How to get Windows 11 ISO file with Media Creation Tool

Download Windows 11 ISO
Download Windows 11 ISO (Image credit: Windows Central)

If you want to have a backup of Windows 11 installation files or plan to install the OS on a virtual machine, you need to get the ISO file. An ISO is a file format that stores the contents of a physical disk (CD, DVD, or Blu-ray). Typically, software companies (for example, Microsoft) use this file format as a medium to distribute the apps and tools without the need to make available a physical media, which can be costly, time-consuming, and wasteful.

In the case of Windows 11, you can now download the ISO file with the Media Creation Tool, or you can download the ISO file directly from the Microsoft support website.

In this Windows 11 guide, we will walk you through the simplest methods to download the ISO file of the new OS.

How to download the Windows 11 ISO file with Media Creation Tool

To download the Windows 11 ISO file with the Media Creation Tool, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows 11 download page (opens in new tab).
  2. Under the "Create Windows 11 Installation Media" section, click the Download now button to save the file on the device.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Double-click the MediaCreationToolW11.exe file to launch the tool.
  2. Click the Accept button to agree to the terms.
  3. (Optional) Clear the Use the recommended options for this PC option.
  4. Select the correct language and edition of Windows 11.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the ISO file option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Next button.
  2. Select the location to save the file.
  3. Confirm a name for the image – for example, Windows_11_ISO.
  4. Click the Save button.
  5. Click the Finish button.

Once you complete the steps, the Media Creation Tool will download the files and create the ISO file, which you can then use to install Windows 11 on a virtual machine or mount in File Explorer to upgrade your device.

How to download the Windows 11 ISO file directly

To download the Windows 11 ISO file directly from the Microsoft support website, use these steps:

  1. Open Windows 11 download page (opens in new tab).
  2. Under the "Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO)" section, select the Windows 11 option.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Download button.
  2. Select the ISO language.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Click the Confirm button.
  2. Click the 64-bit Download button.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

After you complete the steps, the Windows ISO will download on your computer.

More Windows resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10 and Windows 11, visit the following resources:d

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

4 Comments
  • Here I'm unable to pass Secure Boot for installation.
  • Clean install? My PC passes the validation with Secure boot disabled, I've never used it. Windows 11 upgraded from Windows 10 with no problems
  • Is anyone able to confirm, if Windows 11 will be activated, after doing a clean install on unsupported hardware that is activated with windows 10 license?
  • I wouldn't bother installing it on unsupported gear. It doesn't get updates so you'll be stuck on older versions and have to continue force update stuff.