How to upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 11

How to upgrade Windows 8.1 to Windows 11; Computers running Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 11 without losing data or apps using an ISO file. This is a supported installation path, so you won’t have any problems switching to another system.

You can upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 8.1 on a PC that meets the system requirements, or on any other PC with non-compatible hardware. In the second case, we use the method of bypassing the prerequisites to the hardware of the device.

Before upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 8.1, you must ensure that your laptop or desktop meets the minimum system requirements. For example, the computer must have Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 installed, secure boot enabled, motherboard running UEFI firmware, and an Intel 8th Generation or newer or AMD Zen 2 or newer processor.

The Windows 11 operating system is available as a free upgrade to Windows 10, but you can activate it with a Windows 8.1 product key. Before installing the OS, it is recommended to uninstall all applications that may conflict with the upgrade to Windows 11, such as antiviruses, various security tools, and old third-party programs.

To reduce the chance of problems, you should also turn off any hardware connected to your computer, including printers, phones, cameras, external hard drives, and other USB peripherals.

You must meet the prerequisites under which it is possible to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 11:

  • Your computer must be running a 64-bit version of Windows1 as there are no 32-bit versions of Windows 11.
  • The operating system must be activated.
  • You can update only the version of the system that is installed on your computer, for example, install the Home edition to Home, Professional to Professional.

This guide will show you how to upgrade from 8.1 to Windows 11 in two ways: on a supported device or on a PC with any hardware.

Upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 8.1 using an ISO file

The first instruction is for devices that meet all the requirements of Windows 11. You can check your PC for compliance with the requirements in advance.

To upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 8.1 using an ISO file, follow these steps:

  1. Download the Windows 11 ISO file to your device.

If the download is not available for you from the official Microsoft website, use alternative methods to get the system image file, which you can read about in the article on the website.

  1. Right-click on the Windows 11 ISO file and select Connect.
  2. Once mounted, the contents of the Windows 11 ISO file will open in File Explorer.
  3. Double click on the “setup” file to start the upgrade process to Windows 11.
  4. In the Install Windows 11 window, uncheck the box next to “I want to help make a better installation” and then click on the “Configure how the installer downloads updates” option.
  5. In the Get Updates, Drivers, and Options window, select the Not Now option.
  6. In the next window, click the “Accept” button to agree to the terms of the license.
  7. After preparing and checking for free space, in the “Ready to Install” window, click the “Install” button to update the OS while keeping files and applications.

If you want to start with a clean install of Windows 11, click on the ‘Change what to keep’ option to select the ‘Nothing’ option. After that, click the “Next” button and then click on the “Install” button.

  1. Once these steps have been completed, the process of upgrading Windows1 to Windows 11 begins while keeping your files and apps.

In most cases, after checking the computer before accepting the license terms, the user will see a message stating that this PC does not meet the system requirements for Windows 11.

The window lists the reasons for the non-compliance of this device with the required parameters. You can’t continue installing Windows 11.

In this case, you can use another method that will allow you to bypass the Microsoft hardware requirements for a computer that is not compatible with Windows 11.

Preparing to upgrade to Windows 11 on the non-compliant PC

First, you need to do the preparations to get the files to install Windows 11 using the Windows 10 Installer. In the content of the Windows 10 image, we will replace the Windows 10 file with the Windows 11 file.

Thanks to this, during the system update, we will use the Windows 10 installer, which will actually install Windows 11 on the computer. In this way, we bypass the system check for compliance with the requirements for Windows 11.

We will need to additionally download the ISO image of Windows 10. Read the article about several ways to get this system on your PC.

  1. In the mounted Windows 11 ISO image, open the “sources” folder.
  2. Locate the “install.esd” or “install.wim” file.
  3. Right click on it and then copy it to your desktop.
  4. After that, in the Explorer window, click on the Windows virtual drive
  5. In the menu that opens, click “Extract”.
  6. Create a folder on the Windows1 desktop with any name, for example “Win11”.
  7. Right click on Windows ISO file
  8. In the open virtual drive window, highlight the contents of the Windows image
  9. Right click, click copy.
  10. Place these files in the folder you created, in our case “Win11”.
  11. In the “Win11” folder, open the “source” folder.
  12. Locate and then delete the file named “install.esd” or “install.wim”.
  13. Move the “install.esd” (“install.wim”) file that we previously copied from the Windows ISO image to this folder

Having carried out these manipulations, we have placed Windows 11 in the Windows 10 setup program. In this way, we will bypass the computer hardware check.

You can delete Windows 11 and Windows 10 ISO files if you don’t have enough disk space on your PC. Keep in mind that the system update process will require additional disk space required to store temporary files.

How to Install Windows 11 on Windows 8.1

Now we’re moving on to answering the question of how to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 11 on a computer that doesn’t meet the system requirements.

Go through the following steps:

  1. Run the “setup” file in the “Win11” folder to start installing Windows 11 on PC.
  2. In the Windows 10 Setup window, uncheck the box next to I want to help improve Windows, and then click Set Windows Setup to download updates.

Ignore what the windows says about installing Windows 10. Remember that we are actually installing Windows 11 by upgrading from Windows 8.1.

  1. In the window that opens, select the “Not now” option, click on the “Next” button.
  2. In the “Applicable notices and license terms” window, click the “Accept” button.
  3. After checking the computer, in the “Ready to install” window you will see that you have selected:
  • Install Windows 11 of the appropriate edition.
  • Save personal files and applications.
  1. Click Install.
  2. A message about installing Windows 10 will appear on the screen with the progress of this process. During this time, the computer will restart several times.
  3. In the “Choose privacy settings for this device” window, turn off the settings you don’t need, and then click on the “Accept” button.
  4. The Windows desktop will open on the computer screen.

We updated to Windows 11 on an unsupported device.

Make sure the system is activated after updating to the new version:

  1. Right click on the start menu.
  2. Select Options from the context menu.
  3. In the “System” tab, click on the “Activation” button.
  4. In the “Activation Status” parameter, you will see the status – “Active”.

Article Conclusions

Some users want to upgrade to Windows 11 from the Windows 8.1 operating system. They can update their system to Windows 11 using an ISO file using two methods. Users can update their system if the PC meets the Windows 11 system requirements or if the device has unsupported hardware using the Windows 10 installer method.

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