These days, Microsoft’s phased rollout of Windows 11 is going strong, which means your Windows 10 PC could receive an upgrade invitation at any time. When that day comes, you’ll have to make a decision: Do you go for the upgrade or do you stick with Windows 10?
The good news is that you won’t be forced to migrate to Windows 11. For now, at least, the upgrade requires you to approve the installation by clicking a button as shown here.
If you’re not ready to upgrade, all you have to do is click “Still using Windows 10 now”. That action will hide the upgrade option and remove the associated notification icon from the taskbar.
If you’re ready to upgrade, you can kick things off by clicking the big Download and Install button. Before you do that, however, consider what might happen.
Your hardware may not support Windows 11
If your PC is brand new, it may already have Windows 11 pre-installed. If that’s the case, you have the option to downgrade to Windows 10, but I don’t recommend doing so. Most people would do well to stick with the operating system, hardware drivers, and utility software their PC was designed to use.
For older PCs, the story is complicated by the hardware requirements for Windows 11. It’s not just technical. The biggest hurdle is the CPU compatibility requirement, which rules out most PCs designed before 2019. If your PC has a 7th Gen Intel CPU (or earlier), its CPU doesn’t. is supported, which means you won’t be offered the upgrade at all.
On those older PCs, you still have a chance to switch to Windows 11, but you’ll have to do so the hard way, by downloading the setup files, doing a clean install, then restoring the programs. your process and data. (For details, see my Windows 11 FAQ: Our Upgrade Guide and everything else you need to know, under the heading “What if my system doesn’t respond?” minimum system requirements?”)
You may lose the features you rely on
Some people like the way Windows 10 works. I mean, they really, really, really loved it, and they were concerned that some aspect of the user experience had changed in Windows 11.
For example, you can dock the Windows 10 taskbar at the top of the screen or on the sides, but the Windows 11 version is limited to the bottom of the screen. The upgrade also removes the ability to drag a file or application icon to the taskbar and pin it as a shortcut, and organizes Start menu shortcuts into folders.
There’s a long list of features that have been removed or deprecated in Windows 11. If anything on that list is a must-have for you, consider deferring the upgrade.
Of course, this element also works in reverse. Do you use the dock with your laptop? Do you use multiple monitors? If so, the changes in Windows 11 are a significant improvement over the equivalent Windows 10, and the upgrade will likely be a positive improvement for you.
Your critical hardware and software may not be compatible
Since Windows 11 is essentially a feature upgrade to Windows 10, most Windows 10-compatible devices and apps will work after the upgrade. But “most” doesn’t mean “all,” and you won’t be able to get any work done while undoing your upgrade and restoring your system to a previous operating system.
Just to be clear, the best time to evaluate compatibility is before you upgrade. For hardware devices, that means installing Windows 11 on a separate device (or on a new partition on your primary device) and confirming that it’s working properly. For software and services, compatibility testing can often be performed using a virtual machine. (For details, see “How to Create the Perfect Windows 11 Virtual Machine.”)
If you run into compatibility issues after an upgrade, rolling back to Windows 10 is always an option, but your best bet is to avoid that by thoroughly testing first.
You may get nasty errors
A certain degree of instability is inevitable with a brand new operating system. Despite the fact that the previews of Windows 11 are tested by a large number of people as part of the Windows Insider Program, there is simply no way that such tests can include a large number of people. virtually limitless hardware and software variations in the vast Windows ecosystem.
The model is predictable. After the major upgrade, Microsoft recorded an initial wave of bugs, which were patched in turn as part of the security and reliability updates offered on the second Tuesday of each month. Most of those errors are merely annoying, but some are real productivity killers.
If you are concerned that a still fresh upgrade will have a negative impact on your workflow, the first thing to do is to monitor the list of known issues on the Windows 11 Release History dashboard That list includes detailed descriptions of errors and compatibility issues and is updated when the problem is resolved or an alternative is available.
If you want to delay resolving those issues, consider waiting until Windows 11 matures a bit. Under the new annual update schedule, the first major feature upgrade to Windows 11 will arrive in October 2022. That update will be the equivalent of what the olds called Service Pack 1. If you wait until a few months after that release, you have a great chance of avoiding all the problems that early adopters had.