Downloading Windows 11 will be probably one of the tasks you will be doing soon, if you are one of Microsoft’s 1.3 billion Windows 10 users. The new operating system by Microsoft will begin rolling out to eligible devices on October 5, and if you already have a licensed copy of Windows 10, the upgrade will be free. If your device is compatible and satisfies the basic criteria, you’ll be able to update to the new software the same way you would with Windows 10, once it arrives. (Even if it doesn’t, Microsoft will provide a solution, though it will not be supported.)
If you are a Windows Insider Program member, you have the option to download the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build as soon as today and try out some of the new features, including widgets, snap layouts, virtual desktops, and the new Microsoft Store. The how will be explained down below. For now, here’s everything you need to know about Microsoft’s new operating system before you download it.
As a first step, check and see if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11 in a few different ways. In addition, if you purchased a new PC between now and the general release, that computer will be eligible for the free downloading of Windows 11 as well.
If you are running an older version of Windows, you can still upgrade to Windows 10. It’s important to make this transition now, to qualify for the Windows 11 upgrade. That method will also work if you want to manually upgrade an older machine to Windows 11, however Microsoft advises against doing so because it may not be eligible for the same updates.
Downloading Windows 11 As A Windows Insider Member
You can begin downloading Windows 11 as soon as now, if you’re a member of the Windows Insider Program (you may join for free easily). Be aware, however, that beta versions, tend to be buggy, especially if they are early ones. You should never install a beta operating system on your primary device, where you do business; instead, you should install it on a tester device if you have one. For me, it’s a 32-bit laptop. This, if you are really impatient. But overall, it is best to wait until October for the tested release. This first build also does not include certain new features that will be included in the final release.
Still want to give it a shot? Here are the downloading Windows 11 steps:
1. Ensure that your device is running a licensed version of Windows 10 and that you are an administrator on it. Sign up for the Windows Insider Program, if you haven’t already. Alternatively, log in to your Windows Insider account and click Start flighting.
2. Click Start, Settings, Update & Security, Windows Insider Program, and Get Started.
3. Under Pick an account to get started, select + to connect the Microsoft account you registered with and continue.
4. Follow the prompts to select the Insider Preview build experience and channel you wish to use: Dev (for developers), Beta (for early adopters), or Release Preview (for users who want to obtain the latest version right before it’s broadly released). This build will only be available in the Dev channel.
5. Approve the Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions, and click Confirm. Then, click the Restart Now button.
6. Once the computer restarts, click Start, Settings, Privacy, Diagnostics & feedback, and make sure that the Optional Diagnostic Data switch is in the On state. Your data settings must be correct to be able to download the preview builds.
7. Click Settings, Update & Security, and Windows Update. Then click the Check For Updates button to see the newest Insider Preview build based on the settings.
From this point, your computer should update in the same manner as with any other Windows update, and you’ll be good to go.
Downloading Windows 11 When It Becomes Available
When Windows 11 becomes available to eligible users, you can download it just like any other new version of Windows. Simply click Start, Settings, Update & Security, Windows Update and check for updates. If Windows 11 is available, you will see Feature update to Windows 11. To start installation, click the Download button.
Keep in mind, however, that the Windows 11 rollout will be sluggish, and it may take months for it to reach your device. New PCs will be the first to receive the upgrade, with all supported devices receiving it by mid-2022, depending on device age and hardware.
Windows 11 has a slicker style that includes pastel shades, rounded corners, a new startup sound, and an overall appearance reminiscent of Mac. The Windows Start menu has been relocated to the center of the screen, with app icons grouped in the center next to it. You’ll find a slew of new desktop features, including widgets that provide information at a glance and simplified virtual desktop construction. Additionally, Android apps will be incorporated into Windows and available for download through the Microsoft Store, albeit this functionality will not be immediately available. (Learn about all of Windows 11’s best features and how to use them.)
The upgrade is the first significant modification to Microsoft’s operating system since the debut of Windows 10 in 2015. For the past year, there have been rumors of a significant Windows redesign. On May 25, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mentioned that the company was developing “one of the most significant updates of Windows in the previous decade,” raising speculations that a major shift was on the way for Microsoft’s 1.3 billion users of Windows 10, as of 2021. As purported photos of Windows 11 spread in mid-June, Microsoft discreetly stated that it would discontinue support for Windows 10 in 2025.
Downloading Windows 11 is free, but only for Windows 10 PCs that are running the most current version of Windows 10, and that meet the minimum hardware specifications required by the upgrade. You can check to see if you have the latest updates for Windows 10 in Settings/Windows Update.
Windows 11 can be downloaded and installed on older computers but there’s a big security risk. Microsoft will allow you to install Windows 11 on unsupported computers, after initially blocking the upcoming update.
The key requirements for running Windows 11 on a PC were revealed a few months ago by Microsoft. It requires a processor with two or more cores and a clock speed of 1GHz or higher. It also needs a RAM of 4GB or more, and at least 64GB storage.
For Windows 11 to run, your PC should have a minimum of 4GB of RAM. If your PC has 2GB of RAM, you cannot install Windows 11, so you will need to go shopping for a new computer, or physically increase the RAM on your old PC.