On June 24th, Microsoft held a virtual launch event for its next desktop operating system, which will be released on October 5th. So Windows 11 is now official.
Even if the radical overhauls announced don’t justify a new version, they are the most significant updates to Windows since the quantum leap from Windows 7 to Windows 8. The Start Menu and taskbar have been changed, the gaming experience has been improved, and Android apps are now supported natively – even if they won’t be accessible on launch day.
Early builds of Windows 11 are now available to participants of the Windows Insider Program who can download the “next generation of Windows” before October 5, when the final and most tested version rolls out.
However, not all Windows 10 devices will qualify for an upgrade. Here is what you need to know.
The Hardware Requirements For Windows 11
The minimum system requirements for Windows 11 have been upgraded by Microsoft. To be compatible, all present and future PCs will require the following:
- A 1GHz or faster processor with at least two cores on a suitable 64-bit processor or system on a chip is required (SoC).
- A minimum of 4GB of RAM.
- A minimum of 64GB of on-device storage – more may be required for future updates.
- A graphics card with a WDDM 2.0 driver and compatibility with DirectX 12 or later.
- At least a 9-inch display with 720p resolution and 8 bits per color channel.
- UEFI firmware.
- TPM (Trusted Platform Module) version 2.0.
- Internet connectivity, as it is required for many features of the Pro and Enterprise editions.
Just after Windows 11 was announced, Microsoft released a free ‘PC Health Check’ app that was designed to inform users whether they were eligible for the free Windows 11 upgrade. However, it was quickly withdrawn after user backlash, but participants of the Windows Insider Program have early access to early builds of Windows 11.
Luckily, there is a third-party option until the new PC Health Check app is released. ReadySunValley, a free download from the Microsoft Store, gives you a full breakdown of whether your device will work with Windows 11. If not, the software will explain why your PC isn’t supported, and there’s even a way to address some of the more easily dealt with issues.
What To Do If Your PC Is Not Supported
If your PC or laptop is determined to be ineligible for Windows 11, that is most likely due to less powerful hardware. Some users will be able to upgrade their desktop PCs to meet the new requirements, but many will need to purchase a new device to be able to use and benefit from Windows 11.
However, there is a workaround to three of Windows 10’s most inconvenient hardware requirements. If your PC doesn’t support TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot, or have 4GB+ of RAM, these can be manually ignored by making changes to the registry.
But if you want to buy a new device, you’ll undoubtedly have a lot of options once Windows 11 is released. The official Windows 11 trailer showed Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Microsoft’s own Surface line, with many more to come. It would be hard to believe if any current Windows 10 PC manufacturers didn’t switch to Windows 11 in the next months.
Nobody outside of Microsoft knows how long it will last, but Microsoft will be offering a free upgrade to Windows 11 for several months. That means the new OS will work with any of the Windows 10 devices listed in our best laptops list, as well as a slew of others.