Hoping to give Windows 11 a try when it rolls out later this year? The good news is that it’s a free upgrade for most Windows 10 PCs released in the past few years. The bad news is that not all Windows PCs will be able to support the new operating system, and most systems that are more three or four years old may be left out.

That’s because while the minimum system requirements for Windows 11 don’t require a super high performance computer, you will need a relatively recent system with at least 4GB of RAM, 64B of storage, and a few features like TPM 2.0 and support for DirectX 12 that mark a significant spec bump over Microsoft’s Windows 10 system requirements. The company has released lists of specific chips that will be supported, and for the most part it looks like only processors released in 2017 or later make the cut (which isn’t to say that all processors released since then are supported).

For the most part if you bought a new Windows computer in the last few years it’s probably capable of running Windows 11, and Microsoft says it will begin rolling out updates early next year. You’ll be able to buy a new computer with Windows 11 pre-installed later this year, and virtually every Windows PC that ships this year will likely either run Windows 11 out of the box or be eligible for the free update

But right now if you download and run the PC Health Check App available from the Windows 11 website, there’s a good chance that it may tell you that your device doesn’t meet the minimum requirements if you’re using a computer with a chip released prior to 2017. In fact, even most Microsoft Surface devices shipped before 2017 don’t officially qualify. That’s likely due to lack of TPM 2.0.

Update: Microsoft has temporarily removed the PC Health Check in response to feedback suggesting its wasn’t very accurate or informative. The company also says it’s looking into the possibility of allowing Windows 11 to run on some slightly older processors including 7th-gen Intel Core and AMD Zen 1 processors. 

This limitation could mean that millions of Windows 10 systems won’t be able to be upgraded to Windows 11, which is causing a fair amount of confusion and frustration.

For now, if you want to know if you’re computer can run Windows 11, you can try running Microsoft’s Health Check app. The company has also released lists of supported Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm processors to see if your computer’s processor is on the list. While it’s possible that Windows 11 may run ok some systems with chips that are not included on the list, these are the only processors that Microsoft has officially confirmed are supported so far.

Here’s an overview of the minimum system requirements for Windows 11 compared with those for Windows 10:

Windows 11 Minimum System Requirements
Windows 11Windows 10
Processor1 GHz dual-core
64-bit only
1GHz single-core
32-bit or 64-bit
Memory4GB1GB (32-bit)
2GB (64-bit)
Storage64GB16GB (32-bit)
20GB (64-bit)
GraphicsDirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driverDirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
Display720p display larger than 9″ with 8-bits per color channel800 x 600
System FirmwareUEFI, Secure Boot capableN/A

One other thing to keep in mind is that Windows 11 requires an internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete the setup process the first time you run the operating system.

Have a system that doesn’t qualify for the upgrade? You’ll be able to continue using windows 10 indefinitely. Microsoft says it will continue supporting the operating system through through Oct 14, 2025.

The topic of which computers, processors, and TPM security models meet the Windows 11 system requirements has proven to be rather complicated, with Microsoft updating their guidance several times since the initial announcement. This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate info I could find as of June 26, 2021.

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49 replies on “Windows 11 is a free upgrade, but not all Windows 10 PCs will qualify (system requirements)”

  1. oh, do the poor baby consumers and businesses not get that hardware upgrades are just as much part of security? Even if Microsoft caves into the cheapskate stubborn snowflake crybabies and allows them to use Windows 11 on older than an 8th gen Intel CPU or AMD series 400 CPU, you are STILL bypassing the security requirements, including, but not limited to TPM 2.0 and SecureBoot in the BIOS, and they will be forgoing the main point of Windows 11 and using the most current version of an operating system. Case in point: I have two friends who were, and still are the victim of hardware hacking through their CPU, which was also because they did not update their BIOS on the motherboard first of all, which needs to be taught and enforced, and also because they were still using Windows 7…geez people, lets get a hint here for once.

  2. For my pc doesnt came win 11 updates
    PC sepc
    Device name DESKTOP-2NQ821S
    Processor 11th Gen Intel(R) Core(TM) i9-11900K @ 3.50GHz 3.50 GHz
    Installed RAM 32.0 GB (31.9 GB usable)
    System type 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
    Windows 10 Pro

    1. There’s a work around floating around, that says you can replace appraiser.dll with the Windows 10 version, update the iso, and you can install Windows 11 without a TPM.

