Complete Guide: Windows 11 Free Upgrade from Windows 10

Microsoft plans to release Windows 11 to the general public on October 5. Many users want to know how to perform Windows 11 free upgrade from Windows 10. You can find the answer and have a comprehensive understanding of Windows 11 in this article.


by Yuka Updated on November 1, 2022

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Will Windows 11 be a free upgrade to all Windows 10 users?

Windows 11 will start to become available on October 5, 2021. On this day, a free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin to roll out to eligible Windows 10 PCs, and PCs pre-installed with Windows 11 will start to be available for purchase. What are eligible devices? If you are interested, read on.

Windows 11 Free Upgrade from Windows 10

System Requirements for Windows 10 to 11 Free Upgrade

To install or upgrade to Windows 11, devices must meet the following minimum hardware requirements:

◐ Processors/CPUs (Central Processing Units): 1 GHz or faster with two or more cores. The clock speed and number of cores are inherent to the processor design as it was manufactured and are not considered upgradable components.
◐ RAM (Random-access memory): At least 4 GB.
◐ Storage: At least 64 GB of available storage.
◐ Security: Enable TPM 2.0, UEFI firmware and Secure Boot capable on your PC.
◐ Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
◐ Display: High definition (720p) display, 9" or greater monitor, 8 bits per color channel.
◐ Internet Connectivity and Microsoft Accounts: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft Account to complete device setup on first use.
◐ Windows Version for Upgrade: Your device must be running Windows 10, version 2004 or later, to upgrade through Windows Update. Free updates are available through Windows Update in Settings > Update and Security.

To check if your current Windows 10 PC is eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11, you can download the PC Health Check app. As long as your device is compatible and meets the minimum requirements required, you can perform Windows 10 to Windows 11 upgrade free when it is released.

How to perform Windows 10 to 11 free upgrade

When Windows 11 is released, you can download the Windows 11 upgrade file from the official website and install Windows 11 from the ISO file on your system. However, we will use a simpler approach in this page. Steps to perform Windows 11 free upgrade from windows 10 are as follows:

  1. Go to the Start menu and click on Settings.


  1. Then, click on the “Updates & Security” option from the settings page.

Update and Security

  1. Open Windows Update page and click on the Check for updates button. Then it will automatically check for new updates. Go through the detected updates, if you see Windows 11 upgrade in that list, select that file and Click Download and Install.

Check for Updates

Backup System before upgrading to Windows 11 to prevent accidents

As the release date for Windows 11 approaches, the most frequently asked question is "Is it safe to upgrade Windows 10 to Windows 11?" Not actually, because there may be potential problems during or after the upgrade, which can lead to data loss and even more serious problems, such as startup failure.

Therefore, it’s important to make a copy of your important files or create a system image backup or disk backup for Windows 10 before Windows 11 officially released. If you encounter some unexpected errors after upgrade to Windows 11 free for Windows 10, you can restore computer to previous state from this system backup. Here, I recommend the best free backup softwareAOMEI Backupper for you. You can have a quick view of its outstanding features.

It provides four backup methods, including System Backup, Disk Backup, Partition Backup and File Backup. These backups can help you restore from system failure or recover lost files.
✪ It provides
incremental and differential backup to save backup time and storage space. Once your data is fully backed up, the software is able to only backup changed or new files.
✪ It enables you to create backups to different storages, such as cloud, NAS, local disk, or external hard drive, USB/DVD/CD, etc.
✪ It supports Windows PC operating systems (Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP). If you want to backup Windows Server 2008, 2012, 2016, 2019, etc., try
server backup tools.

Next, I'll show you how to use this software to create a system backup to an external hard drive in Windows 10. The steps are the same in other operating systems. First of all, download this free backup software:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. After the installation of AOMEI Backupper, launch it. Click Backup -> System Backup.

Select System Backup

❃ Disk Backup: Create a disk image of the specified hard disk, including the operating system, installed program, personal data etc.
❃ File Backup: Quickly backup important files to different storages, which will not occupy too much disk space.

Step 2. It will select the Windows 10 system partition and the relevant partitions that are required to start Windows by default. Click the box under the arrow and select an external hard drive as backup destination.

Select Backup Destination

You can click “Options”, “Schedule”, “Scheme” as per your needs.

✪ Options: You can write comments, modify the compression level of your backups here. And if you want to encrypt your backups, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional edition.

Backup Options

✪ Schedule: In General tab, you can set backup schedule here, such as Daily/Weekly/Monthly/Event triggers/USB plug in. The last two modes are available in higher editions. In Advanced tab, you can choose a way to perform the scheduled backup, including Full Backup, Incremental Backup and Differential Backup. Differential Backup is available in higher editions.

Schedule Backup

✪ Scheme (available in the advanced version): This feature allows you to delete old backup images to ensure that there is always enough space to keep the new backup images.

Backup Scheme

Step 3. Confirm the operation and click Start Backup to back up your Windows 10.

Start System Backup

Once there are some incidents during or after the Windows 10 to Windows 11 free upgrade, you can restore your PC from this system backup via AOMEI Backupper easily.

Launch AOMEI Backupper, go to Restore -> Select Task or Select Image File to choose the system backup you create previously.

Select Task


To ensure that you can safely perform Windows 11 free upgrade from Windows 10, you need to create a backup of your system in advance. Once the upgrade fails for different reasons, you can still restore your computer to its previous state and make it available.

This software is embedded with plenty of other functions, including clone, sync, restore and other powerful tools. For instance, you can use it to install Windows 11 to SSD, create Windows 11 bootable USB, etc. Try it to discover more!

Yuka · Editor
Yuka, our dedicated editor at AOMEI Technology, is committed to bringing you valuable insights and guidance in data protection. Her mission is to empower everyone with her knowledge in computer backup and recovery, disk cloning, file synchronization, and more. Yuka's goal is to do her best to make complex tech tasks simple and ensure that your digital world remains safe and secure.