How to dual boot Windows 10 and Windows 11

Kevin Okemwa

windows 11 laptop

The essence of a dual-boot system is that it allows users to install Windows 11 on a Windows 10 PC without necessarily uninstalling the current OS on the device.

This allows users to test out the new OS which is important in decision making, as the user will be able to evaluate whether it will be sustainable for them. Essentially, dual-booting allows users to experience old and new OS versions at the same time on the same device.

With that said, it is important to ensure that your device meets the system requirements to install Windows 11. An ISO image and enough storage space are also essential requirements for this process. Users also need to have a valid license for both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

This process also calls for a Microsoft Account, in this case, two separate Microsoft Accounts. You can also choose to use one account, but this may create a bit of confusion when trying to download and set up applications. A Microsoft Account must be used when setting up Windows 11 on a device.

How to Dual-Boot Windows 10 and Windows 11

Users can install Windows 11 by either running the setup.exe file directly from the Windows Source folder or use a bootable flash drive if available.

Shrink your Partition

Users need to shrink the current partition so as to create a new one that will have enough space to harbor the Windows 11 OS.

  1. Press the Windows and R keys at the same time to open the Run dialog.
  2. Then, type diskmgmt.msc and click OK to open the Disk Management tool.
  3. Right-click on the volume with the most space and select Shrink Volume.
  4. Then, enter the amount of space to shrink in the dialog box that appears and click on the Shrink button.Windows 11

Create a new volume

  1. Right-click on the Unallocated space and select the New Simple Volume option.
  2. Click on Next in the wizard window that appears. Then, allocate space for the new volume, one that is sufficient to install Windows 11, and click on Next.
  3. Then, select the Assign the following drive letter option and click Next.
  4. Select Format this volume with the following settings and set File System to NTFS, Allocation unit size to Default, and Volume Label to Windows 11.Dual boot WIndows 11
  5. Make sure you check the Perform a quick format option and click on Finish to conclude the process.

Turn off fast startup and Bitlocker encryption

You will then be required to turn off both Fast Startup and Bitlocker encryption in your Windows 10 device. This is important as it will allow you to access your device’s BIOS which then allows you to boot it up between Windows 10 and Windows 11.

  1. Search for Power in the Start Menu and select Power and Sleep Settings.
  2. Scroll down to Additional Power Settings and select the choose what the power button does option.
  3. Then, click on Change settings and set Fast startup to off.turn off Fast startup
  4. Finally, click on Save Changes.

You will also be required to turn off the Bitlocker in Windows 10. Simply, search for Bitlocker in the Start Menu, then select Manage Bitlocker. Finally, turn off the device’s encryption.

Boot your device from your Windows 11 Bootable drive

  1. Turn off your device and connect your Windows 11 bootable USB flash drive.
  2. Then, restart the device while pressing the F12 key which will allow you to enter the Boot menu. (this key may vary depending on the type of device you are using)

Install Windows 11

  1. Set your Windows 11 bootable drive as the boot device in Boot USB Flash drive
  2. Then, select your language and other preferences and click OK.
  3. Click on Install Now and accept the set terms of the license.
  4. Then, select the Custom: Install Windows only option.
  5. Select the Unallocated space partition in the Where do you want to install Windows screen, and click on Next.

Finally, the installation process will begin. Make sure you follow through with the on-screen prompts to complete the Windows 11 installation and setup process. Once complete, it will be automatically set as your default operating system.

Windows 10 and Windows 11

You will be required to select which OS you want to use each time you boot up your device.  It is also important to ensure that Fast Startup is disabled, this will help prevent the Windows 10 install from being deactivated. If it gets deactivated, this means that your experience with the OS will be limited to only a few features.