How to legally download a Windows 11 ISO


There are many ways to download a Windows 11 ISO, and all of them are completely legal.


Getting a legitimate Windows 10 ISO used to be quite tricky, and Microsoft apparently learned its lesson with Windows 11. If you need the ISO for installation or repair purposes, it’s very easy to download Windows 11 legally and quickly. You can download an ISO image directly from the Microsoft website, through the Media Creation Tool, or through a third-party downloader.

Here we show the three ways to download a Windows 11 ISO, whether you want to upgrade your PC or create a bootable drive.

download windows 11 iso directly without media creation tool

Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool makes it easy to download Windows 11 ISO. However, this is a Windows-only tool, so you cannot use it to create a bootable Windows 11 USB on Mac or Linux. Also, it involves downloading a separate tool and additional steps that you can avoid by directly downloading the ISO from Microsoft’s website.

To download Windows 11 ISO without Media Creation Tool:

  1. Go to the Windows 11 ISO Download Page. The page lists several options for installing or creating Windows 11 installation media.
  2. Scroll to Download Windows 11 Disc Image (ISO) section.
  3. Click it Select Download drop down and select Windows 11 (multi-edition ISO).
  4. Click it To download button to continue. The download page will load additional options.
  5. Click it Choose one drop down under Select protection language section and select your preferred language.
  6. Click on To confirm Carry on.
  7. Then click on the 64 bit download button and your ISO file will start downloading. The ISO image is around 5.2 GB in size, so depending on your internet speed, it may take a while to download.


Related: Learn how to improve your internet speed with these tricks

2. How to download a Windows 11 ISO with Rufus

Rufus is a Windows utility for formatting and creating bootable USB drives. However, a lesser known feature of Rufus is its download feature. You can use the tool to download Windows 11 and earlier versions of the operating system. Follow the steps below to download Windows 11 ISO using Rufus.

  1. Go to the Rufus website.
  2. Scroll to To download section. Then click on the Rufus Link to download the executable.
  3. Run it Rufus file to launch the tool. Click on Yes if you are invited User Account Control.
  4. In the Rufus window, click on the drop-down menu to Boot Selection and choose Select Disc or ISO Image (Please select).
  5. Click the drop-down button next to TO SELECT button and choose To download.
    Rufus download boot selection
  6. Then click on the To download button and wait for it Download ISO Image pop-up window to appear.
    rufus click download Windows 11 ISO
  7. In the new window, click on the drop-down menu and select Windows 11 for Version.
  8. Click on Continue and wait for the next option to appear.
  9. Click it To free drop down and select the latest version and click Continue.
  10. Then select Windows 11 Home/Pro/Edu in the Editing scrolling menu.
  11. Next, select your preferred language and click Continue.
    rufus download windows 11 iso image
  12. To select x64 as the Architecture and click To download. If you want to download the ISO using a browser, check the appropriate option and click To download.
  13. Choose a download location on your hard drive and click To safeguard.

That’s it. Rufus will start downloading the Windows 11 ISO file to your PC. You can view the progress in the Status section.

medai creation tool choose iso file

Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool is a versatile utility. You can use it to create a bootable USB or DVD as well as download a single ISO file to your hard drive. Follow these steps to download Windows 11 ISO using Media Creation Tool:

  1. Open the Microsoft Windows 11 download page.
  2. Click it Download now button under Create Windows 11 installation media to download the installation file.
  3. Run it MediaCreationToolW11.exe file and click Yes at the UAC prompt.
  4. In the To install window, click I accept accept the terms.
  5. Check the selected language and edition. To change the option, uncheck Use the recommended options for this PC then make your selection.
  6. Click on Following Carry on.
  7. In the Choose the media to use window, select ISO file.
  8. Click on Following.
  9. Select the download location and save it ISO to file. Make sure to choose a partition with sufficient storage space and click To safeguard.

Related: How to free up disk space after upgrading to Windows 11

Your PC will now download the Media Creation Tool. After the download is complete, you can use the ISO to run the setup to upgrade or install Windows 11 in a virtual machine.

The many ways to download a Windows 11 ISO on your PC

ISO images are handy because you can use them to install Windows on a new or used PC, set up a virtual machine, install it on your Mac, or even troubleshoot your computer. Once you have the ISO image ready, create a bootable USB drive to cleanly install the operating system or mount it to upgrade on compatible PCs.

create bootable usb windows 11
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