Windows 11 is released for download in advance; see how to install | Applications and Software

The first preview of Windows 11 has arrived: it brings the new Start menu, revamped File Explorer, widgets, multitasking improvements and more. Some features will only come in the future, like Android apps and Microsoft Teams integration. Learn how to install the Windows 10 successor on your computer – and make sure your PC is compatible.

Start Menu in Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure / Microsoft)

How to download Windows 11 on PC

First of all, remember that this is a test version of Windows 11: that is, it will definitely have bugs and instabilities, just so that Microsoft receives feedback from millions of PCs to make all the adjustments to the system. Avoid installing on your primary machine (or partition).

To download Windows 11, you must be currently using Windows 10 on your computer. So just follow these steps:

  1. go to Settings > Privacy > Diagnosis and Feedback and activate the option Optional diagnostic data (this is mandatory in Windows Insider);
  2. then follow the path Settings > Update and Security > Windows Insider Program;
  3. click in Start now;
  4. choose one Microsoft account (or login) and follow the instructions.

Microsoft has not yet released ISO images to download Windows 11.

Windows 11 Preview runs on my PC?

There are two different scenarios to be able to test the upgrade:

  • if you were already part of the Insider program until June 24, 2021, it will be possible to install Windows 11 even on incompatible hardware;
  • if you are now joining the Insider program, your computer must have a compatible processor and TPM 2.0 module.

If you were not an Insider before and you have an Intel or AMD processor released before 2017, the system will display the following message:

Your computer does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. Channel options will be limited.

In this case, you will be able to install future previews of Windows 10, which will continue to receive updates and support until October 2025.

If you were an Insider before June 24, Microsoft will make an exception. However, the company “recommends that PCs meet all hardware requirements for the best experience when using Windows 11 builds in the Insider Preview.” Here’s how to know if your PC meets the minimum requirements to run Windows 11.

What’s New in Windows 11?

Notification Center in Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure / Microsoft)

Notification Center in Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure / Microsoft)

The taskbar buttons in Windows 11 are centered on the screen, similar to macOS. There’s even the Start menu, with apps pinned, and a Recommended section with your recently opened files – even on other devices, if they’re on OneDrive.

Notification Center and QuickSets remain in the lower right corner of the taskbar, but there are now keyboard shortcuts to access each – Win + N and Win + A, respectively. Quick Settings houses the options for volume, brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Focus Assist, as well as music and video playback controls.

Quick settings in Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure / Microsoft)

Quick settings in Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure / Microsoft)

The File Explorer, also called Windows Explorer, got a new command bar, in addition to a redesigned context menus that appear when clicking with the right mouse button.

File Explorer in Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure / Microsoft)

File Explorer in Windows 11 (Image: Disclosure / Microsoft)

Windows 11 has a default theme in light and dark modes, plus four additional options plus contrast themes for the visually impaired.

It also brings back the startup sound when turning on the PC or activating the lock screen to login. Also, system sounds are slightly different depending on whether the subject is in light or dark mode.

With information: Microsoft.

This post will be updated…

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