Windows 11 has all the power and security of Windows 10 with a redesigned and refreshed look. It also comes with new tools, sounds, and apps. Every detail has been considered. All of it comes together to bring you a refreshing experience on your PC.
A clean install of Windows 11 will wipe out everything on the drive you select to install Windows 11 on giving you a completely new default installation of Windows 11.
Windows 11 minimum system requirements:
If you’d like to see if your current PC meets the minimum requirements, download and run the PC Health Check app.
- 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 gigabyte (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
When you set up a Microsoft account during Windows Setup, your user profile folder in the "C:\Users" folder will be named with the first 5 characters of the email address used for your Microsoft account.
If you are someone that cares what the name of your user profile folder is in the "C:\Users" folder, then you will want to set up a local account during Windows Setup so your user profile folder will have the same name you give as the local account name. When Windows 11 has finished installing, you can switch to a Microsoft account from the local account (if wanted) without the user profile folder name getting changed.
If you have not already, you will need to create a bootable Windows 11 installation USB that supports UEFI mode.
Temporarily disconnect all non OS hard drives until Windows installation has finished for the following reasons:
- To avoid you mistakenly deleting or formatting the wrong disk or drive.
- To prevent Windows Setup from installing the boot configuration files (bootloader) to a different connected hard drive instead of on the disk Windows will be installed on.
Usually it will be set to UEFI mode by default if supported. You may need to read your PC's or motherboard's manual for its specific instructions on how to change this setting.
Boot from the Windows 11 installation USB flash drive on your computer.
Select your language, time and currency, and keyboard or input method preferences, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Click/tap on the Install Now button to start Windows Setup for the installation. (see screenshot below)
Since Windows 11 is not officially released yet, click/tap on the I don't have a product key link. (see screenshot below)
You can also enter an official Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 retail product key (OEM keys will not work) not currently used to activate Windows on another PC, and click/tap on Next to activate Windows 11.
If you clicked on I don't have a product key in step 7 above, then select the Windows 11 edition you want to install, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)
Check the I accept the Microsoft Software License Terms box, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Click/tap on the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option. (see screenshot below)
Perform one of the following actions to select a drive or disk to install Windows 11 on: (see screenshots below)
- Delete all partitions on the Drive # (ex: Drive 0) you want to install Windows 11 until that Drive # shows only as one Unallocated Space, select the unallocated space, and click/tap on Next.
- Select a Primary or unallocated partition on a drive you want to install Windows 11, Delete the partition/volume if not already unallocated, click/tap on OK to confirm, and click/tap on Next.
The installation of Windows 11 will now begin. (see screenshots below)
During the installation process, your screen may flash and the computer will restart a few times.
Select your country or region (ex: "United States"), and click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)
If you would like to set up this PC to have an OOBE (Out-of-box Experience) so another user/owner can pick up at this step to finish setting up Windows on the PC with their own account and preferences the next time the PC it turned on, then:
1. Press the + keys when you see the screenshot below to open a command prompt.
2. Type C:\Windows\System32\shutdown -s -t 0 -f into the command prompt, and press Enter to shut down Windows.
Select the keyboard layout (ex: "US") you want, and click/tap on Yes. (see screenshot below)
Select Add layout or Skip depending on if you want to add a second keyboard layout or not. (see screenshot below)
Windows Setup will now check for an Internet connection. If an Internet connection is not detected, it will prompt you to connect and select an Ethernet network and/or setup and connect to a wireless network (if available), and click/tap on Next. (see screenshots below)
If installing a Windows 11 Home edition with an Internet connection, see the note box under step 21A if you want to set up a local account instead of a Microsoft account.
If installing a Windows 11 Home edition and you currently do not have an Internet connection available, you can press the step 21D to set up a local account. (see top screenshot below) + keys to bypass not be able to continue Windows Setup without an Internet connection, and go to (No longer available since build 22000.132)
If installing a Windows 11 Home edition and you currently do not have an Internet connection available, press the + keys to open a command prompt. Copy and paste the
taskkill /F /IM oobenetworkconnectionflow.exe command into the command prompt, and press . Close the command prompt, and continue at step 21D to set up a local account.
If installing a Windows 11 Pro or Education edition and you currently do not have an Internet connection available, click/tap on I don't have Internet and Continue with limited setup, and go to step 21D to set up a local account. (see bottom two screenshots below)
Type a name you want for the PC, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
You can always rename the PC at anytime if needed.
Your PC name cannot have more then 15 characters.
Your PC name cannot have spaces or any of the following special characters: " /\  : | <> + + ; , ?
If you are installing a Windows 11 Pro edition, select Set up for personal use (home PC) or Set up for work or school (domain) for how you would like to set up this device, and click/tap on Next. (see screenshot below)
Go to the step below depending on if your want to set up a local account or Microsoft account to sign in to Windows 11 with.
This account will be an administrator account.
For more details about a Microsoft account, see: Microsoft account | Microsoft Docs
If you do not have a Microsoft account and would like to use one, click/tap on the Create one link to create a new Microsoft account.
You can select to restore your settings, preferences, Microsoft Store apps, and synced OneDrive files from another device instead of setting up as a new device.
Click/tap on Skip instead if you do not want to select (check) any device usages.
For more details about a local account, see: Local account | Microsoft Docs:
If installing a Windows 11 Home edition with an Internet connection, follow the steps below instead: (see bottom 4 screenshots below)
1) Enter this fake email address (ex: "firstname.lastname@example.org"), click/tap on Next.
2) Enter a fake password, and click/tap on Sign in.
3) Click/tap on Next when you see Oops, something went wrong.
4) Select Don't sign in with a Microsoft account, and click/tap on Next
5) Go to step 21D.
- If a Windows 11 Pro edition and you selected Set up for personal use at step 18, click/tap on Offline account.
- If a Windows 11 Pro edition and you selected Set up for work or school at step 18, click/tap on Domain join instead.
- If a Windows 11 Education edition, click/tap on Domain join instead.
If you do not want this local account to have a password, leave the password field empty, click/tap on Next, and go to step J below.
When the clean install has finished, you will be on your desktop in Windows 11 with the Start menu open. (see screenshots below)
Make sure that you have the correct time zone, date, and time set.
Install any needed drivers for your devices.