How to Dual Boot Windows 11 and Linux: A Step-by-Step Guide

Dual-booting Windows 11 and Linux is a way to have the best of both worlds on one computer. Essentially, you will be able to choose between the two operating systems every time you start your computer. This is perfect for those who need Windows for certain applications but prefer Linux for everything else. Let’s dive into how you can set this up on your own machine.

Step by Step Tutorial to Dual Boot Windows 11 and Linux

Before we jump into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Dual booting allows you to install two operating systems on your computer’s hard drive. When you power on your computer, you’ll be able to choose which operating system to use. It’s like having two computers in one. Now, let’s get started.

Step 1: Check System Requirements

Make sure your computer meets the requirements for both Windows 11 and your chosen Linux distribution.

Before you start, it’s crucial to ensure your computer can handle both operating systems. Windows 11 has specific system requirements, such as a compatible 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. Your chosen Linux distribution will have its requirements, but they are generally less demanding than Windows.

Step 2: Backup Your Data

Backup all the important data on your computer to avoid any loss during the installation process.

Nobody wants to lose their precious files, do they? So, make sure you backup everything important. Whether you use an external hard drive, cloud storage, or another method, don’t skip this step. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Step 3: Create a Windows 11 Bootable USB Drive

Download the Windows 11 ISO file and use a program like Rufus to create a bootable USB drive.

To install Windows 11, you’ll need a bootable USB drive. You can download the ISO file from the official Microsoft website and then use a free tool like Rufus to turn your USB drive into a bootable device.

Step 4: Partition Your Hard Drive

Shrink your hard drive in Windows to create enough space for Linux.

Partitioning your hard drive is like splitting it into different sections. You’ll need to do this to create space for Linux without affecting your Windows installation. You can use the built-in Disk Management tool in Windows to do this.

Step 5: Disable Secure Boot and Fast Startup

Turn off Secure Boot and Fast Startup in your computer’s BIOS or UEFI settings to allow Linux to install properly.

These settings in your computer’s BIOS can prevent Linux from installing correctly. Secure Boot ensures that your computer only uses software that’s trusted by the PC manufacturer. Fast Startup, on the other hand, is a Windows feature that affects how your computer shuts down and starts up.

Step 6: Install Linux

Boot from the Linux installation media and follow the on-screen instructions to install it alongside Windows 11.

With the hard drive partitioned and your BIOS settings adjusted, you’re ready to install Linux. Insert your Linux installation media, which could be a USB drive or a DVD, and restart your computer. You should see instructions on how to install Linux. Be sure to choose the option to install it alongside Windows.

Step 7: Choose a Boot Loader

Select a boot loader, which is a software that allows you to choose between Windows 11 and Linux during startup.

The boot loader is the first software that runs when your computer starts. It’s what gives you the choice between Windows and Linux. GRUB is the most popular boot loader for Linux, and it usually installs automatically with Linux.

Step 8: Restart and Choose Your OS

Restart your computer, and you should now have the option to boot into either Windows 11 or Linux.

After everything is set up, restart your computer. You should now see a menu that lets you choose between Windows 11 and Linux. Congrats, you’ve just set up a dual-boot system!

After completing these steps, you’ll have a dual-boot system running both Windows 11 and Linux. You can choose which operating system to boot into every time you start your computer, enjoying the features and benefits of both.

Tips for Dual Booting Windows 11 and Linux

  • Ensure you have a backup of your Windows 11 activation key in case you need to reinstall it.
  • Check for any firmware updates for your computer before starting the dual-boot process. These updates can improve compatibility and performance.
  • Use a reliable and fast USB drive for creating bootable media, as this can affect the installation process.
  • If you’re new to Linux, choose a user-friendly distribution like Ubuntu or Linux Mint to ease the transition.
  • Always keep both your Windows and Linux systems up to date with the latest updates and patches for security and performance reasons.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Linux distribution?

A Linux distribution is an operating system made from a software collection that is based upon the Linux kernel and, often, a package management system.

Can I access Windows files from Linux?

Yes, most Linux distributions can read and write files from Windows partitions, allowing you to access your Windows files while in Linux.

What should I do if my computer boots directly to Windows without showing the boot menu?

You may need to configure your boot order in the BIOS or UEFI settings to prioritize the boot loader.

Can I remove Linux later if I decide I don’t want it?

Yes, you can remove Linux and restore the space to Windows, but be careful with the partitioning and boot loader settings.

Will dual-booting slow down my computer?

No, dual-booting will not slow down your computer. Each operating system will use the allocated resources when it’s running, and there’s no overlap.


  1. Check system requirements for both Windows 11 and Linux.
  2. Backup your data to prevent any loss.
  3. Create a Windows 11 bootable USB drive.
  4. Partition your hard drive to make space for Linux.
  5. Disable Secure Boot and Fast Startup in your BIOS settings.
  6. Install Linux from the installation media.
  7. Choose a boot loader to switch between operating systems.
  8. Restart and choose between Windows 11 and Linux at boot.


Dual-booting Windows 11 and Linux might seem like a task for tech gurus, but with this guide, even beginners can tackle it. The key is to take it step by step and ensure you don’t rush through the process. Always remember to back up your data and check system requirements before diving in. With a dual-boot system, you’ll enjoy the vast software library of Windows and the speed and customization of Linux.

Whether you’re a software developer, a gamer, or someone who just likes to tinker with their computer, dual-booting gives you more control over your digital life. And hey, if you decide Linux isn’t for you, it’s just as easy to revert back to a Windows-only setup. So, why not give it a try? Who knows, you might just find that Linux offers everything you need and more. Happy computing!

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