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Can I Upgrade Windows 8.1/8 to Windows 11? 2021 Step-By-Step Guide

Updated by Tracy King on Aug 16, 2021

Can I upgrade my Windows 8 to 11? Can I upgrade my Windows 8.1/8 to Windows 11 for free like what Windows 10 users do? Sure! According to some professionals, it would be possible to get a free upgrade in Windows a bit complex. 

Don't worry if you are not sure if your Windows 8 computer supports Windows 11 or not, or you don't have access to install the new update. Follow the step-by-step guide below, you'll learn how to get the new update installed on your old computer without losing any data. Let's get started.

Before You Start: We still suggest that you take a backup of important files and data to an external hard drive in advance.

Guide 1. Learn Windows 11 Requirements

As Microsoft made some changes in Windows 11, it has some system requirements and hardware requirements for getting the newest OS. To start the Windows 8/8.1 to Windows 11 upgrade process, we suggest that you first learn the minimum system requirements.

Here is a list of Windows 11 minimum requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
  • Graphics card: DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
  • Display: >9” with HD Resolution (720p)
  • Internet connection: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use.

You can go and follow Windows 11 specifications to learn more details about Windows 11 requirements.

So how to learn if your computer meets the requirements of Windows 11? Go and follow Guide 2.

Guide 2. Run Windows 11 Checker, See If Your PC Is Compatible with Windows 11

There are many Windows 11 compatibility checking apps available online and you can download one for help. Although Microsoft is said to produce its own Windows 11 checker, named as PC health check, however, it is not available yet.

Here we'll show you how to check the compatibility of your computer for Windows 11 with EaseUS Windows 11 Upgrade Checker.

Step 1. Download EaseUS Windows 11 Upgrade Checker.

Step 2. Click the Check Now button to start.

click check now

Step 3. The Windows 11 compatibility result window will soon appear. All the incompatible and compatible configuration items will be listed.

check windows 11 compatibility result

Note that all you need is to focus on the incompatible configuration section. And if you see any one of the issues shows up in the result, it means that your computer currently doesn't support Windows 11:

  • Disk Partition Type
  • Boot Method
  • Secure Boot
  • TPM

So can I fix these issues and make Windows 8/8.1 ready for Windows 11 upgrade? Sure. Follow the next part, you'll learn how to get rid of these 4 major issues that block your computer from Windows 11.

Guide 3. Fix Windows 11 Compatibility Issues in Windows 8.1/8 PC

This part contains 3 fixes for you to follow and respectively get rid of the above issues and make Windows 8 computer support Windows 11. Let's see the details.

#1. Convert OS Disk from MBR to GPT

Windows 11 requests the OS drive to be GPT for UEFI and Secure Boot Modes. So you can open Disk Management and right-click OS disk to check its disk type now. If it's MBR, you'll need to convert it into GPT for Windows 11 upgrade. 

Check disk type

To do so, you can try Disk Management or CMD to delete all partitions for disk conversion to GPT. Yes, this is not a user-friendly solution as both methods require data and partitions deletion.

Fortunately, you have a third way out. It is to turn to reliable partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master for help. It converts your disk to MBR or GPT type without losing any data. 

Here is how to do so:

Note that, to make your computer boot up from GPT and get ready for Windows 11, you'll need to fix the Boot Method and Secure Boot Issues next.

#2. Enable UEFI Boot Mode and Secure Boot

Note that if your computer doesn't support UEFI mode, your computer won't support secure boot nor can update to Windows 11. 

So how to check if the computer supports UEFI mode? Here are the steps:

Step 1. Restart PC and press F2/F10/F12/Del to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Boot Menu, click the Boot Mode section, see if your computer supports UEFI mode.

Check if computer supports UEFI mode

  • If you see a UEFI mode, it means your computer supports this boot mode. 
  • If it's currently disabled, move to the next guide to enable UEFI and Secure Mode. 

Enable UEFI Mode:

Step 1. Restart PC and press F2/F10/F12/Del to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Boot Menu, click Boot Mode, and switch the mode from Legacy to UEFI.

Enable UEFI mode

Step 3. Save the changes and exit to restart the PC.

Enable Secure Boot:

Step 1. Restart PC and re-enter BIOS settings.

Step 2.  Go to the boot menu, and click "Secure Boot" and switch it from Disabled to Enabled. 

Enable Secure Boot

Step 3. Save the changes and exit to restart the PC.

#3. Enable TPM 2.0 Chip for Windows 11

Another hardware requirement for Windows 11 update is that the computer must support a TPM 2.0 chip. Mostly, a TPM is required to be enabled to secure a computer and use encryption features like BitLocker.

To get Windows 11 update, you'll also need to ensure that your computer supports TPM 2.0 and enable it.

Guide to Check If Your Windows 8 PC Supports TPM 2.0:

Step 1. Press Windows + R keys, type tpm.msc in the Run dialog, and click "OK".

Open TPM checker

Step 2. Once the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) utility pops up, check if the TPM is in use.

If yes, you'll see it under the Status section, marked as The TPM is ready for use 

Step 3. Check the TPM version under the TPM Manufacturer Information section.

If it's not or even an older version, please stay with Windows 8 for OS stability. 

