Upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10

Windows 11, available as a free update for Windows 10 compatible PCs and laptops, has been officially released. The update can now be installed in a number of ways.

This article details how to upgrade to Windows 11 using the official tools provided by Microsoft. First, about installing the system on fully compatible systems, and then about installing it on devices whose characteristics do not meet the minimums. In the context of the topic, it might be useful: How to upgrade to Windows 11 on an unsupported computer, How to tell if a computer is compatible with Windows 11.

Update via Update Center

The update to Windows 11 will be available through Windows 10 Update, but only for fully supported devices and not immediately, but after a while.

Based on information available from Microsoft, the update will be released in waves, the speed of which will depend on evaluating the compatibility of specific devices with the new operating system. There is also information that the update through the Update Center will be available only from the beginning of 2022.

For those users who do not have an urgent need to install an update, the best option may be to wait until the update is received in the Update Center; Most likely, by now, many of the initial bugs and errors in Windows 11 will be fixed and there will be fewer problems after the update. The author's reasoning on this topic: Is it worth upgrading to Windows 11?

How to upgrade using the Windows 11 Setup Assistant

Immediately after the release of Windows 11, a page appeared on Microsoft's official website that allows you to download:

  • Windows 11 setup wizard : to upgrade your current Windows 10 to Windows
  • Media creation tool - A utility for creating a Windows installation media As before, it allows you to create an ISO image, but it is not possible to install an update using the utility (this feature was present in previous versions).
  • Windows 11 ISO image which can also be used to update.

In this section, we will cover upgrading to Windows 11 using the Windows 11 Setup Wizard:

  1. Download the Windows 11 Setup Wizard from the official website
  2. Attention: To perform the following steps, the system partition must have at least 9 GB of free space (better, more) and the installed version of Windows 10 was not older than 2004. TPM 2.0 must also be enabled. Do not update while the laptop is running on battery power. Don't shut down your computer in the process.
  3. Run the installation wizard. After accepting the license, the automatic download of the files required for the update will begin. If your computer is incompatible, you will be prompted to download the Compatibility Checker utility, or you will immediately see the message "This computer does not meet the minimum system requirements to install Windows 11".
  4. The steps to download, prepare, and install the necessary files will be performed automatically. After completing the third step, you will be asked to restart your computer to continue with the installation.
  5. After the restart, "Work with updates" will run on a black screen, which can take a long time and the computer may restart multiple times.
  6. As a result, you will be taken to the login screen, after login, preparations will be made to start the system.
  7. After completing the update installation, you will be on your Windows 11 installed desktop; can get to work.

All system settings and installed programs should work as before: however, since we are dealing with the first version of a new operating system, this cannot be guaranteed.

Upgrade to Windows 11 using an ISO image (no previous installation)

It is possible to upgrade to Windows 11 without using the above utility, but using a mounted image with the system. Process:

  1. Download the image with the system from the official page https://www.microsoft.com/software-download/windows11.
  2. Mount it on the system - Usually in Windows 10 this happens automatically when you double-click the image file. If the image opens differently (for example, in the filing cabinet), right-click on it and select "Connect".
  3. The mounted image will appear in the explorer as a DVD drive, open it and run the setup.exe file
  4. The "Install Windows 11" window will open, just click on "Next" and wait until the "Check for updates" is done. The installer might restart automatically.
  5. The next step will verify the computer's compatibility with Windows 11. If the computer is compatible, the update will continue in the same way as described in the previous section. Otherwise, you will receive information about which specific features of the computer do not meet the requirements of Windows 11.

Interestingly, although it was previously reported that TPM 2.0 is not required for Russian users, installation using the described method, if missing, does not occur with the message "This computer does not meet the system requirements for Windows 11".

Installing the update on unsupported computers

In cases where Microsoft's built-in Windows 11 compatibility checker detects an incompatibility in some way, the upgrade methods described above will fail.

However, if necessary, you can bypass the compatibility check or do a clean install of Windows 11 from a USB flash drive using the Installation Media Creation Tool or the ISO image available on the official website to create a flash drive. Bootable USB using a third party. Party programs However, when installing the image, the presence of the TPM module is verified, so you can still complete the installation, the instruction How to create an ISO image or a Windows 11 USB flash drive for a clean installation without TPM verification It is useful. The installation process itself is described step by step in the article How to install Windows 11 from a USB flash drive.