Upgrading to Windows 11: What You Should Know
Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 11, is now available as a free download for eligible Windows 10 users. This new OS is jam-packed with new features. Windows 11 integrates Microsoft Teams chat directly into the Taskbar, which is designed to let you text and video call friends just as seamlessly as you would using iMessage and FaceTime on a Mac.
It also has a new Widgets app, advanced multitasking abilities (Snap Groups and Snap Layouts), performance enhancements for gaming, and improved security features. If you’re wondering if you should hit that download button or buy a new Windows 11 computer, here’s what you need to know before upgrading.
Do I Have to Make the Switch to Windows 11?
No one can force you to upgrade to Windows 11, but it’s a really good idea to do so. You’ll still be able to use your Windows 10 computer the same way you have been, just like many people are still using Windows 7. However, once support for Windows 10 ends in 2025, you won’t get any security updates, which could leave your computer vulnerable – many forms of malware target Windows devices.
With that said, it might be wise to hold off on installing Windows 11 for a short while. After all, there are always a few kinks with any software launch. Let Microsoft release an update or two before you proceed to avoid any issues. Waiting is especially important for those who have a single computer that they rely on — an issue could mean big delays, and you’d likely have to wait another month for a fix.
When you are ready to update, backup all important documents on your computer before initiating the process – you can upload documents to the cloud, such as Microsoft’s OneDrive or Google Drive, or copy them onto an external hard drive or convenient thumb drive. This way, if you run into trouble during the upgrade, your files will be safe and accessible.
Windows 11 Minimum System Requirements
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with at least two cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or SoC
- RAM: 4GB
- Storage: 64GB
- System Firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module 2.0
- Graphics Card: DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: 720p, 8-bit per color channel, at least 9-inch diagonal
How to Upgrade to Windows 11 for Free
Windows 11 will come pre-installed on any new PC you purchase, but why shell out the money if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for a free upgrade? To check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible:
- Run Microsoft’s PC Health Check Tool.
- Go to the Windows 11 Specifications page and scroll to the bottom until you see the Check for compatibility section.
- Click the Download PC Health Check App link and install the program.
- Click the Check Now button inside the app. If your computer is compatible, a message tells you that your PC meets Windows 11 requirements.
If you have a compatible computer, Windows 11 will appear as a free upgrade for your machine once it becomes available to you. Microsoft’s new OS is gradually rolling out, and once Windows 11 becomes available for you, you’ll download it the same way you would any new version of Windows. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click Check for Updates. If available, you’ll see a Feature update to Windows 11 – click Download and install.
If you’re using Windows 7 and your computer meets the Windows 11 requirements, you can upgrade to Windows 11 for free as well. However, you’ll first have to update your PC to Windows 10, then follow the above process to upgrade to Windows 11.
If you don’t want to wait for the upgrade to reach your machine, you can go through Microsoft’s Windows 11 Installation Assistant. Open the Download Windows 11 page and click the Download now button under the Windows 11 Installation Assistant section. Run the downloaded Windows 11 Installation Assistant .exe file. Click the Accept and install button, and your Windows 10 computer will upgrade to Windows 11.
Stay up to date on the latest tech news with Alvarez Technology Group. To learn more about our IT services, please contact us today.