How to download Windows 11 ISO or update from Windows 10

Loredana Harsana
by Loredana Harsana
Windows & Software Expert
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was on top of the world and... Read more
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  • Windows 11 is the biggest change in years in the PC-powering software scene, so it comes as no surprise that you want to download it right away.
  • The official version of the OS is expected to become available on October 5th, 2021.
  • However, until then, there is an early beta version for those in the Windows Insider Program.
Download Windows 11
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There is no secret that Microsoft unveiled its new PC-powering software. A new version of Windows doesn’t come around very often and chances are you want to take advantage of that and download the OS right away.

Windows 11 captured everyone’s attention with an extra sheen of polish that we’ve all been waiting for.

The story is quite the same for most of us: Windows remains the place where we discovered the pure joy of gaming, edited our very first photos, realized how simple it really is to connect with our loved ones, and so much more.

You’d love to spend time walking down memory lane when it comes to Windows, that’s for sure, yet the present is far more exciting.

What are Windows 11 system requirements?

Microsoft released a list of all system requirements for the new OS on its official Windows 11 page, along with this statement:

There may be additional requirements over time for updates, as well as requirements to turn on specific features within the OS.

For now, the basic requirements for installing Windows 11 on your PC are as follow:

  • Processor: 1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores and 64-bit capability
  • System memory: 4 GB minimum
  • Storage: 64 GB minimum
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: TPM 2.0 required
  • Display: 9-inch minimum in diagonal, High definition (720p), 8 bits per color channel
  • Graphics: DirectX 12 API, WDDM 2.0

As long as your computer or laptop meets the minimum requirements, you’ll be able to update to Windows 11 the same way you usually update to new versions of Windows 10.

If you’re interested in finding out more than Windows 11 requirements, such as its specifications, supported devices, and Windows 11 CPU compatibility list, definitely check out our article.

Windows 11 pricing and official release date

The good news is that the new OS will be offered as a free upgrade for all Windows 10 users. However, OEMs will still have to pay for a Windows 11 license.

People are also expecting Windows 11 to be available for standalone purchase to consumers like Windows 10 is.

Now, as in regard to the release date, Microsoft set a clear date to October 5th on a Windows blog post.

Can I download Windows 11 now? – that’s most likely the question that you also have in mind, given the circumstances, so let’s discover together the precise answer.

Note icon
NOTE
Right now, you can get Windows 11 Preview Build if you join the Windows Insiders program and get into the Dev Channel or the Beta Channel.

How can I easily download Windows 11?

1. Discover if your PC is eligible for a free upgrade

First of all, see if your PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11. In that regard, you should simply download PC Health Check.

Click the Check Now button and you’ll either be informed that This PC can run Windows 11 and you will be notified when it becomes available, or you’ll continue to receive Windows 10 updates.

PC Health Check app was temporarily removed by Microsoft, as the app was not fully prepared to share the level of detail or accuracy but the Redmond giant brought it back again and it’s available for download.

There’s also an alternative to Microsoft’s PC Health Check App named WhyNotWin11, which offers an even more detailed system view.

2. Join the Windows Insider Program

  1. Click on the Start button and open the Settings app.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Then click on Windows Insider Program from the left pane.
    • You might get an error but you can get through if you go to Settings, Privacy, then Diagnostics & feedback and select Optional diagnostic data.
  4. Now click on the Get started button from the Windows Insider window.
  5. If you already have an account, you just need to click on the Link an account option and specify the user account. If you don’t, you will see a Register button that will take you to a registration procedure.
  6. Of course, if you already signed in with the right Insider account, you won’t be prompted to do anything, and you will switch automatically.
  7. Next, you will need to join the Dev Channel or Beta Channel because only the insiders from those channels can upgrade to the Windows 11 Preview Build so select the Dev Channel or the Beta Channel and click on Confirm.
  8. You will have another confirmation window and then you will be prompted for a restart.

Joining the Dev Channel or Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program is the key to try out the first Windows 11 Preview Build, so follow the steps above to get it done.

3. Install the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build

  1. Click the Start button and select Settings.
  2. Now select Update & Security.
  3. Just click on the Check for updates button and you should see the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build as a regular Windows update.

It will start to download and then, the installation will begin. You will also be prompted for a restart.

4. Install Windows 11 Insider Preview from an ISO

  1. Go to the Windows Insider Preview Downloads page. You have to be logged into your Insider account and be set into the Dev Channel or Beta Channel.
  2. Scroll down the page and choose Windows 11 under Select edition.
  3. You will also need to select the language and after that, you will receive a download link and you will be able to click on the 64-bit Download button to get the Windows 11 ISO.
  4. Now you can create a bootable USB or DVD, or just right click the ISO and select the Mount option.
  5. A new virtual drive will appear in your File Manager window. Just click on it and then double-click the setup file to start the installation process.

What are some of Windows 11 new features?

When designing the new OS, Microsoft’s main focus was giving its users an overall better experience, starting with an improved user interface redesign, more collaborations for the App Store, and a unique gaming experience.

The streamlined new design has pastel-like colors and rounded corners, a revamped Start menu, as well as larger touch targets for an improved PC tablet experience, to name a few.

On the right, you can see the new Notifications interface

With support for Android apps through the Amazon Store and a new way to see your interests at a glance thanks to the Widgets feature, upgrading to the new OS is clearly tempting.

But the vision for Windows 11 is best presented by Panos Panay, business executive and chief product officer for Windows+ devices at Microsoft:

The past 18 months brought an incredible shift in how we used our PCs, we went from fitting the PC into our life to trying to fit our whole life into the PC. Our devices weren’t just where we went for meetings, classes, and to get things done, but where we came to play games with friends, binge watch our favorite shows and, perhaps most meaningfully, connect with one another. In the process we found ourselves recreating the office banter, the hallway chatter, workouts, happy hours, and holiday celebrations – digitally.

We have described how you can upgrade from Windows 10 to the Windows 11 Insider Preview Build, but you can also do that by using an ISO as shown above.

When the right time comes, before jumping to the actual procedure, remember to use the best backup data software and ensure you have a stable Internet connection.

Besides the fact that you’ll be able to download the latest version and then upgrade your PC, note that you’ll also have the option to create a bootable USB drive. Just use a USB drive with at least 8GB of storage in that regard.

While upgrading the operating system, you can choose which programs to keep. Do that for all, save them to a new location, or delete everything from the system and enjoy a fresh start.

As for the public beta, do note that we strongly recommend installing it on a second tester device as bugs will most likely be part of the package.

Windows 11 is the biggest change in years, so it’s only natural to want to enjoy it as soon as possible. As for those of you worried about getting a message saying This PC can’t run Windows 11, rest assured that it can be easily solved.

Let us know in the comments area below if you like the idea of an early beta version as part of the Windows Insider Program or if only the full version is the one you have in mind.

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