To download Linux Mint, go here. The file will be downloaded to your computer.
After it finished, download Etcher here.
Install Etcher like you would install any other software. This is also the time to say goodbye to Windows Installer!
Plug in a USB flash of at least 4 GB in your computer.
Under Select image, navigate to the file you downloaded (the Linux Mint one).
Under Select drive, select the USB flash drive you plugged in.
Wait for the flash to complete.
Restart your computer.
If it boots into Windows, try restarting again, this time holding down the F1, F2, F10, F11 or F12 key, depending on your PC manufacturer.
Change your "boot order" to put the flash drive at the top. You might need to look it up online.
If you see a black screen with a menu, go to the next step.
You should see a menu like this:
The menu may differ, but as long as it says Linux Mint somewhere it is okay.
Either wait 10 seconds or press Enter to boot.
When booted, you should see a desktop.
It may look usable, but changes made are temporary. Double-click the Install Linux Mint icon on the desktop to open the installer.
Select your language.
Set the keyboard layout. You can add more after the system is installed.
If you have Wi-Fi, connect to the internet. I did this on a virtual machine on a desktop computer so I don't have Wi-Fi. Tick the box to install multimedia codecs. Choose the installation type. If you had Windows installed already, you should see three options: Erase the disk and install Linux Mint, Install Linux Mint alongside Windows 7/10/11 and Something else. Choose the first one to wipe the entire computer, or the second one to keep both OSes. Click Install Now. You should see this confirmation. Click Continue. Select a city to set time, date and region settings. I chose Bucharest because I live in Romania. Fill in this form with your username, password, and other info. A filled in form. Linux Mint is installing. Sit back and enjoy the slideshow. Linux Mint is installed. Shut down the live session so you can start using the real OS. Remove the USB stick, then press enter.
Starting using Linux Mint
Start your computer.
You should see the login screen. Welcome to Linux Mint!
Enter the password you set in the setup process.
You should see the Linux Mint desktop with the welcome screen.
You can close this.
You can open the menu the same way you would on Windows.
Explore the settings by searching for settings in the menu.
Install some apps! Find the software manager in the menu.
Have fun with themes!
One more thing to do: check your updates. Click the little shield icon in the taskbar.
In this window, click OK.
You can click Install updates to install all updates. You don't need to restart after every update, only when the restart banner appears.
Have fun with your new Linux system!