Tip: Upgrade to Windows 11 Now

Posted on September 27, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 34 Comments

Microsoft has made it easier than ever to upgrade to Windows 11 and you can do so now, ahead of the launch, for free.

How? Well, assuming you are running Windows 10, your PC is compatible, and you’re registered as a Windows Insider (it’s free). If you meet that criteria, you can download the latest Windows 11 ISO from the Microsoft website. Well, not the latest: What you want is the Beta channel build, which represents the version that the public will start getting next week. So scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the following choices:

Select edition: Windows 11 Insider Preview (Beta Channel) – Build 22000.194

Product language: (Your language. For example, “English”.)

64-bit Download. (This choice will be different if you visit the website using Windows 10 on ARM.)

Once the ISO file downloads, just double-click it to add it to File Explorer as a virtual optical drive. Then, run Setup and upgrade to Windows 11. After it’s done, be sure to run Windows Update to check for any updates.

Note: The old method of enrolling in the Windows Insider Program, updating, and dis-enrolling the PC is time-consuming and, for this release, prone to failure because you will get Windows 10 version 21H2 if you try to force it. The method above works best.

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Comments (34)

34 responses to “Tip: Upgrade to Windows 11 Now”

  1. blue77star

    I would not recommend it not until 2023 to iron out issues, bugs and horrible interface which is going to agonize you as a desktop user.

    • jaredthegeek

      As someone with an ultrawide monitor the menu does not bother me at all. I prefer it to the current scheme.

      • usman

        Same here, the snap layouts and centered start menu just makes it quite easier to work within an ultrawide. Used to use taskbarx, but that would always leave the start button in the corner.

    • Bart

      Prefer it over Windows 10.

    • jdawgnoonan

      I also prefer it over Windows 10. In fact, I am tired of complaints about the hidden options from the taskbar, if you are truly a Windows Power User you know how to find what you need and it should be harder for normal users to find that stuff so that it doesn't clutter the UI as it has always done in the past.

      • hrlngrv


        Indeed, you're in sync with MSFT's intentions.

        I'd put it differently. Those with enough experience using Windows have found 3rd party alternatives for desktop UI components. Windows 11 is a gilt-edged invitation to dump the default UI.

  2. polloloco51

    I must say:

    When you look at the thorough development of Windows 7 and 8.

    Windows 11, really cannot be ready for primetime, on Oct 5th. I certainly, do not feel confident enough, installing it on main machines. At least for another several months. It is the undiscovered, little bugs, that can just mess everything up!

  3. krusador

    I'll upgrade to 11 when MS decides to support my high-dollar system that's less than 3 years old...

    • inform

      Indeed. My Core i7-7700K with GTX 1080, 32GB RAM, MOtherboard TPM support with nvme, 2 SSDs and a large 8TB drive is just fine thank you. I won’t be upgrading for years unless Microsoft comes off it’s unrelenting high horse and supports it. I’m certainly not so ending more thousands of dollars just because MS capriciously decided they don’t want to support the processor for what the testers say is completely unwarranted. Not sure when they decided to be evil Darth Vader again.

  4. ebraiter

    I'll wait for Windows 12 in 2028. :-)

  5. wolters

    I'm having odd issues when I upgraded my work PC...this may sound small but I can no longer access Facebook or Instagram on the web either in Edge or Chrome since upgrading to Windows 11. I have to update our company's social media pages and it just "spins and spins" and never connects...I can't imagine what would cause that.

    And oftentimes, Google websites are very slow to update in Edge...Photos and Maps can take 30-45 seconds to update.

  6. djomega971

    I know this is an "upgrade" but since there is an ISO, I have to ask the question...

    Does anyone know yet if a clean install is an option?

  7. MikeCerm

    The only interesting new thing in Windows 11 from a feature perspective is Android app support, and that's not even in there yet. I'm not going to bother figuring out which of my systems is supported and which are unsupported-but-works-anyway until there's an actual feature worth upgrading for. Maybe it feels different to actually use it, but the interface changes don't seem like an upgrade, and in many ways are a step backward (e.g., context menus).

  8. simont

    I am going to be one of "those" people and update my laptop to it now. My gaming PC stays on Windows 10 as it is too old to be upgraded. I am looking forward to the new experience.

  9. dallasnorth40

    Love this upgrade! My wife's desktop is not eligible, but it's time to get her a new one anyway. This moves Windows forward in a big way.

  10. madthinus

    I think this one I will wait a bit before thinking of moving across. No real immediate need to upgrade.

  11. sherlockholmes

    Thanks but no thanks. I dont like a step back with athe new Windows 11. And when I have to do more clicks then before, it is a step back for me.

    • navarac

      Exactly. An invitation to RSI if ever I saw one. MSFT lost consumers to Apple and Chromebooks, and are now set to lose Power Users and enthusiasts as well.

  12. anderb

    I'm waiting until the Windows Outsiders have finished testing it.

  13. mefree

    My current Windows 11 build is 22463.1000, so it appears I have a newer build already than the full release build???

  14. nacunis

    Yes, you are too new. I had a backup that was about a week old. After restoring that, it allowed me to go to the release preview channel because it was build 22000,192

  15. pachi

    So I forced the update the other day just to experiment.

    Overall i think it's a much more slick, and at least smoother feeling experience than 10 is. New animations etc. feel nice. new icons aren't amazing or anything but their colors really do look nicer on a whole.

    start menu sucks, but if you disable all the fluff and clear it out it's useable. I did move it to the left though, MS just does NOT grasp why MacOS works when it's centered.

    Other big con is right click menus have to load in, it's nowhere near instant as in before, there's a definite delay. It's the same thing that always plagued the UWP apps right click menus.

    rounded edges look slick too, sadly they're hit or miss on which software supports it, anything in a custom window simply does not. so two of my most used apps really look funky now lol

    Otherwise yeah, this is well worth an upgrade for even if only for the smooth feeling that 11 provides. I was expecting a lot worse.

  16. drewtx

    I want Windows 11, and I'm an Insider, but by 7 year old Dell PC has no TPM and an unsupported CPU. The PC still performs fine (with some upgrades); it runs both iRacing and and FS 2020.

    If I use the ISO method, will I be able to install on unsupported hardware?

    (I'm not worried about being "un-supported")

    • asdfasedasdfasdf

      I tried it on an i7-6800K with no TPM, and it would not allow me to install it. It stopped at a screen that said it was incompatible and the 'next' button was inactive.

      I have read you can install it on an older CPU, but it appears that TPM is mandatory.

      • ebraiter

        TPM is a definite requirement.

        If you had TPM you can only do a clean install but will have no support other than updates.

      • bhofer

        I read or saw a video that you can bypass the TPM requirement by using a Windows 10 installer/ISO, but replace the install.wim file with the one from Windows 11.

        • epguy40

          OR you could just create custom Win11 ISO install media by using this updated MediaCreationTool batch script file, which seems to bypass the TPM and system requirement checks:


  17. Jeff

    I have a 3 year old AMD Ryzen 5 and it does not meet the requirements. Guess it is Win 10 for a few more years

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