Since its release in 2015, Windows 10 has become one of the most popular operating system in the world owing to its wealth of helpful features and tools. Despite previous claims that Windows 10 was the last version of Windows, it is now official that the next generation of Windows OS is Windows 11. Since the big announcement in June 2021, there have been many questions on when and how users can install and use Windows 11. This article will take you through the process of how to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and install the latest OS on your computer.
Related: How to rollback Windows updates?
Windows 11 – A New Look
Windows 11 is the latest version of the Windows NT operating system and the successor to Windows 10. There are several changes in design and features with Microsoft aiming to enhance user experience and productivity. However, most Windows 10 applications will be compatible with the new OS version. Some of the changes in the new OS include a redesigned Start Menu, the new Widgets feature, revamped File Explorer for better file management and overhauled Microsoft Store. Generally, Microsoft has fixed issues found with Windows 10, removing some of the bundled features, adding new ones and modifying others to enhance performance and the overall user experience. The new design looks sleek and fresh.
If you are excited, here is a step-by-step guide on how to upgrade from your PC from Windows 10 to Windows 11 version.
Check Windows 11 System Requirements
One of the major differences between Windows 10 and 11 is the system requirements. In order run Windows 11, your system must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Processor – 1GHz or faster with at least 2 cores on 64-bit processor or SoC
- 4GB or higher RAM
- At least 64 GB HDD Storage
- DirectX 12 compatible graphic card
- Display of 9” or more (Diagonal) with at least 720p HD resolution
- System firmware – UEFI / Secure Boot Capable
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0
- Others – Microsoft Account and Internet connections.
You can manually check whether your machine can run the new Windows series to ensure a smooth transition. To do so:
- Type ‘System Info’ in the search bar and open ‘System Information’ from the result.
- This will open the System summary window and you can scroll down to confirm that your PC is ready for Windows 11.
- For the TPM requirement, press the ‘Win + R’ keys and type ‘tpm.msc’. TPM is simply a microchip integrated with the computer motherboard and can store encryptions to provide hardware security functions. Note that you may need to activate TPM in BIOS.
Alternatively, you can download the health checkup tool from Microsoft and check whether your computer meets the requirements for Windows 11.
How to Upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11?
If you are currently running Windows 10 and your computer meets the minimum system requirements, you can get Windows 11 in four official ways as discussed below:
Option 1: Upgrade to Windows 11 in Windows Update
Windows 11 will be available to all current Windows 10 users for free and can be downloaded as normal windows update.
- Ensure that you have a genuine Windows 10 and stable internet connectivity.
- Your PC must also be running the latest build of old OS so it is advisable to maintain an up-to-date Windows 10.
- Click gear icon on the start menu or press ‘Win + I’ keys to open the Settings app.
- Navigate to “Update & Security > Windows Update” and under “Windows Update”, click the “Check for updates” button.
- You find the Windows 11 update ready for download and installation. After download, the PC may restart to install the new updates.
- Wait for the updates to finish. The computer may restart several times and finally will load in Windows 11.
It is worth noting that this option is not currently available and will work after the final release of the OS, which is planned to be later in 2021.
Option 2: Experience Windows 11 Preview through Windows Insider Program
If you can wait for the final release and want to experience the redesigned features ahead of others, you have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with Windows 11 features via the Windows Insider. Windows Insider Program is a Microsoft testing program that enables users to install and test pre-release of the operating systems.
1. Backup Your Data
Before you upgrade to Windows 11 preview, it is advisable to backup your PC data and settings. This is a caution just in case things go wrong; you will not lose your important files. There are several options to do this including:
- Copying files to a secondary storage.
- Using cloud backup solutions including Microsoft OneDrive.
- You can also install the new OS in a secondary machine.
2. Enroll for Windows Insider Program
You need to sign up to the insider program. This requires you to have a licensed copy of Windows and a Microsoft account. There are two ways to register for Windows Insider Program.
2.1. Register Through Microsoft Website
- Visit the Windows Insider website and click the “Register” button.
- Log into your MS account when prompted and then click the “Flight now” button to get started.
2.2. Register from Computer Settings
Alternatively, you can register from your computer by logging into your Microsoft account.
- Open the Settings app and open the “Updates & Security” option. On the left panel, select “Windows Insider Program” at the bottom of the list.
- You may be prompted to enable optional diagnostic data. Follow the link provided to do so or go to “Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback”. Check the option for “Full:” under the “Diagnostic data” section. In Windows 10 Pro version, you can enable “Optional diagnostic data” option to proceed further.
- Again, go back to Windows Insider Program settings page and click the “Get started” button.
- You can register for an account or switch to a new MS account for using Windows Insider Program. Click “Register” to proceed further.
- On the next screen, click on the signup button to register for the Insider Program.
- After successful registration, you will see a message like below.
We recommend registering through computer settings. You will see a message here, in case if your computer is not eligible for Windows 11 upgrade. You can still register for Windows Insider Program to get the preview latest Windows 10 builds before public release.
3. Link and Choose Channel for Windows Insider Program
After registering for Windows Insider Program, you need to link your account and choose the channel.
- Go to Windows Insider Program settings page and click “Get Started” button on your computer.
- From the resulting window, click the ‘+’ sign to link an account, select your MS account and click “Continue”.
- The Insider settings popup will appear prompting you to choose a channel among Developer, Beta and Release preview options. Join the preferred channel and click “Confirm” to continue. Microsoft recommends beta channel that is suitable for users want to test Windows 11.
- You will see a screen with details of what to expect and click the “Confirm” button.
- Finally, click “Restart now” on the popup that follows.
4. Download and Install Windows 11 Preview Build
The Windows 11 Preview can be downloaded and installed as the regular Windows update.
- Go to settings and open the “Update & Security” option.
- Under “Windows update” click the button to check for updates and wait for windows to search for new updates.
- Click “Download & install” under the Windows 11 Preview update just like the normal Windows 10 updates.
- Remember, in case if any Windows 10 updates are pending, they will be first installed before installing Windows 11. This will be automatically taken care when you have previous pending updates.
Once completed, you can now explore the redesigned version.
Note: You can anytime stop the beta or developer build and go back to the stable public release. In order to move back to stable version, select “Stop getting preview builds” option from Windows Insider Program settings page.
Option 3: Purchase Official Windows 11 Installation Media
Once the new OS is rolled out officially, users will be able to buy the installation ISO file in DVD from authorized vendors. Alternatively, you can purchase the ISO file and download from the Microsoft website when it will be available.
Option 4: Purchase a Windows 11 PC
Another option is to buy a new laptop or desktop that is pre-installed with Windows 11. This is a great solution for users whose current PC specifications are below the minimum requirements or if you need to upgrade from your old hardware.
Most computer users are familiar with Windows 10, one of the widely used OS worldwide obviously because of its great features, easy navigation and security features. Microsoft has finally announced Windows 11, the latest version of the Windows NT version. The new OS is aimed at fixing Windows 10 bugs and offer a more enhance user experience. You can follow the above guide to upgrade to Windows 11 and enjoy all the features that comes with the new design. It is also important to keep checking for new updates and install them whenever available.