Fresh start

Perform clean install of Windows 11 in six different ways

Here are the six supported methods to clean install Windows 11 on a computer.

Windows 11 clean install

On Windows 11 (version 21H2), a clean installation refers to the process of erasing the hard drive and applying a fresh copy of the OS without custom settings, drivers, apps, or files. Typically, this is the recommended approach to upgrade to the latest version of Windows 11 on compatible hardware to prevent installation issues and fix existing problems.

For example, if the computer has had the same setup for a long time, a clean install of Windows 11 can help resolve performance issues, problems shutting down, booting up, memory, and apps. Also, this type of installation is the best method to upgrade from an older version, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1. In addition, you can use this option to delete annoying bloatware that came preloaded with the default setup.

Microsoft supports multiple ways to clean install Windows 11, including using a USB flash drive to set up the OS on an SSD (Solid-State Drive). It’s also possible to use the “Reset this PC” feature to quickly wipe out the hard drive and reinstall the OS without additional tools. Or, if the device does not start, you can use the Advanced startup options or mount the ISO file to File Explorer to commence a clean install.

In this guide, you will learn six different ways to perform a clean installation of Windows 11 on your computer. However, before proceeding with these instructions, do these things before installing.

Important: This process will delete everything on your device. It’s recommended to make a full backup of your computer before proceeding. You’ve been warned. Also, these instructions are meant to help you install Windows 11 when it’s officially available, not before.

How to clean install Windows 11 from USB

Using a USB flash drive is the most straightforward method to perform a clean install of Windows 11. You can create a bootable media using the Media Creation Tool, Command Prompt, Rufus, or any other third-party tool. (See also this video tutorial with the installation process from USB at the Pureinfotech YouTube channel.)

If you choose this method, you also have to make sure the device can start from USB, which means you will have to change the BIOS or UEFI settings. The only caveat is that since these settings are different on most computers, you will have to check your manufacturer support website for more specific details.

To perform a clean install of Windows 11 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
    Windows 11 Setup
  4. Click the Install now button.

    Windows 11 install option
    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 previously activated after the installation, reactivation would happen automatically.

    Skip license key option
    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
    Windows 11 custom install option
  10. Select each partition in the hard drive you want to install Windows 11 21H2 and click the Delete button. (Usually, the “Drive 0” is the drive that contains all the installation files.)

    Delete partitions Windows 11 setup
    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
    Clean install Windows 11 on unallocated space
  12. Click the Next button.

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

    Windows 11 OOBE region
    Windows 11 OOBE region
  14. Click the Yes button.

  15. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout
    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 if you are configuring Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types
    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
    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
    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
  28. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account 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
    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
    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings
  33. Click the Next button.

  34. Click the Next button again.

  35. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued
    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
    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience options
  37. Click the Accept button to continue. Or click the Skip button to skip this part of the setup.

  38. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE backup files to OneDrive
  39. Click the Next button.

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

    Skip Office installation
    Skip Office installation

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will continue the installation on the computer.

How to clean install Windows 11 from ISO file

Alternatively, you can mount the ISO in File Explorer to launch a clean install or in-place upgrade on a device with the operating system already installed.

To clean install Windows 11 with an ISO file, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Support website.

  2. Under the “Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)” section, select the Windows 11 option.

  3. Click the Download button.

  4. Select the installation language.

  5. Click the Confirm button.

  6. Click the Download button to save the Windows 11 ISO file on the device.

  7. Right-click the ISO file, and select the Mount option.

    File Explorer mount ISO option
    File Explorer mount ISO option
  8. Select the virtual drive from the left navigation pane.

  9. Double-click the Setup file to begin the Windows 11 21H2 installation.

    Windows 11 setup.exe
    Windows 11 setup.exe
  10. (Optional) Click the Change how Windows Setup downloads updates option.

    Windows 11 setup update options
    Windows 11 setup update options
  11. Select the Not right now option.

    Disable updates during installation
    Disable updates during installation
  12. Click the Next button.

  13. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.

  14. Click the Change what to keep option.

    Media Creation Tool settings
    Media Creation Tool settings
  15. Select the Nothing option.

    Nothing option
    Nothing option
  16. Click the Next button.

  17. Click the Install button.

    Windows 11 ISO clean install setup
    Windows 11 ISO clean install setup
  18. Select your region setting after the installation on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

    Windows 11 OOBE region
    Windows 11 OOBE region
  19. Click the Yes button.

  20. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout
    Keyboard layout
  21. Click the Yes button.

