Windows 11: installation on non-compatible systems possible

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 28, 2021
Windows 11 News

Microsoft updated the minimum system requirements of the company's upcoming Windows 11 operating system yesterday. Windows customers and administrators who had hoped for less strict requirements, did not get what they wished for. While Microsoft did add a handful of seventh generation Intel processors to the list of compatible processors, it did not change other requirements or unlock all 7th generation processors. For AMD hardware, nothing has been added in this adjustment of system requirements.

The change is as minor as it gets, and most customers whose systems were not compatible previously are left hanging. The requirements prevent Windows 10 systems that don't meet the minimum system requirements from being upgraded to Windows 11 using Windows Update. The new operating system won't be offered via Windows Update.

updated pc health check tool

What Microsoft did not reveal in the updated announcement is that there is an official way to install Windows 11 even if the device is not compatible. Microsoft is quiet about it, and did not reveal it in the announcement.

Windows 11 can be installed on non-compatible devices using installation media, e.g. by using the Media Creation Tool. Some requirements do need to be met, e.g. that the system has enough storage available, but the installation is not prevented if the processor is not on the list of supported processors.

The requirements that still need to be met are:

  • 64-bit dual core CPU with 1-GHz or higher.
  • 4 Gigabytes of RAM.
  • 64 Gigabytes of free storage.
  • TPM 1.2

Details are not clear at this point. It is unclear if administrators may opt-in to keep installed applications, settings and files, or if only a blank slate installation is allowed on incompatible systems.

Microsoft told The Verge that the option to circumvent the minimum requirements are designed for businesses and organizations primarily to evaluate Windows 11. Microsoft does not provide any guarantees in regards to system reliability or driver compatibility in this case, but won't block customers, home or organizational, from installing Windows 11 on incompatible systems.

Microsoft contacted The Verge after the original story was published, stating that non-compatible systems may not be eligible for receiving updates with Windows Updates. If true, it would certainly reduce the incentive to install Windows 11 on non-compatible systems, even if it is still possible to install updates manually by downloading them from the Microsoft Update Catalog website.

Closing Words

Being able to install Windows 11 on incompatible systems is a welcome step in the right direction. Still, it seems likely that millions of devices will have to stay on Windows 10 or earlier versions of Windows due to these restrictions.

The confusion surrounding Windows 11 updates will hopefully sort itself out before Microsoft releases the operating system officially. If not, it is creating a divide in the userbase, and that is probably something that Microsoft does not want either.

Now You: Will you upgrade to Windows 11?

Windows 11: installation on non-compatible systems possible
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Windows 11: installation on non-compatible systems possible
Windows 10 devices, which are not compatible with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system, may still be upgraded to Windows 11 officially.
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  1. ????????? ?? ??? said on March 23, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    It is better to scrap the Windows and switch on to Linux or any other Free OS.

  2. EP said on September 22, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    while Win11 can be installed on non-compatible PCs, Microsoft may ask such users to sign a waiver as indicated by these recent articles from The Verge and Neowin:

  3. George said on September 3, 2021 at 1:41 am

    Allowing installation and usage of a brand new, and immediately insecure OS (“no updates”) is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard from Microsoft in quite some time.

    Are they really THAT incompetent?

  4. Anonymous said on September 2, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    It’s not just TPM, older processors don’t have full hardware support for MBEC, so it has to be emulated in software and in some cases this comes with a big performance hit. So instead of having a flood of “Windows 11 runs a lot worse than Windows 10!” complaints they’re deciding to just cut older systems out by default, that and they want to push new PC sales.

    TLDR: You can run Windows 11 on an unsupported PC if you really want to, but expect it to run like crap and possibly not even get security updates unless you install them manually or use a third-party tool. I’d just stick with 10.

  5. al pizzuto said on August 31, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    Windows is just an operating system to me, something to run the programs I want to use. If they can’t support my two-year laptop them bye-bye windows. I will finally switch to Linux. I have two versions on an older laotop and they work just fine with no drama. Microsoft has gone soft in the head.

  6. fahgettaboutit said on August 30, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    FUCK MICROSOFT. You don’t dictate what I NEED to have in order to run your shit. I’m THROUGH with you. Linux and BSD or nothing at all. That includes WORK -AND- PLAY.

    Now go get your shine box.

  7. Nik said on August 29, 2021 at 11:41 am

    This is the worst possible time for hardware upgrades, the consequences of the pandemic and its impact on chipmakers have not yet disappeared. I see that at the prices in my stores …

    1. chipnurd said on August 29, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      Actual physical stores? Of course retail would raise the prices. They were shut down.
      My online stores are cheap. What shortage? Certainly not the automotive chip shortage.

      I give up, people are actually buying into this. Just when Samsung and Western Digital downgraded their SSD components. Reminds me of the flood in Thailand that raised HDD prices for 10 years. The damage was never severe, this is just a gambit and no one gets it.

  8. Corky said on August 29, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Microsoft need to get out of their bubble. Why they thought forcing millions of people into upgrading their hardware during a global silicon shortage, and people are more aware of environmental issue than ever before, was a good thing to do is anyone’s guess.

    I know they like to crow about Windows 11 being the most secure and reliable Windows ever but i do wonder what percentage of Windows users are effected by security and/or reliability issues.

  9. Papa said on August 29, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Possible but sadly with a huge security risk, unless of course MS is bluffing and pulling just another scare tactic.

    “Microsoft is now threatening to withhold Windows Updates from your copy of Windows 11 — potentially even security updates — if you take that route.

    We’re not sure why the company didn’t mention it in our original briefing, but Microsoft has since told The Verge that unsupported PCs won’t be entitled to receive Windows Updates, and that even security and driver updates may be withheld.”

