The catch: Installing Windows 11 on an unsupported PC prevents it from receiving updates
While Microsoft may enable you to run Windows 11 on a “unsupported” PC, a previously unknown Microsoft restriction implies that there is also a new, large gotcha in the wings.
Microsoft raised enthusiast expectations on Friday by telling several newspapers that it would enable users to run Windows 11 on a “unsupported PC,” or one that applications such as Microsoft’s own PC Health Check identified as unsuitable with Windows 11’s hardware requirements. Microsoft noted, however, in response to a PCWorld request for clarification, that there was more to it than that.
To begin, Microsoft confirmed that what it previously stated remains accurate. If you own a Windows 10 computer and desire to upgrade to Windows 11 using the Windows Media Creation Tool or by downloading an.ISO file, you are allowed to do so.
Microsoft also detailed the device requirements for Windows 11. According to a blog post published Friday by Microsoft’s Windows team, Windows 11 will require suitable 64-bit CPUs, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, UEFI secure boot, graphics requirements, and TPM 2.0. However, if your PC only supports TPM 1.2, it will be classified as “unsupported.”
Microsoft advises against operating Windows 11 in an unsupported state, stating that it will be acceptable only in specific limited circumstances. However, Microsoft said Friday evening that unsupported PCs running Windows 11 will be denied access to Windows Update. This implies that unsupported Windows PCs may also be missing security and driver updates, Microsoft noted.
In many cases, removing access to Windows Update effectively prevents an unsupported PC from being upgraded. Without updates, users will be unable to access the most recent code, new features, and perhaps security upgrades. Microsoft cautioned that unsupported, unpatched computers may have compatibility difficulties, become useless, and may be excluded from warranty coverage. Even if a customer is prepared to keep their PC in an unpatched condition, Microsoft will almost certainly discontinue support for that version after a year or two. According to Microsoft’s Windows 10 support dates, the current version of Windows 10, Windows 10 21H1, will cease to be supported on Dec. 13, 2022.
This implies that your PC must effectively include TPM 2.0 technology, whether integrated or as a separate chip, in order to meet Windows 11’s hardware requirements. (Here’s how to tell whether your computer does.) If it does not, the window for securely upgrading to Windows 11 has effectively closed.