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. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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