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What to Do to Upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11?

Use these steps to upgrade to Windows 11 on a device already running Windows 10.

It’s possible to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 using the official ISO file, Windows Update, Installation Assistant, and Insider Program, and in this guide, you’ll learn how. Windows 11 is the next generation of the operating system based on Windows 10, but it introduces a new look and a slew of new features and apps.

Although Windows 11 is a free upgrade for existing devices running Windows 10, the hardware must meet the minimum requirements to continue with the installation process. In a nutshell, you need an Intel 8th Gen or newer, AMD Zen 2 or newer, or Qualcomm 7 and 8 Series processor. This is in addition to the requirements of TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot and a minimum of 64GB of storage.

Microsoft supports multiple upgrade paths to the new version. If the computer meets the hardware requirements, you will receive a notification from Windows Update informing you know the upgrade is on the way. However, you can also use the Installation Assistant to perform an in-place upgrade. Or you can download the ISO file to upgrade using a USB flash drive. (The Media Creation Tool is only available to create a USB flash drive or ISO file. You can no longer use it to perform an in-place upgrade)

This guide will teach you four ways to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11. You can also upgrade the system using a clean installation in six ways.

Important: If you plan to upgrade an existing system, it is also recommended to create a backup before proceeding. You have been warned.

Upgrade to Windows 11 from 10 from Windows Update

To upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 through Windows Update, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Update.
  4. Click the “Check for updates” button.

    Windows 11 upgrade

  5. Click the “Download and install” button.

    Windows 11 upgrade via Windows Update

  6. Click the Restart now button.

After you complete the steps, Windows 11 will install on the computer. (See also this video tutorial with the steps to upgrade from the “Windows Update” settings.)

Upgrade to Windows 11 from 10 from ISO file

To upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 with an ISO file, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Support website.
  2. Under the “Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)” section, select the Windows 11 option.
  3. Click the Download button.
  4. Select the installation language.
  5. Click the Confirm button.
  6. Click the Download button to save the Windows 11 ISO file on the device.
  7. Right-click the ISO file, select the Open with submenu, and choose the Windows Explorer option.
  8. Click on the mounted drive from the left navigation pane.
  9. Double-click the Setup file to begin the Windows 11 upgrade process.
  10. (Optional) Click the “Change how Windows Setup downloads updates” option.

    Windows 11 setup update options

  11. Select the “Not right now” option.

    Disable updates during installation

  12. Click the Next button.
  13. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.

    Media Creation Tool settings

  14. Click the Install button to upgrade while keeping your files and apps.

If you want to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows 11, click the “Change what to keep” option, select the “Nothing” option, click the “Next” button, and then click the “Install” button.

Once you complete the steps, the upgrade process will begin, and the computer will restart several times. After the installation, you won’t need to go through the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to finish the setup because most of your previous settings, apps, and files will migrate automatically. (See also this video tutorial highlighting all the instructions in the Pureinfotech YouTube channel.)

Upgrade to Windows 11 from 10 from Installation Assistant

Alternatively, you can also use the Installation Assistant to upgrade any version of Windows 10 to Windows 11 since the Media Creation Tool no longer offers the option to perform an in-place upgrade. (See also this video tutorial highlighting the steps to upgrade using the Installation Assistant tool.)

To upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 with the Installation Assistant tool, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Support website.
  2. Under the “Windows 11 Installation Assistant” section, click the Download Now button.
  3. Double-click the Windows11InstallationAssistant.exe file to launch the tool.

    Windows 11 Update Assistant

  4. Click the “Accept and install” button.

Once you complete the steps, the setup will continue to upgrade your computer to the new release of the operating system.

Upgrade to Windows 11 from 10 from Insider Program

If you want to test upcoming releases of Windows 11, you can enroll the computer in the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider Program.

To upgrade to the latest preview of Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Update & Security.
  3. Click on Windows Insider Program.
  4. Click the Get started button.

    Join Windows Insider Program button

  5. Click the Link an account button.

    Link an account option

  6. Sign in with your Microsoft account.
  7. Click the Continue button.
  8. Under the “Pick your Insider settings” section, select the “Canary Channel” or “Dev Channel” option.
  9. Click the Confirm button.
  10. Click the Confirm button to agree to the terms and conditions.
  11. Click the Restart button.
  12. Open Settings after the reboot.
  13. Click on Update & Security.
  14. Click on Windows Update.
  15. Click the “Check for updates” button.

    Windows 11 upgrade

  16. Click the Restart button.

Once you complete the steps, if the device meets the minimum requirements, Windows Update will download and upgrade to Windows 11. You can also remove the computer from the program from the “Windows Insider Program” settings page to prevent installing a follow-up version by turning on the “Stop getting preview builds” toggle switch.

FAQ

Can I still upgrade from Windows 10 to 11 for free?

Yes, you can upgrade to Windows 11 from 10 for free as long as the device being upgraded was previously activated.

Is upgrading to Windows 11 worth it?

Yes, upgrading to Windows 11 is worth it, but it depends on whether you’ll be using it the school, work, or gaming. If you will be using the computer for school and work, Windows 11 offers many new security and productivity features that will help you get tasks done faster, and you will be more secure from online threats. On the other hand, Windows 10 still offers better performance in gaming compared to Windows 11.

Will updating to Windows 11 delete everything?

No, if you are upgrading from Windows 10 to 11, the upgrade process will preserve your files, settings, and apps. However, it’s a good idea to create a backup before proceeding with the upgrade.

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