      So it shows that Windows 11 will run just fine on older hardware, it’s just a design decision (an agreement with Intel to sell more systems, I’m sure, cause Intel knows they are falling behind) from Microsoft.

  3. I have a Threadripper 1950X /w TPM 2.0 and secure boot enabled and it still says my CPU doesn’t qualify, while windows security center shows TPM 2.0 operating alongside secure boot. I hope they expand that CPU list.

    1. If that’s what you’re using at home I’d recommend putting it in a VM. I say that since I’m using a 2950x on the machine I was using to host my VM, which is just a copy of my windows 10 VM. The VM doesn’t even have a TPM. Windows 11 didn’t complain when I disabled secure boot (haven’t tried installing it without that).
      I think in general, if people write the .iso (assuming that’s provided or able to be generated) to an external disk (flash drive), and boot from that rather than upgrading while booted into windows 10, they’ll be able to skip past the arbitrary compatibility check.

  4. For everyone who is complaining that they have a system that meets the requirements, but the tool still says incompatible:

    It’s obvious that Intel is doing this on the basis of checking a white-list of CPUs that they have confirmed are compatible, and if your CPU is found on that list, then it checks to see if the specific required features are enabled.

    So we just need to wait for Microsoft to expand upon the white-listed of CPUs. They haven’t announced any intention of limiting support beyond the simple requirements of TPM + Secure Boot + UEFI. So I’m confident we’ll see some updates to the white-list.

    Another important thing to remember is that when Microsoft announced Windows 10, they also told everyone that UEFI + Secure Boot were required at a minimum. After it launched, everyone discovered that you could actually still install Windows 10 on a non-UEFI machine.

  5. I am on a X99A platform, I could have bought a TPM module 6 years ago If I wanted.. The thing is, I don’t need/want hardware encryption. I WANT my SSD to be readable if I put it into another PC. I WANT my passwords and data to be recoverable from my storage if my MB dies. I don’t store passwords to a nuclear weapons armory, I am personally willing to take the one in a quadrillion chance of getting targeted by a firmware attack rather than buying a new PC or wasting money on a TPM module I’ve never wanted in the first place. This [email protected] will easily stay relevant in 2025 as a internet browsing machine, HTPC or light gaming PC. By 2025, no one will bother writing a firmware virus to explicitly target a rare and obsolete platform like X99 but ending support to Win10 will effectively leave this computer out of security updates.

  6. To comment what Larry Sellars said: “What most people that say “Just run linux” don’t understand is that a lot of people have software that they need to run.”

    For me, what is preventing me from going back to linux fully is the lack of a commercial DVD player.
    Before anybody says just use VLC or something else, as a matter of conscience, I like to do it the legal way, and have software that is properly licensed.

    Back in 2010, I discovered the Fluendo mp3 pack and DVD player from the now defunct Canonical shop, and happily bought it, just to have peace of mind.

    The Canonical shop closed in 2019, and just two months ago, Fluendo stopped offering their mp3 pack and dvd player. Just when I was ready to buy them again and embrace linux again fully.

    So instead I bought a commercial DVD player for windows, and am happily using that.

    All other software that matters to me have a linux port. But unless people like me who like to use their computers for EVERYTHING have a linux option, that alone will keep more people away from it.

  7. My i5-6440HQ CPU is not on MS’s compatible list and does not pass the Win 11-ready test. I don’t get why this processor doesn’t cut it, since all other reqs. are easily met…?

    1. I see that 7th Gen and earlier Intel CPUs are not officially supported, but that Win 11 might still install. Seems lame when all other reqs. are easily met…

  8. Its TMP 1.2 that is the lower limit, not 2.0
    I’m hoping they leave this out because it will impact even those who could enable in the bios, but don’t know how.
    My old i5-2500K at 4ghz overclock is substantially more powerful than stuff being sold today, still up there really! No go though because of the motherboard. If I could switch motherboard I might but that would then invalidate my existing Windows 10 license.. gotcha
    2025 then switch to Linux and have Win11 on a laptop. The problem is that while I’m happy to buy bigger drives, better graphics cards, nicer mouse etc there is, in my use case of casual gaming and development, NO POINT replacing the cpu with the attendant ram and motherboard costs as well.

