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How to install Windows 11 right now — and avoid the wait

The Windows 11 logo seen through a digital magnifying glass
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Just because Windows 11 has now been released doesn’t mean it’s available for everyone. Microsoft has been rolling out the installation to Windows 10 users, which is a slow process. It could take months before the upgrade naturally reaches you.

Thankfully, there is a way to skip the line if you’re keen to get Windows 11 installed as soon as possible. The best part is that this all seems to be above board, because it relies on Microsoft's official Windows 11 Installation Assistant.

How to install Windows 11: See if you're eligible

The first thing to do is check that your PC isn’t already eligible for an upgrade to Windows 11. So head down to the Settings menu, then go Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.

If you can get Windows 11 already you’ll see something that says Feature update to Windows 11. Simply click Download and install and Windows will do all the rest for you.

Windows 11 Installation Assistant

If the upgrade isn’t available, your next best option is to use Microsoft’s Windows 11 Installation Assistant. That can be found and downloaded from the Microsoft Windows 11 upgrade page.

Once your download is complete click the file and hit Run. This will check your PC to ensure you meet all the Windows 11 system requirements. Once it’s confirmed you can run Windows 11, hit Accept and Install and once the software is installed you’ll be prompted to restart your PC. 

This will finalize the installation, and your PC may restart several times during this process. But, provided you keep it switched on, you can just leave Windows to sort everything out for you.

Windows 11 upgrades: Other options available

If you don’t want to do the simple upgrade for whatever reason, Microsoft also points out there are more technical options. The first is to create Windows 11 Installation Media for reinstallations of clean installations of the OS.

Simply download the Media Creation Tool from the upgrade page, install it, and follow the instructions on screen. This method will either let you save an installation file to a USB drive, or create a Windows 11 ISO file that can later be burned to a DVD.

Alternatively, you can download an ISO file directly from Microsoft’s upgrade page, should you want to create bootable installation media or create a virtual machine before you install Windows 11.

All you need to do here is select Windows 11 from the drop-down menu, and hit Download. You’ll then get another drop down menu asking you to confirm the product language, at which point you hit Confirm followed by 64-bit download.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.