desktop are available in the Pro version of Windows 10.

As far as new features are concerned, it is how Windows gets updated that may be of interest when making the decision. As mentioned earlier, it appears that updates may become mandatory on Windows 10 Home devices while better control options are provided on devices running Windows 10 Pro.

It is still too early to tell if Microsoft will really go down that route and enforce updates without giving users options to block some or control when these get deployed on their systems, but it looks as if that is what is going to happen.

Windows users who are eligible for a free upgrade get either a Home or Pro version depending on the existing license they have. Device that get updated to Windows 10 Home can be upgraded -- for a price -- to Windows 10 Pro if that is desired.

Closing Words

While most users may not have issues running Windows 10 Home on their devices, others may have two main areas of concern.

The first has been part of the Windows family for a long time: Group Policy is not available. This may not be a huge issue depending on how the system is used but for some, it is important to have access to policies on devices running Windows 10.

More problematic than that is how updates are handled in Home versions. If early predictions are correct, control over updates and when they get installed is removed from Windows 10 Home. Considering that the past has shown that updates may sometimes break systems or features, it could be a recipe for disaster.

Microsoft details which features Windows 10 Home and Pro users don't get
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Microsoft details which features Windows 10 Home and Pro users don't get
Find out which features Windows 10 editions such as Home or Pro support, and which features these editions don't support or ship with.
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  1. User_Choice said on July 17, 2015 at 9:27 am

    Home/Pro users are gonna be guinea pigs with a definitely botched up updates having no option to disable/manually control it. I guess Im gonna stick to Windows 7 till the day it’s support ends and start moving/training personels with linux distros in the upcoming years.

    1. EuroSkept1C said on July 17, 2015 at 12:15 pm

      That’s my only grip… Otherwise, I like the lighter Home version. Can you control Updates in Pro version or only Enterprise?

  2. Abir Hasan said on July 9, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Well i found answer for my ‘?’: “Granular UX Control” is оne of the functions of Adaptive UX – is based on set of adaptive controls that enables great experiences across devices. It supports mouse, keyboard and touch users.

    GHACKS, Thank You ;)!


  3. Jhon Lingkon said on July 7, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    what is Bitlocker ? How can i use it? help me

  4. Nicolaos said on July 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I like the Home version. Less junk and nothing I need.

  5. Mike089 said on July 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Well i found answer for my ‘?’: “Granular UX Control” is оne of the functions of Adaptive UX – is based on set of adaptive controls that enables great experiences across devices. It supports mouse, keyboard and touch users.

    GHACKS, Thank You ;)!

  6. Mike089 said on July 5, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    What is “Granular UX” what for? Please Help

  7. Jordan said on July 5, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Nice post! What da hell is “Direct Access”?

    * I faked my name and email to protect my privacy.

  8. Guest said on July 4, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Not adding Remote Desktop to the Home version is really going to hurt Microsoft (and users) in the longrun. Yes I know there are 3rd party tools, but I’m guessing that many people would rather go for the built-in function if it were available.

  9. mariustm said on July 4, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Not having “gpedit.msc” would be a real bitch!The rest I don’t care!

  10. Jhon Lingkon said on July 3, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    windows 10 is amazing system. but it free for one year then they charge ours.

    1. leon said on July 4, 2015 at 10:39 am

      if you have windows 10 it will stay free for that person
      after a year and ya dont have upgraded then you have to pay

  11. MADRIDKING said on July 3, 2015 at 6:38 pm

    Nice positive note to end on as usual.

  12. Whitebuck said on July 3, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    After setting up a Windows 10 machine for myself, I can subjectively opine that Windows is primitive, aesthetically juvenile and has a shockingly convoluted and illogical User interface. I am still trying to figure out what makes Microsoft and Windows users believe their OS, has practical or monetary worth. It is better than Vista, which was the last Windows OS I used. But it’s a sad statement that KDE desktop blows away Windows 10 and it’s free! Then there’s the available “programs” applications which are also unnecessarily convoluted an grossly inadequate and inferior to OS X proprietary and third party applications. If it were not free via the Insider Program, I damn sure would not purchase Windows OS. For those who dislike OS X for what ever reason, I would recommend Kubuntu, before I would any Windows iteration. Microsoft pricing on Windows and Office is atrociously rapacious and concerning Windows Home, it is absolutely void of any worth. I set my Windows 10 machine up with all the best equivalents to my OS X proprietary and third party applications and the Windows 10 machine is archaic in comparison. Trust me, if you ever set up a OS X machine and use it, you would never willingly purchase and use a Windows machine, unless you are strictly a Gamer. I offer this observation absolutely detesting Apple Corporation. But, in todays none choice society, or the illusion of choice. I chose Apples OS for my daily driver. For it is the lesser of the evils between Microsoft and Apple, it has the most practical functionality, it is the most aesthetically pleasing and has the most intuitive user interface. When compared to the other available Operating Systems. Live and let live!

