Microsoft divides Windows 10 into several editions. Two of which are Home edition and Pro edition. Home and Pro are two Windows 10 editions that are available as standalone purchases in retail outlets. Meaning that you can buy a single license for a device. Both Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro are called baseline editions. Meanwhile, Windows 10 Enterprise and Windows 10 Education are only available through volume licensing channels. Meaning that you can only buy the licenses in a certain number.
Among other Windows 10 editions, Home is the cheapest one. That is why most laptop vendors use this edition as the default operating system for their laptops. If you find a laptop model bundled with Windows 10 Pro edition, it typically costs higher.
Overall, the features available on Windows 10 Home edition are not much different from Pro and other editions. However, there are several advanced features available on Windows 10 Pro that are not available in the Home edition. Here are 4 of them.
1. Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop is of the advanced features available on the Windows 10 Pro edition that is not available in the Home edition. As the name suggests, this feature allows you to remotely access your computer without needing to install a third-party app like AnyDesk or TeamViewer. You can enable this feature via Windows Settings. On the Windows Settings window, you can go to System -> Remote Desktop to enable this feature.
If you try to enable this feature on Windows 10 Home, you will see the following message.
By default, Remote Desktop can only be used within your local network. To access your computer via the internet, you need to configure the VPN connection.
2. Assigned Access
This feature is pretty useful if you want to jointly use your laptop with family members or teammates at your workplace. It allows you to restrict the use of apps on the laptop per user. You can create Standard User accounts for family members or teammates you share the use of the laptop with and lock certain apps from being used by those users. To use this feature, you can go to Accounts -> Family & other users on the Windows Settings window. Scroll down to the Set up a kiosk section and click Assigned access.
In Windows 10 Home edition, you can’t find the menu above.
The Assigned Access itself can only be used to assign apps that come bundled with Windows 10 and the ones you installed from Microsoft Store. The classic desktop apps support (apps you installed from EXE files.) is only available for Windows 10 Enterprise and Education.
BitLocker is a default feature of Windows 10 that allows you to encrypt your computer’s hard drive with the purpose of preventing it from being spied and accessed. In addition to the computer’s hard drive, BitLocker can also be used to encrypt removable drives such as an external hard drive. This feature is useful if you have sensitive data. You can access BitLocker via Control Panel under System and Security.
BitLocker is not available in Windows 10 Home edition. When you open the System and Security section on Control Panel, you won’t see the BitLocker Drive Encryption option like the one you see on the screenshot above.
Windows 10 has a WSL feature that allows you to install a Linux distro on your Windows 10 machine. This feature will create a subsystem to run the installed Linux distro. Important to note that this feature only allows you to run Bash shell and 64-bit CLI programs. It doesn’t allow you to run the GUI version of a distro. If you need to run a full-featured Linux distro (including the GUI feature), you can create a virtual machine. If you use Windows 10 Pro edition, you don’t need to install a third-party virtual machine app like VirtualBox and VMware Workstation. Windows 10 Pro edition has a default feature called Hyper-V that allows you to create a virtual machine. You can enable this feature from the Windows Feature window.
Hyper-V is not available in Windows Home edition. You will see no Hyper-V option when accessing the Windows Features windows on Windows 10 Home edition.
The bottom line
Outside the 4 features covered above, most Windows 10 features are available in Windows 10 Home edition. If you need one of the features above while only have Windows 10 installed on your machine, you can install a third-party app. For instance, you can install Virtual Box to run a virtual machine or install AnyDesk to remote-access your machine. Or, you can also upgrade your Windows Home buying a Windows 10 Pro license.