Are you curious about the new Windows 11? Do you have questions about how to download and install it? If so, this step-by-step guide will help you with every part of that process. You’ll learn how to download the system, how to install it, and how to use it after the installation process is complete. You’ll even learn some of the most exciting new features of Windows 11!
What’s new in Windows
It’s been a long wait, but Microsoft is finally here with the next generation of Windows. Forget 8.1 or 10; this is 11. And it’s got some awesome new features, starting with its most basic functionality, the installation process.
As expected, you can now download it from within the browser as a complete ISO image and then just click through setup like any other installer package on your PC (though you will need to download an additional app in order to activate your copy). Alternatively, you can choose to stream the files over a local network for installing. In other words, no waiting for shipping or running out of disk space just so you can install your new OS! Plus, once installed, all updates are delivered straight to your machine — no more annoying downloads.
Want more? Windows 11 also promises improved compatibility between devices by defaulting to what it calls shared experiences when there’s a better option available for viewing across different platforms (so videos load faster across devices that have shared capabilities). The interface has been redesigned as well, making it easier than ever before to find apps and settings without having to dig through a cluttered menu system.
Upgrading versus doing a clean install
Doing a clean install is probably your best bet if you’re really committed to using the new version of Windows. But there are three things you should know before you dive in.
First, all of your current programs, documents, and settings will be gone when you do a clean install. Your data will still be saved, but that’s it.
Second, even though Microsoft says doing a clean install will preserve your Windows 10 license, we found out last year that this isn’t always true.
Third, any files you store on an external hard drive won’t be accessible after installing the update because they’ll get wiped as part of the process. So if you have anything important on an external hard drive, make sure to back up those files first. If you don’t want to do a clean install, upgrading may work for you.
If you don’t have many programs installed or keep most of your files in the cloud, upgrading may work just fine. Otherwise, look into buying a new computer with Windows 11 pre-installed or buy one without an operating system and then use the free Media Creation Tool (see below) to load Windows onto it instead.
What you need to do before starting the upgrade
Start by creating a backup of your system in case something goes wrong during the upgrade. You can use iCloud, OneDrive, Dropbox, or another cloud storage service. Next, take care of any software updates that are pending installation before you begin the process.
Also, be sure that you have at least 2 GB of free space on your PC’s hard drive; this is the minimum required for installing Windows 11. If needed, clear some space before continuing with the install process. Lastly, make sure you are connected to an outlet or another power source so that if power is interrupted while installing Windows 11 it will still complete the installation properly.
If you’ve followed these steps, you’re ready to start the upgrade process. Click the Start button, click Settings, then click Update & Security. Under Windows Update, click Check for Updates. The latest version of Windows 11 should appear under the heading labeled Optional. Click on it to initiate the download.
Once downloaded, the window automatically closes and reopens after downloading has completed. In order to continue installing Windows 11, go back to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates > Keep me up-to-date. Follow these steps until you reach the Installing windows screen (about 30 minutes). After installation has completed (approximately 90 minutes), reboot your computer and follow all setup prompts once it has restarted. Congratulations! You now have Windows 11 installed on your device!
How to upgrade from previous versions of Windows 10
If you have a device running a version of Windows 10, the upgrade process should be pretty straightforward. First, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update. If you don’t see an alert that your copy of Windows is running low on storage space or the text says Windows 10 is up-to-date, your machine should automatically prompt you for installation. Follow the prompts, then follow any on-screen instructions to complete the process of upgrading.
You’ll need about 3GB of free space available (in addition to what’s required for continued use) in order to install the upgrade. Once it’s done, make sure your files are backed up in case something goes wrong—though this should be considered standard practice before any major change. After the new operating system has been installed, check your update settings and apply any critical updates that may not have been applied during the upgrade process.
We recommend that you download the full release of Windows 11 as opposed to downloading an update. If you are upgrading from an older version of Windows, download the complete installation files first. This will save you time if there are any compatibility issues with your old computer.
If there are no compatibility issues, install the update after installing the full installation file. When installing the windows, be sure to back up your personal files beforehand so they won’t be lost in case something goes wrong during installation. Always backup anything important that you want saved in case a system crash happens too!
1) Backup Important Files First.
2) Keep Your Files Organized! Create folders on your desktop or within another folder for all of your documents, pictures, music, videos and other data. Include subfolders for certain projects or types of media. Create new folders for each type of data so it is easy to find later when looking through all the stuff on your computer.
3) Encrypt Data On Your Computer: Encrypting is different than backing up because it helps protect against theft and unauthorized access without having to store copies elsewhere (which means that it’s still possible for someone who has physical access to steal the data).
3a) What is encryption? One way encryption includes encrypting sensitive information with a password which only authorized people can decrypt (or unlock). 3b) What is AES-256? AES stands for Advanced Encryption Standard and 256 refers to the length of the key used in bytes. In simpler terms, AES-256 provides much more protection than AES-128; one 256 bit key would take billions of years to crack by brute force methods such as dictionary attacks. Furthermore, AES doesn’t use secret sharing like RSA does, so there’s nothing left behind when one key is broken that would help someone break others faster.