  9. It’s good to see Microsoft finally admit that 16gb, 20gb or even 32gb of storage just ain’t enough for all their bloatware.

  10. The surprise here is that people is still wanting to run windows 11 on their devices no matter what and complain if they can’t. Just move into linux. If that is a problem, then learn how to use it and problem is over, it works with a keyboard and a mouse too, eh?

    Or else, stick with windows 10. If those office PC’s are using 2nd or 3rd gen intels, why you want to make them run even worse installing another crap from microsoft?

    1. Trying to switch your entire office over to Linux would be morally justifiable, but it takes so long to do that you practically have to get all the replacement servers and workstations up and running parallel to your current workstations, and syncing with all your databases (and THAT is an IT industry unto itself, it’s that hard). And you can’t keep using Windows 10 after 2025 and comply with CMMC. Most businesses can’t handle doing it.
      Switching to Linux at home and stuffing windows into a VM is viable with NAS, and a suitably powerful computer with a suitable motherboard that won’t spaz out trying to pass through a graphics card, and a lot of effort, if you enjoy messing around with that. But laptops don’t usually have that option so you have to either dual boot (still very tricky if you’ve got only one bootable storage device) or stream from one of those cloud gaming services.
      So I’m angry that I have to, AND angry that some people can’t.

    2. What most people that say “Just run linux” don’t understand is that a lot of people have software that they need to run. Most of which can’t run on any flavor of Linux. Which is why the linux guru’s pull their pud over how fantastic it runs. A lot of things run great if they’re unable to run any of the software that 90% of the planet uses. If someone just wants a basic web browsing box fine and whatever freeware toy app they can find great. But even if someone needs any creative software, nothing supports linux.

      1. “A lot of things run great if they’re unable to run any of the software that 90% of the planet uses. If someone just wants a basic web browsing box fine and whatever freeware toy app they can find great.”
        Seems pretty dismissive. There’s actually some really powerful and really amazing stuff you can do on Linux. Most of it is server stuff, but there’s some cool stuff on the desktop too. Other than that, I agree with what you said. I get it. Linux isn’t for everyone. I use Windows, Linux, MacOS, and ChromeOS. I feel all four have their strengths and weaknesses. If by “creative software” you’re referring to graphic design or video editing, then yeah, in my experience those aren’t Linux strengths. I like Gimp and Inkscape, but I don’t do professional work with them. I’ve talked to professional graphic designers and they’ve said they’re not suitable replacements for Adobe products. However, there are other areas like software development where Linux excels. So while it may not meet your needs, that doesn’t mean it’s only good for running “toy apps” and a web browser.

        1. Just because Linux “can” do something, it doesn’t mean it’s an acceptable alternative.

          I’ll bet if you asked every graphic designer on the planet if they could live with GIMP, an extremely high percentage of them would say no.

          Even aside from specific applications, many people simply can’t use Linux due to workplace IT requirements. For many workplaces, it isn’t as simple as logging into the Wifi and getting an IP address.

    3. “If those office PC’s are using 2nd or 3rd gen intels, why you want to make them run even worse installing another crap from microsoft”
      Well, first, as others have mentioned, sometimes not using Windows isn’t an option. Some businesses have locked themselves into Windows only software and peripherals. Second, depending on what 2nd or 3rd gen intel chips you have, Windows can run really well on that hardware. Third, some businesses don’t have tens of thousands of dollars to buy to go buy a fleet of new PCs.

      One of the businesses I support has a lot of PCs for a small business and currently none of them are going to be supported by Windows 11. They’re a nonprofit, so IT budget is very tight. Most of their current PCs were donated to them. They got a technology grant a few years ago and bought some new PCs. They’re running i3-7100T’s. It really pisses me off that apparently these PCs won’t be Win11 compliant. That reeks of corporate greed. I’m not too disappointed that computers 10 years old aren’t supported, but I feel 4 years old definitely should be. The good news, is that 75% of their PCs should be fine with Linux; about 25% of those are already running Linux. One department has to run Windows. That department has to run software that is only available for Windows and they share an expensive multi-function copier that only works with Windows. Even having to replace 25% of their PCs is going to be a financial burden. It just seems a shame that perfectly good, and perfectly capable hardware is going to be cut off from updates because of arbitrary system requirements.

