Windows 11 is not yet available for all users, but if you join the Windows Insider Program and your PC is capable to run Windows 11, then you can download and install the official build of Windows 11 right now. In this blog, we will discuss how you can download and install the official Windows 11 ISO by gradually taking you through the whole process.
Windows 11 is demanding high hardware specifications to run on PCs and that's one alarming news for many users. So, it's better to check whether your PC is meant for Windows 11 or not. Download "WhyNotWin11", which is a free tool that can quickly tell you which hardware requirements you fulfill and which you miss.
Once you have downloaded "WhyNotWin11, click the "Run" button. It will start the compatibility check and soon present you the results like shown in the below picture.
If you see lots of reds, then probably your PC won't be able to run Windows 11. If you see all or lots of greens, then Windows 11 is ready to welcome you.
Join Windows Insider Program
Once you know that your hardware is able to run Windows 11, the next step is to join Windows Insider Program. This program allows the members to have access to the new OS, features, and other updates before they get released for all users. The feedback Microsoft receives from its insiders helps to improve the performance. The best part, it is completely free to join for anyone.
To join the Windows Insider Program, go to this link: https://insider.windows.com/. Click the "Register" button and then sign in with your Microsoft account.
Download Windows 11 ISO
Once you are signed in to the Windows Insider Program, it will take you to the home page. Scroll down till you see the "Quick connect" section on the right side and then click "ISOs". On the ISOs page, scroll down to the bottom and click the "drop-down" icon located next to "Select edition". There you will see two builds of Windows 11, i.e., "Windows 11 Insider Preview (Dev Channel)" and "Windows 11 Insider Preview (Beta Channel)".
The difference between "Dev" and "Beta" is that the former includes all the latest functionalities available in Windows 11, but it can be less stable because of being in the development stage. The latter one includes fewer functionalities, but it will be more stable. So, you can choose the one you like and download the ISO.
Install Windows 11 ISO
Once the ISO is downloaded, double-click the ISO so that it mounts the image. Afterward, click "setup.exe" to initiate the install process. Once the process starts, it will give you two options. The first option is that you can perform an in-place upgrade with which you can keep all of your data intact while get upgraded to Windows 11. The second option is that you install a fresh Windows 11 that deletes all your previous data. So, choose the option you like and complete the installation process.
Bonus Tip 1. Create Bootable USB
To create a bootable USB with Windows 11, you need a minimum 8GB USB drive, Windows 11 ISO, and a tool to turn your USB into a bootable drive. The free and recommended tool to create a bootable USB is Rufus. So, download Rufus and follow the below steps to create a bootable USB with Windows 11:
- Launch Rufus.
- Under "Device", select your USB drive. Make sure you have connected the USB drive with the PC.
- Under "Boot selection", select Windows 11 ISO.
- Under "File system", select "NTFS".
- Click "Start".
It will take few minutes to complete the process. Once done, restart your PC to use the newly created bootable USB for Windows 11 installation.
Bonus Tip 2. Create Windows 11 Virtual Machine
Instead of removing your present Windows OS for just testing Windows 11, you can install Windows 11 on a virtual machine. Windows Professional comes with a "Hyper-V" tool that allows you to create a virtual machine within your primary machine. So, once you are setting up a new machine in "Hyper-V", select "Local installation source" and then pick the Windows 11 ISO.
If you don't have Windows Professional, then you can download VirtualBox that can let you create Windows 11 virtual machine.
Windows 11 official release for all users is still a couple of months away, but if you cannot wait that long, then becoming part of the Windows Insider Program is the best choice. This way you can install Windows 11 right away and enjoy its new offerings before others.
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