To install Windows 11 on a computer, you have three options: install Windows 11 as the main operating system, install Windows 11 in a virtual machine or install Windows 11 next to Windows 10.
This last solution is possible thanks to the method of dual-boot (dual boot) which allows two operating systems to coexist on the same computer.
Why install Windows 11 and Windows 10 on the same PC?
- → you have a new Windows 11 PC but you need Windows 10 to use apps that are only compatible with the old Microsoft operating system.
- →you want to install Windows 11 on your Windows 10 PC but you want to keep Windows 10 on your computer and keep using it.
- →you want to test Windows 11 in real conditions on your computer without taking any risks by keeping Windows 10 on hand just in case.
After installing Windows 11 alongside Windows 10 and after configuring the dual-boot, everything is done very simply: when you start your computer, a start menu opens and you just have to choose the system operating system to boot: either Windows 11 or Windows 10!
Quick and easy to set up, the Windows 11 + Windows 10 dual-boot is also an ideal solution to switch to Windows 11 smoothly.
In this tutorial we will see how to install Windows 11 in dual-boot with Windows 10 step by step.
- 1 Prerequisites
- 2 Install Windows 11 in dual-boot with Windows 10
- 3 Remove Windows dual-boot
- 4 Can’t install Windows 11?
- 5 Useful links
To install Windows 11 in dual-boot with Windows 10, you will need:
Install Windows 11 in dual-boot with Windows 10
Before you start, check if your PC is compatible with Windows 11:
Windows 11: check if your PC is compatible
Also, don’t forget to activate TPM 2.0 in UEFI:
Windows 11: enable TPM 2.0 in BIOS / UEFI
Create a Windows 11 installation USB key
First step, we must create a Windows 11 installation USB key.
First, download an ISO of Windows 11:
Download Windows 11 ISOs
Then create your Windows 11 installation USB stick from the downloaded ISO using Rufus software:
Create a Windows 11 installation USB key
Create a disk image
Before continuing, I strongly advise you to create an image from your system disk with Macrium Reflect.
A disk image is a full backup a disk and its partitions: your disk is totally cloned and saved as an image that is very easy to restore, always with Macrium Reflect.
In case of problems, you will just have to restore the image to your system disk and you will find your PC as before the installation of Windows 11.
Partition the system disk
To be able to install Windows 11 on the system disk, it must be to make room.
At the moment, 100% of the disk space is occupied by Windows 10 and its partitions: an ESP partition, an MSR partition, a Windows partition and a Recovery partition.
The objective is to reduce Windows partition size of Windows 10 so that Windows 11 can install itself in the free space now available.
To shrink Windows 10 partition, follow these instructions:
- Open the tool Disk management :
- via the Start menu or the Research :
- via the Quick Link menu :
- via the Run command :
- via the Start menu or the Research :
- Locate the Windows partition (in 99% of cases, the letter
C:assigned to it), right-click on it and select Reduce volume.
- Enter the desired size for the Windows 11 partition in Amount of space to reduce, then click Reduce. In the screenshot below, 70,000 MB (70 GB) is removed from the 120 GB Windows partition.
What size should I choose for Windows 11?
Windows 11 requires a minimum disk space of 60 GB. For convenience, increase this space as much as you can while leaving enough for Windows 10. In the screenshot above, 70 GB of disk space is allocated to Windows 11.
- There you have it, the computer is now ready to host Windows 11 : Unallocated disk space is available right next to Windows partition of Windows 10.
- Take the next step: install Windows 11!
Install Windows 11 in dual-boot
We can now install Windows 11 on the unallocated disk space of the system disk:
Start your computer from the USB stick Windows 11 installer.
If you need help, check out the following tutorial:
Start your PC from a USB key or CD / DVD
On Windows 10, you can achieve this easily by opening Advanced Boot Options> Use Device> EFI USB Device.
- At startup, press a key on your keyboard to start the Windows 11 installer.
- Choose your language preferences.
- Click on the button Install now.
- At the “Activate Windows” window, depending on your situation:
- you own a product key Windows 11, 10, 8.1, or 7: Enter your product key.
- your PC has a digital license Windows 11. Click on ” I don’t have a Product Key »: Windows 11 will activate automatically once the installation is complete.
- If you clicked on “I don’t have a Product Key”, select theediting Windows 11 to install.
- If you try to install Windows 11 on a computer without TPM 2.0 or Secure Boot, you will get the following error message:
This PC cannot run Windows 11
This PC does not meet the minimum requirements to install this version of Windows. For more information, visit https://aka.ms/WindowsSysReq
To continue and force the installation of Windows 11, see this tutorial: install Windows 11 on an incompatible PC (CPU, TPM 2.0, Secure Boot, etc.).
- Accept the terms of the license agreement.
- Select option Custom – Install Windows Only (Advanced).
- At the “Where do you want to install Windows?” Window. », Select theunallocated space then click on Following.
- Wait while Windows 11 installs.
- When the Windows 11 installation is complete, the Windows Boot Manager menu opens. By default, Windows 11 is selected. Automatically, your computer will start on it after a few seconds, you don’t have to do anything.
- The first boot experience (OOBE) is loaded: configure the various parameters of Windows 11 such as the computer name, user accounts, security, telemetry …
- Once the installation is complete, go through the lock screen and log in with your user account.
- You arrive on the Windows 11 Desktop: it’s done, you have successfully installed Windows 11 in dual-boot with Windows 10.
✓ Congratulation : you have installed Windows 11 in dual-boot with Windows 10! 👍
Configure the Windows 11 + Windows 10 dual-boot
By default, when the computer starts up, Windows 11 loads automatically after 30 seconds.
If you wish, you can change the operating system that loads by default (Windows 11 or Windows 10) as well as the delay before the default OS is selected:
- Open System Configuration by entering msconfig in the Run command.
- Click on the tab To start up.
- In the screenshot below, see that Windows 11 is set as the default operating system:
- To set Windows 10 as the default OS, select it in the list then click on the button By default.
- Windows 10 has been defined as the “Default operating system”.
- In Time limit, you can choose the time (in seconds) before the default operating system is executed.
- Click on OK then restart your computer to apply the changes.
To find the different systems more easily, I recommend that you rename the drives for each system:
- In msconfig, locate the drive letter assigned to each operating system. In the example, Windows 11 is on VS and Windows 10 on D.
- Open theFile Explorer > This PC.
- Select the Windows 11 drive – here, Local disk (C 🙂 – then press the key F2 to rename it. Give a meaningful name such as Windows 11.
- Do the same for the Windows 10 drive.
- There you have it, the readers have been renamed, making them easier to distinguish.
✓ Congratulation : you have configured the default operating system (Windows 11 or Windows 10) at computer startup and rename the drives of each system! 👍
Remove Windows dual-boot
If you no longer want Windows 11 or Windows 10, you can remove either one to keep only one Windows on your computer.
Follow this guide to remove Windows dual-boot from your computer:
Remove a Windows from a Windows dual-boot
Can’t install Windows 11?
If you have errors while installing Windows 11 and are unable to install it on your PC, follow the solutions in this article:
Troubleshoot Windows 11 installation issues