Canalys Research: at least 240 million Windows 10 PCs can't be upgraded

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 24, 2023
Windows 10

Windows 10, the most used desktop operating system, runs out of support in October 2025. Estimates see it installed on a billion devices.

A report by Canalys Research claims that at least 240 million of devices that run Windows 10 can't be upgraded to Windows 11 or future Windows versions.

Windows PCs could always be upgraded to the next version of the operating system. This changed with the release of Windows 11. Microsoft tightened the system requirements to shed ballast, but it also meant that millions of Windows users could not upgrade their devices to Windows 11 using Windows Update or installation media.

While there are ways to bypass the requirements check to install Windows 11 on unsupported devices, it is something that Microsoft discourages.

Come October 2025, Windows 10's end of support month, millions of devices will be left without support. Devices compatible with Windows 11 will likely be upgraded forcefully to the new operating system.

Those not compatible may join ESU, Extended Security updates, for additional years of support. Microsoft announced that Windows 10 ESU will become available for consumers for the first time earlier this year. Microsoft has yet to announce specifics, including price.

240 million devices in a cul-de-sac

A recent analysis by Canalys Research suggests that at least 240 million Windows 10 devices are not upgradable to Windows 11. Canalys, known for its technology market analyses, estimates that this has the potential of creating 480 million kilograms of electronic waste.

Not all Windows 10 PCs will be thrown in the trash the moment the operating system runs out of support. Besides the option to extend support using ESU, there are other options that users of such PCs have.

  • 0Patch, a third-party company specialized in creating security updates for software products, will add Windows 10 to its growing list of supported systems. This comes at a cost of about $25 per year.
  • Using bypasses to install ESU updates. This was possible in the past, and it will likely also be an option for Windows 10 ESU.
  • Installing Windows 11 using bypasses. Tools like Rufus make this a an easy and painless process.
  • Making the switch to Linux.

A number of devices will also continue to be used after support. This is not recommended in many instances, as security issues will make them as holey as Swiss cheese in regards to security issues.

Closing Words

Microsoft's decision to change Windows 11 system requirements imposes an artificial restriction on the operating system. Many Windows 10 devices not considered compatible with Windows 11 run fine on Windows 11. While the system runs better performance-wise on systems with newer processors, faster hard drives, more RAM and more expensive graphics cards, it has always been the case this way.

Now You: do you run Windows 10? What will you do in 2025? (via Reuters)

Canalys Research: at least 240 million Windows 10 PCs can't be upgraded
Article Name
Canalys Research: at least 240 million Windows 10 PCs can't be upgraded
A report by Canalys Research claims that at least 240 million of devices that run Windows 10 can't be upgraded to Windows 11 or future Windows versions.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Anonymous said on December 27, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    There should be more laws against nonsense like this. Microsoft, like Apple and Google, has devolved into a horrible scam company.

  2. Anonymous said on December 25, 2023 at 2:40 am

    Yeah exactly, officially… since there are many easy ways to bypass the check, then the 240 million number is a bunch of BS… if people want to upgrade it, they will, and that’s it, if people don’t want to do it, they won’t. Just like windows 7 where people are still complaining how many software are not supporting win7 anymore when they can easily upgrade to 10 or 11, but they don’t want to, even if 10 and 11 are better than 7.

    1. cdr said on December 25, 2023 at 4:35 pm

      1) Long ago I performed an upgrade on unsuitable hardware, not a full install, from Win 10 to Win 11 using a Rufus build. It worked fine. So upgrading is not a problem. Win 11 worked much as Win10. I’ll probably upgrade when I have to. For some reason, I went back to Win 10 on that pc.

      2) I am currently experimenting with replacing a pair of Win 10 pro home file servers with Linux servers. One is a file server, a media server, a backup server, and uses Hyper-V to host pi-hole. The other is for backups mostly, but is now a full Ubuntu server that chiefly hosts pi-hole, Plex, and backups.

      The main Linux replacement is a lot of work, especially if you are rusty with Linus as I was. Desktops are weird and don’t work as you might think. I finally settled on Ubuntu Server with a Cinnamon Desktop because it is easy to drop shortcuts on the screen. Then I had to add Samba, Pi-Hole, Webmin, Plex, figure out how to mount local and shared figure using fstab modifications, figure out how to prevent hibernation, find a good remote desktop (xrdp), and find a file sync program for nightly automated backups. This took weeks and the education is not over.

