It's official

Windows 11 will release on October 5, 2021

Microsoft plans to release Windows 11 on October 5 as a free upgrade, and here are all the details you need to know.

Windows 11 Start menu laptop staged
  • Windows 11 release date is on October 5, 2021.
  • The new OS will be available as a free optional upgrade for Windows 10.
  • Microsoft will first upgrade new devices, followed by more eligible PCs, and will be fully available in mid-2022.
  • Initially, Windows 11 won’t include support for Android apps.

Microsoft will release Windows 11 on October 5, 2021. According to the company, the new version of the OS will start rolling out as a free optional upgrade through Windows Update for devices that meet the minimum requirements and begin shipping pre-loaded on new laptops and desktops computers.

However, no every device will get it on day one. Instead, Microsoft will push the new version in stages like it has done in the past with feature updates of Windows 10.

Windows 11 release process

Initially, only new compatible machines will receive a notification to manually download and install the new OS through Windows Update. Then in the weeks and months that follow, Windows 11 will expand to more in-market devices based on “intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of the device and other factors that may impact the upgrade experience.”

Microsoft is expected to make Windows 11 fully available “by mid-2021.”

Getting Windows 11

If you have a device compatible with Windows 11, you would be able to get the new version from Settings > Update Security > Windows Updates, clicking the Check for updates button, and then the Download and install button.

Although this will be a free upgrade, it will be optional, which means that it won’t install automatically. It can only be installed manually, so you don’t need to do anything if you want to stay on Windows 10 until October 14, 2025.

Check hardware compatibility

In the case that you are not sure whether your hardware configuration meets the minimum requirements, you can use this guide to use the PC Health Check app to find out if the computer can run Windows 11.

If you have a device that is not compatible, you will still be able to upgrade, but you won’t be able to complete the process through Windows Update. In fact, Windows Update will show a message that your computer cannot run Windows 11.

However, the company has confirmed that devices that do not meet the minimum requirements will be able to upgrade using the ISO file or Media Creation Tool. The computer will only need to meet some basic Windows 11 hardware requirements, including a 64-bit processor with at least two cores, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 1.2.

While the workaround will let you proceed with the in-place upgrade or clean installation process, the setup will run in an unsupported state, which means that Microsoft may not guarantee system or driver updates.

No Android apps on Windows 11

Microsoft was also expected to release Windows 11 with support for the Android app through the Microsoft Store and using the Android Subsystem for Windows, but this won’t be the case. Instead, the new version will ship without the feature, and then, in the coming months, the company will make available a preview to testers. Once it’s ready, it’ll roll out to users, but it’s yet unclear how the process will work. It’s still unknown if the support will be available through Windows Update or will release as part of the next feature update for Windows 11.

If your laptop or desktop is not compatible or you are not interested in this upgrade, Microsoft also plans to release the Windows 10 21H2 update this fall as a minor update that will also rollout through Windows Update.