Microsoft has made Windows 11 officially accessible for download, and it is available for free. Additionally, starting today, you will be able to purchase a computer that runs the Windows 11 operating system.

There are a few alternative ways to install the OS, ranging from a simple update to more complicated ones. So, let's go right to the point.

1) With the help of Windows Update
Although Windows 11 won't be available to all Windows 10 users, if you have a recent PC, there's a high chance it's already installed and ready to go. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and see if any updates are available.

If that's the case, you should be able to install the OS just like any other Windows 10 update, though you should probably back up your essential information just in case.

If you don't see the choice, you should download Microsoft's new and enhanced PC Health Check app[1]. If your PC is officially supported, the software will inform you so, and if it isn't, why.

To summarize, Windows 11 has some exact requirements, which means that many older PCs will not be supported, even if they have the necessary processing power.

Microsoft is likewise implementing this in a phased manner. By mid-2022, the company expects all eligible devices to have the option to upgrade. While I hope most individuals who wish to upgrade will do so much sooner, half a year is a long time to wait.

2)With the Windows 11 Installation Assistant, you can skip the line.
If you have a suitable PC but don't see the option to upgrade yet, you can use Microsoft's new Installation Assistant Tool to speed up the process. This program effectively bypasses the line and allows you to download Windows 11 right away, though it will still check to see if your hardware is compatible.

Go to Microsoft's Windows 11 download website[2] and select Download Now under Windows Installation Assistant.

Then open the Installation Assistant and follow the on-screen instructions to install the OS right away. You should be aware that skipping the line may result in unexpected bugs, so proceed at your own risk. However, you shouldn't be in too much trouble because it's an official choice.

3) Using a clean install, force the update (not recommended)
What if you built a powerful PC a few years ago and still want to run Windows 11 even though it isn't officially supported? You might be able to get around Windows 11's security, but we wouldn't suggest it, especially if this is your primary computer.

Even so, Microsoft makes a choice available, albeit unofficially. You can obtain the Windows 11 Installation Media Creation Tool from the Windows 11 download link mentioned above. This tool will allow you to build a bootable USB stick or DVD that you can use to complete a clean Windows 11 installation.

Similarly, Microsoft allows you to download the ISO file directly, which is helpful if you want to run Windows 11 in a virtual environment.

You should only attempt this if you are confident in your abilities. Likewise, you should avoid this route if you have no idea what an ISO or virtual machine is. More crucially, Microsoft ensures that PCs running unofficial Windows 11 will get essential features and security upgrades. Still, it's unclear whether this is to discourage users from installing Windows 11 on incompatible PCs.