How to upgrade your PC to Windows 11

Windows 11 logo with wallpaper

Windows 11 is now available. If you have decided that you want to upgrade from Windows 10, you can get the free upgrade here – even if Windows Update does not offer it. This works if Windows 11 does not also officially support your PC.

How to check if Windows 11 supports your PC

To check if Windows 11 officially supports your PC hardware, download and run the Microsoft PC Health Check app.

Click the “Check Now” button and the tool will tell you if Windows 11 officially supports your PC. If it does not, the tool gives you information about why. If the problem e.g. If TPM 2.0 is missing, you may be able to turn on TPM 2.0 in your PC’s UEFI firmware (BIOS.)

Here’s the good news: Even if your PC is not officially supported, you can still upgrade to Windows 11. It’s up to you, but Microsoft warns that you may experience issues and do not guarantee future updates to Windows on your hardware.

The safe and slow way: Windows Update

For the safest possible update process, go to Settings> Update and Security> Windows Update on your Windows 10 PC. (You can press Windows + i to quickly open the Settings app.)

Click the “Check for Updates” button to see if updates are available. If Microsoft thinks your PC is ready for Windows 11, you will see an “Upgrade to Windows 11 ready – and it’s free!” banner here. Click “Download and Install” to get it.

Note: Microsoft is slowly offering this update to more and more PCs over time. If you do not see the banner that offers you the update here yet, you can see it in a few weeks – or a few months. To get the best possible update experience on your hardware, Microsoft recommends waiting for Windows Update to offer the update to your PC. Once Microsoft is sure that your PC is ready, you will receive the update.

If Windows 11 does not officially support your PC, you will never see the update offered through Windows Update. (But rest assured, Windows 10 is still officially supported until October 2025.)

Windows Update offers Windows 11 on Windows 10.
Microsoft

The fast way: Download Windows 11

Microsoft offers a number of tools for downloading Windows 11 right away. These skip the slow, painstaking upgrade process and let you skip the line and install Windows 11 right now – even if your PC does not officially support Windows 11.

Visit Microsoft’s download Windows 11 page to get started. We recommend that you download and run Windows 11 Update Assistant. It updates your current Windows 11 PC for you. (You can also use the Create Windows 11 Installation Media tool to create installation media on a bootable USB or DVD, or download a Windows 11 ISO for use in a virtual machine.)

Warning: By installing Windows 11 immediately, you skip Microsoft’s slow and steady rollout process. You may encounter Windows 11 errors on your hardware. If this is a deal-breaker for you, we encourage you to wait a few months before being offered the upgrade.

If you encounter an issue, please note that you may downgrade back to Windows 10 within the first 10 days after the upgrade.

Microsoft says that these tools also allow you to upgrade a Windows 10 PC to Windows 11, even if your PC hardware is not officially supported by Windows 11. You must first accept a warning. (Whether you will actually accept the risk of problems is up to you, but we encourage you to keep older PCs on Windows 10 unless you are excited to upgrade them for a specific reason.)

By the way, if you are already running a Windows Insider build of Windows 11, we encourage you to switch to the stable version of Windows 11 – unless, of course, you want to continue testing Windows 11 updates.

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