Windows 11 24H2 clean install setup

How to clean install Windows 11 24H2 (preview)

You can now perform a fresh install of the next version of Windows 11, and here's how.

Windows 11 24H2 is the next major refresh of the operating system, expected to launch during the second half of 2024, but you can perform a clean installation of the latest preview using a USB bootable flash drive.

Microsoft recommends using an in-place upgrade, but I always prefer a clean installation since modifying the current setup can cause problems and unexpected errors due to compatibility issues and custom system configurations. 

When you go with a fresh installation, you’re likely to run into fewer problems because you will be deleting everything on the drive and applying a fresh copy of the operating system. Also, if you have had the same setup for many months, this approach can resolve existing issues, performance, and memory usage.

Microsoft supports multiple ways to proceed with an installation, but the best approach is to use a USB flash drive, which you can create using third-party tools like Rufus. (You can also use the Media Creation Tool, but since the final version of the operating system won’t be available until later in the year, it’s not an option to create a Windows 11 24H2 bootable media at this time.)

In this guide, I’ll teach you the steps to set up Windows 11 24H2 as a clean installation using a bootable USB flash drive. 

Important: This process will delete everything on your device, and at this time, you will be installing a version that is still under development and can cause problems, even data loss. It’s recommended to make a full backup of your computer before proceeding. You’ve been warned.

Clean install Windows 11 24H2 from USB

The installation is a three-step process, which includes downloading the ISO file for the latest preview of Windows 11 24H2 from the Windows Insider Program. You also have to use the Rufus tool to create the USB bootable media, and then you can proceed with the setup. 

Also, you must ensure the computer can boot 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.

1. Download Windows 11 24H2 ISO file

To download the latest ISO file to test version 24H2, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows Insider Program website.

  2. Sign in with your Microsoft account.

  3. Choose the edition of Windows 11 in the Dev Channel (for example, Build 26058).

    Windows 11 Insider Program ISO settings

  4. Click the Confirm button.

  5. Select the installation language.

  6. Click the Confirm button.

  7. Click the 64-bit Download button.

    Windows 11 24H2 ISO file download

Once you complete the steps, you can use the ISO file to create a bootable media.

If you plan to set up a virtual machine, you can mount the ISO file directly into the hypervisor to proceed with the installation. Otherwise, continue with the steps to create a bootable USB flash drive.

Microsoft usually makes the ISO files available through the “Windows Insider Preview Downloads” website, but it’s not always the latest version. If there’s a newer build, and it’s not available through the official page, you can use the UUP Dump tool to create a custom ISO file with the latest version of the operating system.

2. Create Windows 11 24H2 bootable media

To create a bootable USB media of version 24H2, use these steps:

  1. Open Rufus website.

  2. Click the link to download the latest version under the “Download” section.

  3. Double-click the executable to launch the tool.

  4. Click the Select button.

  5. Choose the Windows 11 24H2 ISO file.

  6. Click the Open button.

  7. Select the “Standard Windows 11 Installation” option under the “Image option” setting.

    Rufus image option

  8. (Optional) Continue with the default settings after the download.

  9. (Optional) Specify a name for the drive (for example, Windows 11 24H2 Setup) under the “Volume label” setting.

  10. Click the Start button.

  11. Clear the “Remove requirement for 4GB+ RAM, Secure Boot, and TPM 2.0” option.

    Rufus Windows 11 bypass requirements

  12. Clear the “Remove requirement for an online Microsoft account” option.

  13. (Optional) Check the “Create a local account with username” option if you want an installation with a local account instead of a Microsoft account (not recommended).

  14. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the tool will begin creating a bootable media with the Windows 11 installation media.

3. Clean install Windows 11 24H2 from USB

To perform a clean install of Windows 11 24H2 from USB, use these steps:

  1. Start the PC with the Windows 11 24H2 USB flash drive.

  2. Press any key to continue.

  3. Choose the installation language and format.

    Windows 11 24H2 setup language option

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Choose the keyboard and input method.

    Windows 11 setup keyboard option

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Select the “Install Windows 11” option.

    Install Windows 11 24H2 option

  8. Check the “I agree everything” option to confirm this process will delete everything on the computer.

  9. Click the “I don’t have a product key” option.

    I don't have a product key

    Quick note: The computer will activate automatically if you’re reinstalling the operating system. If this is a new device that never included a version of Windows, you will have to provide a product key.
  10. Select the edition of “Windows 11” your license key activates (if applicable).

    Choose edition of Windows option

  11. Click the Next button.

  12. Click the Accept button

  13. Select each partition in the hard drive you want to install Windows 11 24H2 and click the Delete button. (Usually, the “Drive 0” is the drive that contains all the installation files.)

    Windows 11 24H2 partition setup

  14. Select the hard drive (Drive 0 Unallocated Space) to install the latest preview of the operating system.

    Clean install Windows 11 24H2 on unallocated space

  15. Click the Next button.

  16. Click the Install button.

    Windows 11 24H2 clean install

  17. Choose your region setting on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE) after the installation.

    Windows 11 24H2 OOBE region

  18. Click the Yes button.

  19. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout

  20. Click the Yes button.

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

  22. The computer will automatically connect to the network using an Ethernet connection. On a wireless connection, you must set up the connection manually (a security key may be required).

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

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

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

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

    Windows 11 setup types

  26. Click the Next button.

  27. Click the Sign in button.

  28. Confirm your Microsoft account email to create a Windows 11 account.

    Create Windows 11 account

  29. Click the Next button.

  30. Confirm your Microsoft account password.

  31. Click the Next button.

  32. Click the Create PIN button.

  33. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN

  34. Click the OK button.

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

  36. Click the Next button.

  37. Click the Next button again.

  38. Click the Accept button.

    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings

  39. Click the More options setting.

    Windows 11 24H2 OOBE backup settings

  40. Click the “Set up as a new PC” option.

    OOBE skip restore backup for Windows 11

  41. (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 service customization during this experience.

    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience

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

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

  44. Select the “Next” button 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

  45. Click the Next button.

  46. Click the “Not now” button if you will be using a browser other than Microsoft Edge.

    OOBE skip Edge setup

  47. Click the “Skip for now” option to skip the PC Game Pass promotion.

  48. Click the “No, thanks” button to skip the Microsoft 365 setup (if applicable).

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 24H2 will finish the clean installation on the computer.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].