Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft announced in June 2021, is finally available in the stable channel. Still, that does not mean you can download Windows 11 from Windows Update right now. Microsoft takes a slow approach and does not rush the new system to all users right away. That means it might take a couple of months before Windows 11 hits your system (assuming it meets minimum hardware requirements). If you do not want to wait for Microsoft to decide when your computer is ready to run Windows 11, use the official ISO files and the Media Creation Tool, which are now available on the Windows 11 website.
The ISO files, Media Creation Tool, and Windows 11 Installation Assist let you force-upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11 or do a clean install of the latter. Note that Microsoft keeps Windows 11 installation resources separate from the same tools for Windows 10. You can download Windows 11 installation files here and Windows 10 installation files here.
After visiting the Windows 11 installation website, you will notice three options:
- Windows 11 Installation Assist. A small tool to force-upgrade eligible systems that meet minimum hardware requirements. You need to run Windows 10 2004 or higher to update your computer to Windows 11 using Windows 11 Installation Assist. All it takes is to run the utility, accept terms and conditions, and wait for Windows to install the latest release.
- Create Windows 11 Installation Media. In other words, Media Creation Tool. A well-known utility to download ISO files or create installation media (USB or DVD) to upgrade existing systems or perform a clean install.
- Download Windows 11 Disk Image. Finally, Microsoft allows you to download Windows 11 ISO files directly from the official website. In a nutshell, this option works the same way as the Media Creation Tool, just with fewer steps.
Alternatively, you can just wait for Microsoft to offer Windows 11 via Windows Update. For many, that option will be the safest route.
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