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Windows 11 is out and available as a free upgrade for those still on Windows But, before you go grabbing that download, find out all the important information about this brand new OS. Since it is pretty new, there are some kinks that still need to work out, so take a look at how to fix common Windows 11 problems if you come across any issues. Make sure to also take a look at our Windows 11 review , where we cover all the improvements the new OS has made, from offering an updated, attractive design, to new ways to grab apps as well as better security features.
While there is still some room for improvement, Windows 11 is turning out to be a very promising update. Just bear in mind that there's still some confusion as to what these system requirements are due to a component called TPM Trusted Platform Module.
Right now, it looks like Microsoft isn't going to budge on its requirement that your device is equipped with a TPM 2. As we head into its one-year anniversary of being available, we're already looking at its next major update, codenamed Sun Valley 2.
Microsoft launched Windows 11 on October 5 as a free upgrade, though some people were able to install it a day early on October 4.
Microsoft will be rolling out the update to eligible devices over the coming months, with users being notified when the update is available for them. However, you can also download Windows 11 right now from the Windows 11 download page opens in new tab. Many laptop and PC makers have also confirmed that many of their new products will come with Windows 11 preinstalled.
As perfect as Get it October 5th, and read all about it now. August 31, There is also going to be a yearly update opens in new tab of the new operating system, similar to Apple's efforts with macOS. While Microsoft released a tool that allowed you to see if your desktop PC or laptop will be able to run Windows 11, it was confirmed to be buggy, giving erroneous results for machines that would have no problem in running the update. However, another tool has been released which gives you much clearer detail for how eligible for PC is.
There's been a lot of discussion as to which devices are eligible for Windows Regardless of the TPM requirement opens in new tab , others are simply wondering if they need to look to upgrade their PC or laptop soon. Microsoft has published the requirements for the update which you view below:. We have a handy guide on how to download Windows 11 , which gives you all the information you need now that the final version has been released.
It's a relatively simple process, as long as your PC meets Windows 11's minimum system requirements. There's also an option to downgrade to Windows 10 if you are experiencing issues with Windows This is available in the current Insider builds, but you can only do it within 10 days of upgrading your machine, otherwise a clean install has to be done in order to go to Windows If you'd like to perform a fresh install of Windows 11, rather than upgrading from Windows 10 or earlier , then you'll need to download the Windows 11 ISO file.
Doing a clean install takes a bit more time, and you'll need to reinstall all of your apps and restore your files if you've backed them up which you should do before you start , but there are many benefits of doing a clean install of Windows For a start, you'll get a much better performing PC, and if you were encountering any issues with Windows 10, a clean install can help fix some of these.
Over the years your PC's hard drive may become filled with unwanted apps and files, so a clean install can get rid of all of that. If that's the way you want to install the operating system, then check out our guide on how to download the Windows 11 ISO for more advice.
This is a relatively little known security feature, but it's caused some people a fair bit of frustration as they've found they've been unable to install Windows We do have a guide to enable TPM 2. However, there is a way to upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2. There may be an occasion however, where you may need to revert back to Windows This could be due to an app not being compatible as yet, or Windows 11 doesn't take kindly to a component in your PC.
Fortunately we have a guide ready that can take you through this, step by step. Windows 11 is a free update for existing Windows users — you'll need to be online to download, install and activate Home versions, and you'll need to have a Microsoft account when installing it on or upgrading your PC or tablet.
Windows 11 will also come pre-installed for free on new PCs and laptops as well, though you should check before you buy to make sure. In some cases, new laptops and PCs may still be sold with Windows 10, and you'll have to upgrade for free yourself.
Windows 11 product keys for fresh installs will likely go on sale in , but we don't know how much it'll cost. So far Microsoft has released the hardware requirements for Windows 11, but there's confusion over TPM Trusted Platform Module and whether the company are pushing hard over the minimum threshold for which devices are eligible to be updated to the new version.
While we've got a handy explainer for you that goes into TPM, hardware vendors can still offer new machines with Windows 11 that won't need this requirement, albeit with good reason to.
Now that Windows 11 is out, and it's a free upgrade, many people will be keen to download it and try it out. But should you upgrade to Windows 11? In our opinion, for many people it'll be worth not upgrading to Windows 11 just yet.
This is because it's still early days, and there are several problems that need fixing first. For example, some people are reporting that Windows 11 is slowing down their internet connections. Microsoft is aware of most of these issues and is working on fixes. That means by holding off from installing Windows 11 for a while, you'll give Microsoft a chance to release updates to fix those problems. Then, when you do finally install Windows 11 in a few week's or month's time, things should run much smoother.
We also spoke to several industry experts, and they all agree that people - and businesses - shouldn't rush to install Windows 11 just yet. You may want to have the best of both worlds sometime, especially if your day job involves running both operating systems. Thankfully we've put together a guide to show you how to do exactly that. The taskbar is optimized for touch as well as mouse peripherals, and is now renamed the dock.
New multitasking features are also on offer thanks to a feature called Snap Layouts, which enables you to arrange multiple windows across the screen, not just side by side, but in columns, sections and more. There's now a much-improved health check app found in Settings, where Windows 11 will recommend you to turn down the brightness for example, change the power saving mode of the battery and much more.
Another feature is Snap Groups, where you can go back to previously snapped windows from the dock, so for example you can go to your email app, Edge browser windows or anything else without having to snap them back to the previous view again.
