By Jessie / Last update September 27, 2021

Above Windows 11

Windows 11 will be officially released in October this year, and many Windows users want to upgrade their current system to Windows 11 to experience the new system and its new features. Compared with the previous system, Windows 11 has some obvious changes as follows.

  • The new Start menu is located in the center of your taskbar. You can move them all back to the left if necessary.
  • Some folder icons in File Explorer have been updated. Furthermore, if you hover your mouse over the "maximize windows" icon, you'll find an option to align your window in various ways.
  • Widgets drawer is located in the center of the Taskbar icons when you complete a Windows 11 free upgrade. Now, it only displays News & Interests instead of desktop widgets.

Can Windows 7 Upgrade to Windows 11?

If you are still using Windows 7 and want to upgrade to Windows 11, you can do it certainly, but it will require a clean install. Lenovo has released a Windows 11 FAQ page that is based on Microsoft's input. It reveals users of Windows 7 can upgrade to Windows 11 by performing a clean install.

As a result, users need to backup their data before performing a clean installation on their PC. And you should ensure that your computer is compatible with Windows 11 and meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11.

The Minimum System Requirements for Windows 11

You can check whether your computer is meet the minimum system requirements of Windows 11 by the following items.

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB)
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
  • Internet connection and Microsoft accounts: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.

Backup Your Windows 7 before Upgrading

Before upgrading and installing, you should make sure you have backed up everything you need because the clean installation will wipe your computer. You can choose a free and reliable backup software to backup your system easily. For example, AOMEI Backupper Standard, it’s a safe and professional backup software which supports System Backup, Disk Backup, File Backup, and Partition Backup. It also has the advantages below.

  • It supports schedule backup with a fixed interval, including daily, weekly, monthly.
  • You can select a way to perform scheduled backup based on your own needs, both full backup and incremental backup are available in the free version.
  • It allows you to write comments for your backups and set up email notifications.
  • You can choose various backup modes (intelligent sector backup or exact backup) and different compression levels (high/normal/low).
  • It supports multiple storage devices, such as USB, HDD, SSD, NAS, etc.
  • It has great compatibility in the operating system (Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11, XP, Vista, etc).

Then you can follow the tutorial to backup your Windows 7 before upgrading easily.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Standard, install, and open it. Click Backup > System Backup.

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System Backup

Step 2. By default, it will select the system disk and other partitions needed for booting. And you need to select a destination.

Select Destination

Step 3. Confirm your operations and click Start Backup to backup your Windows 7 before upgrading.

Start Backup

Notes:

  • Options: Except for the free functions we mentioned before, it also provides an image encryption feature which can make your backup more secure. And you can upgrade to the professional version to enjoy it.
  • Schedule: You can set up daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers or USB plug in to automatically backup Windows 7.
  • Scheme: If you enable the backup scheme, this feature will automatically help you to delete old backups so that you can save your disk space. It is available in the professional version.

How to Free Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 11

After you have backed up your system, you can follow the steps below to upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 11 free with a clean install.

Step 1. Boot your computer from Windows 11 installation media.

Step 2. In the Windows Setup window, set the language and other preferences and click Next. Then, click Install now.

Choose Preferences

Step 3. You’ll be asked to activate Windows. Enter your product key or click I don’t have a product key if you’re reinstalling Windows.

Step 4. Choose the operating system you want to install and click Next.

Select Operating System

Step 5. Accept the license terms and click Next.

Step 6. Then, select Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).

Custom Install

Step 7. Choose the drive where you want to install Windows 11 and click Next. Wait for the installation process to be done.

Select Drive

Step 8. You’ll go to Windows 11 setup process to set your country, keyboard layout, personal use, etc. After you finish settings, you’ll get into Windows 11 new desktop.

Windows 11 Setup

Summary

You can upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 11 free with a clean install. Before upgrading, you need to backup Windows 7 to avoid data loss.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is a free and reliable system backup software that can help you backup your system easily in just a few steps. If something goes wrong with your system, then you can use this backup to restore your system and use it normally. When you upgrade to Windows 11, you can also use it to backup your new system for free.

What's more, it is also a popular cloning software. It supports System Clone, Disk Clone, and Partition Clone. You can use it to clone larger drive to smaller drive easily. You can download this software to explore more features.