No need to wait. Here's how you can download Windows 11 right now

Polycount

Posts: 2,932   +588
Staff member
Highly anticipated: Windows 11's launch is now official as of October 5. The new operating system is set to refresh the Windows experience with new features like enhanced DirectStorage, a reworked Start menu, tabbed command prompts, the introduction of widgets, and more. If your excitement is outweighing your patience, here's some good news: you can upgrade your Windows machine to 11 right now.

Update: Microsoft is making it super easy to upgrade to Windows 11.
Follow this link and see the different options available.
You may also grab the Windows 11 ISO directly from TechSpot Downloads.

Windows 10 is unlikely to prompt you immediately, but if you simply do not want to wait it out, your best bet is the Windows Insider program. We'll explain how to opt-in and grab a copy of W11 shortly, but first, some of the basics, starting with a recap of the OS' system requirements if you aren't already aware of them.

You'll need a 2-core processor capable of reaching clock speeds of at least 1GHz, a minimum 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, a DX12-capable GPU, and... that's pretty much it! You will need a Microsoft Account, of course, since you can't sign up to the Insider Program without one, but other than that, we'd wager that the vast majority of our readers already meet the other requirements.

So, the Insider Program. You can join it in a couple of different ways (through the website or the OS), but we'll explain the more convenient option here since it only requires you to have a Windows 10 PC.

Step one is to pull up your Settings page and click on the Update & Security section. With that pulled up, you'll see an array of options on the left, starting with Windows Update and ending with Windows Insider Program. Click the latter.

Here, you might see a warning informing you that you do not have optional diagnostic data turned on -- that will be mandatory if you want to proceed. If it's off, click the link prompting you to go to Diagnostics & Feedback and turn the setting on. Then, return to this menu and click the "Get started" button. You may be prompted to add your Microsoft account, so go ahead and do that.

Upon hitting continue, you'll see a prompt offering up a few different Insider Channels that you may join. To get access to the latest, "release candidate" version of Windows 11 that is supposed to be the final, choose the Beta Channel. Once you've done so, hit Confirm, and voila! You're all set.

You'll likely be asked to restart your machine to download the Windows 11 Insider Preview (you can confirm this by heading over to the Windows Update page), so make sure you do that at your earliest convenience.

If for some reason, making the changes above does not trigger the Windows 11 upgrade. You can also download the Windows 11 installer from Microsoft. You will be grabbing an ISO, which can be mounted and used to upgrade your OS. You can register as a Windows Insider through the website and choose which version to download. Pick the option for Build 22000.194 which is widely considered the final launch version for Oct 5.

Our own editor-in-chief, Julio Franco, says the upgrade process is remarkably streamlined, with files and settings remaining consistent before and after the update. It wasn't perfect -- some Start menu tiles were apparently reset -- but it was better than expected.

If you decide to download Windows 11, either today or tomorrow, feel free to drop a comment below (or below our future OS coverage) and let us know what you think.

Permalink to story.

 

Goamist

Posts: 16   +19
Already running Windows 11 for 2 weeks now, on an unsupported CPU, no less (i7-6700k, paired with a 1080 Ti and 16GB RAM)). I wouldn't say it's much of a visual change from 10 and it's also a bit unstable - I had Skyrim closing itself without any notice or the rig just froze while just playing some random Youtube video and needed a reset.

Maybe it's because my CPU is unsupported, or maybe the OS is just too young. I'm also aware that unsupported hardware means no updates, but I only wanted to sample the future before upgrading is all. However, at the end of the day, I'm not very impressed, so I think I won't be forcing the switch. Now, where did I left my Clonezilla USB stick...
 

brucek

Posts: 942   +1,363
refresh the Windows experience with new features like enhanced DirectStorage, a reworked Start menu, tabbed command prompts, the introduction of widgets, and more
I'm having trouble getting a solid read on the pros and cons of updating, and this article isn't helping.

DirectStorage support is something that game developers have to add to their game (and while I believe many will, I can't find any lists of titles that have it today); and further will be supported in both Windows 10 & Windows 11. So probably not a big reason to update today.

If you use the current (old) command prompt or powershell applications, you should definitely check out the new terminal app. But it's been available for free on the Microsoft Store for over a year and runs fine on Windows 10. So also not a reason to update today.