There's also improved multi-monitor support, so when you reconnect an external monitor, Windows 11 remembers the previous positions of the windows that were on that monitor. There's even an estimated installation time for Windows Update, so you can see whether you need to hold off from updating your PC until later in the day.
Teams is also integrated to the dock, so you can easily join in with meetings and family calls. This looks like the first inkling of Skype disappearing from Windows, especially with the Skype sounds being heard in the demo when a call was incoming. The Microsoft Store is finally seeing a redesign, with better-curated content, and a better options for managing your purchased shows, such as mirroring them to your television.
We suspect that the reason why Amazon are allowing their version of the store instead of Google, may be to do with the. APK filename being replaced from August. The new store opens up possibilities for other applications to arrive in Windows 11, even Apple's iMessage , which could follow iTunes and Safari.
Depending on what you currently use your system for, you may need to consider if you will be upgrading to standard Home version of Windows 11, or if you need to bump up to Windows 11 Pro, Microsoft's enterprise version of the operating system. Regardless of what your preference may be, both have the same minimum system requirements so you'll need to meet those standards regardless of what version you side with.
There are numerous benefits to Windows 11 Pro, though mostly security related to protect businesses and organizations to keep data safe, with features like Windows Information Protection abbreviated to WIP. Windows 11 doesn't have either of these restrictions, which may tempt some non-enterprise users into buying the Pro version of the operating system to avoid using a Microsoft account. You can find a full list of the differences between Windows 11 Home and Windows 11 Pro over on the official Microsoft comparison page opens in new tab.
Fluent Design is the new name for the look of Windows Across the board everything looks more modern and fresh, with rounded windows and apps such as Snipping Tool seeing huge improvements in years. One of the biggest changes users will notice is that the Start menu has been moved to the center of the screen — and it's now "cloud powered", so it dynamically changes depending on the time of day, and the content you're working with.
If you're using the Insider Build, there's already ways of customizing the taskbar and the start menu , including moving the icons back to the left. Light Mode and Dark Mode are here too, with a unified design across the operating system, with colorful wallpapers to choose from as well.
Windows Widgets are back in Windows 11, accessible via the dock, with Microsoft touting AI-powered dynamic features that enable widgets, as with the Start menu, to change depending on the apps you're using and the time of day. On the touchscreen, you can slide from the left on the desktop to have widgets appear. These will be available for third-parties as well, so you may see as many widgets available to pick as there are on Apple's iOS and iPadOS operating systems.
Many apps are being redesigned for Windows 11, such as the Photos , Snipping Tool and Paint apps, bringing them in line with the Fluent Design language. Gaming will be a much bigger focus in Windows 11, with the sluggish and frustrating-to-use Windows 10 Xbox app replaced by a new Game Pass app that enables you to buy, manage and remove games, making it easier for you to access and download games, from Doom Eternal to — soon — Halo Infinite.
HDR will also be supported on compatible machines, offering improved lighting and contrast for gaming and viewing media. Direct Storage is also here, with the main game assets able to be downloaded and installed, enabling you to play your games even faster than before. It looks like Windows 11 could come with a decent upgrade to your device's Wi-Fi capabilities, as Qualcomm announced it has worked with Microsoft, along with other laptop makers and even Valve, to bring Wi-Fi Dual Station with Qualcomm 4-stream DBS technology to compatible machines.
We explain more about how this will boost Wi-Fi in Windows 11 , but it looks like it will be particularly useful for gamers, as it will use multiple Wi-Fi bands at once to help reduce latency. This could be a killer feature for Windows Tablet mode has been one of Windows' weaker points ever since Windows 8, and the new tablet features that Microsoft showed off for Windows 11 could be key to the operating system's fortunes, especially with future Surface products in the pipeline from Microsoft — to have a new, numbered operating system for its upcoming tablets could be a big selling point for new users.
At the event, Microsoft touted bigger touch targets and easier ways to move windows around, and better rotate optimizations, for example in how windows are rearranged, so you don't lose track of the applications you were using. Gestures used with the trackpad of the Surface models are also coming to the touchscreen, bringing in some familiarity here. Haptics is also coming to Windows 11 when you use a stylus for better feedback when drawing or sketching. The touch keyboard has also been redesigned, with a smaller keyboard just for your thumb, and emojis ready to be used.
Microsoft says dictation will also be improved, alongside voice commands, with 'delete that' options and more. Microsoft has certainly given Windows 11 a more modern look than what we saw in Windows 10, but there's always the risk that it might not be to your taste.
No need to worry though, as it takes very little time and effort — and, pleasingly, no money! Perhaps the easiest way to completely change the look of Windows 11 is to apply a new theme, and there are a good handful of options already available for you to try out, but if the ones that come with the OS don't suit you, you can download more from the Microsoft Store.
There are also familiar customizations such as setting a personal desktop background as either a static image or a slideshow, and you can tweak system color options — including dark mode. You can even make adjustments to the taskbar if you like, so your finalized Windows 11 doesn't need to look anything like the out-of-box version of the OS. No new operating system will have a completely flawless launch, so despite being in beta through the Windows Insider Program, a few issues have already popped up.
Thankfully the ones discovered so far are nothing serious and some of them are only appearing for a few users so if you wanted to start downloading the OS on launch day, don't let this stop you. We have a run-through of most of the currently known issues with Windows 11 and we will be keeping this up to date as more reports come in with any new Windows 11 problems and how you can fix them , but nothing system-breaking has appeared so far.