For as long as he can remember, Charlie has always been interested in computers and gaming. It all started with the Sega Mega Drive and then evolved into PC gaming in his early teens. CS 1.6 was his first go at competitive gaming which soon evolved into CS:Source and now CS:GO - a game that he still plays (almost exclusively) today. Throughout that period he has also been a keen PC builder and enthusiast - dedicating a large portion of his time to the craft. My current rig is an ASUS 5700XT with AMD's Ryzen 3600X.
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After much anticipation, Windows 11 is finally live! It’s the latest version of Microsoft’s popular operating system, offering up a new design alongside a tonne of exciting new features and benefits that really do add to its functionality and usability.
If you have a compatible Windows 11 PC or laptop, you’ll now be able to download and upgrade to the new OS for free. Of course, upgrading to Windows 11 won’t be free forever, with Microsoft putting a strict time limit on when you can actually download the OS without spending your hard-earned cash. At present, that time limit looks set until mid-2022 – but we’ll keep you updated with any changes that arise.
Whilst the Windows 11 release date was originally announced back in June, Microsoft offered a windows Insider program that allowed users to get a copy of the OS early. During this time, Microsoft made sure to focus on bug fixes and error codes to ensure the official release was as smooth as possible.
Like all Windows versions, Windows 11 will also be available for standalone purchase – in both CD and USB formats.
Windows 11: What's New
Windows 11 was announced on June 24th, sparking huge excitement around what it could potentially bring to gaming, productivity, and everyday users. The new interface is expected to bring huge changes to the look and feel of the platform, breathing new life into Windows’ latest operating system.
The company plans to alter various core features of the Windows experience, improving the style of the Start menu, Taskbar, and overall design language. It also offers up features that were first deployed in Windows 10X – a more recent version of the OS that was announced back in 2019 that was put on hold as the focus moved on to the full version of Windows.
Microsoft has been slowly establishing the groundwork for windows 11, with both Microsoft CEO and CPO teasing the ‘next-gen’ operating system. In a live announcement on June 24, the company discussed what’s next for Windows – whilst posting cryptic teasers with references to a new iteration.
Check the Windows 11 system requirements here.
Install Using Windows 11 Installation Assistant
There are a number of different ways in which you can download and install the latest version of Microsoft. However, Microsoft claims that using the Windows 11 installation assistant is arguably the easiest of the bunch.
The installation assistant is available on any Windows 10 PC or laptop – offering a very user-friendly installation process to both beginner and tech-savvy users.
Like always, there are bespoke requirements that need to be met in order for users to be able to utilize this particular tool.
Below are the conditions – taken from the Microsoft webpage:
- You have a Windows 10 license.
- Your PC must have Windows 10, version 2004 or higher installed to run Installation Assistant.
- Your PC meets the Windows 11 device specifications for upgrade requirements and supported features. Certain features require additional hardware. We also recommend that you visit your PC’s manufacturer’s website for information about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.
- Your PC must have 9 GB of free disk space to download Windows 11.
Download Windows 11 ISO
If you’re looking to create a bootable installation media (USB Flash Drive, DVD) or create a virtual machine to install Windows 11, you’ll want to grab the Windows 11 ISO file.
The above link will redirect you to a multi-edition ISO which then uses your unique product key to unlock the correct version of Windows 11.
Download Windows 11 Create Installation Media tool
For individuals looking to perform a reinstall or clean install of Windows 11 on a new (or used) PC, Microsoft offers the media creation tool. This tool allows you to make a bootable USB or DVD.
If this is what you’re looking to do, you’ll need the following:
- An internet connection
- Sufficient data storage
- A blank DVD disc with at least 8GB
- If you receive a “disc image file is too large” message while attempting to burn a DVD bootable disc from an ISO file, consider using a higher capacity Dual Layer DVD.
Furthermore, ensure the PC receiving the Windows 11 update has:
- Has a 64-bit CPU: Windows 11 can only run on 64-bit CPUs. To see if your PC has one, go to Settings > System > About, or search “System Information” in Windows and look under “System Type.”
- Meets system requirements: Not all devices running Windows 10 are eligible to receive a Windows 11 upgrade. See the Windows 11 device specifications for upgrade requirements and supported features. Certain features require additional hardware. We also recommend that you visit your PC’s manufacturer website for information about updated drivers and hardware compatibility.
- WARNING: Installing Windows 11 media on a PC that does not meet the Windows 11 minimum system requirements is not recommended and may result in compatibility issues. If you proceed with installing Windows 11 on a PC that does not meet the requirements, that PC will no longer be supported and won’t be entitled to receive updates. Damages to the PC due to lack of compatibility aren’t covered under the manufacturer warranty.
- Matches your current language: You’ll need to choose the same language when you install Windows 11. To see what language you’re currently using, go to Time & language in PC settings or Region in Control Panel.