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

  23. 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).

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

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

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

  26. Select the Set up for personal use option if you are configuring Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types
    Windows 11 setup types
  27. Click the Next button.

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

    Create 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.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
  33. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account PIN
    Create account PIN
  34. Click the OK button.

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

    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
  36. Click the Next button.

  37. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings
  38. Click the Next button.

  39. Click the Next button again.

  40. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued
    Privacy settings continued
  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 services customization during this experience.

    Windows 11 OOBE customize 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. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE backup files to OneDrive
  44. Click the Next button.

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

    Skip Office installation
    Skip Office installation

Once you complete the steps, the clean installation process will begin, similar to using the Media Creation Tools or USB flash drive to upgrade the system.

How to clean install Windows 11 using Reset this PC local image

The recovery settings offer another method to start fresh with a clean copy of Windows 11. Unlike the Media Creation Tool, bootable flash drive, and ISO file options, you can only use this method to reinstall Windows 11 on a computer already running the same OS.

If you plan to upgrade a computer running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, or Windows 7, you will have to use one of the previous alternative methods.

To clean install Windows 11 with the local recovery image, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Recovery on the right side.

    Windows 11 recovery
    Windows 11 recovery
  4. Under the “Recovery options” section, in the “Reset this PC” setting, click the Reset PC button.

    Reset This PC
    Reset This PC
  5. Click the Remove everything option to perform a fresh install of Windows 11.

    Hard drive wipe out option
    Hard drive wipe out option
  6. Click the Local reinstall option.

    Local reinstall option
    Local reinstall option
  7. (Optional) Click the Change settings option. 

    Change reset settings
    Change reset settings
  8. Configure the reinstallation options:

    • Clean data: If this option is set to No (recommended), then the setup will only delete files, apps, and settings quickly. If the option is set to Yes, the setup will securely clean the drive before installing the operating system, but it will take longer.
    • Delete files from all drives: If the option is set to No (recommended), only the installation drive will be erased. Otherwise, if this option is set to Yes, all the drives on the device will be deleted.
    • Download Windows: If this option is set to No (recommended), the local image will be used for installation. If the option is set to Yes, then the “Cloud download” option will be activated.
  9. Click the Confirm button.

    Choose reset settings
    Choose reset settings
  10. Click the Next button.

  11. Click the Reset button.

    Windows 11 clean install with Local reinstall option
    Windows 11 clean install with Local reinstall option
  12. Select your region setting after the installation on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

    Windows 11 OOBE region
    Windows 11 OOBE region
  13. Click the Yes button.

  14. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout
    Keyboard layout
  15. Click the Yes button.

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

  17. 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).

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

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

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

  20. Select the Set up for personal use option if you are configuring Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types
    Windows 11 setup types
  21. Click the Next button.

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

    Create Windows 11 account
    Create Windows 11 account
  23. Click the Next button.

  24. Confirm your Microsoft account password.

  25. Click the Next button.

  26. Click the Create PIN button.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
  27. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account PIN
    Create account PIN
  28. Click the OK button.

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

    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
  30. Click the Next button.

  31. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings
  32. Click the Next button.

  33. Click the Next button again.

  34. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued
    Privacy settings continued
  35. (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
    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience
  36. Click the Accept button to continue. Or click the Skip button to skip this part of the setup.

  37. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE backup files to OneDrive
  38. Click the Next button.

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

    Skip Office installation
    Skip Office installation

Once you complete the steps, the recovery feature will continue with the reinstallation using the locally available image of Windows 11. If you have a computer from HP, Dell, Acer, or another brand, this process will restore the original settings. This means the factory settings, drivers, applications, and tools the manufacturer included in the custom image.

If you don’t want to reinstall the custom manufacturer image, use the “Cloud Download” option (see steps below).

How to clean install Windows 11 using Reset this PC Cloud download

The Reset this PC feature also includes the “Cloud Download” option, which allows you to reset a computer with a clean installation, removing apps, files, and settings similar to the local image option. The only difference is that the feature will download the installation files from the Microsoft server.

The option is available to reinstall Windows 11 when the local image is not working or you do not want to use the same installation settings provided by the manufacturer. If you select the “Cloud download” option, the feature will download the same version already installed on the computer, which means you cannot use this method to upgrade to a newer version. Also, if the device was using a custom image from the manufacturer, the new installation won’t include the custom settings, drivers, or tools.

To reinstall Windows 11 with the “Cloud Download” option, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click on Recovery on the right side.

