Microsoft has announced its latest version of the Windows operating system: Windows 11. Windows 11 comes with a ton of new features, including a new Start, a redesigned taskbar, a revamped file explorer, and new settings.
Windows 11 is a free upgrade for existing Windows 10 users, provided their PCs meet the minimum hardware requirements. Among other hardware changes, Windows 11 now requires a recent 64-bit processor, as Windows 11 is not available in the 32-bit version.
Can I upgrade from Windows 10 32-bit to Windows 11 64-bit?
This is one of the questions we get since the announcement of Windows 11. For starters, Windows 11 is only offered in the 64-bit version. As a result, with Windows 10 64-bit, users can easily upgrade to Windows 11 64-bit without losing any data or installed programs.
However, you cannot upgrade a 32-bit Windows 10 installation to 64-bit Windows 11 because an internal upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit is not supported.
This isn’t new in Windows 11. In fact, even Windows 10 doesn’t support a direct upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit. However, keep in mind that Windows 11 supports its 32-bit applications.
How to upgrade from 32-bit Windows 10 to Windows 11 64-bit?
If you want to upgrade from Windows 10 32-bit to Windows 11, then you have no choice but to perform a clean install of Windows 11. Needless to say, a clean install means you get your installed programs and data (which you can back up before updating). This is how you do it.
Step 1: First, on your Windows 10 PC, go to Settings > Windows & Security > Activation Page to check if your copy of Windows 10 is activated.
Step 2: If you use a local account to sign in to Windows 10, we recommend signing in with a Microsoft account so that you can link your Windows 10 license to your Microsoft account. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it helps if your Windows 11 won’t activate after a clean install.
Step 3: When you clean the installation of Windows 11 by uninstalling Windows 10, your installed data and programs will be erased. That’s why it’s important to back up your data to another partition, external drive, or cloud storage service.
Step 4: On your Windows 10 PC, use the Media Creation Tool to download and prepare the Windows 11 bootable USB.
Step 5: Boot from Windows 11 bootable USB, erase your Windows 10 drive and install Windows 11. After installation, go to Settings > System > Activation page and then click on activation status to check if your copy of Windows 11 is activated.