How to install Windows 11

You'll need to check your system requirements before you upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft's OS

Windows 11 is finally here, with Microsoft releasing the latest version of its flagship operating system on 5 October 2021.

However, the software - which brings with it a redesigned Start menu, Microsoft Teams integration and improved virtual desktop support - might not be available for everyone right away, with Microsoft instead deploying the new operating system in phases between October 2021 and mid-2022.

For those that can't wait, you can sign up to Microsoft's Insider Programme and download the beta, but everyone else can enjoy the free version by waiting for it to become available. Once it does become available, however, you'll first need to check if your current hardware is suitable. 

Check your hardware requirements

To upgrade to Windows 11, you'll first have to check that your current laptop or PC meets Windows 11's stringent minimum requirements. This can be done by downloading and running the PC Health Check app or by going to Settings/Windows Updates.

 To run Windows 11, you'll need a 1GHz or faster dual-core or higher processor on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip, at least 4GB of RAM, 64GB or more storage, and secure boot capabilities. The operating system also requires Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2 - an international standard for hardware-based cryptography keys.

A screenshot of the Windows 11 Widgets pane

Users will also need a graphics card that's compatible with DirectX 12 or later, a WDDM 2.0 driver, and a high definition display that is greater than 9in diagonally and has 8 bits per colour channel. Finally, you'll need Microsoft account and an internet connection to set up Windows 11 Home. 

Microsoft doesn't recommend installing Windows 11 on devices that don't meet the system requirements, but you'll still be able to do so. However, it's worth noting that you might not get Windows 11 updates on PCs with unsupported processors.

Check for updates

If Windows 11 is available to you it will be found in Settings. Go to 'Update and Security', then navigate to 'Windows Update'. If your machine is eligible it will be in 'Future updates to Windows 11' where you'll be able to click and download the update for free. From here, simply follow the on-screen prompts to get started with Windows 11.

If it's not available, you can sign up to the Insider Programme via the Microsoft website or through the 'Updates and Security' settings menu in Windows 10. However, this isn't the most straightforward process, so it might be worth waiting until the Windows 11 update becomes available for your machine. 

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