- Enroll in the Windows Insider Program
- Check the minimum system requirements of Windows 11 against your PC
- Enable TPM 2.0 through BIOS
- Download Windows 10 ISO via Media Creation Tool
- Install Windows 10 on a separate drive / partition
- Enable the Windows Insider Program Development Channel
- Download Windows 11 via Windows Update
- Enjoy your buggy and incomplete Windows 11 Insider Preview
Windows 11 is here and more than in name, because, as promised, the preview versions of the new Microsoft operating system have started to be sent to insiders. But who are these mysterious Windows Insiders and how to join their illustrious ranks?
Basically they are you and me. Enthusiastic tech junkies happy to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous early code bugs. And all you have to do is let Microsoft come into your heart. And PC. Especially your PC.
Signing up to become a Windows Insider is simply a matter of signing up with the same Microsoft account you sign in to Windows with and allowing Microsoft to collect diagnostic data from your machine. And once that’s done, you can choose a channel and get access to the very first public version of Windows 11.
Well the first legitimately publicly available version anyway.
But how do you do it safely, without compromising your current gaming platform and all of the valuable saves, photos, and game worlds that exist there? The first preview versions will be incomplete and buggy, but it are safe ways to explore the future of Windows.
The first version of Windows 11 Insider Preview (22000.51) is ready to download from the Insider program development channel and offers a first look at the new Start menu, centered taskbar, rounded windows and calming sound effects . Yes, Microsoft has become ASMR.
AutoHDR has also emerged as one of the new gaming features in Windows 11, although it has also been floating around Insider versions of Windows 10 for a while as Microsoft bolsters it.
Become a Windows Insider
How do I become a Windows Insider?
The first step is to sign in with your Microsoft account (which may just be your Hotmail / Outlook account) on the Windows Insider program home page and click on the big blue “Register” button.
Then all you need to do is agree to the terms and conditions, hit submit, and you’re in.
Once you’ve set yourself up as one of the chosen Insiders, you can immediately go to the Windows Insider Program Settings screen in the main Windows 10 Settings app. You may need to enable optional diagnostic data. to progress here if you had that initially disabled.
You will then need to choose between Dev channel, Beta channel, or Release preview channel. These are basically ranked from most buggy to closest to release – at the moment Windows 11 is only hitting the development channel. Microsoft describes the different channels as follows:
- If you want to be the first to receive new updates and be able to deal with some issues and bugs, you can try the Dev Channel.
- If you want more reliable updates but want to give us feedback, you can try the beta channel.
- Or if you want something extremely stable, you can try the latest version of Windows, but with advanced quality updates on the way and key features in the Release Preview Channel.
You’ll also want to check your system specs against the minimum system requirements for Windows 11. Now that’s easier said than done after Microsoft removed the PC Health Check app which did it automatically. , but basically almost every PC from the past four years. will be eligible.
There are processor compatibility lists out there, but Microsoft seems just as confused as we are as to which ones will actually work with the latest versions, so it may just be a matter of trying it out if you have an older processor.
The main hurdle is Windows 11’s requirement for TPM 2.0 support, although for most of us this will just require a trip to your BIOS to activate. You will have to check how to do it yourself, as it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some simply call it as an option to enable TPM 2.0, whereas I found my Asus ROG Z490 card to call it PTT (Intel’s own Plaform Trust technology, which incorporates TPM 2.0).
Install Windows 11
How to install Windows 11?
Either way, when this has been enabled at the BIOS level, then you should be able to install Windows 11 Insider Preview. And once you’ve checked the Windows Insider box in your Settings menu, all you need to do is head over to Updates and check it; Windows 11 Insider Preview will magically appear, start the download, and then install.
But it’s a bit ambitious for my taste.
The safest way to run a brand new operating system is to use it from a virtual machine, a fake virtual PC that doesn’t risk corrupting any real hardware. But where’s the fun in that?
To get a feel for a new operating system, you need to use it as you would on your “normal” PC. And for that, I am going to suggest dual priming. Now there may be issues with dual booting of different operating systems on one machine, mostly when removing one of them, but the whole process is pretty streamlined right now with Windows 10. .
To be completely secure, you can always completely remove your daily drive from your PC, thus eliminating the risk of corrupting your standard system boot. But, for now, I am okay with dual booting my system. Ask me again in six months though, and you might get another answer.
If you have a spare drive, ideally an SSD to give DirectStorage a boost when it finally makes its appearance, although I understand that few of them probably have one lying around, or a whole lot of capacity. reserve on an existing disk, you can create a partition to dedicate to Windows 11.
You’ll need to install a fresh install of Windows 10 first, but it’s easy and free. Simply go to the Windows 10 download page to create installation media (ideally at least an 8GB USB drive), boot directly from it, then install it to the drive / partition of your choice.
This will create two different options when you start your PC from now on, it will be a bit confusing to begin with as it will present two versions of Windows 10. But choose the empty install and you can start messing around.
Once Windows 10 is installed fresh and new, you can go to the Windows Insider program settings page for your new installation and activate it. Then Windows 11 will be available from the update page and will install automatically.
And the update and installation doesn’t take too long either, depending on your download speed. I was up and running in no time with a whole new operating system to explore.