Microsoft Wiki

Be sure to join our wiki's Discord server by clicking here
Also follow our wiki's Twitter by clicking here


Microsoft Wiki

Windows 11 Windows 11 icon (codenamed Sun Valley) is a personal computer operating system developed by Microsoft and is the latest major release of the Windows NT family, succeeding Windows 10.[2] It was formally announced at 11 a.m. Eastern Time on June 24, 2021.[3] Windows 11 became available as a free upgrade to eligible customers on October 5, 2021, more than six years after its predecessor's release date and the longest time span between successive releases of Microsoft Windows.[1] Windows 11 build 26100.863 (24H2) was released to the Release Preview Channel with the latest release preview build on June 15, 2024.[4] In addition, Windows 11 build 26244.5000 (24H2) was released to the Canary Channel on June 28, 2024.

Windows 11 features major changes to the Windows shell influenced by the canceled Windows 10X, including a redesigned Start menu, the replacement of its "live tiles" with a separate "Widgets" panel on the Taskbar, the ability to create tiled sets of windows that can be minimized and restored from the Taskbar as a group, and new gaming technologies inherited from Xbox Series X and Series S such as Auto HDR and DirectStorage on compatible hardware. Internet Explorer (IE) has been replaced by the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge like its predecessor, Windows 10. Microsoft Teams is integrated into the shell. Microsoft also announced plans to allow more flexibility in software that can be distributed via Microsoft Store, and to support Android apps on Windows 11 (including a partnership with Amazon to make its app store available for the function).


The UI of the project is codenamed "Sun Valley" and is based on the 21H2 Cobalt development cycle, done in the private, separate co-refresh branch. [5] Online support documents that were published (and withdrawn) in early June 2021 indicated that internal testing of "Windows Sun Valley" was underway at Microsoft.[6] On June 10, Microsoft teased the upcoming release of Windows 11 with a "slo-fi" video that runs exactly 11 minutes long.[7][8]

Leak of developer build[]

A 4GB ISO of the Windows 11 installer for build 21996.1, compiled on May 29, 2021 according to the build number was leaked on June 15, 2021[9] , after some screenshots were leaked on Chinese website Baidu on the same date. Configuration files included with the installer indicated that it could have been made freely available to owners of genuine licenses of Windows 7 and later.[10] The build also includes an ARM binary that allows it to be installed on smartphones that supported Windows 10 Mobile, but the feature set was otherwise incomplete.[11][12]

Official preview releases[]

A Windows Preinstallation Environment build 22000.41 of Windows 11 was released on June 24, 2021 for selected members of the Windows Insider Program.[13] The official preview build 22000.51 became publicly available on June 28.[12] Updated previews of Office began being released to Insiders on July 7, 2021 with a new UI designed to match Windows 11.[14] Starting on September 2, 2021, the Windows Insider channels began receiving different builds, as the Beta Channel was focused on the 21H2 Cobalt release for October 2021, while the Dev Channel was focused on the following 22H1 Nickel release for the first half of 2022.[15] The Windows Subsystem for Android, which allows Android apps to run in Windows 11, became available for testing through the Windows Insider Program on October 20, 2021.[16]

General availability[]

Microsoft announced on August 31, 2021 that Windows 11 would first become available as a free upgrade for customers with new eligible devices on October 5, 2021, though Android support was not ready in time for the first release. A phased rollout would make it available to all other eligible devices in the market by mid-2022.[1][17]

In May 2022, physically packaged versions of Windows 11 began appearing at retailers for the first time. The retail boxes were available in Home and Pro editions. The installation software was contained on a USB flash drive.[18]

Upgrade eligibility[]


Windows 11 Upgrade Experience

Windows 11 became available for free through Windows Update to Windows 10 users that met the minimum system requirements. Users of Windows 7 to 8.1 need to update to 10 first to qualify for the free upgrade.[19] Microsoft confirmed that Windows 11 would be available "this holiday", though tech websites observed dates ranging from October 6 to 20 in sample screenshots provided by Microsoft.[20] Unlike early releases of Windows 10, there is no 32-bit version of Windows 11. An Intel Coffee Lake, AMD Zen 2, or later generation processor is required to support new security requirements.[21] Users who choose to upgrade to Windows 11 are provided a 10-day period to decide whether to roll back to Windows 10 through Windows Update > Advanced Options > Recovery. After this period has passed, users are on their own to back up their computer and perform a clean install of Windows 10.[22]

