Windows 11 upgrade fully available for eligible PCs starting January 26

Due to strong acceptance, Windows 11 is now fully available for devices that meet the minimum requirements.

Windows 11 upgrade
Windows 11 upgrade
  • Microsoft accelerates the rollout of Windows 11 to eligible PCs.
  • The decision was made due to strong upgrade demand from users.
  • The Windows 11 upgrade option is available through Windows Update. 

Starting January 26, 2022, Windows 11 is fully available to download and install through Windows Update on devices that meet the minimum system requirements. Although the new version of Windows launched on October 5, 2021, it was only available for a limited number of devices, but now, it’s available more broadly for eligible computers.

According to a new update on the health dashboard website, Windows 11 is now in the “final phase of availability” and is ready for broader deployment for eligible computers. The announcement only means that the OS no longer includes significant issues and should be compatible with most hardware and software configurations.

Microsoft also says that there’s been a “strong demand and preference for Windows 11 with people upgrading their eligible PCs at twice the rate we saw for Windows 10.” The original plan was to continue the slow rollout until mid-2022. However, due to the high demand, the company decided to speed up the rollout.

Although Windows 11 is now fully available, it doesn’t mean that it does not have any problems since there’s always a chance of bugs and other issues, depending on your hardware and software configuration.

If you are still on Windows 10, you have several ways to upgrade free to Windows 11. The easiest way is to perform an in-place upgrade through “Windows Update” using the Settings app.

The Windows Update option will perform a reinstallation, and files, apps, and settings will be kept. In addition, the setup will create a copy of the current installation in case something goes wrong and roll back to the previous version as necessary.

You can also use the Installation Assistant, a tool that allows you to upgrade a compatible device similar to the Windows Update settings. The difference is that you can use it to force the installation without waiting. The tool has been designed for Windows 10 computers only.

Alternatively, you can upgrade using the Windows 11 ISO file. Once you download the official ISO file, you can mount it to File Explorer and launch the setup to upgrade the computer.

In the past, you were able to use the Media Creation Tool to upgrade a device, but now the tool can only be used to create a bootable installation media.

This guide includes all the methods you can use to upgrade to Windows 11 from virtually any version, including Windows 10, 8.1, and 7. See also this walkthrough video to learn everything that is new on Windows 11. 

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].