37

I have a couple of very decent computers, I am wondering if they will run Windows 11, and I am trying to determine how to proceed. What are the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11?

7
  • The trouble with the current answer [& also why I won't provide an alternative answer] is that these are moving goalposts. MS have already removed the absolute restrictions, so long as you don't do it through Windows Update. You accept the risk yourself.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 18:11
  • This was not intended to be an answer for the moving goalposts. It was meant back then (July) to answer many of the (then) duplicate questions. It served its purpose then.
    – John
    Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 18:43
  • But as 'duplicates' are being closed against it, someone needs to volunteer to maintain it… or we have to stop using it as the canonical.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 18:44
  • 1
    I will look back when Windows 11 has been out for a bit. It does not need to be long term canonical.
    – John
    Commented Oct 6, 2021 at 18:47
  • 1
    Not quite an answer in its own right but bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/… suggests there's ways to bypass tpm 2.0 requirements officially, and there's a unofficial tool that patches win 11 to disable enough checks I can run it in a vm
    – Journeyman Geek
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 5:51

1 Answer 1

35

To answer this question, I started by running the Microsoft PC Health Check, and then by researching this issue more thoroughly.

Note at October 6 2021 1 day after Windows 11 was released.

PC Health Check updated itself and shows the same results as were obtained two different ways (PC Health Check and WhyNotWin11) back in July.

For this machine here (Lenovo X1 ThinkPad) the only red mark is PC Generation (4 years old). Everything Microsoft said in July is still true on the day of Windows 11 Production Release.

Windows 11 requirements at Oct 6 2021

End of October 6 Note.

Work through the detail of each section to see how your computer might stack up. Newer computers will do better than older computers when determining if they can upgrade to Windows 11.

The Microsoft PC Health Check app said, "This PC will not run Windows 11". As I worked, I uncovered more information which I summarized below.

I ran an app written by Robert C. Maehl called "WhyNotWin11," which tells me more succinctly that the CPUs in my computers are too old (CPU Generation) to run Windows 11. WhyNotWin11 is more accurate overall than the Microsoft PC Health Check App.

This question comes up often and the answers are usually the same. This post is an attempt to provide a useful canonical answer to this question so far as we know at this point (June 27, 2021) .

In terms of a personal or small business strategy, Microsoft has now said (for the first time) that the end-of-life date for Windows 10 is October 2025.

There is time to determine what to and how to proceed in a measured, logical way.

Here is an official Microsoft Article on minimum Windows 11 requirements.

Windows 11 Requirements

Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC).

RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB) or greater.

Storage: 64 GB* or greater available storage is required to install Windows 11. Additional storage space might be required to download updates and enable specific features.

Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later, with a WDDM 2.0 driver.

System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.

TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.

Display: High definition (720p) display, 9" or greater monitor, 8 bits per color channel.

Internet connection: Internet connectivity is necessary to perform updates, and to download and use some features.

Windows 11 Home edition requires an Internet connection and a Microsoft Account to complete device setup on first use.

Observations:

So far as we know now, Windows 11 will come only in a 64-bit version. That means no 32-bit computers and no 32-bit operating system.

Of course, 32-bit software will continue to run.

DirectX 12:

To see what version of DirectX you have, run DXDIAG. In Windows, open Start and type dxdiag. This launches dxdiag.exe and you see the DirectX Diagnostic Tool come up.

The first screen shows the Version (needs to be DirectX 12).

DirectX 12

The second screen shows the WDDM driver version (needs to be WDDM 2)

enter image description here

UEFI and Secure Boot:

To see if Secure Boot is turned on, go to Windows 10 Start and type Secure Boot. This brings up the Device Security Screen.

This shows a summary for Secure Boot and TPM.

Windows 10 Security

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) Version 2:

Trusted Platform Module is the facility which enhances security, provides for encryption, provides for Windows Hello features (enhanced login).

Newer computers have TPM 2, older laptops have TPM 1.2 (my own ThinkPad X230 has TMP 1.2), and numerous older desktop computers do not even have a TPM chip (my own ThinkCenter M73 does not have TPM at all).

For numerous users, "older" means 4 or 5 years old, and the computer is otherwise happily running Windows 10.

You may wish to see if your computer can use firmware based TPM. This is not necessarily simple, will require the BIOS to adapt, and may not meet the requirements overall.

Firmware based TPM

You can see the TPM Version in Device Manager under Security Devices

Trusted Platform Module V2

How do I get a summary of whether my computer will be able to upgrade to Windows 11? There is a Microsoft App (PC Health Check), but I think WhyNotWin11 is more accurate:

Why Not Windows 11

Study the WhyNotWin11 README file, scroll down to the Download Latest Stable Release hyperlink, download and run it. You will see the dialog below:

Why not Windows 11 screen

You see in this screen CPU Generation. This screen came from my ThinkPad X1 laptop, and it meets all the requirements for Windows 11 except for CPU Generation.

So far as I know now, the CPU must be newer than 3 years old to pass this Windows 11 test.

We will not conclusively know an answer until closer to the official Windows 11 release date when clearer advice and test apps are available from Microsoft.

I will typically purchase a commercial grade computer and so for me, four years is not particularly old, but apparently too old to run Windows 11.

This has been a summary to help us determine if our computers will run Windows 11.

Follow up Note: I have today (June 28, 2021) installed Windows 11 Pro pre-release on my Windows Insider machine, and it is working well.

14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .