Here's why you shouldn't install the leaked version of Windows 11

Windows 11 wallpaper superimposed with Windows 11 logo
(Image credit: ADeltaX/Microsoft)

As tempting as it may be to install the version of Windows 11 that's been leaked onto the internet, it's probably best to hold off for the official reveal set for June 24

According to those that have taken the time to install the next version of Windows, getting it running is a cumbersome process as Microsoft has put systems in place to prevent a proper installation. What this means is that users who do take the time to install the leaked software on to a machine will have to jump through hoops only to run a neutered version of the operating system update. With the Windows 11 launch looming, it's probably not worth the trouble. 

The build that's currently floating around online is unfinished, which also means it could have bugs. These bugs could lead to system crashes and other problems. It's why many have opted to run Windows 11 in a virtual machine — essentially a PC within a PC. But running Windows 11 through a virtual machine greatly dampers its effectiveness, as software is being used to emulate hardware. 

At the moment you can't download Windows 11 from Microsoft directly. That means having to search for the unofficial ISO online. And of course, whenever there's a large download frenzy, there are bad actors ready to infect downloads with potentially malicious software. For this reason alone, we definitely do not recommend installing Windows 11, especially not on a main computer or a machine connected to your network.

If these warnings don't dissuade you, you should at least use a secondary machine for this particular copy of Windows 11. Make sure the test machine is completely wiped and does not have any sensitive information; you'll also want to make sure it's not connected to your network. As stated above, the Windows 11 copy will likely need to be ran inside a virtual machine giving it limited capabilities. YouTube channel LinusTechTips went through the process of installing Windows 11, and while cool, the process is far from ideal. 

Granted, the experts at the LinusTechTips office were able to get a near-native rendition of Windows 11 running using unRAID along with an Nvidia RTX GPU. Even then, it was a very roundabout way to get things working. And likely most users will not have the expertise or equipment — given the current RTX 3080 restock shortage — to get this loophole to work. 

All that said, host Linus Sebastian reports finding Windows 11 to be snappy and responsive. There were some odd UI quirks in the upcoming build, like a change in how right clicking works, but other than that, things seemed to run smoothly. Even gaming was fast and responsive. From Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Red Dead Redemption 2, Nvidia drivers installed without any issues. 

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.

  • Bettencourt
    I'm not sure why people are even interested in a windows 11 when 10 has been so deceptive and problematic. this is my opinion and experience. I sent feedback to Microsoft but never had any consolation from them.
    Been using windows for almost 2 decades, but now I feel the urge to find another operating system. I cant be alone.