  10. nealis said on August 29, 2021 at 6:38 am

    I have an older 8 core machine with 16 gig setup as a family computer that does not have TPM 1.2. If Windows 11 isn’t an option, I will just end up using Windows 10 LTS. Not going to throw out perfectly good hardware just for some arbitrary MS requirements.

    1. chipnurd said on August 29, 2021 at 10:22 am

      Why LTS? The regular versions are supported until 2025 as well.

      1. nealis said on August 29, 2021 at 7:19 pm

        B/c I want have the option to use that computer beyond 2025.

      2. chipnurd said on August 30, 2021 at 11:25 pm

        I know I won’t, slow hardware is wasted lifetime. The speed gains in ffmpeg alone on this 3700X are all the fun for me. Reselling is an option, or *yikes* linux. I’ve heard it’s pretty good, infact all my servers run it, controlled headless over SSH.

      3. nealis said on September 2, 2021 at 4:49 am

        @chipnurd, sure thing, you do you.

      4. Bomb Jack said on August 29, 2021 at 1:22 pm


        Because the Windows 10 LTSC 2022 Server/IoT is going to be supported for the next 10 years i.e 2031

  11. Kent Brockman said on August 29, 2021 at 3:32 am

    No, will not upgrade to 11. I have six systems that do not meet the stringent requirements and damned if I will replace perfectly good hardware for a questionable improvement.

  12. Kindkiwi said on August 28, 2021 at 10:23 pm

    The fact that major chip suppliers mainly in Taiwan are in shortage due to semiconductor materials being harder to find & with the pandemic .I think Microsoft will fail with this .People will simply stay with older systems & operating systems or find ways to bypass the TPM 1.2.Also the shortage forces computer companies to release new motherboards and other hardware and passing higher costs on to consumers.

    1. chipnurd said on August 29, 2021 at 10:20 am

      Lol what shortage? The chip shortage the media tells us about is for an entirely different production line with a different nanometer size process. Where did you get from that personal computers were affected? They are not. In fact TSMC has so many customers that they are upgrading their facilities. If there is a problem, it’s that other fabs don’t have the same technical maturity of low-nm processes like TSMC. The automotive chips are made in mid range nm scales.

      1. Ed said on August 29, 2021 at 6:53 pm

        Intel does not supply chips to the automotive industry, and if they are reporting shortages then yes pc’s will be hit, if not not they will be shortly.

      2. chipnurd said on August 30, 2021 at 11:27 pm

        Only intel seems to have problems all the time, especially with catching up on AMD. Meanwhile Ryzen are cheap and available, and so much faster.

  13. eWaste11 said on August 28, 2021 at 9:54 pm

    There is no reason to rush out to use Windows 11. Its only a ugly theme pack with a lot of functionality removed. Would you really go out your way to please Microsoft’s useless hardware requirements for a theme pack? It will be at least 6 years till Windows 11 has the same level of functionality as Windows 10. All the meaningful reasons someone would want to upgrade have failed to be delivered. No Android apps, No DirectStorage, and no point since its going to be on 10 as well.

    At this point they better announce extended support for Windows 10, instead of announcing minor changes to teams, widgets and other crap that nobody cares about while not addressing any crucial GUI feedback. Many people don’t use teams or the 365 crap, nothing has really been updated for the average non-office user. Widgets on the taskbar menu thing are still sub-par and you can’t remove the gods awful news crap. Changing settings with volume mixer is still a headache and honestly should just be reverted. Overall customization is a huge step down from 10. Still between a number of things not limited to the taskbar not being movable. This is yet another crummy entry as every other windows has been is very unsurprising. Windows 11 will be another Microsoft failure. Its time they fire everyone on the Windows team and start from fresh.

  14. ilev said on August 28, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    The option to install from ISO on any hardware is only for insiders and was so from day 1.
    Nothing has changed.

    1. Rick said on August 29, 2021 at 12:54 am

      As you’ll recall, that wasn’t supposed to be indefinite for Insiders but just until RTM. Now it’s indefinite, so that’s a change.

      The other change is that even outside of the Insiders program you can get Win11 (via ISO only in this case, and in “unsupported” state that may not include further updates) without clearing the steep CPU hurdle. The main hurdle is TPM 1.2 (notably not 2.0). That’s brand-new.

  15. VioletMoon said on August 28, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Good time to update hardware. A number of reputable vendors are more than willing to work with individuals and businesses to bring prices down from advertised prices. Five year old machines and peripherals? That’s getting rather old.

  16. Uwe said on August 28, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    OK… I’ve found the way to install Win11. Was my bad. My mistake was that I didn’t make a clean install but wanted to make an upgrade from Win10.

    Now, everything works like a charm. :)

  17. Mavoy said on August 28, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Microsoft is basically doing here what the mobile producers have been doing for years now. Absolutely shitty. I have mixed feelings about from what I hear about W11 – ruining taskbar and Start menu, “show more options” at right-click etc. – but I don’t care that much anyway, because it really seems like I won’t be using it in next few years, at least.

  18. Uwe said on August 28, 2021 at 5:24 pm

    For fun, I tried to upgrade from Win10 Pro to Win11 Pro by using the registry hack (I was using the Win11-ISO 22000.132 x64). Everything worked fine, but I was not able to skip the detection of Secure Boot in the upgrade process. Secure Boot is not present in my laptop. All other unsupported components were skipped.

    Do you have any idea for a solution?

    Beste wishes

    1. Beta said on August 30, 2021 at 6:33 pm

      Here’s another one. There is a registry hack.

    2. VioletMoon said on August 29, 2021 at 4:52 pm

      I not working with Windows 11, but this was an interesting find:

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