Microsoft has announced its newest version of the Windows operating system- Windows 11. Windows 11 ships with a whole bunch of new features, including a fresh Start, redesigned taskbar, revamped File Explorer, and new Settings.
Windows 11 is a free upgrade to existing Windows 10 users, provided that 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 that we have been receiving since the announcement of Windows 11. To begin with, Windows 11 is offered only in the 64-bit flavor. As a result, users running 64-bit Windows 10 can easily upgrade to Windows 11 64-bit without losing data and installed programs.
However, one cannot upgrade a 32-bit Windows 10 installation to 64-bit Windows 11, as an in-place upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit is not supported.
This is not new to Windows 11. In fact, even Windows 10 does not support a direct upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit. However, note that Windows 11 does support your 32-bit applications.
How to upgrade from 32-bit Windows 10 to Windows 11 64-bit?
If you are keen to upgrade from Windows 10 32-bit to Windows 11, then you have no option but to perform a clean install of Windows 11. Needless to say that a clean install means that you cannot keep your installed programs and data (which you can back up before upgrading). Here is how you do it.
Step 1: First of all, on your Windows 10 PC, navigate to Settings > Windows & Security > Activation page to make sure that your Windows 10 copy is activated.
Step 2: If you are using a local account to sign into Windows 10, we recommend you sign in with a Microsoft account so that you can link your Windows 10 license to your Microsoft account. This is not absolutely necessary but helps if your Windows 11 fails to get activated after you perform a clean install.
Step 3: When you clean install Windows 11 by removing Windows 10, your data and installed programs will be erased. So, it is important to back up your data to a different partition, external drive, or cloud storage service.
Step 4: On your Windows 10 PC, use the Media Creation Tool to download and prepare Windows 11 bootable USB.
Step 5: Boot from the Windows 11 bootable USB, erase your Windows 10 drive and install Windows 11. Once installed, navigate to Settings > System > Activation page and then click on the Activation state to check if your Windows 11 copy is activated.