    Windows 11 recovery
    Windows 11 recovery
  4. Under the “Recovery options” section, in the “Reset this PC” setting, click the Reset PC button.

    Reset This PC
    Reset This PC
  5. Click the Remove everything option to perform a fresh install of Windows 11.

    Hard drive wipe out option
    Hard drive wipe out option
  6. Click the Cloud reinstall option.

    Cloud download reinstall option
    Cloud download reinstall option
  7. (Optional) Click the Change settings option. 

    Change reset settings
    Change reset settings
  8. Configure the reinstallation options:

    • Clean data: If this option is set to No (recommended), then the setup will only delete files, apps, and settings quickly. If the option is set to Yes, the setup will securely clean the drive before installing the operating system, but it will take longer.
    • Delete files from all drives: If the option is to No (recommended), only the installation drive will be erased. Otherwise, if this option is set to Yes, all the drives on the device will be deleted.
    • Download Windows: If this option is set to Yes (recommended), the “Cloud download” option will be used for installation. If the option is set to No, the local image option will be used for the installation.
  9. Click the Confirm button.

    Windows 11 download option
    Windows 11 download option
  10. Click the Next button.

  11. Click the Reset button.

    Windows 11 clean install with Local reinstall option
    Windows 11 clean install with Local reinstall option
  12. Select your region setting after the installation on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

    Windows 11 OOBE region
    Windows 11 OOBE region
  13. Click the Yes button.

  14. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout
    Keyboard layout
  15. Click the Yes button.

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

  17. 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).

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

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

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

  20. Select the Set up for personal use option if you are configuring Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types
    Windows 11 setup types
  21. Click the Next button.

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

    Create Windows 11 account
    Create Windows 11 account
  23. Click the Next button.

  24. Confirm your Microsoft account password.

  25. Click the Next button.

  26. Click the Create PIN button.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
  27. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account PIN
    Create account PIN
  28. Click the OK button.

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

    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
  30. Click the Next button.

  31. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings
  32. Click the Next button.

  33. Click the Next button again.

  34. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued
    Privacy settings continued
  35. (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
    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience
  36. Click the Accept button to continue. Or click the Skip button to skip this part of the setup.

  37. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE backup files to OneDrive
  38. Click the Next button.

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

    Skip Office installation
    Skip Office installation

After you complete the steps, the feature will reset the computer by erasing and reinstalling a fresh copy of Windows 11 downloaded from the cloud.

How to clean install Windows 11 from Advanced startup options

If the computer does not boot, the Advanced startup options environment includes the same options included with the “Reset this PC” feature.

You can only use this option to reinstall the same version of the OS already installed on the computer. If you want to upgrade to the latest version, you need to use the USB flash drive, Media Creation Tool, or ISO file options.

To clean install Windows 11 from the Advanced startup options, use these steps:

  1. Start device.

  2. Immediately after the Power-On Self-Test (POST), press the Power button again to shut down.

  3. Repeat steps No. 1 and 2 twice, and in the third restart, the operating system should enter the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE).

    Quick note: Windows 11 has multiple ways to open the Advanced startup settings. If you cannot access the recovery environment, you can use these other options.
  4. Click the Advanced options button.

    Advanced startup
    Advanced startup
  5. Click on Troubleshoot.

    Troubleshoot option
    Troubleshoot option
  6. Click on Reset this PC option.

    Reset this PC option
    Reset this PC option
  7. Select the Remove everything option.

    Remove everything option
    Remove everything option
  8. Click the Cloud download or Local reinstall option. Cloud download: Downloads a fresh image from the Microsoft servers and performs a fresh installation. Local reinstall: Uses the locally available image to install a clean copy of Windows 11.

    Advanced startup cloud download option
    Advanced startup cloud download option
  9. Select the “Only the drive where Windows is installed” option. (The All drives option will delete the data on all drives. This option is usually recommended only when you have to decommission the device.)

    Delete drive data option
    Delete drive data option
  10. Select the “Just remove my files” or “Full clean the drive” option.

    • Just remove my files: Deletes the drive contents quickly.
    • Full clean the drive: Also deletes everything on the drive, but performing a secure-erase that takes several hours—this option is suited when preparing to give away the device.

    Just remove files option
    Just remove files option
  11. Click the Reset button.

    Windows 10 clean install with advanced startup option
    Windows 11 clean install with the advanced startup option
  12. Select your region setting after the installation on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

    Windows 11 OOBE region
    Windows 11 OOBE region
  13. Click the Yes button.

