Download and install the Windows 11 test version

The Windows 11 Insider program is now available to anyone who wants to try out the future version of the operating system. As with Windows 10, Microsoft offers download and install the Insider Preview version Windows 11 (so the unfinished version, a beta or development version) for users to test, report bugs and help obtain a finalized version that will be stable and reliable.

This page is a step-by-step guide to download Windows 11 in format ISO and install it in a virtual machine that is not going to disturb your computer. It is as if we installed a new software, in which we can run Windows 11. This operation is common among computer scientists (system administrators and developers) but it is also interesting to try a version of Windows or a Linux distribution at home, without touching the main operating system of your computer or having to bother with a dual boot.

This tutorial explains how download Windows 11 ISO file, download VMware Workstation (free) and create a test virtual machine to try Windows11.

1. Use VMware Workstation Player

The easiest way to test Windows 11 is to install it in a virtual machine, which will not damage your current computer and allows you to quickly delete / recreate a new Windows 11 VM. The software VMware Workstation Player is a very good free application for creating, starting and using virtual machines.

Follow this tutorial to download and install VMware Workstation in order to be able to create a VM with Windows 11. This program is installed on OS Windows and on distribution Linux. The software version must be at least 16 to support Win11.

vmware workstation player 16

2. Download the Windows 11 Insider Preview ISO file

1. Go to the page Windows Insider Preview ISO.

2. Connect with a Microsoft account (it’s free) to be part of the program Windows Insider.

3. At the bottom of the page, choose the most recent edition which is proposed in the list and go to Confirm.

tutorial download Windows 11 Insider Preview

4. Choose the tongue desired (French, for example) and continue with Confirm.

5. Click on ” 64-bit Download ” Where ” 32-bit Download »To download W11 Insider in 64 or 32 bit architecture. The most common version is 64-bit.

tutorial download Windows 11 Insider Preview

6. The ISO x64 file weighs approximately 4.6GB with a file name of type Windows10_InsiderPreview_Client_x64_fr-en_xxxxx.iso (Windows10_InsiderPreview_Client_x64_fr-fr_21354.iso).

3. Install Windows 11 in a VM

1. Open the software VMware Workstation Player.

2. Click on ” Create a New Virtual Machine “:

tutorial create VMware Workstation virtual machine

3. Indicate the repertoire where the previously downloaded ISO file is located.

tutorial create VMware Workstation virtual machine

4. Select the system ” Microsoft Windows “With the version” Windows 10 x64 »: There is not yet a Windows 11 version in the VMware software and there is in fact no major change between W10 and W11. If the downloaded ISO file is in 32bits format, change the version to simply “Windows 10”, ie 32bits / x86.

tutorial create VMware Workstation virtual machine

5. Give a name to this virtual machine and change disk / directory creation of vmdk files linked to the VM. Provide storage with sufficient space, a parameter that will be defined in the next step.

tutorial create Windows 11 virtual machine

6. Indicate the disk size C: from the virtual machine. By default with 60GB, this is sufficient to install Windows 11 and some additional programs.

tutorial create Windows 11 virtual machine

7. For better performance, click on ” Customize Hardware To change the amount of RAM allocated to this VM. This is the physical RAM of the computer that will be reserved for running the virtual machine: 4GB (4096 MB) will not be too little to run W11.

tutorial create Windows 11 RAM virtual machine

8. Click on Finish.

9. Return to the home page of VMware software, double click on the VM just created to start the installation of the operating system:

tutorial create Windows 11 virtual machine

10. Installing Windows 11 is very similar to Windows 10. You don’t really need a guide for these self-explanatory steps, except for:

  • On the “Activate Windows” screen: click on ” I don’t have a product key To skip this step (this is a test version anyway).
  • Windows version to install: this indicates Windows 10 (this will change in the next previews) but select Family, Education Where Professional depending on the desired edition.
  • Type of installation: Custom and select the whole disc.

11. Windows 11 is well installed, it’s your turn to find bugs, discover the changes or be disappointed with the lack of new features!

Remove the trial version of Windows 11

When you are done playing with Windows 11, you can simply delete the virtual machine in the VMware software. This short tutorial shows how to delete a virtual machine in VMware Workstation Player or Pro.

1. Open the VMware Worsktation Player.

2. Make a right click on the VM Windows 11 and choose ” Delete from disk “:

VMware Workstation tutorial remove virtual machine

3. This will delete the VM but also its virtual hard disk, so the physical hard disk of the computer will be lightened by the tens of GB created by the VM. VMware. There is nothing else to do to reclaim all the disk space occupied by the virtual machine.

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