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How to get Windows 11

Microsoft today released Windows 11 for general availability, and there are several ways that you can install the new operating system. Let's go through them!

Things to check first

PC Health Check

Before you begin, it's best to run Microsoft's PC Health Check application. This will check your system to ensure it meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 11, including having your Firmware TPM (or physical if you have one) enabled. Microsoft also recommends that you check out their Windows Release Health page, which lists all known issues, just in case one might affect you.

System Requirements

The system requirements for Windows 11 are quite a bit stricter than Windows 10, so you'll need to be sure you meet them before you install. The PC Health Check app should be able to confirm if you can run Windows 11, but you can also double check against the requirements below.

 

Hardware Minimum Requirement
Processor 1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
RAM 4 GB
Storage 64 GB or larger
System Firmware UEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPM Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Graphics Card Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with a WDDM 2.0 driver
Display 9" or larger display with 720p or higher resolution and at least 8-bits per colour channel
Internet Connection Windows 11 Home requires internet connectivity AND a Microsoft Account.
For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft Account is also required for some features.

 

Upgrading from Windows 10

Windows Update

This is the recommended method by Microsoft - upgrading via Windows Update. If you're running Windows 10 and you meet the system requirements above, you can wait for it to appear there. It's a free upgrade so you won't have to pay for a new licence key either.

The disadvantage to this method is that Microsoft is releasing the update in waves over the coming months, so you may not be able to upgrade straight away.

If you can't wait though, there is another option...

Windows 11 Installation Assistant

Microsoft have made a great little application that you can use to install Windows 11, called the Windows 11 Installation Assistant. If you're on Windows 10 you download and run the application - from here it will download all the installation files it needs, including drivers for your hardware such as your network or wireless card (so it can connect to the internet once complete), and then upgrades Windows 10 for you.

You need to make sure that you have a valid Windows 10 licence, that you're running Windows 10 version 2004 or higher, your PC meets the minimum requirements, and that you have 9GB of free disk space to download the required files.

You can download the Windows 11 Installation Assistant here.

Performing a clean installation

Windows Media Creation Tool

If you'd like to perform a clean install of Windows 11 on a new or used PC, or upgrade to from Windows 10 using an alternative method to the Windows 11 Installation Assistant, you can use the Windows Media Creation Tool to make a bootable USB (or DVD) to do so.

In order to use this tool, you'll need a PC with an internet connection, enough storage to download the installation files, and a blank USB that is at least 8GB in capacity. The computer you're installing to will also need enough space to install Windows 11 on.

Note that if you're performing a clean install you will need a licence to install Windows 11.

Simply run the Media Creation Tool in Administrator mode, select to "Create installation media for another PC", choose your language, edition (Home/Pro) and then media type, and the tool will create a bootable USB/DVD for Windows 11.

You can then reboot your system and boot from your newly created media to install Windows 11.

You can download the Windows Media Creation Tool here.

Windows 11 Disc Image (ISO)

The final option you have to install Windows 11 is to download the ISO. This is more aimed at users who want to install Windows 11 into a virtual machine, or "VM", by creating a multi-edition installation media that uses the licence key you have to determine the correct edition to install.

Once again, you'll need a PC with an internet connection, enough storage to download the installation files, and a blank USB that is at least 8GB in capacity. The computer you're installing to will also need enough space to install Windows 11 on.

Note that if you're performing a clean install you will need a licence to install Windows 11.

Visit the Microsoft Windows 11 Software Download page and scroll to the "Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)" section. Read through the installation instructions and click on "Download", then in the box at the top select "Windows 11". Now scroll down to the bottom and in the "Select the product language" section, choose the language required. Once you click "Confirm" you'll be able to download the ISO, which you can then burn to a DVD for installation.

Windows 11 pre-installed PCs

Now that Windows 11 is available to the general public, you'll begin to see Windows 11-based products showing up in storefronts. Many laptops that are out there are already eligible for the free Windows 11 upgrade through Windows update.

At CCL, we've been working hard behind the scenes to ensure that all of our PCs are compatible with Windows 11. From our Nazare and Horizon gaming PCs to our home, business and workstation systems, we're now offering Windows 11 pre-installed. You'll see the choice of either Windows 11 or Windows 10 appear when you add any of our range PCs to your basket - or you can choose no OS and install one yourself!