      None of the above is easy. Information on the internet is spotty and most ‘helpful’ people are especially not helpful. Especially when it comes to automatically mounting shares on a network pc using fstab edits – you will learn to hate all the helpful advice that doesn’t help much. Building shares using Webmin eventually becomes easy after a lot of trial and error. I’m still working on the gui file sync as scheduled jobs in Linux are a bear. It took days to find the gui file sync program. It works fine interactively.

      I’m nearly done and will probably use Linux server #2 for a while. Server #2 will remain Linux as it only has to be a silent server. #2 works perfectly and pi-hole is stable – it wasn’t in Hyper-V because Microsoft likes to play around with updates to this and that.

      After that, I will return to Win 10, then Win 11 for server #1 because it is easy.

  3. Davin Peterson said on December 25, 2023 at 12:51 am

    Windows 11 runs faster on SSDs not hard drives. You should faster SSDs not faster hard drives. SSDs are much faster than hard drives.
    Also, the Windows Subsystem for Android and Google Play Games on PC requires an SSD

    1. Peter said on December 25, 2023 at 9:24 am

      The relationship between Windows users and Microsoft have over time envolved into a weird BDSM session, where people seem to get off from being dominated through the desktop and Microsoft’s enjoyment of whipping them into submission.

  4. Adelaide said on December 24, 2023 at 11:11 pm

    Please – sell those old PC’s with expiring Windows OS; don’t scrap, recycle or rely on an out-of-support OS! Many Linux users would be glad to pick up some of those unfortunate machines, and make good use of them. Surely I could find a home for your old Ryzen 7 or Core I7 machine, without the absolutely required TPM (already flawed,

  5. just an Ed said on December 24, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    I built a system in 2022 that Microsoft deems not upgradable. This is nonsense, it’s simply a money grab. Since I have 2 other Linux OS’s on separate drives installed in this box I don’t see a lack of updates as a problem. I only need Windows for 2 purchased applications. Nadella can scratch his nether regions.

  6. John said on December 24, 2023 at 8:28 pm

    We are still just under two years out before end of support for Windows 10. By that time many PC’s will be at or close to end of practical life anyway. Hardly eligible for any modern current OS to run really well. It’s a joke that we don’t already have a problem finding good recycling for technology. Like with Windows 7 many Windows 10 PC’s will just stay on it until the hardware becomes impractical to use.

  7. Seeprime said on December 24, 2023 at 6:48 pm
    Reply solves the patching issue for a few extra years.

  8. Mike said on December 24, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    The upside of Microsoft’s ewaste extravaganza is that there will be more cheap/free computers to transform into Linux workstations than we know what to do with.

  9. James said on December 24, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    You make it sound like a bad thing. W11 sucks bobo.

  10. Tachy said on December 24, 2023 at 4:49 pm

    PC’s do not have to be connected to the internet to be usefull.

    Everytime I open the laptop permanenty located on a shelf in the garage to play music or open a service manual for one of my vehicles, I am reminded how at one time (win7) M$ was focused on making Windows both functional and pleasing to the eye.

    Now they follow google and instead of focusing on making a good product, they focus on how to use what they make to exploit the product, us.

  11. William said on December 24, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    The last and most common option: running Windows for years without any updates at all until the machine stops.

  12. Jeff Wilson said on December 24, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    For starters, I have plugged a new SS drive into my desktop and installed Zorin operating system on it. So I’m running windows 10 and Zorin on two separate drives. Zorin does all that I need it to do. But software such as my favorite immersive games and utilities like driver updaters seem scant if at all available for operating systems other than Windows.
    The fee based extensions for Windows 10 sounds promising, because I fear that forcing it to Windows 11 might cause intolerable issues. Thank you very much for this informative article.

  13. A E NEWMAN said on December 24, 2023 at 1:36 pm

    IMHO The vast amount of windows 10 that will just stay as they are on windows 10 with no updates will be approximately 70 percent. With most businesses and some indiviuales useing some sort of patching method.

    1. Eli Phant said on December 25, 2023 at 1:24 am

      Thats a very large bot net

      1. Anonymous said on December 27, 2023 at 2:02 pm


        And MS has only itself to blame for it, with their artificial minimum system requirements. At the end of the day Windows 11 is just 10 with more telemetry and a worse UI.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.