Windows 11 (version 21H2) is now available as a free upgrade for computers already running Windows 10 that meet the minimum system requirements, and it is also available pre-installed on many branded devices. However, the rollout will be phased and controlled to provide a good upgrade experience, which means that it’ll take months before the new version reaches every device.
Microsoft will begin offering the new version to new devices. After a few weeks or months, the rollout will expand to more eligible computers, and it’s expected to be fully available during the second half of 2022.
However, since this is an optional update, the decision as to whether you should install it now or wait longer to avoid possible issues will be up to you.
This guide will help you determine whether you should install or skip the Windows 11 upgrade on your computer.
Should you upgrade to Windows 11?
The best and short answer is “No,” the reason is that even though Windows 11 is already available, during the early days of any new release, your computer may still not be fully compatible with your hardware and software configuration, and this can cause unwanted problems.
Problems during the early days are not a secret. Microsoft is aware of this, and we have seen different issues during and after an upgrade many times before. For this and many other reasons, the company uses Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deploy Windows 11 slowly and only to new devices known to have a good upgrade experience. And then, it’ll expand to other devices based on hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of the computer, and other factors.
Also, on the health dashboard website, Microsoft will publish any known issue that can help you to make an informed decision as to whether or not to proceed with the upgrade. For example, as of October 5, there are three known issues, including a compatibility problem with devices using the Intel-Killer networking software. VirtualBox has a compatibility problem with Windows 11 that prevents virtual machines from starting, and those who use the Coc Coc browser cannot upgrade at this time.
Furthermore, reports have been circulating on the web about a memory leak problem, which in some circumstances will cause the system to run out of memory. This issue doesn’t seem to be affecting a lot of Windows 11 devices, but it’s a serious problem that Microsoft has to address. And this is another example, why upgrading early is not a good idea.
If you have a computer with unsupported hardware, you should not try to upgrade to Windows 11. Period. Although there are workarounds to bypass the TPM 2.0 and other checks, if you manage to install version 21H2, the device will state in an unsupported state. According to Microsoft, devices are likely to experience more crashes, you won’t get the support of any kind, and updates are not guaranteed.
Should I wait to install Windows 11?
Yes, should wait. It is never a good idea to rush the upgrade since unknown bugs, errors, and compatibility problems are expected during the initial rollout.
Once a new version releases, the computer will eventually receive a notification in the Windows Update settings letting you know if the Windows 11 is ready. If you do not get the message, you should not try to force the Windows 11 upgrade because the chances of running into issues will be higher. And you may come across errors, such as “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 11,” “This PC can’t be upgraded to this version of Windows 11 because of a service or driver that’s not ready yet,” or similar errors.
Since the company is already planning not to make Windows 11 available for all eligible devices until the second half of 2022, it’s recommended to wait until it’s fully released to make sure you get the most stable release of the OS.
If the laptop or desktop computer in question uses an older release of Windows and does not have any issues, you should wait. However, you should not skip the update entirely. Eventually, that specific version will be discontinued, and it will no longer receive maintenance updates, leading to other issues and making it vulnerable.