Minimum system requirements[]

  • 1 GHz or faster 64-bit processor or SoC with at least 2 cores
  • 4 GB or more RAM
  • 64 GB or larger internal drive
  • UEFI firmware that supports Secure Boot, TPM 2.0[23]
  • DirectX 12 compatible GPU with support for WDDM 2.0 or later.
  • 720p or larger display
  • Internet access with a Microsoft account for activation


Windows 11 snap

Updated window arrangement features

Windows 11 supports Android apps through the Amazon Appstore.[24] It also salvages some features from the cancelled Windows 10X project. The revised user interface reintroduces rounded window corners last seen in Windows 7 and a new startup sound. The updated Start Menu omits Live Tiles and is centered by default, though it can be set back to the bottom left corner of the screen. News and Interests, is now called Widgets and is displayed as an icon rather than showing weather information.[25]

Windows 11 adds support for DirectStorage and auto HDR, which were first introduced in the Xbox Series X/S. DirectStorage is an API designed to take advantage of NVMe solid-state drives to improve application and game loading times. Auto HDR automatically improves the displayed dynamic range of older SDR games on supported monitors.[26]

The updated Microsoft online store allows developers to implement their own payment systems and supports distribution of Android apps. Microsoft stated that they will take no cut of revenue from apps that implement their own payment system.[24][27] This special deal does not extend to games, which will be subject to a 12% fee through Microsoft’s payment platform.[28]

Deprecated apps[]

The following Windows apps and programs are no longer bundled with Windows 11:

Default web browser[]


How to Enable IE Mode on Microsoft Edge Chromium

Windows 11 includes Microsoft Edge based on the newer Chromium browser engine, which Microsoft recommends for improved privacy and security.[29] For legacy websites that can only function with the older Internet Explorer browser, Edge users can enable "Internet Explorer mode" (IE mode) to switch from Chromium to the legacy MSHTML engine to handle such circumstances.[30] Microsoft stated that this feature would be supported in Edge until at least 2029.[31]

Unlike Windows 10, Windows 11 does not include support for Internet Explorer 11 by default. A procedure was found to re-enable it, though it was acknowledged that Explorer is no longer suitable for present-day use due to lack of security and inability to support modern cloud services like Microsoft 365 and Teams.[32][33]


Windows 11 22H2 File Explorer tabs

New File Explorer tabs in 22H2.

  • Nickel (22H2): Early developer builds of the first feature update were tentatively referred to as Sun Valley 2.[34] Nickel was originally planned to be part of the 22H1 release in the first half of 2022, but was pushed back to 22H2 later in the year as Microsoft moved from a biannual to an annual release cycle for feature updates.[35] Build 22621 is the final beta for 22H2 that is reported to have been released to manufacturing (RTM) for release in Fall 2022.[36] It was made available to members of the Windows Insider Program on June 7, 2022.[37] Phased rollout of the public release of 22H2, marketed as the Windows 11 2022 Update, began on September 20, 2022.[38]

Future updates[]

Windows 11 23H2 Widgets expanded view

Expanded Widgets in 23H2.

  • Copper (23H2): Early builds were documented as far back as May 2021.[39] Copper was originally planned to be part of the 22H2 release in the second half of 2022, but was reportedly pushed back to 23H2 in 2023 as Microsoft moved from a biannual to an annual release cycle for feature updates.[35] 23H2 is also reportedly referred to as Sun Valley 3.[40] New features include the ability to expand the view of Widgets, an improved Xbox Game Pass Widget, redesigned "Rename this PC" and date/time picker UI.[41] On March 8, 2023, the Dev Channel was rebooted to begin rolling out features for the 23H2 update, starting with build 23403.1001, which was compiled on February 25, 2023.[42]
  • Zinc (24H2): Microsoft entered this development semester in December 2022.[43] Also referred to as Next Valley,[44] the Windows Insider Program initiated the Canary Channel on March 8, 2023 to begin separate testing of experimental features believed to be intended for Windows 12.[45]



How to Disable Rounded corners on Windows 11!