  11. Can I have a refund on my windows 10 licence?
    -because it wasn’t ‘the last windows you’ll ever need’!

  12. The TPM 2.0 and the DirectX 12 requirements are going to disqualify lots of PCs from running Windows 11. If you have an Intel CPU older than Haswell (ix-4xxx) and you’re using integrated graphics, it can’t run DirectX 12. I consider i5 and i7 Sandy Bridge (i5-2400+) and Ivy Bridge (i5-3450+) desktop processors to still be plenty for office type work (as long as you have 8GB+ of RAM and a SSD). I even consider higher end Core2Quads (Q9550+), with 8GB of RAM and a SSD, sufficient for light use. Sadly most of these machines that are still in service are going to end up in a landfill when Windows 10 support ends.
    The DirectX 12 and TPM 2.0 requirements are at worst completely arbitrary and at best optional. Microsoft could easily remove them. Windows 11 is just Windows 10 with a new interface and some performance improvements. If a computer can run Win10, it can run 11. Microsoft would have to intentionally remove support for DirectX11 and lower. Some of the animations may not be smooth and some of the advanced security features may not work without TPM, but I feel that should be up to the user to decide whether those trade-offs are acceptable.
    I feel there are two main reasons Microsoft decided to release Windows 11.
    1. Apple moved MacOS to version 11
    2. They want to force users to buy new hardware and a new version number gives them an excuse to obsolete hardware.
    Presently, there is a workaround for the TPM requirement but Microsoft may stop it or your PC might not boot after an update in the future. Some PCs without supported graphics could be upgraded to supported discrete graphics, but AIOs, Mini PCs and Laptops are out of luck.
    I feel it’s hypocritical for a company who pretends to care about the environment to intentionally obsolete so many PCs, but apparently it’s OK to go against values they claim to care about as long as they can make a buck off of it. Hopefully there will be enough backlash that Microsoft will remove these requirements, or instead of trashing them, users let these PCs live on with a Linux distro.

    1. “some of the advanced security features may not work without TPM, but I feel that should be up to the user to decide whether those trade-offs are acceptable.” +1!! I have a 5820K, my MB had a TPM socket all along. I had the option to buy a module and enable TPM for 6+ years, I never needed nor wanted a hardware-level security. Now I must pay 4x price to a scalper just to run Win11… No thanks.

      Worst part is, this doesn’t improve MY security at all. Unless there is a reliable workaround to bypass TPM requirement, I’ll just stick with Win10… 4 years from now, a [email protected] will still be a lightning fast CPU for daily use cases like web browsing etc, or HTPC use.. When Win10 support ends in 2025, it’ll be left out of security updates. There will be many people who don’t need nor can’t afford to buy a new PC, and not tech-sawwy enough to migrate to Linux.

    2. Yeah aside from sandys rough edges it should be fine. & the claims made awhile ago about tpm availability are rubbish in the consumer sector(unless they weren’t programed firmware-wise or not connected on these boards) prosumers on the other hand sure as long as they bought from a oem that has a separate line for business. Not going to mention the need to transition from ntfs to gpt

  13. Hey, you want to know what’s even worse for e-waste than requiring TPM 2.0?
    <a href=”https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-hardware/design/minimum/supported/windows-11-supported-intel-processors>Not accepting any processors older than 8th generation Intel Core CPUs. Looks like that pushes the ewaste threshold up to 2017!
    Unless you wanna just run Linux. Then there’s going to be tons of perfectly good desktops and laptops just being thrown out. Some of them might be powerful enough to run games on windows 11 in a VM if you can get PCIe passthrough working and the VM software can emulate the TPM.

      1. Just because a CPU isn’t officially supported, doesn’t mean it can’t run the OS. I used to think that too. Officially supported means that the OS has been tested with those CPUs, and the OS is designed to take advantage of those CPUs’ features. Windows 10 1511 doesn’t officially support Core2 or Phenom II CPUs, but I know for sure Windows 10 will run on them.
        That’s probably why Microsoft targeted the TPM and graphics chips. It’s easier to use those to cut off hardware support.

        1. It won’t let you upgrade if it’s not on that list. I have a 7th gen i7 that exceeds all requirements.

          It says I can’t install Windows 11. So yea, this is an issue.

