How to Download Windows 11 ISO Using Media Creation Tool

To download the Windows 11 ISO or create a USB setup disk, you can use the Media Creation Tool (MCT). The ISO can be used to do an in-place upgrade or repair install on an existing Windows computer. Whereas the USB setup disk can be used to do an in-place upgrade, repair install on an existing Windows system, or cleanly install Windows 11 on a new PC.

How to Download Windows 11 ISO

Option 1: Using the Media Creation Tool

Visit the Download Windows 11 webpage at Microsoft.com.

Under “Create Windows 11 Installation Media”, click on the “Download now” button.

Media Creation Tool - Windows 11

Or, click on the direct download link for Media Creation Tool for Windows 11.

https://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=2156295

This downloads the Media Creation Tool. For the 23H2 version, the file name will be MediaCreationTool_Win11_23H2.exe.

Run the Media Creation Tool.

Read and accept the license agreement.

Media Creation Tool - Windows 11 - Download ISO

The Media Creation Tool automatically selects the proper ISO for your computer on the next screen. The “Use the recommended options for this PC” will be enabled by default.

This option ensures that the correct ISO (matching your system’s locale) is downloaded. In this case, English (United Kingdom) is selected because it’s the system locale on the computer where MCT was run.

Media Creation Tool - Windows 11 - Download ISO

Note: If you need to download a different language ISO (for another computer), uncheck the “Use the recommended options for this PC” checkbox, select the language from the dropdown list, and click Next.Media Creation Tool - Windows 11 - Download ISO

In the next screen, select the appropriate option. If you need the ISO, choose “ISO file”.

(If you need to create a bootable setup disk and have a USB flash disk inserted on your device, choose “USB flash drive”. Note that the USB flash drive will be erased/formatted, and the setup files will be written. A USB setup disk can be used to do a repair install or a clean install.)

Media Creation Tool - Windows 11 - Download ISO

If you chose the ISO file option, select the destination folder where the ISO will be saved, and mention the file name accordingly — e.g., Win11_23H2_EnglishInternational_x64.ISO, and click Save.

Media Creation Tool - Windows 11 - Download ISO



MCT will start downloading the ISO. Once downloaded, the file will be saved to the chosen folder.

RELATED: Media Creation Tool downloads the consumer editions ISO by default. If you need the Windows 11 Enterprise ISO, please see the article How to Download the Windows 10 or 11 Enterprise Edition ISO.

Option 2: Using the Direct Download Link

Visit the Download Windows 11 webpage at Microsoft.com.

Check out the third option on that page, which is “Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO) for x64 devices”.

Select the OS language, and click Confirm.

Windows 11 - Download ISO

This gives you the direct download link for the ISO, valid for 24 hours, after which the link expires.

You can use the direct download link to download the ISO using your web browser or a 3rd party download manager.


Editor’s note

If you want to download the correct ISO (matching your OS locale) for your computer, use the Media Creation Tool option. The tool automatically selects the right ISO for your system.

It’s essential to download the correct language ISO because if you use the “en-US” ISO to do a repair installation on an “en-GB” system, the “Keep personal files and apps” option will be unavailable.

It would say, “Your files, apps, and settings can’t be kept because you’ve chosen to install Windows 11 using a different language than you’re currently using.”

keep files and settings - grayed out - wrong iso

So, it’s essential to download the correct ISO. Use the Media Creation Tool method if you don’t know your OS locale.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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