How to enable TPM 2.0 support in VMware Workstation Player for free

Ashwin
Nov 2, 2021
Updated • Nov 2, 2021
Windows 11 Help
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It can be quite a hassle to upgrade your main computer to Windows 11, just to roll back to Windows 10.  The best way to find out if you will like Windows 11, is by testing it first hand, on a virtual machine. We showed you ways to download the ISO, how to bypass the TPM restrictions, etc.

Windows Insider Program not meeting requirements

Last week, I wanted to try the latest build that was released to the Windows Insider Program, to try and see if there were some workarounds for some issues in it. But I had trouble enrolling into the Preview Program, because the guest operating system failed the requirement check, since my virtual machine does not have TPM.

I had faced a similar issue before the stable version of Windows 11 was released, and used the free trial of VMware Workstation Pro to bypass the issue, since it had an option to enable TPM 2.0 support. The free version of the software does not have that. There is a way to fix this.

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Note: Please do not try this with an existing virtual machine, as it may corrupt it. I'd also advise taking a backup of your data before you delete the current VM, to make space for a new one.

A tweet posted by Michael Roy, a VMWare Product Manager, confirmed that users of the free VMWare Workstation can enable TPM, with a simple tweak. The option works with VMWare Workstation Player 16.2 and above, which you can download from the official website.

How to enable TPM 2.0 support in VMware Workstation Player for free

1. Create a new guest OS in VMware Workstation Player. Don't install Windows 11 just yet.

2. Exit the program, and navigate to the folder which has your virtual machine's settings, and look for the .VMX file. Open it with a text editor like Notepad, and add the following line to it.

managedvm.autoAddVTPM = "software"

Save the document and close the text editor. This flag, enables TMP 2.0 in VMware Workstation Player, without encrypting the VM completely. According to the tweet, the VM is encrypted partially without a password, which should offer better performance than a full encrypted copy of the virtual machine.

enable TPM 2.0 support in VMware Workstation Player

3. Start the application, and install Windows 11 normally. You may use Window Insider Preview ISOs too.

How to enable TPM 2.0 support in VMware Workstation Player for free

If you shut down the operating system, and run VMware Workstation Player again, you will see a padlock icon next to the OS indicating that it encrypted. Access the virtual machine's settings, and it will list TPM as an option, though you can't edit it with the free version of the application. If you want further confirmation that TPM is working correctly, install and run the PC Health Check app in your VM, and it should no longer say that your computer doesn't support TPM 2.0.

How to disable side channel mitigations in VMware Player 

On a side note, VMware Player recently started displaying a warning on my computer. It said that there maybe some performance degradation with side channel mitigations enabled. (Reference: Support page)

I'm not really sure if it has something to do with the Trial version of the Pro variant that I had been using, so I ignored it and tried using the VM, but it was really slow and simple actions like opening files took a long time to complete. It turns out the message about side channel mitigation appears when Hyper-V is enabled in the host, Windows. The support article mentions an option that you can toggle, but it seems to be exclusive to the Workstation Pro version. The option can be found here: Edit Virtual Machine Settings > Options >Advanced >Settings.

A solution for this issue was available at the company's community forums. If you are using the free version of VMWare Workstation Player, you can edit your VMX file to add the following line to it.

ulm.disableMitigations="TRUE"

How to disable side channel mitigations in VMware Player

Setting that option to true fixed the lags I had in the Windows 11 virtual machine., so try that to see if it helps you.

Summary
How to enable TPM 2.0 support in VMware Workstation Player for free
Article Name
How to enable TPM 2.0 support in VMware Workstation Player for free
Description
Unable to install Windows 11 in VMware Workstation Player due to hardware restrictions? We show you how to enable support for TPM 2.0 in the program for free.
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Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. John G. said on November 2, 2021 at 3:01 pm
    Reply

    Useful article, I hope it helps for further findings to provide us the more W11 teawks. :]

  2. Cav said on November 2, 2021 at 10:27 pm
    Reply

    TPM Bypass for experienced users:

    If you want to perform a clean install and use an even older CPU, you can also perform an unofficial bypass on the TPM and CPU checks during the Windows installation process. As you run through the required steps, you’ll quickly run into a message saying, “This PC can’t run Windows 11.” You’re going to prove the message box wrong by going back a step and then hitting Shift + F10 on the keyboard to open a Command Prompt window. Type “regedit” and hit Enter. Just like with the above method, it’ll open the Registry Editor. Type “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup” in the address bar and hit Enter. Right-click on Setup and add a new Key called “LabConfig.”

    In the LabConfig Key, add a DOWRD value called “BypassTPMCheck” and set it to 1. Then add another one called “BypassCPUCheck” and set that to 1 as well. Repeat the same process with “BypassSecureBootCheck.” A word of caution, however, you might be tempted to try “BypassRAMCheck” or “BypassStorageCheck,” but it’s not worth it. If you don’t meet the minimum storage or RAM requirements, it’s better to stick with Windows 10 for now.

    Now you can install Windows 11 and bypass the TPM check.
    This is especially useful when using Windows 11 within Oracle Virtual Box, or VMWare Player. Both checked and confirmed working.

    1. Anonymous said on November 3, 2021 at 6:51 pm
      Reply

      @Cav Thank you so much. I’m aware of the Shift+F10 trick, but I couldn’t figure out what are the right registry keys to modify. “LabConfig” works great and now I’m happy to install Windows 11 using an unmodified ISO on my VM without needing to copy and repack Windows 10 ISO or using a third party tool or install then upgrade from Windows 10.

      1. Cav said on November 4, 2021 at 4:00 pm
        Reply

        Its a pleasure to have gotten you into the world of Windows 11.

        A couple tricks I tried.

        I installed into VMWare Player. Which i’m not keen on.
        I installed into Oracle Virtual Box, which I do prefer.

        You may need to fiddle with Disk Host Interface types. It may also be chipset sensitive.

        Then I installed OpenShell (3?? – definitely the latest).

        Windows 11 is now a joy to use and its fast and responsive.
        Inside the VM its a perfect test box.

    2. Norbert said on November 14, 2021 at 12:12 pm
      Reply

      it dosen’t work :-(

  3. semce said on November 3, 2021 at 1:40 pm
    Reply

    DOWRD or DWORD ?

    1. Cav said on November 3, 2021 at 8:50 pm
      Reply

      DWORD. Forgive me.

  4. Avi said on November 3, 2021 at 2:11 pm
    Reply

    Using a trial version is not “free” only a trial.

  5. Anonymous said on November 21, 2021 at 3:17 am
    Reply

    works excellent

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