          1. Exactly same here, I have a gaming laptop that is more powerful than many PC out there but does not pass the test because of the i7 6700HQ ‘ cores 2.6Ghz to 3.5 Ghz. No problem with other requirements, I have TPM 2, secure boot, top graphic card that supports DirectX 12 with a WDDM 2.0 driver, 32Gb ram. Microsoft you suck!

          2. Like Jean Forichon, I have the 17-6700HQ that can run the latest games with all settings maxed out but not Win11. Go figure.

  14. I ran the PC Health Check and it says Windows 11 is incompatible with my PC. Sorry Microsoft, I won’t be using Windows 11 any time soon. I had a similar incompatibility problems trying to install Windows Vista. It looks like Windows 11 is the new Vista!

  15. Hmmm… the utility says that my GMK nucbox will not run Windows 11. Only a couple of months old, and admittedly very low-end, but has 8GB of RAM. The utility doesn’t tell you which of the criteria is not met. What’s the go?

    1. Probably TPM. It’s not needed by a lot of users so some devices just don’t bother with it. You can check whether you have that by launching tpm.msc from Windows. Specifically, check whether it has one and what version it is. If it’s not 2.0, they don’t like it and won’t support Windows 11 on it.

      1. It also doesn’t support older Intel cpus before 8th gen. So if you have a 7th gen or older, it’ll say you’re not compatible.

        1. Will there be any way to run windows on 7th gen??
          I have tpm 2.0, UEFI and safe boot, 8GB ram and core i3 7100U (2.4Ghz) 7th gen processor

  16. I recently bought the laptop second had which has a lot of power I went to check and it doesn’t qualify. Not everyone can afford a new laptop. It looks like I am going to have to turn to linux. They should have made it for all PC especially in these unprecendedtimes when people have a limited budget.

    1. You can stick with Windows 10 and apply some utilities like from Stardock to make it feel like Windows 11 till 2025…

  17. Windows 11 requires an internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete the setup process the first time you run the operating system

    That sucks. I don’t have a Microsoft Account anymore. The last one I had kept getting locked for reason MS couldn’t explain so I gave up. I assume creating an account now requires even more personal info. Pass.

    1. I was still able to install the leaked .iso by physically disconnecting the internet from my virtual machine. There’s a button you can click that says “I don’t have internet”.
      Of course, they could change that between now and the actual release.

    2. Alright, I just checked, I was only able to skip the network connection step because I installed 11 Pro. You absolutely cannot get around this if you install 11 Home.

  18. Hah — I have been running a XPS1330 from 2007 and it has upgraded with no problem through every single Windows version, including Vista, 7, 8 and 10. Finally time to upgrade.

  19. So…according to this Windows 100 compatibility tool…my HP Pro x2 612 G2 tablet isn’t compatible with Windows 11? I bought this in 2019. I’d imagine there is going to be a lot of upset people out there. I am.

    1. I doubt it’ll be a problem, no operating system I know of even checks the physical size of a display. The TPM issue is far bigger.

    2. Very relevant for Liliputing that gets all these small devices.

      I have a GPD Win Max and the problems were two-fold.

      It appears the Chinese manufacturers don’t put a lot of effort into their BIOS and might leave off Secure Boot and/or the option for TPM 2. I had to install an unknown “unlocked” BIOS update to enable the TPM.
      The screen size issue.

      Net result of testing though: Microsoft is enforcing the TPM check but not currently the screen size check (or, the EDID of my built in display is lying about the size) in software. The screen size check may be left to the eligibility of OEM keys, so GPD etc need to install a bigger screen or deliver Windows 10 on their device.

      1. Apparently I just needed to reset the BIOS to defaults, but the TPM isn’t made visible in the GPD BIOS (without unlocking) so you just have to try it. Not complaining about the screen inches still.

  20. The “the last few years” means no earlier than 2015.
    Fortunately, some people have been able to move to Windows 11 via the leaked .iso without secure boot and TPM.
    I have no idea how long this will continue to work. I have no idea if windows updates or the Microsoft store will continue to work without a TPM 2.0 installed. But if they don’t, this basically means that every business has until October 2025 to throw out all its old computers and buy new ones. Cybersecurity standards forbid using depreciated software and eventually, if all development for anything except Android stops, there’s probably not going to be a way to get software for Windows save the Store. Even if that doesn’t happen, TPMs can be used for a variety of user abuse.

    1. The TPM check will likely be enforced at General Availability so goes the structuring of their explanation of Insider builds.

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