Do you have a Windows 10 PC and wondering how to install Windows 11? In this guide, I’ll walk you through the steps to manually install Windows 11 (21H2) for free (upgrade from Windows 10).
Windows 11 is available for installation from 5th October 2021. Microsoft will start deploying the new Windows to eligible Windows PCs gradually.
Normally, you have to wait for Windows 11 to become available for you via Windows update. However, you can install Windows 11 manually for free now with the steps below.
Step #1: Download and Run Windows 11 Compatibility Health Check App (Optional)
Whether your PC is compatible or not, step #3 in this guide offers a walk-around. However, if your PC is NOT compatible with Windows 11, should be aware that installing Windows 11 may cause you some problems.
Follow the steps below to download, install and run the Windows 11 compatibility check app.
- Click this link – Microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11#pchealthcheck
- When the link opens, click the DOWNLOAD PC HEALTH CHECK APP link.
- If you use Google Chrome or new Microsoft Edge, an MSI file will be displayed on the bottom left of the browser. Click on the file. The Windows PC Health Check Setup wizard will launch.
- Then, on the first page, check “I accept the terms in the License Agreement”. Then, click Install and wait for the installation to complete.
- Finally, when the installation is complete, leave the “Open Windows PC Health Check” checkbox checked. Then, click Finish.
- When PC health Check app opens, click Check now.
If your computer does not meet Windows 11 installation requirements, the app will highlight the problems. Note the highlighted problems.
Step #2: Configure Back up & Sync (Optional)
Before you install Windows 11 manually on your Windows 10 PC for free, I strongly recommend that you configure Back up & sync. This will back up your Windows 10 settings to OneDrive.
So, when you complete your upgrade to Windows 11, your can download your files and settings. If you use Google Drive, you may not need to configure OneDrive backup.
To configure Back up & sync, on the Windows health check app, ensure that you’re signed in to your Microsoft account. Then, ensure that Remember my preferences is ON.
If you need help configuring sync on your Windows 10 PC, read our guide – How To Sync Your Settings In Windows 10.
Step #3: Bypass Windows 11 Compatibility Check and Install Windows 11 (In-Place Windows 10 Upgrade)
Also, your PC may become unstable after the upgrade. Finally, there is no guarantee that your Windows 11 will receive updates from Microsoft.
With all the necessary warning and information out of the way, if you’re happy to proceed, follow the steps below to install Windows 11 for free:
- Download MediaCreationTool.bat from Github.
- Then, unzip the file. After unzipping the zip file, the process will create a folder. The folder will have another folder. Open the folders until you see a bunch of files.
- Next, double-click MediaCreationTool. A Window will pop up – see step 4 below to see how to proceed.
- On pop up window, click More info. Then, click Run anyway. If you receive a User Access Control request, click Allow.
- When the tool opens, click 11. When you select 11, the tool will display more options. You can choose to create an ISO image, create an installation image using a USB, or perform an Auto Setup installation.
- For the purpose of this guide, I will select the Auto Setup option. This option upgrades your Windows 10 to Windows 11. Wait for the next stage to start. When it starts, the Windows media creation tool will start downloading files.
Furthermore, when Windows 10 Setup completes downloading files, the tool will start creating Windows 10 Media. Then, when Windows 10 Setup completes the process, it will start downloading updates.
Furthermore, when the above process completes, your PC will restart. Then, it will perform additional installations.
Finally, Windows Setup will display the Windows 11 logon screen. Login with your normal Windows 10 login credentials.
Once you log in, Windows Setup will complete the final steps and display your desktop. From my personal experience, all your files should be where they were in Windows 10.
Congratulations! You’ve installed Windows 11 by upgrading Windows 10 for free.
How to Install Windows 11 (21H2) Manually for Free: Frequently Asked Questions
Windows 11 became available on October 5, 2021.
Before you can upgrade to Windows 11 for free, you must have a valid Windows 10 license. Then, follow the steps in step #3 in this guide to upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 for free.
The direct answer is No. If you do not want to use the manual method I discussed in this guide to install Windows 11 for free immediately, you have to wait for Windows 11 to become available via Windows update.
Then, you have to start the Windows 11 installation via Windows update.
To check if your PC is compatible with Windows 11, download the Windows PC Health Check App. Then, follow Step #1 in this guide to install and use the app to check if your PC is compatible with Windows 11.
Whether your PC is compatible with Windows 11 or not, you can use Step #3 in this guide to install Windows 11. Alternatively, if your PC is compatible and you do not want Windows 11 now, you can wait for Windows 11 to become available via Window 10 update.
The simple answer is Yes, Windows 11 update is free. However, your PC has to meet certain conditions.
Firstly, your Windows 10 PC must have a valid and compatible license. Secondly, your PC MUST meet specific hardware requirements.
The length of time it takes to upgrade to Windows 11 depends on so many factors. For example, the speed of your processor, the size of the memory, and the type of storage will all play into how long it takes to upgrade your Windows 10 PC to Windows 11.
However, from my personal experience, from the point the installation wizard displays the “Installing Windows 11” screen, it takes approximately 1 hour to complete the entire Windows 11 installation.
Yes, you can install Windows 11 manually. The official method is to open the Windows 11 download page, download the ISO image and use it to install Windows 11.
However, you can follow the steps in this guide to install Windows 11 manually.
It is not recommended to install Windows 11 if your PC does not meet Microsoft’s hardware requirements for Windows 11.
However, if you wish to bypass these requirements and install Windows 11, follow the steps in this guide. Here is a summary of the steps to install Windows 11 without your PC meeting the requirements:
1. Download MediaCreationTool.bat from Github
2. Then, unzip the file. After unzipping the zip file, the process will create a folder. The folder will have another folder. Open the folders until you see a bunch of files.
3. Next, double-click MediaCreationTool. A Window will pop up see.
4. Follow the steps to complete the installation
You may not be able to install Windows 11 on your PC because your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements.
My simplified answer is NO; Windows 10 is not better than Windows 11. I wrote a comprehensive comparison of Windows 10 vs Windows 11 that compares the productivity features of both Windows.
My conclusion is that, overall, Windows 11 offers considerable improvement to Windows 10.
My Final Thoughts About Installing Windows 11 (21H2) Manually for Free
Since Microsoft unveiled Windows 11 on June 24, 2021, I have been testing the latest Windows by installing it via the Windows Insider Program. Based on my personal experience with the new Windows, it is a great Operating System.
Today (5th October 2021) Microsft made the new OS available to the general public. Then, I decide to upgrade my work laptop.
Even though the Windows health app did not pass my laptop for Windows 11 compatibility, I was able to perform the upgrade with a walk-around.
All in all, my initial assessment is that Windows 11 is an excellent Operation System. It also looks like it is faster than Windows 10.
From my experience so far, there is no need not to upgrade to Windows 11.
If you want to compare Windows 10 and Windows 11, read my article – Windows 10 vs Windows 11: Which Is The Better Windows?
I hope you found this guide helpful? If you found it helpful, kindly spare 2 minutes to share your experience installing Windows 11 on our community platform at Itechguides Community. In addition to that, you can post your questions at Itechguides Community, if you have any concerning this guide.
Finally, to learn more about Windows 11, visit our Windows 11 How-To Guides page.
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