How to download installation files for Windows

Where to download the installation files, disk or ISO of Windows 11 and Windows 10 from the Microsoft website, legally and for free

every version of windows Until recently, Microsoft prevented downloading the Windows installation disc at all costs. To obtain a copy of the CD or DVD it was therefore necessary to turn to external sites or torrent networks, often risking downloading the wrong version or, worse, some malicious program. Luckily today things have changed and it is possible to download a copy of Windows from the Microsoft website, legally and for free.

To download Windows 10 and Windows 11 we can use the ISOs and installation programs provided by Microsoft itself, without having to search the Internet for ISOs from disreputable sites or unknown sources (such as torrents). Remember that the installation disc or Windows ISO is not only used to install the system, but also to repair errors in an existing installation.

READ ALSO: On how many computers can I install Windows?

To get an original copy of Windows you can open the site e choose the version that you want to download: Windows 11, Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 (there would still be Windows 7, but support has ended and the official links have been removed).

1) Download Windows 11

Windows 11 can be downloaded directly from the specific page on the Microsoft website, simply by choosing the current version.

To proceed we open the download site for Windows 11we scroll down the page to the section Windows 11 disk image (ISO) downloadwe press on the drop-down window Select downloadwe choose the only item present (i.e Windows 11 (multi-edition ISO)) and press the button Download.

This will unlock the new section of the site, where you can choose the ISO language (in our case Italian) and press on He confirms; then just press on 64-bit Download to start the actual download of the operating system ISO image.

The download speed depends on the line used; the updated Windows 11 ISO image weighs more than 6GBwith the download proceeding quickly only if we have a FTTH line: approximately one minute at 1000 Mbps, approximately 4 minutes at 200 Mbps, approximately 16 minutes at 50 Mbps, and approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes at 10 Mbps.

2) Download Windows 10

For Windows 10 there is no direct link to the Microsoft ISO; for this specific version of the operating system the Redmond company has decided to force all users to >use the Media Creation Tool to download the ISO to your PC or to create a USB stick or optical disc (the latter two for recovery or clean installation, as we will see in the next chapter).

To download the Windows 10 ISO let’s go to Windows 10 download site and press the button Download the tool nowso as to start the download of the Media Creation Tool.

To start downloading the Windows 10 ISO, open the file MediaCreationToolXXXX.exewe accept the license terms, press on Create installation media and, as soon as we reach the version choice screen, we confirm the version of Windows suitable for our PC (the basic settings should be fine everywhere).

In the last screen we check the item File ISO, choose the destination folder and file name and confirm to start the actual download. Exactly as seen previously, the download time will depend only on the speed of the Internet connection in use.

In another article, we saw the all the ways to download Windows 10.

3) Create Windows installation media

Il Media Creation Tool We can create installation media for Windows 11 and Windows 10, which is really useful for those who want to install Windows on new PCs or restore Windows on computers on which nothing anymore works.

For this purpose, let’s immediately connect a USB stick (at least 8 GB) to the PC (to be used for media creation operations), go to the specific download site for Windows 11 or Windows 10 (reading the previous chapters) and get the Media Creation Tool suitable for the version of Windows to be used.

The download will begin Media Creation Tool dedicated; at the end of the download, go to the destination folder of the downloaded files (by pressing WIN+E on the keyboard and looking for the folder Download) and double-click on the file MediaCreationToolXXXX.exe (per Windows 10) o MediaCreationTool_XXXX_XXXX.exe (per Windows 11).

In the window that opens we accept the license terms, select Create installation media (if present), confirm the version of Windows to be installed and, in the screen that appears, press on USB flash drive and we confirm the key present inside the PC as the final destination for the ISO.

Confirming the last steps will start the download of the Windows ISO and installation on the stick. At the end of the operation we can remove the stick and use it as a recovery disk. The procedure is identical for both Windows 11 and Windows 10, effectively having the same Media Creation Tool but with different file sources.

To learn more we can read the guide How to Reset Windows 11 (Clean Install).


Downloading Windows 11 and Windows 10 ISOs it is possible using the tools provided directly from Microsoftcapable of both downloading the Windows ISO image and creating installation USB sticks on the fly.

If we download the ISO image we can subsequently create new USB sticks using a program like Rufuswhich we talked about in the ai guide programs to burn ISO to USB.

To learn more we can read our guides on how to create Windows 11 USB stick come on How to fix Windows 11 installation problems.

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