Windows 11 is now available to download, and it’s free for Windows 10 users.
The new version of Microsoft’s operating system, which the company claims “delivers the best Windows ever for gaming,” unlocks at midnight local time around the world. If you’re already running a PC with Windows 10 installed, the easiest way to download the new OS is via the Microsoft Store, where you’ll be able to use an installation assistant. Alternatively, you can grab a bootable DVD or USB drive, or an ISO file.
Microsoft says that Windows 11 “unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware,” with improved rendering via DirectX 12 Ultimate, reduced load times with DirectStorage, and better visuals thanks to Auto HDR. It should also be easier to find games via a freshly-rebuilt Microsoft Store, which the company says will “make it more seamless for customers to find and browse apps, games and entertainment.”
While the new OS is available now, it’s worth remembering that there might be some teething issues. One such problem has already reared its head, with a new Windows 11 security feature potentially hindering performance on pre-built PCs, which will start to ship with the system installed from today. It’s also worth noting that you’ll need to already have to have some decent hardware installed to get the most out of Windows 11, as features like DirectStorage work with your graphics card and require a “high performance NVMe [Solid State Drive].
Want to make the most of your new OS? Here are the best PC games to take full advantage of your new tech.