Windows 11 received a mixed reception with praise for the updated Settings menu and the reintroduction of Widgets, and criticism for the reorganized Start menu and default Edge browser.[46] The centered Taskbar was compared to the appearance of Apple's macOS, as was the return of rounded window corners, last seen in Windows 7's Aero UI.[47]

Some users who preferred the appearance of previous versions of Microsoft Windows have developed various hacks and tutorials to make Windows 11 more closely resemble Windows 10, with its sharper window corners and all.[48][49]




  • Microsoft partnered with Mikey Likes It Ice Cream to produce a flavor of Ice Cream called Bloomberry to celebrate the release of Windows 11. Bloomberry consists of "Blueberry ice cream that is naturally color[ed] using butterfly blue pea protein added to luscious pound cake pieces [and] royal blue chocolate-covered candies with a blueberry pie swirl" to somewhat resemble the "bloom" wallpapers from Windows 11. It was given out for free as part of a promotional event at the Mikey Likes It Ice Cream locations in the East Village and Harlem neighborhoods of New York City.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Windows 11 available on October 5 by Aaron Woodman, Microsoft. 2021-08-31.
  2. Windows 11 with new UX confirmed in a leak, ahead of Microsoft's June 24 announcement by Zac Bowden and Daniel Rubino, Windows Central. 2021-06-15.
  3. Microsoft to unveil new version of Windows on June 24, by Jordan Novet, CNBC. 2021-06-02.
  4. "Announcing Windows 11 Build 26100.834 (24H2) to the Release Preview Channel". p. Windows Blog. Retrieved May 24, 2024. 
  5. Microsoft plans big Windows 10 UI refresh in 2021 codenamed 'Sun Valley' by Zac Bowden, Windows Central. 2020-10-28.
  6. Microsoft accidentally confirms Windows Sun Valley update by Mayank Parmar, Windows Latest. 2021-06-09.
  7. Microsoft teases Windows 11 with startup sound slo-fi remix by Sean Endicott, Windows Central. 2021-06-10.
  8. Windows Startup Sounds - Slo-fi Remix by Windows on YouTube. Uploaded June 10, 2021.
  9. Windows 11 hands on: First look at the leaked OS by Mark Hachman, PCWorld. 2021-06-15.
  10. Windows 11 could be a free upgrade for Windows 7 by Mayank Parmar, Windows Latest. 2021-06-17.
  11. Of course Windows 11 has been ported to the Lumia 950 XL smartphone by Brad Linder, Liliputing. 2021-06-17.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Microsoft releases Windows 11 preview, available to download now by Tom Warren, The Verge. 2021-06-28.
  13. Preparing for Insider Preview Builds of Windows 11 by Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft. 2021-06-24.
  14. Microsoft’s new Office UI now available for testers by Tom Warren, The Verge. 2021-07-07.
  15. Announcing Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 22449 by Amanda Langowski and Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft. 2021-09-02.
  16. Introducing Android Apps on Windows 11 to Windows Insiders by Aidan Marcuss and Giorgio Sardo, Microsoft. 2021-10-20.
  17. Windows 11 release: Android apps won't be available today by Katie Teague, CNET. 2021-10-05.
  18. Windows 11 now comes in physical retail boxes too by Usama Jawad, Neowin. 2022-05-09.
  19. Windows 11 is a free upgrade by Tom Warren, The Verge. 2021-06-24.
  20. Microsoft keeps hinting at an October release for Windows 11 by Tom Warren, The Verge. 2021-06-28.
  21. Windows 11 will leave millions of PCs behind, and Microsoft is struggling to explain why by Tom Warren, The Verge. 2021-06-29.
  22. Why you should be wary of the Windows 11 10-day rollback countdown by Mary King, CNET. 2021-07-09.