    1. MADRIDKING said on July 3, 2015 at 6:40 pm

      Don’t wrack your brain much just let them use what they choose and you yours.
      Live and let live.

  13. Mystique said on July 3, 2015 at 5:46 pm

    The problem I find is I hate the way updates are handled now, they were fine in windows 7 however on windows 8 – 8.1 there seems to be a lot of down time and lost of productivity for forced restarts and it seems windows 10 is simply becoming worse in that regard from first looks.

  14. Maelish said on July 3, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    Anyone seen an upgrade path from Pro to Enterprise? If so, have you seen the price?

  15. Gregory said on July 3, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I have no problem with forced updates. The real issue is if they screw up my computer then it’ll be the devil to pay.

  16. Jeff said on July 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    The Group Policy editor was/is also unavailable in Windows 7 Home, but is quite easy for the user to enable. I’m wondering if the same will be true for Windows 10 Home.

  17. Shawn said on July 3, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    I’ll let the hackers improve on the home edition screw ups give them 2 weeks when it’s out and we won’t have to bother with crappy updates.

    We’ll have a nice little tool to shut it down and not worry about it.

    So either way if I’m stuck with Windows 10 I just won’t care as at least someone will have made a fix for auto updates.

  18. Denton the bear said on July 3, 2015 at 9:54 am

    When purchasing Windows machines for home users I alway specify business machines, so I will carry on doing so with 10.

  19. Logan Johnson said on July 3, 2015 at 8:44 am

    So is any feature that isn’t included in Home any use to a typical internet user? I’d assume most people can live without actually buying a upgrade to Pro or Enterprise.

    1. Tim said on July 3, 2015 at 10:53 am

      @ Logan Johnson

      As Martin mentioned in the article, there will be settings in Group policy that can come in handy, but the main missing feature is Bitlocker. If someone’s house is burgled or their computer/harddrives are lost/stolen, the information stored on them is still pretty important right? Not someone you’d want criminals sifting through, especially as Microsoft only hash stored passwords, they don’t salt them as well.

      Also, although I can understand the need for an Enterprise version of Windows 10, I think it’s pretty dumb having two versions of normal Windows.

      1. Decent60 said on July 4, 2015 at 8:14 am


        I still only know a handful of people who even use any encryption setup. Mainly because they don’t know about it but still have the ability to use it. Tbh, it’s mostly the “techie” people I see using any of it and would be dreadful for those who have a problem remembering where they put their WiFi password information, let alone a USB drive that has their Bitlocker credentials in it (in case of failing hard drive). While I do agree it’s important, I’ve recovered dozens of hard drives that would have been impossible to do if I had to decrypt the driver every time it seized (hard drive failure due to heat issues; owners didn’t want to risk data lose from manual separation/correction) .

      2. Tim said on July 3, 2015 at 11:12 am

        Ooops, forgot link to the article showing recovery of Microsoft Account password on a non-encrypted hard drive:

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 3, 2015 at 8:54 am

      Most Home users don’t need them. I’d still be careful about the update situation though and would not select Home if updates are indeed mandatory with you having no control over when they are installed.

      1. Kasey said on July 7, 2015 at 6:24 pm


      2. Dave said on July 4, 2015 at 5:17 pm

        It’s also crazy that Windows 7 and 8 will restart your PC to perform an update. If you leave your PC for more than 15 minutes, or hit a button when the shutdown dialogue pops up over the top of whatever you’re doing, your PC will be restarted, and whatever you’re doing will not be saved or suspended first. Who thought of this policy and the awful implementation?

        This is evidence that Microsoft thinks people just screw around wasting time on their PCs, rather than doing anything productive. If you’re editing a home video, making an audio track, building a mesh dragon or painting a waterwheel, Microsoft doesn’t care about you. Microsoft only cares about uses who browse Reddit and check Facebook with their PCs.

      3. Logan Johnson said on July 3, 2015 at 9:06 am

        It’s crazy that they would force updates on Home users, I personally disagree with them as there is a chance that they could release botched updates.

        I’d say it’s very likely that they will reconsider this soon.

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