Before you download Windows 11, you need to do these two things



You will need to take two more steps before you can download Windows 11.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Windows 11 started to roll out in October and brings a new, more refined design and updated features, including Android application support, easy switch between multiple virtual desktops and best multitasking. Microsoft has included some Mac-like features and the ability to run Android apps on Windows 11.

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But there are some pitfalls in downloading the new operating system. To start, Microsoft is using a phased rollout for Windows 11. And before downloading you will need a Wi-Fi connection and Windows 11 Home account. However, Windows 10 users can free upgrade (here is how to get windows 10 first to be able to download Windows 11). But if you’re setting up a Windows 11 Home account – which most people who use it on a personal device will be – you’ll need to take a few more steps before you access the new features.

Read more: Windows 11 review: Familiar but fresh

We’ll go through everything you need to know before you download Windows 11, including how to check if your computer is compatible to ensure you meet the new requirements. And here’s what to know if you’re thinking about upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 Home. This story was recently updated.

Create a Microsoft account (or sign in to yours)

Microsoft account

You will need to create a free Microsoft account before downloading Windows 11.


To set up Windows 11 Home, you will need a Microsoft account, which gives you access to Microsoft products and services. Don’t worry, you can create one for free.

In the past, it was possible to opt out of creating a Microsoft account and using a local one instead (although the process was not intuitive). It looks like with Windows 11 you will need to create a Microsoft account to get started. After this point, you can delete your Microsoft account and sign in with a local account if you want, and it will not impact how you use the operating system, but you will not be able to sync the content on multiple devices. A Microsoft account also allows for easier transfer from your old PC to a new one, and more sign-in options.

Windows 11 Pro and the version designed for business use will not require users to sign in to Microsoft accounts.

Here’s how to create a free Microsoft account when deploying Windows 11:

1. Go to, and click Login.

2. Faucet Create a to create a new account. (If you already have an account, you can sign in here.)

3. Enter your e-mail adress. Or, if you’d prefer to create a new email address through Microsoft (which will appear as @, click Get new email address, type whatever you want, and then click Next.

4. Create a password and click Following.

5. Enter your country / region and date of birth, then click Following.

6. Check your email for a verification code, and click Following.

Connect to the internet

Windows 11 update on a laptop

You must have an Internet connection to configure Windows 11.

Sarah Tew / CNET

To download Windows 11 Home (and to create a Microsoft account), you must also be connected to the Internet. The reason for this is that Windows 11 will mostly ship as a Windows update, much like new versions of Windows 10 has been.

You will also need the internet for future updates and to enjoy some of the news. Windows 11 features, according to Microsoft.

This requirement can be a problem for those who do not have easy internet access. However, after signing in for the initial setup, you don’t have to sign in again if you don’t want to (although you will need to get important security updates that prevent vulnerabilities).

If you are downloading Windows 11 on your current computer, just make sure you are connected to the internet before starting the process. If you buy a new Windows 11 computer after the general release of the operating system, you should be prompted to connect to the Internet when you set it up.

For more information, see how Windows 11 compares to Windows 10, know everything about upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and all the Windows 11 features we wanted but didn’t get.

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