Windows 11 Preview now available — How to download it

Microsoft on Monday released the first official early build of its upcoming new operating system, Windows 11.

The Windows 11 Preview Build 22000.51 is now available to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel.

This debut version gives users a taste of some of the features Microsoft showcased during its Windows 11 announcement last week.

Included in the preview is the new Windows 11 design, with centred content, rounded window and app corners, and new animations.

The Windows Store, File Explorer, Notification Centre, and Quick Settings have also been revamped.

Two features that are not yet available are Teams integration and built-in support for Android apps.

To download this update, you will have to sign up for the Windows Insider programme.

To do this in Windows 10, follow these steps:

  • Open Settings
  • Click on Update & Security
  • Select “Windows Insider Program”. If not available, go to the Privacy page under Settings, select Diagnostics & feedback and check the “Optional diagnostic data” option.
  • After selecting Windows Insider Program, choose “Get started”
  • Select “Link an account”
  • Choose your Microsoft account from the list and hit “Continue”
  • If you want to get preview builds as early as possible, choose the “Dev Channel”
  • Click the “Confirm” button
  • Hit “Confirm” again to accept the terms
  • Restart your PC

Any preview builds available for download should now appear under the Windows Update section of your Settings.

Select “Check for updates” if the Windows 11 Preview Build is not yet shown.

You can also sign up for the Windows Insider Program via a browser on this page.

Windows 11 minimum requirements

If you are new to the Windows Insider programme, it is important to note that you will have to meet Windows 11’s minimum system requirements to get the developer preview.

Users who have been testing previews in the Dev Channel up until 24 June will be eligible to install and run preview builds, regardless of whether they meet these requirements.

This will only be until Windows 11 is released for general availability, which is expected to be between October 2021 and December 2021.

These Insiders will then be required to roll back to Windows 10 and won’t be able to run any further Windows 11 builds.

Microsoft also warned that installing Windows 11 on PCs that do not meet the hardware requirements can result in a degraded experience and some features not working properly.

The company outlined availability for releases in the various Windows Insider channels in the table below.

Fair warning

It should be emphasised that you should expect any early versions of Windows to come with bugs.

After all, the purpose of the Windows Insider programme is to test new features and changes in Microsoft’s OS for any stability issues among a wide range of configurations from a pool of willing users.

While the problems can be as small as simple design bugs, there may also be more severe vulnerabilities that could lead to security exploits or data loss.

It is therefore recommended that you only consider this if you are fairly adept at troubleshooting Windows problems with software-savvy workarounds.

In addition, you should create a system restore point and perform a full backup of all your files before installing a preview build.

Now read: Windows 11 minimum requirements — Your old PC won’t cut it

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Windows 11 Preview now available — How to download it