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Microsoft’s Windows 11 preview is now available to download – here’s how to get it

You might not want to try it out on your primary computer, however.

Windows 11 on a laptop
Image: Microsoft

The first official preview version of Windows 11 was released today, letting you play around with the next version of Windows before Microsoft is ready to release it worldwide. If you’re a Windows Insider, you can download it right now and see the new Start menu, redone Microsoft Store, and the multitasking updates.

It’s also got the new File Explorer version, which wasn’t included in the leaked Windows 11 preview the other week. The majority of the visual upgrades that Microsoft showed off during its event are live.

If you want to play around with Android apps on Windows, you’ll have to wait for that, as Microsoft is still developing the feature. The deep Microsoft Teams integration is also missing, with a promise for it to arrive in a later preview build.

We’ll show you how to get started if you want to preview Windows 11 before it’s fully ready.

If you really want to preview Windows 11, here’s how to start

It’s not just Windows 11 that’s dropped in preview today, Office is also getting a preview of the new UI, including rounded corners and changes to how light and dark modes work. Here’s how to start testing.

  1. You’ll need to enroll in the Windows Insider program

  2. Then open Settings and click on Update & Security Windows 10 settings main page

  3. Click on Windows Insider Program at the bottom left, then on Get Started Windows 10 update insider builds

  4. Choose the Dev channel and run the update to get the Windows 11 install

You’ll need a compatible computer, so run Microsoft’s PC Health Check app to make sure. We’d also like to caution you about installing this preview build on a computer you use daily. Preview versions can be full of bugs or other issues, and Microsoft is continually refining and adding features until the retail release of Windows 11.

Currently, known issues are: the taskbar not being shown over multiple monitors, when upgrading a device with multiple user accounts to Windows 11, Settings will fail to launch, and the Microsoft Store install button might not be functional in “some limited scenarios.”

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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