How to Download and Install Windows 11 ISO From Microsoft - Windows Basics


Monday, September 27, 2021

How to Download and Install Windows 11 ISO From Microsoft

Many people are switching their PCs to Windows 11 by upgrading an existing installation of Windows 10. However, to do that, you must have an activated copy of Windows 10 with your own product key. it's on the computer from the start. But what if you just want to roll out Windows 11 on an old PC or a test PC without having to install an activated copy of the previous operating system? Or what if you want a fresh start without transferring all your old programs and settings?

What you need is a Windows 11 ISO file that you can boot from and use for a clean install. Fortunately, there are several ways to get one. First, you can download the Windows 11 ISO directly from Microsoft, although it doesn't have to be the latest build. Second, you can use tools from a website called UUP dump to download files from Microsoft's update servers and build a fully updated custom tat ISO.

Either way, you'll use your Windows 11 ISO file to create a bootable installation USB Flash drive or install the operating system directly in a virtual machine. You can even skip the product key so you can run the new operating system for free (at least for now). This method can also let you install Windows 11 on a PC that doesn't meet the new operating system's minimum requirements (4GB RAM, TPM, Secure Boot).

Windows 11 prerequisites

Windows 11 has some new requirements that you want to check to ensure the new OS will install without problems.

System requirements

Here are the minimum hardware requirements to install the latest preview of Windows 11:

  • Processor: 1GHz or faster CPU or System on a Chip (SoC) with two or more cores
  • Memory: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB or larger
  • System firmware: UEFI with Secure Boot enabled
  • Graphics: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
  • Display resolution: High definition (720p) display greater than 9 inches diagonally, 8 bits per color channel

How to Download Windows 11 ISO File
To download the Windows 11 ISO file preview, use these steps:
2. Sign in with your Microsoft account.
3. In the Select version section, use the drop-down menu and select the latest builds of Windows 11 (ex: build 22000.132.)
4. Click the Confirm button.
5. Choose your installation language (ex: English)
6. Click the Confirm button.
7. Click the Download 64-bit button.
After you complete the steps, the Windows 11 ISO file will be downloaded to your computer.

How to create Windows 11 USB boot media
Since a new version of the operating system isn't officially available yet, you can use a tool like Rufus to create a USB flash drive that you can use to boot your laptop or desktop to install Windows 11.
To create USB media with an existing Windows 11 ISO file, connect a flash drive of at least 8GB capacity and use these steps:
2. Under the Download section, click the latest release (first link) and save the file.
3. Double-click the Rufus-x.xx.exe file to launch the tool.
4. Under the Device section, select the USB flash drive.
5. Under the Boot selection section, click the Select button on the right side.
6. Select the Windows 11 ISO file from the folder location.
7. Click the Open button.
8. Use the image option drop-down menu and select the Standard Windows installation option.
9. Use the Partition scheme drop-down menu and select the GPT option.
10. Use the Target system drop-down menu and select the UEFI (non-CSM) option.
11. Under the Show Advanced drive properties section, do not change the default settings.
12. Under the Volume label field, confirm a name for the drive (ex: Win11TestUSB.)
13. In the File system and Cluster size options do not change the default settings.
14. Click the Show advanced format options button.
15. Check the Quick format option.
16. Check the Create extended label and icon files option.
17. Click the Start button.
18. Click the OK button to confirm.
19. Click the Close button.
Note: If you receive a message about disabling Secure Boot, ignore it and try to proceed with the installation as you normally would.
After you complete the steps, Rufus will create a USB flash drive to install Windows 11 on a compatible computer.
How to install Windows 11
Warning: This is another friendly reminder that this process will erase everything on the computer. Before proceeding, you should create a full temporary backup of your PC.
1. Boot the device using Windows 11 USB media.
2. When prompted, press any key to boot from the device.
3. On Windows Setup, click the Next button.
4. Click the Install Now button.
5. Click the I don't have a product key option to continue (assuming your device is already activated). Conversely, if this is your first time installing Windows 11, you will need a product key.
6. Select Windows 11 version (If available).
Note: This selection should match the version for which the product key is activated. If you do not select the correct version, Windows 11 will not activate and you will have to go through the whole process again.
7. Click the Next button.
8. Select the option I accept the license terms to continue.
9. Click the Next button.
10. Click on the option Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) to continue with the clean install.
11. Select the partition with the current installation (usually "Drive 0"), and click the Delete button.
Note: If Drive 0 has multiple partitions, you must select and delete each partition to allow the setup to use the entire drive for a fresh install. Windows 11 Setup will automatically create the necessary partitions in the process. Also, it is not necessary to delete partitions on the secondary drive. If the device has an empty hard drive, select it and click the Next button.
12. Click the Yes button.
13. Select an empty drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space).
14. Click the Next button.
After you complete the steps, Windows 11 Setup will install a fresh copy of the new Operating System on your laptop or desktop computer.
Complete the OOBE of Windows 11
After the setup, you have to continue with the out-of-box experience to configure your preferences and create a new account.
To complete the initial setup of Windows 11, use these steps:
1. Select your region preference.
2. Click the Yes button.
3. Select your keyboard layout setting.
14. Click the Yes button.
15. Click the Skip button
16. If you have a Wi-Fi connection, set up the connection manually (a security key may be required).
17. Confirm a name for your computer that's fewer than 15 characters.
Note: If you want a random name to be assigned, click the Skip for now option. If you specify a name, the computer will reboot to apply the changes.
18. Click the Next button.
19. Select the Set up for personal use option if you are setting Windows 11 Pro.
20. Click the Next button.
21. In this step, you need to set up an account to log in to the device. Microsoft shows default login method with Microsoft account. However you can also change it by clicking Sign-in options
22. In Sign-in options, you have three options: sign in with a security key (USB format), set up an offline account or use the forgot my username
If you sign in with a Microsoft account, click back to enter your account and password.
A. Microsoft account
23A. Confirm your Microsoft account information to create an account.
24A. Click the Next button.
25A. Click the Create PIN button.
26A. Create PIN
27A. Create a new four-digit PIN.
28A.Click the OK button.
29A. Select the Set up as new device option.
B. If you create an offline account for your device, you will have to set up a login username and password
23B. Creat your name and Password
24B. Set up a PIN for quick login to Windows 11 computers
30. Confirm your privacy settings. Click the Accept button.
31. Select one or more ways you plan to use the device to allow Windows 11 to suggest tools and services customization experience. Click the Accept button to continue. (You can also skip this option.)
32. Select either the Back up my files with OneDrive or Only save file to this PC option.
33. Click the Next button.
34. Click the No, thanks button to skip the Microsoft 365 setup.
35. Once you complete the steps, the setup of Windows 11 will be completed.

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