What you need to know
- Windows 11 digital licenses are now available through the Microsoft Store.
- Windows 11 Home costs $139, while Windows 11 Pro costs $200.
- Performing a clean install of Windows 11 will still require a USB drive, but the digital license will be emailed to you immediately after purchase.
Windows 11 has been out for almost a year, but Microsoft only recently added digital licenses for it to the Microsoft Store. Now, people can purchase a digital license of Windows 11 Home ($139) or Windows 11 Pro ($200). Licenses for Windows 11 were already available on USB drives, but now PC owners have the option to purchase digital ones.
Microsoft's latest operating system is available as a free upgrade from Windows 10, but many people need to purchase new licenses for Windows. For example, anyone building their own PC or wanting to use a virtual machine will have to pick one up.
Microsoft highlights that the digital licenses are intended for PCs that need a new license and that meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11. People with PCs that cannot upgrade to Windows 11 from Windows 10 won't be able to use a digital license as a way around the restriction.
If you purchase a digital license, you'll still need a USB drive to perform a clean install, which is the best way to get Windows 11 onto a PC. Our guide on how to do a clean installation of Windows 11 can help you get started once you order a digital license of the operating system.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.