If it's TPM 2.0, your computer is good to install and run Windows 11. Move to the next guide to enable it.

Check TPM version

Enable TPM 2.0 Chip for Windows 11 Upgrade:

Step 1. Restart PC and press F2/F10/Del key to enter BIOS.

Step 2. Go to the Security section > Advanced > Click TPM Support.

Open TPM Support section

Step 3. Check the TPM State and if it's Disabled, change it to Enabled.

Enable TPM 2.0

Step 4. Save the changes and exit BIOS.

After fixing these issues, your computer is now good to go and install the new Windows 11 update.

Guide 4. How to Install Windows 11, Upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 11 for Free

So how do I get Windows 11? Currently, as we know that there are two major ways for Windows users to access beta version of Windows 11:

  1. 1. Get Windows 11 from Insider Program
  2. 2. Clean Install Windows 11 from USB

And here, we bring you the third way - using EaseUS Win11 Builder which will automatically check and download the latest Windows 11 for you to install on your computer.

Let's see how to install Windows 11 on your Windows 8 computer via these 3 methods now:

Method 1. Download Windows 11 on Windows 8 via EaseUS Win11 Builder

Step 1. DOWNLOAD EaseUS Win11builder on your computer. It's a free Windows 11 iso downloader that helps you download the latest Windows 11 operating system (Current OS build:  ).

Step 2. Launch the Win11builder after installation. The obtained system information is available on the home screen, and it keeps updating all the time.

Step 3. Connect your USB flash drive to the computer. Win11builder will automatically detect your USB device, so all you need to do is click the Create button. Tick the option "Bypass TPM2.0..." so you can later install Windows 11 on an unsupported computer without trouble.

win11builder step 1

Step 4. The software will empty your USB drive data if it's a used one. Once the downloading process begins, wait there until it finished or leave for a while to do you own job.

win11builder step 2

Step 5. After successfully downloading the Windows 11 iso image file on the USB drive, start to install Windows 11 from the bootable USB drive on your computer by following the installation wizard step by step.

The follow-up steps are the same as presented in Method 3.

Method 2. Upgrade Windows 8 to Windows 11 for Free via Insider Program

Step 1. Download Windows 11 Update

#1. Get Windows 11 Update as Insider:

Download Windows 11 via insider program

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program > Get Started.
  • Select + to connect your account and select Dev channel.
  • Confirm the Privacy Statement and program terms, select Restart Now or Restart Later.
  • After computer restart, go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.

#2. Check and Get Windows 11 Update on PC

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Check for Updates.

Check for Windows update

Step 2. When the new update is available, click Download and install.

Step 3. Follow the on-screen guidelines and wait for Windows 11 to be installed on your computer.

Step 4. After installing Windows 11, you can now move or transfer the OS to a newly installed SSD.

Method 3. Manually Install Windows 11 on Windows 8 from USB

Step 1. Prepare an empty USB external drive that has up to 8GB or bigger space.

Step 2. Go to the Windows 11 page and download its ISO file to your computer.

Step 3. Burn the ISO file into your USB drive.

Or you can directly download the Windows 11 creation media and install it to your USB drive.

Step 4. Reboot PC and enter BIOS, setting the USB drive as the boot drive.

Step 5. Once the computer boots on the USB disk, follow the onscreen instructions to install Windows 11.

Step 6. Set Language, Time and currency format, Keyboard or input method, and click Next to move on.

Set language, time, and keyboard to install Windows 11

Step 7. Click Install Now to enter the next step.

Select to Install Windows 11 from USB

Step 8. Click I don't have a product key to continue.

Step 9. Select Windows 11 edition that you want to install and click Next to continue.

Select Windows 11 edition to install

Step 10. Click to accept the Microsoft License Term and click Next.

Step 11. Click Custome: Install Windows only on the new disk.

Select to Custom and install Windows only

Step 12. Select the Windows 8 OS drive as the target disk and click Next to continue.

Select new SSD to install Windows 11

Step 13. Wait for the installing process to complete, the computer will restart automatically.

Finish Install Windows 11

Then follow the on-screen guide to set up the computer. Once complete, you can then login in and boot computer from Windows 11 now.

Wait for Windows 11 to boot up

Further Tip: About Windows 11 Product Key 

According to most Microsoft and most geeks, it's still free to upgrade Windows 8 or 8.1 to Windows 11. So you don't need to worry about the product key issue.

Though Upgrading Windows 8 to Windows 11 Is A Bit Complex, You Can Do It Alone

On this page, we presented you with the complete process of how to upgrade Windows 8.1/8 to Windows 11. 

If you are wondering if you can upgrade an old computer like Windows 8 to Windows 11, the answer is yes. As long as your computer reaches the Windows 11 requirements, you can do this on your own.

Though the process is a bit complex, by following this guide, you can install Windows 11 on Windows 8 computer on your own.

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Updated by Tracy King

Tracy joined in EaseUS in 2013 and has been working with EaseUS content team for over 7 years. Being enthusiastic in computing and technology, she writes tech how-to articles and share technical solutions about Windows & Mac data recovery, file/system backup and recovery, partition management and iOS/Android data recovery.

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