How to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Windows 11 on the Same Computer

How to Dual Boot Windows 10 and Windows 11 on the Same Computer

If you’ve seen Microsoft  ‘s Windows 11  announcement, you might want to try new features. Yes, this new version of Windows comes with many interesting changes. It has a brand new visual design and Snap Layouts, multi-monitor enhancements, and   lots of new features that you can try right away. But trying new operating systems comes with risks. Therefore, you may not want to completely replace Windows 10 on your computer. In this post, I’ll show you how to dual boot Windows 11 in addition to your existing Windows 10 installation.

To be able to do this boot, first of all;

  • You will need  a computer or one of the computers that meets the Windows 11 system requirements  . 
  • You must also have an external USB flash drive to use as installation media for your new copy of Windows. 
  • To install Windows 11, you must have enough free space on your hard drive.
  • Before you begin, you need to back up your data. No damage should be done to your files in this process, it’s always good to be safe.

Creating Windows Installation Media

First, you must create installation media for Windows 10 or 11. To do this, you must first download Windows 10 or 11 using one of the following options:

I recommend the first one, because it significantly simplifies the process. If you have your flash drive at hand while using the Media Creation Tool, you can immediately create bootable and installation media. You can read about how to install Windows 10 on a new computer here .

I would also like to remind you that your flash drive will be erased during the process, so backup all your data.

Did you use the Media Creation Tool without a flash drive or did you choose one of the other options to download Windows? Then you will need a tool like Rufus. This program will take the ISO file you downloaded and flash it to your USB drive and convert it to installation media. Here’s how to do this:

  • Download Rufus  from its official website.
  • Run the program and insert your flash drive into your PC. Be sure to back up all data on the flash drive as it will be deleted in the process. Best to remove other USB drives to avoid accidentally selecting them and deleting them.
  • Click Select  under   Boot selection and  locate the ISO file you downloaded earlier. The remaining fields will automatically change to match.

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  • Click Start and then   OK , then the process will start. Wait for it to finish and your flash drive will be ready to be used as installation media.

Creating a Partition to Dual Boot Windows 10 and 11

In the next step, you need to create a second partition on your drive for Windows 11. Partitions are like virtual partitions of a hard drive marked as different disks. For general use, partitions don’t do much, but you need them for dual booting. To create partitions:

  • Right click on the start menu icon (or press Windows key + X on your keyboard) and select  Disk Management . You will see a list of your drives and partitions as below. Ignore small partitions that are only a few MB in size. These are system partitions required for Windows to run and are not intended to be modified. Focus on the biggest part.

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  • To create a new partition, you need to shrink the partition you already have. Right click on your primary partition and  select Shrink Volume ….
  • Specify the amount of space you want to remove from the partition. This will be limited to the files you already store on it, and the amount you enter will be the space you have for your Windows 11 installation. It should be at least 64GB. Because that’s the minimum requirement for Windows 11, but you can go as high as you want. Make sure you have enough space on both Windows 10 and Windows 11 partitions.
  • The space you selected will be dropped from your partition and will be listed as unallocated space in the Disk Management window. You can leave it as is and close the window.

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Install Windows 11 on Your Second Partition for Dual Boot

In Windows 10 and 11 dual boot, your next step will be to install Windows on your second partition. I will assume you are using a Windows 10 ISO when doing this. However, if you have the Windows 11 ISO, the process is still similar. If you removed the USB installation media from your computer, reinsert it (remove other flash drives), then follow these steps:

  • Open the start menu  and while holding down the Shift key  on your keyboard, click the power button and Restart .
    • Alternatively, open the Settings app and  go to Update & Security  . Then  select Recovery and select Restart Now next to   Advanced Startup . 
  • You will be presented with a number of boot options.  Click Use a Device , then select the USB flash drive you inserted. Your computer will boot from here.

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  • You will now be in the normal Windows 10 installation as if you were setting up a new PC. Choose your language and region settings. Default settings are ok, you can click Next . Click Install Now on the next page  .
  • Enter a product key if you have it. You can choose to skip this for now, but you’ll need it later.
  • Select the version of Windows 10 you want to install. You must select a version that matches the product key you are using.

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  • Accept the license agreement and then select Install Windows only (Advanced).
  • Above you will see all the partitions found in Disk Management and the unallocated space you created. Select the unallocated space and click New , then   Apply . A partition will be created in the unallocated space.
  • Select the new partition and  click Next to start the installation   .

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At this point your computer will restart and you will see the option to choose an operating system.

You will now see this screen when you start your computer, so you can choose which operating system you want to use. Your two boot options will likely look similar, as both are still labeled as Windows 10.

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However, it will be labeled with a higher volume number under your new installation. Therefore, you must select this to complete the installation. Then follow the steps below to download Windows 11.

  • Install Windows 10 as you would on a new computer. Follow the onscreen instructions to configure it the way you want until you get to the Windows 10 desktop.
  • While on the desktop, open the Start menu and then Settings .
  • Select the Update & Security section. LI_CLOSE , Windows Insider Program From the left side menu.
  • Click Get started and then   Link an account . At this point, you need to sign in with a Microsoft account to join the Insider program.
  • Next, you must select the Windows Insider channel you want to join. Windows 11 is only available on the Development Channel for now, so this is the option you should choose. Click Confirm twice  , then click Restart Now to complete your PC setup for the Insider program  .

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Once your computer restarts, you can download Windows 11 using Windows Update. Open the Settings app and  go to Update & Security .

Click on Check for Updates  and it should start downloading Windows 11. At the same time, you can see other updates.

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When the download and installation of the update is complete, restart your computer to complete the installation.

From now on, you will always have the option to choose between Windows 10 and Windows 11 when booting. But after a few seconds it will boot to the option you last used. You may have other updates after upgrading your operating system to Windows 11, so it’s always a good idea to check back. 

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