How to install Windows 11 on custom partition

Here are the steps to create and install Windows 11 on a custom partition.

Windows 11 custom partition
Windows 11 custom partition

If you plan to install Windows 11, you can create a custom partition instead of letting the setup to use the entire hard drive space, and in this guide, we’ll show you how.

Although you can change the size of a partition at any time, if you plan to set up a dual-boot system or want to store your files in a separate space, you can create a custom partition for Windows 11 and apps during the installation process.

This guide will teach you how to create and install Windows 11 on a custom partition.

Create custom partition to install Windows 11

To install Windows 11 on a custom partition, use these steps:

  1. Start your PC with a Windows 11 USB install media.

    Important: To boot your computer with a USB flash drive, you may have to change the UEFI firmware settings. This process usually requires pressing one of the function keys (F1, F2, F3, F10, or F12), the “ESC,” or the “Delete” key. For more accurate instructions, check your manufacturer’s support website. Also, this process will delete everything on the hard drive. As a result, it’s recommended to create a backup of your files before proceeding.
  2. Press any key to begin.

  3. Click the Next button.

  4. Click the Install now button.

    Windows 10 Install now button

  5. Type the product key to activate Windows 11, or click the Skip button if this is a reinstallation.

    Windows 10 setup, product key settings

  6. Check the “I accept the license terms” option.

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. If you skipped the product key, select the edition of Windows 11 to install.

    Windows 10 setup, select edition to install

  9. Click the Next button.

  10. Select the “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)” option.

    Windows 10 setup, custom install option

  11. Select each partition on the drive and click the Delete button.

  12. Select the “Drive 0 Unallocated Space” item.

  13. Click the New button.

    Windows 10 setup, create custom partition

  14. Choose the amount of space (in megabytes) to allocate for Windows 11 and apps. (The operating system requires at least 64GB of space, but to prevent problems with future updates and running out of space installing apps, you should be creating a partition between 100GB to 200GB in size approximately. If you plan to install large applications, it’s a good idea to reserve even more space.)

    Windows 10 setup, specify partition size

  15. Click the Apply button.

  16. Click the OK button. (Alongside the custom partition, Windows 11 will also create the additional partitions automatically required to install and run the system.)

  17. (Optional) Select the “Drive 0 Unallocated Space” item.

  18. (Optional) Click the New button to create additional partitions with the remaining space.

  19. Select the “Drive 0 Partition 4 (Primary)” item from the list.

  20. Click the Next button.

    Select partition to install Windows 10

Once you complete the steps, the setup will install Windows 11 on the custom partition. After the installation, you will have to complete the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to create an account and finish setting up the installation.

Create partition with unallocated space

If you did not use the remaining space during the installation, you can to create an additional partition to store files.

To create additional partitions on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Under the “Storage management” section, click on Advanced storage settings.

  4. Click the Disks & volumes setting.

    Disks & volumes

  5. Click on the drive with the available space.

  6. Click the Create volume button for the unallocated space.

    Create volume (partition)

  7. Confirm a label and drive letter for the new partition.

    Windows 11 create new partition

  8. Select the NTFS option for the “File System” setting.

  9. Specify the amount of space for the partition.

    Quick note: If you plan to use the remaining space for the partition, then you can skip this setting.
  10. Click the Format button.

After you complete the steps, the partition should format with the settings you specified, and it should now be available for use in File Explorer.

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].