(Pocket-lint) – Windows 11 is now rolling out as a free upgrade for Windows 10 users. That means you should be able to download and use Windows 11 right now – as long as your PC meets the minimum system requirements. The quickest way to get the latest version of Windows from Microsoft is to download the operating system update over the air for free, or you can go the more expensive route and buy a new Windows PC or laptop.

Here, then, is everything you need to know about how to get Windows 11 for free.

What’s new in Windows 11?

Pocket-lint has a detailed guide that explains all the new features in Windows 11. Microsoft has also published the “Introduction to Windows 11” video above.

How to get Windows 11 for free

Windows 11 is gradually rolling out. All existing and eligible PCs should be offered the upgrade by mid-2022. If you have a new PC that just shipped with Windows 10 or a device that’s allowed to upgrade to Windows 11, follow these steps:

  1. Confirm your PC supports Windows 11 through Microsoft’s PC Health Check app.
  2. On your Windows 10 PC, go to:
    • Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update.
  3. Check for updates. You will be offered to upgrade to Windows 11.
    • If it is available, you’ll see an option to download and install.
  4. Click download and install.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions and configure Windows 11 settings.

If you don’t see the free Windows 11 upgrade, and your PC is supported, you may be able to directly download it. Go to the Windows 11 download page and select the Windows 11 Installation Assistant. It’s the easiest method; just click “Download Now” and follow the on-screen instruction.

Alternatively, you can create a bootable USB or DVD (by selecting “Create Windows 11 Installation Media”) or you can download a disk image (ISO).

Is your PC compatible with Windows 11?

Microsoft has upgraded its PC Health Check tool (download link) to check whether you can upgrade your PC to Windows 11.

We’ve talked about the Windows 11 system requirements elsewhere – but, this time, Microsoft said you can only install it on processors made from roughly 2016 to 2017 onward. More specifically, Windows 11 requires Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2 CPUs and up, TPM 2.0, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. 

Was there a Windows 11 beta?

In a word, yes. An early Windows 11 version was made available to members of the Windows Insider program. Anyone is able to become a Windows Insider, aka a tester, but you should only install early versions of Windows on a system that you don’t rely on every day. Early software can contains bugs and break things.

How to test beta versions of Windows

First, sign up for the Microsoft Windows Insider program here. You can then access the Windows Insider Program directly from your PC with ease:

  • Click on the Start menu
  • Click the settings cog
  • Click “Update & Security”
  • Click “Windows Insider Program” on the left-hand menu
  • Choose “Get Started” and link your Microsoft account
  • Then you have the choice to select dev channel or beta channel – the beta channel is the most stable choice
  • Click confirm
  • Restart your PC and check for Windows Updates.

Writing by Maggie Tillman and Dan Grabham. Originally published on .

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