Download the latest Windows ISO: How to create a Windows 11 installation USB drive-CNET

2021-11-12 07:33:58 By : Ms. Leslie Youcable

Windows 11 can be downloaded as an .ISO file. However, before you start, you may want to have a drink.

It is always a good idea to back up the current operating system on a USB drive. just in case. We show you how to make one for Windows 11. 

Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible devices today, but not everyone can get it immediately. The free update brings many new features, including a new start menu, widgets, and a refreshed interface. Even the Microsoft Store is undergoing major updates (though don’t expect to see Android apps right away).

Issues will inevitably encounter problems and errors. Sometimes these issues may force you to reinstall Windows 11. An easy way is to use a USB installation drive with a copy of Windows 11. After the update is safely stored on the flash drive, you can reinstall it at any time, if any problems become so serious that your only option is to reinstall the update. 

You can also use a USB drive to more easily install Windows 11 on multiple computers, or quickly set up a virtual machine to test without compromising personal data. 

Stay up to date with the latest Microsoft news, as well as comments and suggestions on Windows PCs.

Microsoft has updated its media creation tool to include Windows 11. You can download the ISO image directly from the source and flash it to the USB drive yourself. 

To create a Windows 11 installation drive, you need an empty 8GB USB drive, a Windows PC, and up to a few hours. You can use a Linux computer or Mac to download the system image, but we will focus on the PC in this guide. Here are the steps you need to follow.

To download the Windows 11 ISO image, you need to create a USB bootable drive. First, visit the download Windows 11 page. You will see some other installation options, but you are looking to download a Windows 11 disk image (ISO).

Scroll down the page until you see a drop-down menu labeled "Choose to download." Click the drop-down menu, then select Windows 11, and then click Download. Next, you will be asked to select a language, and then click "Confirm" again, and then click the "64-bit download" button to finally start downloading the ISO. This is a pretty large file of 5.1GB, so depending on your internet connection, the download may take some time to complete. 

After the download is complete, your work has not yet been fully completed. You need to burn the ISO image to a USB drive. For this, you need some additional software. But don't worry, this is a simple process. 

After the ISO is complete, this is what Rufus should look like before flashing Windows 11 to the USB drive. 

To convert a standard USB drive to an installation drive, you need to use a program called Rufus. It is the same application that Microsoft used to create a Windows 10 bootable drive in its guide. Visit the company's website to download and install Rufus, which should only take a few seconds. This is a small program. 

Insert your USB drive and open Rufus. Use the device drop-down menu to select your USB drive. Keep in mind that during this process, any content on your USB flash drive will be erased-so make sure it is empty or you already have everything you need. 

Under boot selection, select the disk or ISO image, then click the text that says SELECT and select the ISO file you created in the previous step. 

There is a section labeled Image options in Rufus with a few different settings-leave everything as default. The same can be said for format options, unless you want to change the name of the USB drive to "Windows 11 installation" or something similar. 

After confirming that all options are set, click "Start". When the program finishes its work, you will need to wait again, but this should be much faster than downloading and creating an ISO. I only spent more than 15 minutes on Surface Pro X. 

You can now easily install Windows 11. 

After Rufus is complete, you can remove the USB drive from your PC and keep it in a safe place in case you need to reinstall Windows 11 on your PC, or you can plug it into another PC and use it by opening the drive To install Windows 11 and double-click the setup.exe file. After a few seconds, the Windows 11 installation screen will appear to guide you through the rest of the process. 

Alternatively, you can try to use the USB drive as a bootable installation drive. However, this is where things get more complicated, because Windows 11 requires a secure boot, and the USB drive we just created is not compatible with this feature. I recommend waiting for Microsoft to release the official tool, but if you insist, I will find a guide that will guide you through the extra steps of making a bootable USB drive compatible with Safe Boot on Tom's Hardware, starting with step 11. 

Want to know what's all the fuss about Windows 11? We have your support. There is a big interface redesign debut, which includes a centered "Start" menu, but don't worry, you can move it back to the left corner if needed. Finally, if you ever wanted to use Android applications on your PC, Microsoft is making it possible.