I'd like to hear from people who have made the jump the benefits they feel they are getting, and also especially if they've noticed any tradeoffs.
 

seeprime

Posts: 629   +807
I just showed a new Windows 11 mini-PC to a customer of our shop. He essentially demands Windows 10 be installed instead. I see him as a wise man. Windows 11 has had less time being polished than Windows 10 did six years ago. He's computer savvy and was not impressed by the extra steps needed to perform some functions, in this case he uses the task bar right click menu often.

I wonder how the big box stores are going to handle PC's being returned because Windows 11 was "confusing" to buyer. I think it's going to be okay in a couple of years. It should be interesting to see how many new PC's with Windows 11 are returned. I don't think the number will be zero.
 

seeprime

Posts: 629   +807
Been using for a while no issues but feels the same as windows 10 just has a better skin.
It has a different skin. It's only better to those that see it that way. The skin was pulled from the now dead Windows 10X project and bolted onto Windows 10. Apparently, someone with pull thought it was indeed what everyone needed to use, in spite of no one asking for it.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,716   +4,703
All they had to do, if we're honest, was improve the look and usability of UI elements. Things like rounded corners and improved shading helps with this. Persistent, non-hiding scrollbars would also be a welcome rollback for those who put productivity first. The new start menu is a step backwards in almost every possible way. Why is Microsoft so obsessed with making it difficult to see your complete list of programs? Oooh, right, because its not primarily an OS anymore but a marketing platform. Gotta have those "suggested apps" front and center.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,857   +1,912
Been using for a while no issues but feels the same as windows 10 just has a better skin.
I like the look, Start menu (I use it for typed searches and my pinned apps), how notifications are shown, the MUCH better Settings menu and windows snap has far more sizes for windows to name a few.

It has some things I miss that W10 has, but they are mostly minor and I can go without for a bit longer in hopes they get added later since they are already high requested. I like my hardware running the best it can, so I feel better having the most recent OS to match.
 

Gars

Posts: 295   +23
Its about time to let ppl decide 'round' or 'square'
or Apple has already take it?
w10 was a disaster in terms of control
w11 will be even more

just wondering, where will be the option to type in every window in the main language or change the behavior?

I can swear that in w10 it was changed with every major update
ty MS
 

Sausagemeat

Posts: 1,043   +870
I don’t have a compatible CPU so maybe my view is a bit blurred. But so far I see myself gaining nothing but a headache if you switch to windows 11.

I’m not one of those who stubbornly cling to an old dying windows version but I will upgrade when this software has matured a bit (although, only if I buy a new CPU).
 

Geralt

Posts: 811   +1,227
So we can download Windows 11, which has been available openly for beta for months, just hours before it's official launch?
Amazing!
Yes, I don't either understand the importance of this article now. It's just the Windows Insider beta version.
 

yukka

Posts: 1,005   +158
Guinea Pig Reporting for Duty SIR!!!!

Installed this morning (enabled TPM on my AMD 3600 and B450 Motherboard. Already had secure boot turned on due to using resizeable BAR.

Stable. Pretty. I like the task bar in the middle. Rounded corners. Feels shiny. Enjoying it.

Now, where is my bowl of seeds and nuts... I need to do a **** in some hay in a minute
 

zamroni111

Posts: 219   +142
Nah. I made mistakes of installing windows 10 and its several feature updates on their day 1.
this time, I'll let other people becomes "beta testers" if they want to
 
Let's put this in simple language...I will not be forced to BUY A NEW COMPUTER SYSTEM So Microsoft and all their cronies can make More & More Money For Nothing...
 

hwertz

Posts: 85   +37
"... And that's pretty much it."
Is that for the Insider program? Because WIn11 itself has the TPM 2.0 requirement, and unusually stringent CPU requirement, so that many many systems cannot run it.
 

zamroni111

Posts: 219   +142
"... And that's pretty much it."
Is that for the Insider program? Because WIn11 itself has the TPM 2.0 requirement, and unusually stringent CPU requirement, so that many many systems cannot run it.
Tpm 2 is 2015/6 thing.
It's the mbec virtualization security that requires kaby lake or higher