Windows 10 Pro vs Home: What Sets Them Apart?


Are you in the process of building a PC and wondering about the difference between Windows 10 Home and Pro? As you’re likely aware, creating a high-performance gaming setup can be quite an investment. While our comprehensive build guides cover all the necessary hardware, you’ll also need to decide which version of Microsoft’s operating system suits your needs – Home or Pro. In this article, we’ll explore the features and advantages of Windows 10 Pro to help you make an informed decision.

The Cost Factor

Let’s start with the price. Retail versions of the licenses are priced at $119 for Windows 10 Home and $199 for Windows 10 Pro. However, if you’re purchasing OEM keys alongside hardware, you can get them for $109 and $149 respectively. That’s a price difference of $40-$80, which could potentially be allocated towards upgrading your video card or increasing the memory. Of course, this only makes sense if you don’t require the additional features offered by Windows 10 Pro.

It’s worth noting that Windows 11 offers a free upgrade from Windows 10. However, if you don’t currently own either, you’ll still need to acquire a key.

Windows 10 Pro: Designed for Power Users

Microsoft has been offering a Pro version of Windows since the days of XP. While many of the additional features cater to business users, there are some that might prove indispensable to enthusiasts. Let’s dive into the most useful features of Windows 10 Pro and explore alternative options when applicable.

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Remote Desktop

With Windows 10 Home, you can initiate Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) sessions but you won’t have the ability to remotely control your PC from another device on your network. Luckily, there are various free alternatives such as TigerVNC and TeamViewer that offer similar functionality, and sometimes even additional features not found in RDP. Another option to explore is RDP Wrapper, which is available for free.


If you prioritize data security and wish to safeguard your information from unauthorized access, Windows 10 Pro is the way to go. Bitlocker, included in the Pro version, provides comprehensive disk encryption, ensuring your data remains protected from hackers. The latest version of Bitlocker also allows for file-specific encryption, offering greater flexibility than previous iterations. While there are alternative software options available, they do not come pre-installed in the operating system. If you want to avoid any potential performance loss, make sure to use an SSD or HDD that supports the necessary hardware acceleration for Bitlocker.

Trusted Boot

Trusted Boot is a feature designed to shield your PC from rootkits, working in tandem with Secure Boot to keep your system malware-free and under your control. While this feature can provide peace of mind for any user, it is primarily aimed at businesses where security is a top priority.

It’s important to note that Secure Boot is available on both Windows 10 Pro and Home versions.

Windows Sandbox

Sometimes curiosity gets the better of us, prompting us to run suspicious files. Wondering if that anonymous download, which claims to improve performance, is legitimate or just malware disguising itself as a useful program? If you have Windows 10 Pro, you can utilize the Windows Sandbox feature to run programs in a secure environment, preventing any potential harm. This is an especially handy tool for cautious users.

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Hyper-V is a Windows-exclusive hypervisor used for running virtual machines on CPUs that support virtualization. If you plan on utilizing virtual machines extensively, the additional cost of Windows 10 Pro might be justified. However, for those solely interested in virtualization, free alternatives like Virtualbox offer more features and compatibility with multiple operating systems. Do note that although Hyper-V is included with your Windows 10 Pro license, you’ll need to download and install it separately.

Memory Limits and Business Features

Beyond the aforementioned features, there are a few other differences between Windows 10 Home and Pro. Windows 10 Home supports a maximum of 128GB of RAM, while Pro raises the bar significantly with support for up to 2TB. However, unless you’re running numerous virtual machines, it’s unlikely that you’ll exceed the memory limits of the Home version anytime soon.

Additional features like group policy management, Assigned Access, and the ability to join a domain are primarily intended for workplace settings and may not be particularly useful in a home environment. Group Policy allows administrators to restrict access to various Windows features and configure settings within the operating system, offering greater control. Assigned Access, on the other hand, enables admins to restrict Windows access to a single app under a designated user account. While this may sound appealing for pranks in the workplace, it lacks practicality at home.

Windows Update for Business provides admins with control over system updates, allowing them to defer updates that may cause compatibility issues with legacy software or impact business operations. However, unless absolutely necessary, it is generally recommended to keep Windows up to date for optimal performance and security.

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In summary, both Windows 10 Home and Pro have their own merits. Windows 10 Pro offers additional features that can be invaluable for power users and businesses, such as Remote Desktop, Bitlocker, Trusted Boot, Windows Sandbox, and Hyper-V. However, for most casual users, Windows 10 Home provides a solid foundation with ample memory support and a familiar interface. Consider your specific needs and budget before making your final decision.

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