Microsoft has officially released Windows 11 and ISO images that allow you to create bootable media to perform clean installations of the operating system and troubleshoot bugs and issues.
If you are unfamiliar with ISO images, this is a sector-by-sector copy of a DVD to a disc image file that you can save to your computer. These ISO images can then be used to create bootable media, such as a bootable USB drive, or mounted directly as a drive letter in Windows.
How to download a Windows 11 ISO from Microsoft
Now that Windows 11 is out, Microsoft has made an ISO image available for download as well.
To download the latest Windows 11 ISO, follow these steps:
- Go to the Download Windows 11 page in your preferred web browser.
- When the website opens, scroll down until you see ‘Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)’, then select ‘Windows 11’ and click ‘To download. ‘
- You will now be prompted to select your language. When you have chosen the language you want to use, click on the ‘To confirm‘ button.
- The site will now show you a 64-bit download button, which opens your generated download link. This link is only valid for 24 hours.
Click this button to download the Windows 11 ISO.
- Once the download is complete, you can close the web browser.
What to do with ISO?
Now that you have a Windows 11 ISO file, you can use it to perform a clean install of Windows 11 on a new device, as a backup bootable media or a bootable device to enter the recovery environment. Windows to troubleshoot problems with your computer.
When installing Windows 11, you must have a valid Windows 10 product key. For Windows 7 users, you will not be able to use the media to upgrade, but instead perform a clean install.
To create a bootable Windows 11 USB drive, you will need at least a 16 GB flash drive, while 32 GB is recommended for storing other files or programs that you may want in your recovery environment.
If you don’t have a spare USB drive, you can buy a 32GB Sandisk drive for around $ 8.99 or a 64GB 5-pack of USB drives for $ 27 on Amazon.
You can then create a bootable USB drive from ISO and use it to install the operating system.
As previously stated, the bootable USB drive is also excellent for troubleshooting tasks, such as removing malware, deleting a stubborn file, removing problematic Windows updates, or diagnosing why Windows 11 fails to start.
It is suggested that all users create new bootable media from Windows 11 ISOs as new versions are released.