What to do if your computer is unable to upgrade to Windows 11

What to do if your computer is unable to upgrade to Windows 11

A failed Windows 11 compatibility check
Microsoft

Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 11, was launched in October 2021, however many computers lack the hardware required to upgrade. So what can you do if your computer is not ready to take the plunge? Is it even worth the upgrade?

When Windows 11 arrived, it was launched with some restrictive and controversial requirements. Most notably, Microsoft requires users to be online and have an active Microsoft account to use it. Still, if your computer is not compatible, there are options and solutions available, even if they vary in difficulty and risk. It can be as simple as connecting your computer to the internet or as complicated as manually upgrading the hardware inside your PC.

What are the minimum requirements?

The minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 is as follows:

  • Processor: 1GHz or faster with two or more cores; must be Intel 8th gen / AMD Zen 2 or later
  • BAGGE: 4 GB
  • Storage: 64 GB
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot Capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
  • GPU: Graphics card compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
  • Network: Internet connection and Microsoft account

If you are unsure, Microsoft’s PC Health Check app will check if your computer meets the minimum requirements for Windows 11.

You can try to install it anyway

Retail packaging for Windows 11 USB.
Microsoft

Microsoft do not recommend install Windows 11 if your computer does not meet the minimum requirements. The company says that running its latest operating system on a machine that is not powerful enough can lead to “compatibility issues”, which prevents your computer from receiving updates and voids your warranty if the upgrade damages your hardware.

Despite this, Microsoft has provided instructions for customers who want to get Windows 11 running on a machine that does not support it. So if you want to take the risk, you can install Windows 11 and see if it works.

To upgrade an unsupported machine, you must create a registry key which will bypass the TPM 2.0 and CPU model controls. Quarreling with registry keys comes with its own risks, so make sure you know what you are doing before trying this. Once the registry key is related, you should be able to run the Windows 11 Setup Utility and upgrade your machine.

If you ignore Microsoft’s warnings and decide to upgrade, keep an eye out for any issues. You may be lucky and have a smooth journey, but you have ten days to go back to Windows 10 through the System Restore tool if you encounter problems. Go to startup, settings, system recovery and go back. After ten days, Windows will delete the recovery files to free up disk space, and it will be more complicated to scroll around.

Upgrade your PC

Apply new thermal paste to a CPU.  Thermal paste used as an interface between heat sinks and CPU.
Neither does Gal / Shutterstock.com

If you are somehow held back by lack of RAM or lack of storage space, you have a potentially simple solution. You can get dual Windows 11s minimum RAM requirements for less than $ 35, while a cheap external hard drive can help you free up the space you need. RAM squeezes; make sure you are using the correct channels and that the RAM you have purchased is compatible with the rest of your computer. An external hard drive can be connected via USB.

Unfortunately, for most potential Windows 11 users at present, the necessary upgrades are more complex and expensive than installing new RAM or connecting an external hard drive. The good news is, you may not have to buy and install a brand new motherboard. You need one with one Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip which supports TPM 2.0. If you bought your computer after July 28, 2016it probably has a compatible TPM chip.

TPM modules are available and compatible with some older motherboards, so check it out before tearing your rig to pieces. Your computer may have a compatible TPM chip that you have not activated, so perform that check and allow your chip if needed.

You also need a relatively new processor. The oldest processor you can run Windows 11 with is an 8th generation Intel processor, which was first launched in August 2017. AMD users demand even newer hardware – Zen 2, which came on the market in 2019, is the oldest AMD processor which is compatible with Windows 11.

Installing a processor is one of the most sensitive parts of PC construction, but it’s something an amateur can do in less than 30 minutes. Motherboards and other components tend to have some degree of future-proofing, so if your processor prevents you from upgrading, there’s a good chance you’ll fit a compatible CPU. Upgrading laptop hardware is more complicated, and the range of compatible parts is much narrower. Some soldering may be involved. But if you feel safe, that’s it possible to upgrade laptops.

Do not worry too much about it

Laptop that displays its screen with the Microsoft Windows logo on the desktop.
Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com

Microsoft will not “retire” Windows 10 until October 2025 at the earliest, so Windows 10 users still have a few years to consider a new operating system. Until retirement, Windows 10 will continue to receive support, including critical security updates and bug fixes. You do not need to be in a hurry to upgrade, and you may even be better off buying a new device in a year or two instead of forcing the new operating system on the older PC you currently have.

If you hang back, there’s also a chance that Microsoft will lower the requirements for Windows 11. Last year, the company said its requirements were “can be changed in connection with testing“, so there is a possibility that it will try to maximize the number of devices that Windows 11 will work with if the bus stops. However, there is no reason for you to feel that there is an urgent need to upgrade. your time.


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