Windows 11, Microsoft’s new operating system, was officially launched yesterday. However, users across the world with eligible PCs will have to wait as the new OS is being gradually rolled out across Windows 10-running PCs via a free update over the next few months.
This means that some users may find the prompt to download and install the Windows 11 update earlier than others, depending on when your PC receives the update in question. The company says it hopes to bring Windows 11 to all of its users by mid-2022.
Users that don’t want to wait till then can download and install Windows 11 now via the installation media creation tools that Microsoft released today, which include a new Windows 11 installer and the official disk image (ISO) for Windows 11.
Upgrades that Windows 11 Brings Over Windows 10
Windows 11 brings new visuals, new functionalities and new features to upgrade its predecessor.
Above all, Windows 11 will be a visually different experience from all of its predecessors with its rounded corners and clean, sanitised finish which are clearly inspired by competitors like macOS and Chrome OS.
The OS will also feature new Live Tiles functions, new Snap Layouts for on-screen space ergonomics. New improvements to performance, including smaller updates.
Microsoft Teams is now fully integrated into Windows 11, and a new redesigned Microsoft Store is featured in the OS which now includes Android apps like Instagram for purchasing and downloading.
New accessibility and security options have also been added.
A somewhat full rundown of the OS’s improvements can be found here.
How to Download and Install Windows 11 right now
The best and easiest method to download and install Windows 11 right now is to use Microsoft’s Windows 11 Installation Assistant. This will download a 4MB installer that you can use to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and safely maintain all your files and apps.
To use this installer, you will need a valid installation of Windows 10 – if your computer came with Windows 10 installed or if you installed Windows 10 when you built your PC then you already have this covered.
Windows 11 requires at least 9GB of storage space on your PC. Users will also have to make sure their systems can actually run the new, improved OS. Windows 11 has a host of requirements that may mean some older PCs won’t be able to run it.
Windows 11’s full list of requirements:
“To install or upgrade to Windows 11, devices must meet the following minimum hardware requirements,” writes Microsoft.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC).
- RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB) or greater.
- Storage: 64 GB or greater available storage is required to install Windows 11.
- Additional storage space might be required to download updates and enable specific features.
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver.
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
- Display: High definition (720p) display, 9″ or greater monitor, 8 bits per colour channel.
- Internet connection: Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates, and to download and use some features.
- Windows 11 Home edition requires an Internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete device setup on first use.
If your PC can support Windows 11 with the requirements above then you can download the installer and follow these steps:
- Select Run. You need to be an administrator to run this tool.
- Once the tool confirms the device hardware is compatible, you will be presented with the license terms. Select Accept and Install.
- Once the tool is ready, click the Restart Now button to complete the installation on your computer.
- It might take some time to install Windows 11, and your PC will restart a few times. Make sure you don’t turn off your PC.
Once the steps have been followed, you will be greeted with a brand new PC running Windows 11. Very exciting!
PCs that are unsupported (don’t meet the requirements) can still use the ISO to install Windows 11, but Microsoft says it cannot guarantee these users will receive proper features and security updates.