Windows 11 release date is 5th October 2021. From then new computers will become available with Windows 11 preinstalled and over the next 6 to 12 months existing compatible systems will be offered a free upgrade.
What is Windows?
Windows is the default operating system on PCs, it’s what you interact with when your computer starts up and it runs all the other apps and software you use. Technically known as a Graphical User Interface or GUI, Windows and other operating systems are what allow you to control a computer without needing to know command lines or how to code!
Some alternative operating systems are macOS on Apple computers, iOS and Android on tablets and phones, and Linux is another option on PCs.
What is different about Windows 11?
Toms guide couldn’t have said it more simply yet succinctly in a nutshell:
“Windows 11 has a new look and feel that’s designed to be more attractive but also more user-friendly. The overall goal is to get to where you want to go faster. The new Windows 11 also includes more rounded corners on apps to make it look fresher, and a streamlined taskbar. There’s also new colors and transitions, and a new dark mode that makes content stand out”.
For a more in-depth look at what to expect follow this link: https://www.tomsguide.com/news/windows-11
Should you upgrade to Windows 11
Not all computers will be eligible for an upgrade. As Windows 11 is more powerful, it will also require newer hardware. You can check your computers compatibility here.
The main reasons for upgrading to Windows 11 are security and a more user-friendly and streamlined interface.
Of course if your computer hardware isn’t compatible then upgrading to Windows 11 won’t be a good idea. You should also check if the software and apps you use will work on Windows 11, and any external hardware as well. Big programs like Adobe Photoshop for example, often need a few months to a year to prepare and make their software compatible with a new operating system.
Older printers also often encounter compatibility issues when upgrading.
If you do not wish to update there is also a registry setting that can be changed to block the Windows 11 upgrade and you can continue to use your Windows 10 version. If you would like to have a go at running Windows 11 but do not meet the requirements it is still possible to install it from media but you will not be able to receive any security updates for Windows 11.
How to upgrade to Windows 11
We recommend downloading the tool and checking before installing as the new Windows 11 requirements are hardware based.
Your CPU will need to be higher than 8th generation and your motherboard will need to have the TPM security chip.
Most of the motherboards used in the last few years will have this chip but you may need to enable it. Microsoft has released instructions on how to enable this chip for those that would like to have a go themselves.
Microsoft has a full list of system requirements here.
If you are not confident with any of these tasks we highly recommend dropping your computer into your local PC store.
It’s a good idea before performing any major update or upgrade, to make sure you have a recent backup of all your files, and a Windows recovery disc or partition. Make sure if something goes wrong during the upgrade you can recover your data and repair Windows!
Once you’ve checked your computer software and hardware is upgrade-compatible, Windows itself will guide you through an upgrade step-by-step.
If it all seems to much remember we are to help as much or as little as needed. What we can do:
- Check your hardware is upgrade-compatible – namely CPU is correct generation
- Check your motherboard is TPM ready
- Check your installed software is compatible
- Check your current Windows 10 is fully updated
- As well as a general check over and service for your machine