Jumping to the new OS

How to upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7

Yes, you can upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7 while keeping your files during the process, but only if the hardware is supported.

Upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 11

If you have a computer running Windows 7, it is possible to upgrade to Windows 11 without losing your files using the Media Creation Tool or ISO file, but the process will require a complete reinstallation of the OS. This means that your apps and settings won’t carry over to the new installation.

However, before you upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7, you will still need to make sure the laptop or desktop meets the minimum system requirements. For instance, the device must feature a UEFI firmware, and the processor must be an Intel’s 8th Gen or newer or an AMD Zen 2 or newer. This is in addition to the requirements of TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot and a minimum of 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.

Although Windows 11 will be offered as a free upgrade for Windows 10 devices, you may still be able to upgrade Windows 7 for free, but this is not an official option. If you do not have a license, you will need to purchase one as necessary. Also, you will need to create a full backup in case you need to roll back for any reason or if you need to recover your files.

It is also recommended to uninstall any software that may conflict with the upgrade to Windows 11, including antivirus, security tools, and old third-party programs. Also, it is a good idea to disconnect any hardware connected to the computer, including printers, phones, cameras, external hard drives, and other USB peripherals, to avoid problems.

In this guide, you will learn how to upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7.

Important: Windows 11 is expected to launch sometime in October 2021. These steps are meant to help you upgrade once the new OS is officially available, but you can use the ISO file process to upgrade a device to the latest preview of Windows.

Upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7 via Media Creation Tool

You can upgrade the process to Windows 11, but there are always chances of problems. As a result, it’s wise to create a full backup, which you can use to roll back if anything unexpected happens. In addition to the system backup, you also want to create a backup of your files to OneDrive or another cloud service or external drive in case you need to restore them manually.

To upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft (not yet available).

  2. Click the Download tool now button and save the installer on the device.

  3. Double-click the MediaCreationTooxxxx.exe to launch the Windows 11 setup wizard.

  4. Click the Accept button for the licensing agreement.

  5. Select the Upgrade this PC now option to download the files and begin the upgrade.

    Media Creation Tool upgrade Windows 7 to WIndows 11 option

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Type a valid Windows 11 product key for the edition you are trying to upgrade (if applicable).

  8. Click the Next button.

  9. Click the Accept button to agree to the licensing agreement again.

  10. Select the Keep personal files and apps option.

  11. Click the Install button.

    Keep files during Windows 7 to Windows 11 upgrade option

After the installation, you will need to go through the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to finish setting up Windows 11. You can also watch this YouTube video tutorial to perform the upgrade. 

Upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7 via ISO file

Windows 11 is still not officially available, which means that the process to upgrade requires a little more work because there’s no Media Creation Tool to download the ISO file. However, Microsoft has released a preview of the ISO file, which you can use to perform an in-place upgrade.

To upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7 with an ISO file, use these steps:

  1. Download Windows 11 ISO file.

  2. Right-click the ISO file, select the Open with submenu, and choose the Windows Explorer option.

  3. Click on the mounted drive from the left navigation pane.

  4. Double-click the Setup file to begin the Windows 11 upgrade process.

  5. (Optional) Click the Change how Windows Setup downloads updates option.

    Change how setup download updates

  6. Select the Not right now option.

    Disable updates during upgrade

  7. Click the Next button.

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

  9. Click the Install button to upgrade while keeping your files and apps.

    Upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 7

If you want to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows 11, click the Change what to keep option, select the Nothing option, click the Next button, and then click the Install button.

After you complete the steps, the upgrade process will begin. Once the installation has been completed, you may need to go through the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to finish configuring Windows 11.