How to Install WSL in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Install WSL in Windows 11

Installing WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) in Windows 11 is straightforward. You’ll enable the feature, download a Linux distribution from the Microsoft Store, and then set it up. Follow the steps below to get a Linux environment running on your Windows machine in no time.

How to Install WSL in Windows 11

This section will guide you through installing Windows Subsystem for Linux on Windows 11.

Step 1: Open PowerShell as Admin

First, click on the Start menu, search for "PowerShell," right-click, and select "Run as administrator."

Running PowerShell with admin rights is crucial because you’ll be making system-level changes. If you don’t have admin rights, you won’t be able to complete the installation.

Step 2: Enable WSL Feature

Type wsl --install in PowerShell and press Enter.

The wsl --install command will enable the WSL feature and install the default Linux distribution. This will take a few minutes, so be patient.

Step 3: Restart Your Computer

After the installation completes, restart your computer when prompted.

Restarting ensures that all the changes take effect. Without restarting, WSL might not function properly.

Step 4: Open Microsoft Store

Once your computer restarts, open the Microsoft Store from the Start menu.

The Microsoft Store is where you’ll download your preferred Linux distribution. There are several options available, such as Ubuntu, Debian, and more.

Step 5: Download a Linux Distribution

Search for a Linux distribution like "Ubuntu" in the Microsoft Store, click "Get," and then "Install."

Downloading and installing a Linux distribution will give you access to a fully functional Linux environment on your Windows 11 machine.

Step 6: Set Up Your Linux Environment

After the download completes, launch the Linux distribution and follow the on-screen setup instructions.

You’ll be prompted to create a new user and password. This step customizes your Linux environment to suit your needs.

Once you complete these steps, you’ll have a working Linux environment on your Windows 11 machine. You can now run Linux commands and software as if you were on a native Linux machine.

Tips for Installing WSL in Windows 11

  • Make sure your Windows 11 is updated to the latest version.
  • You can install multiple Linux distributions via the Microsoft Store.
  • Use wsl --list --online to see all available Linux distributions.
  • If you run into issues, use wsl --update to update WSL components.
  • Use wsl --unregister to remove a Linux distribution you no longer need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is WSL?

WSL stands for Windows Subsystem for Linux, a feature that allows you to run a Linux environment on Windows.

Do I need a powerful computer to run WSL?

No, WSL is lightweight and can run on most modern Windows 11 machines with no issues.

Can I run graphical Linux applications with WSL?

Yes, with WSL 2, you can run graphical Linux applications using an X server.

Does WSL support all Linux distributions?

Not all, but you can find many popular ones like Ubuntu and Debian on the Microsoft Store.

Is WSL safe to use?

Yes, WSL is developed by Microsoft in conjunction with Linux kernel developers and is safe to use.


  1. Open PowerShell as Admin.
  2. Enable WSL feature.
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Open Microsoft Store.
  5. Download a Linux distribution.
  6. Set up your Linux environment.


Installing WSL on Windows 11 is a breeze, thanks to Microsoft’s streamlined process. By following the steps outlined, you’ll have a Linux environment running in no time. This setup is perfect for developers, IT professionals, or anyone looking to dabble in Linux without leaving the comfort of Windows.

Remember, keeping your system updated and familiarizing yourself with PowerShell commands can make the installation even smoother. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, why not expand your horizons? Try different Linux distributions, run various software, and see how WSL can enhance your Windows experience. Happy computing!