Windows 11 download: How to get the free upgrade

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Windows 11 download: How to get the free upgrade
Image: Microsoft

Windows 11 will start developing in a few months. The exact date is not yet known, but it is expected to unfold over 2022, beginning with the 2021 holiday season. If you already have Windows 10, the upgrade to Microsoft’s redesigned operating system is free. As long as your PC meets the minimum requirements, you can update Windows 11 in the same way as a regular Windows 10 update. Windows 11 is likely to arrive in October, but in the meantime, everything you need to know about Microsoft’s new software can be found here.

If you’re a member of the Windows Insider Program and can’t wait for the final version to arrive, you can download the first Windows 11 Insider Preview build today. So that you can test out some of the new features like widget snap layouts, virtualization, and more. Desktop and the new MicrosoftStore. I’ll explain how to do that next.

First, check the specs on Microsoft’s site to see if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for a free upgrade to Windows 11. Also, if you bought a new PC in between the current general release, that computer is also eligible for a free upgrade.

WINDOWS 11 REQUIREMENTS

SpecRequirement
Processor1GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip
RAM4GB
Storage64GB or larger storage device
System firmwareUEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPMTrusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Graphics cardCompatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
DisplayHD (720p) display greater than 9 inches diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
Internet connection and Microsoft accountFor Windows 11 Home edition: internet connectivity; Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use For all Windows 11 editions: internet access to perform updates and to download and use some features; Microsoft account for some features

How to download the Windows 11 Insider Preview build

If you are a member of the Windows Insider Program (you can register now for free), you can now download the first Participant Preview build of Windows 11. However, it’s important to note that beta versions tend to be buggy, especially in these early versions. Beta should not be downloaded to the base unit and should only be downloaded to the tester device if there is a tester device. Most people are advised to wait until the public beta arrives in July. Also, this first build doesn’t include all the new features that come with the general release.

Should you try though? Here’s how:

1. Run the licensed version of Windows 10 from your device and make sure you are the device administrator. If you haven’t registered yet, please register for the Windows Insider Program. Or log in to your Windows participant account. Click Start Flight.

2. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. Click Get Started

3. Under Pick an account to get started, select + to connect the Microsoft account you registered with and continue.

4. Follow the instructions to select the experience and channel to get the Insider Preview to build in the developer channel (for developers), beta channel (for early adopters), or release preview channel (for users looking for the latest version). Before it is released to the general public). This build is provided to the developer channel.

5. Review the Privacy Statement and terms, and click confirm. Click Restart Now

6. After restarting, make sure your data settings are correct so you can download preview builds. To do this, go to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & feedback, and make sure the Optional Diagnostic Data switch is flipped to On

7. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. Click the Check for updates button.

From there, your device should update the same way it would with any other Windows update, and you’ll be good to go. 

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