Fresh upgrade

How to clean install Windows 11 22H2

You can upgrade to Windows 11 22H2 using a clean installation, and here's how.

Windows 11 22H2 clean install

Windows 11 22H2 is expected to be available during the second half of 2022, and the best way to upgrade is to perform a clean installation using a USB flash drive.

Although Microsoft always recommends using an in-place upgrade through Windows Update, changing the current installation can always cause problems and unexpected errors due to compatibility issues and custom system configurations that you may have applied in the past. When you use a clean install of Windows 11 22H2, the changes of issue will be minimal because you will be deleting everything and applying a fresh copy of the operating system.

Also, if you have had the same setup for many months, erasing everything and starting from scratch can help resolve existing problems and improve startup times, performance, and memory usage.

While there are multiple ways to proceed with a clean installation, the best approach is to use a USB bootable media with the Windows 11 22H2 files, which you can create using the Media Creation Tool, the official ISO file, or third-party tools like Rufus.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to perform a clean install of Windows 11 22H2 using a bootable USB flash drive whether you currently have a device with Windows 11 21H2, Windows 10, or an older version. (See also this video tutorial with the installation process from USB at the Pureinfotech YouTube channel.)

Important: These instructions are meant to install version 22H2 after it’s officially released. If you upgrade to the version before it’s officially available, you may come across bugs and issues. It’s also recommended to create a temporary full backup before proceeding.

Clean install Windows 11 22H2 from USB

The installation process requires creating a USB flash drive with the installation files. You then need to boot your computer with the bootable media to launch the Windows 11 22H2 setup. Also, you have to make sure the computer can start from a USB flash drive, which means you may need to change the UEFI settings. Since the firmware settings are different on every computer, you must check your manufacturer support website for more specific details.

To perform a clean install of Windows 11 22H2 from USB, use these steps:

  1. Start the PC with the Windows 11 USB flash drive.

  2. Press any key to continue.

  3. Click the Next button.

    Windows 11 Setup

  4. Click the Install now button.

    Windows 11 install option

  5. Click the I don’t have a product key option if you are doing a reinstallation. If Windows 11 was already activated after the installation, reactivation would happen automatically.

    Skip license key option

  6. Select the edition of “Windows 11” that your license key activates (if applicable).

  7. Check the I accept the license terms option.

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Select the Custom: Install Windows only (advanced) option.

    Windows 11 custom install option

  10. Select each partition in the hard drive you want to install Windows 11 22H2 and click the Delete button. (Usually, the “Drive 0” is the drive that contains all the installation files.)

    Delete partitions Windows 11 setup

    Warning: When you delete a partition, it also deletes all data on the drive. Also, it is not required to delete the partitions from a secondary hard drive.
  11. Select the hard drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space) to install Windows 11.

    Clean install Windows 11 on unallocated space

  12. Click the Next button.

  13. Select your region setting after installing it on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

    Windows 11 OOBE region

  14. Click the Yes button.

  15. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout

  16. Click the Yes button.

  17. Click the Skip button if you do not need to configure a second layout.

  18. If the computer uses an Ethernet connection, it will automatically connect to the network. If you have a wireless connection, you will need to set up the connection manually (a security key may be required).

  19. (Optional) Confirm a name for the computer.

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

  20. Click the Next button. (The device will restart automatically.)

  21. Select the Set up for personal use option for Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types

  22. Click the Next button.

  23. Confirm your Microsoft account email, phone number, or Skype identification to create an account.

    Create Windows 11 account

  24. Click the Next button.

  25. Confirm your Microsoft account password.

  26. Click the Next button.

  27. Click the Create PIN button.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN

  28. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account PIN

  29. Click the OK button.

  30. Select the “Set up as new device” option. Or select to restore your settings from a previous installation.

    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings

  31. Click the Next button.

  32. Confirm your privacy settings that best suit your situation by turning on or off the toggle switch for each setting.

    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings

  33. Click the Next button.

  34. Click the Next button again.

  35. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued

  36. (Optional) On the “Let’s customize your experience” page, select one or more ways you plan to use the device to allow the setup to suggest tools and services customization during this experience.

    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience

  37. Click the Accept button to continue. Or click the Skip button to skip this part of the setup.

  38. (Optional) Use the code to link your Android phone option or click the Skip option.

  39. Select the “Back up my files with OneDrive” option to automatically upload your Desktop, Pictures, and Documents folders to the cloud. Or Select the “Only save file to this PC” option.

    Windows 11 OOBE backup files to OneDrive

  40. Click the Next button.

  41. Click the No, thanks button to skip the Microsoft 365 setup.

    Skip Office installation

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 22H2 will finish the clean installation on the computer.