  23. What is a TPM? And here's why you need it for Windows 11 by Imad Khan, Tom's Guide. 2021-06-27.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Microsoft is bringing Android apps to Windows 11 by Tom Warren, The Verge. 2021-06-24.
  25. Windows 11 leak reveals new UI, Start menu, and more by Tom Warren, The Verge. 2021-06-15.
  26. Microsoft launches Windows 11: Here's all you need to know by Neeraj Bhateja, TechieTechTech. 2021-06-25.
  27. Live Blog: Microsoft’s Windows 11 event by Tom Warren, Monica Chin, and Dieter Bohn, The Verge. 2021-06-24.
  28. Microsoft reveals the new Microsoft Store for Windows 11, and it has Android apps, too by Sean Hollister, The Verge. 2021-06-24.
  29. Make the switch from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Support. Accessed 2022-03-12.
  30. What is Internet Explorer (IE) mode?, Microsoft Docs. 2022-03-02.
  31. Lifecycle FAQ - Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, Microsoft Docs. 2016-07-18. Updated 2021-11-03.
  32. Internet Explorer on Windows 11 by aqua95, YouTube. 2022-02-22.
  33. Microsoft 365 apps say farewell to Internet Explorer 11 and Windows 10 sunsets Microsoft Edge Legacy, Microsoft 365 Blog. 2021-02-08.
  34. Windows 11 22H2 Update 'Sun Valley 2': everything we know so far by Daryl Baxter, TechRadar. 2022-01-11.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Windows 11 22H2 is almost cooked suggests a leaked internal script for Insiders by Sayan Sen, NeoWin. 2022-01-24.
  36. Microsoft Confirms RTM Build for First Windows 11 Feature Update by Rabia Noureen, Petri. 2022-05-26.
  37. Releasing Windows 11, version 22H2 to the Release Preview Channel by Brandon LeBlanc and Aria Carley, Microsoft. 2022-06-07.
  38. Windows 11, version 22H2 known issues and notifications, Microsoft. 2022-09-22.
  39. Windows 10 22H2 codenamed Copper, no 22H1 update? reveals updated official document by Nayan, WinCentral. 2021-05-28.
  40. Leak suggests Microsoft might slowly be gearing up for Windows 11 23H2 (Sun Valley 3) by Sayan Sen, Neowin. 2023-02-09.
  41. Windows 11 25201 gets new 'Rename this PC' and date/time picker UI, here is how to enable it, by Taras Buria, NeoWin. 2022-09-15.
  42. Windows 11 23403 As The First “New” Insiders In The Dev Channel by Kryzt Bates, GamingDeputy. 2023-03-08.
  43. Microsoft quietly stomps into Windows 11 Zinc development semester by Sayan Sen, Neowin. 2022-12-13.
  44. Microsoft accidentally revealed a UI design prototype for the next version of Windows at Ignite 2022 by Zac Bowden, Windows Central. 2022-10-13.
  45. Microsoft releases Windows 11 Build 23403 on the rebooted Dev Channel by Wayne Williams, BetaNews. 2023-03-08.
  46. 3 things we love in Windows 11 (and 3 things we hate) by Mark Hachman, PCWorld. 2021-10-08.
  47. Windows 11 - The Bits That Look Like A Mac by Barry Collins, Forbes. 2021-06-22.
  48. How to Make Windows 11 Look and Feel Like Windows 10 by Avram Piltch, Tom's Hardware. 2021-07-17.
  49. How to Disable Rounded corners on Windows 11! by SahimTech, YouTube. 2021-12-12.

External links[]

Windows 1.0Windows 2.0Windows 2.1 (Windows/286Windows/386) • Windows 3.0Windows 3.1
Windows 9x
Windows 95Windows 98Windows Me
Windows NT
Early versions
Windows NT 3.1Windows NT 3.5Windows NT 3.51Windows NT 4.0Windows 2000
Windows XP (development) • Windows Vista (editionsdevelopment) • Windows 7 (editionsdevelopment) • Windows 8Windows 10Windows 11
Windows Server
Server 2003Server 2008 (2008 R2) • HPC Server 2008Home ServerSmall Business ServerEssential Business ServerWindows Server 2012Windows Server 2016Windows Server 2019Windows Server 2022
Windows EmbeddedWindows PEWindows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs
Windows MobileWindows Phone
CairoNashvilleNeptuneOdysseyWindows 10X
MetroMidoriOS/2Windows AeroWindows SetupWindows XP themesMicrosoft Plus!