Windows 11 kicked off its wide rollout on Tuesday. Microsoft launched its new operating system and began rolling it out to eligible devices on Oct. 5, and the upgrade is free to everyone already using Windows 10. However, because Microsoft is rolling out the OS in phases, your system might not show the option to upgrade just yet. An August blog post from Microsoft said the company expects “all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022.” Don’t want to wait? Read on to find out how the Windows 11 Installation Assistant is your shortcut to Windows 11.
If you’re not in a rush, however, the Windows 11 update will be pushed to your device at some point in the coming months when Microsoft’s data indicates the upgrade is ready for that device. When the new OS is available to you, the upgrade process will feel similar to a normal Windows 10 update, as long as your device is compatible and meets the minimum requirements needed. (And even if it doesn’t, Microsoft will offer a workaround, but your Windows 11 installation won’t be supported by the company.)
Don’t want to wait until next year? You still have the option to manually download Windows 11 and check out its new features, such as widgets, snap layouts, virtual desktops and the new Microsoft Store. We’ll tell you how below. Before your download, here’s everything you need to know about Microsoft’s new software.
To see if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, you can check in a few different ways. And if you buy a new PC, that computer will also be eligible for the free upgrade.
If you haven’t updated to Windows 10 yet, don’t worry — there’s a trick for downloading Windows 10 free that still works. Now would be a good time to make the switch to prepare your machine for the Windows 11 upgrade. That trick will be the same one you use if you want to manually upgrade an older machine to Windows 11, though Microsoft doesn’t encourage doing this as it may not be eligible for the same updates.