How to download Windows 11 ISO image file

Windows 11 ISO images are now available! Despite Microsoft saying that Windows 11 is available for supported PCs only, it can be used on unsupported PCs using ISOs – at your own risk, see below – and all features do work well.

Windows 11 ISO contains Build 22000.194 (version 21H2) of the operating system and it is available in all editions (Pro, Home, Enterprise, Education, etc). The new operating system requires 64-bit processors, so the ISO file is not being offered in the 32-bit version.

Windows 11 version 21H2, otherwise known as October 2021 Update, started rolling out on October 5, but the availability depends on the location of the device. If you can’t wait for the free upgrade notification on Windows Update, you can download ISOs of Windows 11 version 21H2 to update your devices immediately or perform a clean install.

To download the ISO file for Windows 11 version 21H2, you’ve two options – create a media installation image using Media Creation Tool or download the file from Microsoft’s website.

Direct download Windows 11 ISO files from Microsoft

If you need the installation media immediately, follow the guide to get direct download links or use these official links:

Windows 11 21H2 English (all editions) 64-bit–5.1GB.

How to download Windows 11 ISO

To download Windows 11 October 2021 Update ISO, use these steps:

  1. Open your favourite browser and visit the download page.
  2. Locate the section “Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)“.
    Windows 11 ISO disk image
  3. Select “Windows 11” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on “Download“.
  5. Select the preferred language. If you’re planning to upgrade the existing hardware, make sure that you verify the configuration by visiting Settings > System > About.
  6. Click on 64-bit download to begin the process.

What is the size of Windows 11?

The size of the ISO file is 5.1GB, but it could be slightly lower or higher depending on the language pack you select.

How to install Windows 11 using ISO

To install Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Right-click Win11_English_x64.ISO and click Mount.
    Mount ISO
  2. Open File Explorer and locate the drive containing the media image.
    Windows 11 Setup.exe
  3. Double click Setup.exe.
  4. Click Yes if Windows ask for administrator permission.
    Windows Setup screen
  5. Under the “Install Windows 11” screen, click on “Next“. You can uncheck “I want to help make the installation better” option if you want.
    Checking for updates
  6. On the next screen, you can choose to install any important updates before upgrading and click Next.
    Windows 11 agreement
  7. Accept the End User License Agreement.
  8. Click Install.
    Windows disk image
  9. Under the “ready to install” screen, make sure you select the option that lets you keep the personal files and apps.
  10. Click Install.
Windows install screen

Windows will check for updates multiple times to reduce compatibility issues. You can turn off the internet connection and run the setup again if you don’t Windows to check for updates during the setup.

This step is particularly helpful when you have a limited or slow internet connection.

How to perform a clean install of Windows

Doing a clean install of the operating system isn’t the same as performing the upgrade via Windows Update or setup.exe of the media image.

This method is particularly helpful if you’ve already upgraded to Windows 11 via Windows Update and the computer is experiencing slowdowns or design glitches.

To start, you will need access to an 8GB or larger USB flash drive. Once done, follow these steps:

  1. Download and run the Windows 11 installation tool from Microsoft.
    Windows 11 ISO generate
  2. Allow the setup to prepare your device and create installation media for another PC.
  3. Under “Choose which media to use”, select USB flash drive.
    Windows 11 USB drive
  4. Hit the “Next” button.
  5. Select your flash drive.
  6. Hit “Next” one more time.
  7. Select “Finish” to start the download process of Windows 11 and create the USB installation drive.

Once done, boot your PC from the USB drive. The boot menu keyboard shortcut depends on the manufacturer of the device, but you can try pressing ‘F2’, ‘F12’, or ‘Delete’ after turning on the PC.

When you see the blue screen with the installation window, the rest of the process is quite straightforward. Essentially, you’ll choose the partition, language, operating system edition and Microsoft will do the rest.

To clean install Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Boot using the USB flash drive.
  2. On the blue screen, select “Install now“.
    Install now
  3. Select your language (it should be selected automatically). Click Next.
    Windows Setup
  4. Select “I don’t have a product key” and click Next. Windows will be activated actually as the license is generally linked to the Microsoft account.
    Windows 11 activation
  5. Accept the license agreement and select Next.
    Windows licensing
  6. Select Custom Install and choose the installation partition.
    Windows 11 editions
  7. On the next screen, select the edition of Windows. In our case, we’ve selected Windows 11 Pro.
  8. Click Next.
  9. Windows installer will begin copying files and it will boot to the OOBE screen.
  10. In the OOBE screen, select your country or region.
  11. Click Yes.
  12. Enter the name for your PC and click Next
    Windows 11 Microsoft account
  13. Sign in with your Microsoft account. If you’re not connected to the internet, you may not be able to install Windows 11 Home. In the case of Windows 11 Pro or Enterprise, it is possible to create a local account directly from the OOBE screen
    Windows OOBE PIN screen
  14. On the next screen, create a PIN.
    Windows interests
  15. Select your interests. For example, if you plan to use the PC for gaming or schoolwork, select those options. This will allow Microsoft to customize the Store and tips experience for you.
    Privacy policy screen
  16. Review privacy settings and enable/disable the options, and click Next.Windows OneDrive
  17. Set up OneDrive. If you don’t want to use OneDrive, select Only store files on this device option.

If you’ve followed the steps correctly, you should see the desktop and a new Start Menu of Windows 11.

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