How to Upgrade Your Computer From Windows 8 to Windows 11

Determine if you can get a free upgrade to Windows 11

What to Know

  • Download and install Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store before upgrading to Windows 11. (Windows 11 is free for Windows 8 users.)
  • After downloading and installing Windows 10, search and select Windows Update Setting and select Windows Updates.
  • When a Windows 11 update is found, download the Windows 11 file and follow the prompts to install the new operating system.

The following steps will show how to upgrade your Windows 8 computer to Windows 11.

Before You Upgrade to Windows 11

There is no direct way for Windows 8 computers to upgrade to Windows 11: You have to upgrade your computer to Windows 10 first. Fortunately, this process is free to Windows 8 users.

Before we go any further, you need to check if your computer can actually run Windows 11. You can do so by downloading the PC Health Check app from Microsoft's site to see if your computer meets Windows 11's system requirements.

It is highly recommended that you back up your files so nothing is lost during the update. You can restore them once Windows 11 is installed. If you like to know how to back up your files, here are the 32 best free backup software tools. Many of these free software tools can also restore your files when you're done upgrading to Windows 11.

How to Upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 10 and Then to Windows 11

  1. Download Windows 10 from the Microsoft Store by clicking Download tool now.

    Microsoft Store Windows 10 download page with Download Tool Now highlighted
  2. After the tool downloads, open the file.

  3. A window appears asking if you want make changes to the computer. Select Yes.

  4. Windows 10 Setup will appear to mark the beginning of the installation process. Click Accept to accept the terms and service.

    Terms and Services for Windows 10 with Accept highlighted


    Read the license agreement thoroughly before agreeing to it to learn what your responsibilities are and how Microsoft plans to use the data it collects from your PC.

  5. In the next window, select Upgrade this PC now, then click Next. It will take several minutes to upgrade to Windows 10.

    Windows 10 upgrade tool with "Upgrade this PC now" and Next highlighted
  6. Once Windows 10 is installed, you'll need to check for Windows Updates to download the Windows 11 update file.

  7. In the bottom search bar, type in Windows Update Setting and click the first entry.

    Windows search bar with Windows Update Settings highlighted in search and results
  8. Click Windows Updates and check if Windows 11 is available to download.

    Windows update check screen with Windows Update highlighted
  9. Once the Windows 11 update file has been downloaded, find it on your drive and double-click the file to begin the installation. It's most likely in the Download folder.

  10. Agree to the License terms and follow the installation prompts as they appear.


    Read the license agreement thoroughly before agreeing to it to learn what your responsibilities are and how Microsoft plans to use the data it collects from your PC.

  11. At the end of the installation, enter your Windows product key and select OK.

  12. You will be given the option to configure your new Windows 11 computer as soon as you start.

    Windows 11 configurate

You can now move over your backed-up files from one of the free software tools mentioned earlier onto Windows 11.

If you already have Windows 10 installed, here's how to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11.

  • How do I upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10?

    To upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 if you have a product key from Windows 7, 8, or 8.1, download the Windows Media Creation Tool from the Microsoft website, and then follow the prompts to upgrade your PC. Other options include purchasing a new PC with Windows 10 installed or buying Windows directly from Microsoft.

  • How do I upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro?

    To upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro, head to the Microsoft Store and purchase and download the Pro version directly from Microsoft. If you already have a Windows 10 Pro license key, go to Start > Settings > Updates and Security > Activation, select Change Product Key, and then enter your Windows Pro product key.

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