  14. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout
    Keyboard layout
  15. Click the Yes button.

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

  17. 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).

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

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

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

  20. Select the Set up for personal use option if you are configuring Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types
    Windows 11 setup types
  21. Click the Next button.

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

    Create Windows 11 account
    Create Windows 11 account
  23. Click the Next button.

  24. Confirm your Microsoft account password.

  25. Click the Next button.

  26. Click the Create PIN button.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
  27. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account PIN
    Create account PIN
  28. Click the OK button.

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

    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
  30. Click the Next button.

  31. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings
  32. Click the Next button.

  33. Click the Next button again.

  34. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued
    Privacy settings continued
  35. (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
    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience
  36. Click the Accept button to continue. Or click the Skip button to skip this part of the setup.

  37. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE backup files to OneDrive
  38. Click the Next button.

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

    Skip Office installation
    Skip Office installation

Once you complete the steps, Windows 11 will reinstall, resolving the existing problems. The completion time will depend on your computer hardware configuration and the selected reset configuration.

How to clean install Windows 11 using Media Creation Tool

Starting with Windows 11, the Media Creation Tool no longer includes an option to perform a clean installation or in-place upgrade. You can only use the tool to create a bootable media to perform an installation using a USB flash drive or ISO file.

If you want to proceed with the Media Creation Tool, you can use it to create an installation media, and then you can launch the setup from the USB flash drive.

To use the Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB install media and proceed with the setup, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft support website.

  2. Under the “Create Windows 11 installation media” section, click the Download Now button.

  3. Double-click the MediaCrationToolW11.exe file to launch the tool.

  4. Click the Accept button.

  5. Click the Next button.

    Media Creation Tool language settings

    Quick note: If you are creating a Windows 11 USB for another device, you can also clear the “Use the recommended options for this PC” option to select the correct language, architecture, and edition.
  6. Select the USB flash drive option.

    USB flash drive option

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Select the USB flash drive from the list, but make sure that it does not have any important files, as this process will erase everything on it.

    Select USB to download Windows 11

  9. Click the Next button.

  10. Click the Finish button.

  11. Open the installation media with File Explorer.

  12. Double-click the Setup file to begin the Windows 11 installation.

    Windows 11 setup.exe
    Windows 11 setup.exe
  13. (Optional) Click the Change how Windows Setup downloads updates option.

    Windows 11 setup update options
    Windows 11 setup update options
  14. Select the Not right now option.

    Disable updates during installation
    Disable updates during installation
  15. Click the Next button.

  16. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.

  17. Click the Change what to keep option.

    Media Creation Tool settings
    Media Creation Tool settings
  18. Select the Nothing option.

    Nothing option
    Nothing option
  19. Click the Next button.

  20. Click the Install button.

    Windows 11 ISO clean install setup
    Windows 11 ISO clean install setup
  21. Select your region setting after the installation on the first page of the out-of-the-box experience (OOBE).

    Windows 11 OOBE region
    Windows 11 OOBE region
  22. Click the Yes button.

  23. Select your keyboard layout setting.

    Keyboard layout
    Keyboard layout
  24. Click the Yes button.

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

  26. 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).

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

    Windows 11 OOBE name PC

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

  29. Select the Set up for personal use option if you are configuring Windows 11 Pro. The “Home” edition does not have this option.

    Windows 11 setup types
    Windows 11 setup types
  30. Click the Next button.

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

    Create Windows 11 account
    Create Windows 11 account
  32. Click the Next button.

  33. Confirm your Microsoft account password.

  34. Click the Next button.

  35. Click the Create PIN button.

    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
    Windows 11 OOBE create PIN
  36. Create a new four-digit PIN.

    Create account PIN
    Create account PIN
  37. Click the OK button.

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

    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
    Windows 11 OOBE restore settings
  39. Click the Next button.

  40. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE privacy settings
  41. Click the Next button.

  42. Click the Next button again.

  43. Click the Accept button.

    Privacy settings continued
    Privacy settings continued
  44. (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
    Windows 11 OOBE customize experience
  45. Click the Accept button to continue. Or click the Skip button to skip this part of the setup.

  46. 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
    Windows 11 OOBE backup files to OneDrive
  47. Click the Next button.

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

    Skip Office installation
    Skip Office installation

After you complete the steps, the setup will continue with the fresh installation of Windows 11.

May 27, 2022 update: The guide was initially published in August 2021, and it’s been updated in May 2022 to make sure all the steps are still accurate.