Easy way to Dual Boot Windows 11 and Windows 7
Windows 11 is released in 2021 as a successor of Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. It is officially announced by Microsoft that Windows 10 will be no longer supported after October 14, 2025. Like me, there are many who will move directly from Windows 7 to Windows 11, to check what will be using Windows 11 in the future, use this method for using both Windows OS without data loss.
You are familiar with dual booting and why should you perform dual boot on your machine. Without wasting any more time, let’s dual boot Windows 11 & Windows 7. You will dual boot using the methods given below.
Requirement to dual boot Windows 11 and 7
For dual-booting both Windows 11 and Windows 7, you will need to have the following specs:
CPU: for CPU, you will need at least 1 GHz of a processor with 2 cores. Your machine should support 64-bit systems as Windows 11 doesn’t support 32-bit systems.
Memory: at least 4 GB of RAM memory or more is required.
Security Modules: your machine should be TPM (Trusted Platform Module v2.0) and also has UEFI firmware support. It is a compulsory section and can’t be ignored. Even though there are ways to bypass TMP during Windows 11, still I would recommend you to have the feature.
Graphics: as for graphics, you will need DirectX 12 with WDDM 2.0 drivers and your system should support 720p.
How to Dual Boot Windows 11 & Windows 7
Before we start the procedure, make sure you complete the perquisites given below. As they are quite necessary for performing the procedures and to keep your data safe.
Perquisites for dual booting Windows OS
- Make sure you have a USB pen drive of at least 16 GB of storage. Backup all the files on the USB as during the installation the data will be removed.
- Download Windows 7 ISO file (if you have installed Windows 11 on your machine already) or download Windows 11 ISO file (if you have Windows 7 on your machine).
- It recommended to have 500 GB of storage on your system. as during the dual booting, we will give 250 GB each to Windows OSes. Storage less than 250 GB will be difficult to handle, as applications will cover the storage quickly.
Method 1 of Dual booting Windows 11 and Windows 7
This method is for users who have already installed Windows 11 on their machine and want to perform dual boot. For this method, we are going to use Windows 7 ISO file.
Partition for Windows 7
Start the operation of dual-booting both windows by going to Disk Management in Windows 11. There you will select the C: drive or any drive that has Windows system files in it.
Now right click on the disk and select the Shrink Volume option. A pop-up will appear; insert the amount of storage you want to shrink. Here you will need to provide the disk with at least 50+ GB of storage.
Once the amount is inserted, click on the Shrink button. When the shrinking got completed, you will find a new unallocated space on your screen.
Select this unallocated space and right-click; select the Create a new disk option and the new disk will be created. You can name this disk whatever you want with the drive letter that you want.
Note: if you have an extra drive that you are not using then you can use that too. instead of shrinking the C: drive use the other drive.
Create a bootable USB of Windows 7
You will create a bootable USB of Windows 7 that will be used for installation later. For this purpose, you can use third-party applications as Rufus which can be downloaded from GitHub.
Run the application and select your USB drive. Then select the ISO file of Windows 7 and start burning the USB. Once the bootable USB is created then you will continue to the next step.
Perform the installation of Windows 7
Here you will restart your system while your USB is attached. When your system starts, you will press the F12 key to enter the BIOS. In the BIOS, you are going to change the boot sequence. Make sure you have made USB a priority and then the other options. Save the changes and exit BIOS.
Now, click one of the keys on your keyboard to boot the USB. you will be asked to Press Any Key for booting USB.
You are in Windows 7 setup window. From now on you will perform Windows 7 installation on your system. There will be no changes while performing the installation of Windows 7, except you will select the new disk that you have created for the installation.
During the partition phase, you will select the new disk for installing Windows 7.
Method 2 of Dual booting Windows OS
This will be for users who have Windows 7 on their system and wants to install Windows 11 for dual booting.
Partition for Windows 11
We will start the procedure by creating a new partition for Windows 11. You find the option in Disk Management.
Open Disk Management and select the drive with Windows system files in it. Then you will right-click on it to select the Shrink Volume option.
Insert the amount of storage that you want to shrink and click on the Shrink button. You will find unallocated space on the screen when the shrinking got completed.
Now right-click on the unallocated storage and select the New Simple Volume option. Make sure, your new disk is at least 100+ GB of storage and start creating a new disk.
Download Windows 11 ISO file and make it bootable
For now, only beta versions of Windows 11 are available by Developer Preview. However; you will need to download the Media Creation tool for downloading Windows 11 in the future. For users with the beta, they will use third-party applications as Rufus to burn the ISO on a USB.
Users with the Media Creation tool, won’t need third-party applications. As the option is available inside the Media Creation tool. In Media Creation Tool, you will find Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC option. Then you will select the USB that you want to burn the ISO file on and the procedure will begin.
Booting sequence and installation of Windows 11
Once the ISO file of Windows 11 is fully burned, then you will restart your system. Go to BIOS and change the boot sequence; USB as a primary option. Before you exit the BIOS, make sure you have also enabled secure boot and TPM options.
Like I mentioned before, these features are a must for installing Windows 11. Without enabling the feature, you will experience the This PC doesn’t currently meet Windows 11 system requirement error. Now save changes and exit the BIOS.
Boot your USB and you are placed in Windows 11 setup window. Perform the installation of Windows 11 on your system. there will be no changes except that you will select the newly created disk in the partition section for your Windows 11 installation.
How to set default any OS in dual boot Windows 11 & Windows 7?
When you have performed successfully dual boot Windows 11 & Windows 7 then you might get a change of heart on either which of the OS should be primary.
Even though on each restart you will be asked to choose between Windows 11 and Windows 7, still for those who want to make any of them as default. Start the procedure by typing “msconfig” on RUN.
You are now placed in the System Configuration window. Select the Boot section on the top and you will find boot loaders there. Each of them will have clear names, so you won’t get confused.
In the boot loader section, select one of them and click on the Set as default. Then click on Apply and then on OK.
I have tried dual-booting different scenarios as How to Dual Boot macOS Big Sur and Windows 10 on PC?, How to Dual Boot Ubuntu & Windows 10?, and Install Windows 10 on macOS Big Sur using Boot Camp.