Windows 10 Upgrading and House Cleaning at the Same Time


New Member
I have a 8yo Dell Optiplex 9020 with a new Samsung SSD 870 EVO HD. Win10 and all the apps are running fine. I would like to install Win 11 and maintain all the apps. The trick is I need to wipe the remnants of an old local company that set the computer up for me. They're gone, I don't have knowledge of what all they put on to "support" the machine. I don't have admin privileges for the install (I don't think). In the old, old days I built my own machines and did the awful win-installs requiring software reinstalls each time. Prayed with each upgrade there'd be no BSOD. So I can do an install, even repartition if need be. The question is ........... is it possible to do a install/reinstall/update to windows 10 to 11 without having to re-install all the apps? Thanks in advance for your guidance.
Upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 can be done without reinstalling all your apps, as long as the apps are compatible with the new operating system. Here are the steps you can take to upgrade while maintaining your apps:

1. Make sure your current Windows 10 installation is up to date with all the latest updates and patches. This is important to ensure a smooth upgrade process.

2. Check the system requirements for Windows 11 to confirm that your Dell Optiplex 9020 meets them. Some older hardware may not be compatible with Windows 11, so it's crucial to verify this beforehand.

3. Download the Windows 11 installation media from the official Microsoft website. You can create a bootable USB drive or use the ISO file to start the installation process.

4. Before proceeding with the upgrade, it's recommended to back up all your important files and data to an external storage device. Although the upgrade process typically preserves your files, it's always wise to have a backup in case of any unforeseen issues.

5. Once you have the installation media, insert the USB drive or mount the ISO file and launch the setup. Follow the on-screen instructions to begin the upgrade process.

6. During the upgrade, Windows will check for compatibility issues with your apps and inform you if any of them need to be uninstalled. In most cases, compatible apps should be migrated seamlessly to the new operating system without requiring a reinstallation.

7. After the upgrade is complete, you can verify if all your apps are working properly. In some cases, you may need to reinstall certain apps that are not compatible with Windows 11 or update them to the latest versions.

It's worth noting that certain apps may require special configurations or licenses that need to be reconfigured or reactivated after the upgrade. Make sure to keep any necessary product keys or activation information handy.

Furthermore, regarding the remnants of the old local company's setup, it's difficult to determine exactly what they may have installed without further information. If you're concerned about potential leftover software or settings that could interfere with your system or pose a security risk, you can consider performing a clean installation of Windows 11. This would involve wiping the entire hard drive and starting fresh. However, it will also require reinstalling all your apps. Make sure to back up any data you want to keep before proceeding with a clean installation.

Overall, upgrading to Windows 11 while maintaining your apps is possible but it's important to perform a backup and ensure compatibility before proceeding.
it is [sometimes] possible depending on the apps... many W10 apps just don't run in W11

however you are always better to do a fresh install and imo W11 isn't ready yet but whatever floats your boat