Windows 11 Logo with Wallpaper

Microsoft is moving full steam ahead on Windows 11. A month after its first “dev” release, Windows 11 is now available in beta form as of July 29, 2021. If you want to try Windows 11 but were intimidated by the dev channel warnings, now might be the time.

This beta is still unstable software. Windows 11 won’t be stable until its official release, which is planned for late 2021. However, the beta builds will get fewer updates than the “dev” builds. Many bugs should be worked out and fixed in the “dev” channel before builds hit the beta channel.

The first beta release is identical to Windows 11 Insider Preview build 22000.100, which people running dev builds of Windows 11 have been using for a week.

We’ve been running this build on multiple machines and it’s been pretty stable. In fact, we haven’t seen a single blue screen since upgrading multiple PCs to Windows 11. It’s solid overall, although we do run into occasional little interface bugs with Windows 11’s new interface.

We don’t recommend upgrading your daily-driver or mission-critical PC to Windows 11 just yet. However, if you’re interested in seeing what’s new and you have a spare PC available, you might want to try installing the beta builds of Windows 11. You can get it from the Windows Insider Program screen in Windows 10’s Settings app.

Here’s how to install preview builds of Windows 11.

The only problem installing Windows 11 on a spare PC is that Windows 11 has strict hardware requirements. Even if you have an old PC laying around, Windows 11 may not support its hardware if it’s a few years old.

RELATED: Why Doesn't Windows 11 Support My CPU?

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »