Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system was released six years ago. In software development, that can feel like an eternity. So, when the company announced details for Windows 11, PC users were understandably delighted.
But it did come with a caveat. While the upgrade from Windows 10 to 11 would be made available for free, it comes with some weird system requirements. At first, it didn’t seem like everybody would be able to enjoy the latest features.
By running Microsoft’s upgrade checker, many fell short of the UEFI secure boot and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 that must be enabled. If you still want Windows 11, though, there is a loophole that will get it onto your system with minimal effort.
Here’s the backstory
Firstly, the official system requirements for Windows 11 have been released. To run the latest operating system without any problems, you would need:
- Compatible 64-bit processor
- Minimum 4GB of RAM
- At least 64GB of free space
- UEFI secure boot must be enabled
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 must be included
One of the sticking points is that you need a 64-bit processor that is listed by Microsoft as being compatible. Originally, Microsoft said your PC would need an 8th-generation Intel processor or newer to work with Windows 11.
But in a recent update, Microsoft somewhat revised the compatibility list, including a few 7th-generation Intel processors. These include the Intel Core X-series, Xeon W-series and Intel Core 7820HQ. Unfortunately, first-generation AMD Zen processors won’t be supported.
The good news is there is a loophole that will let your old PC run Windows 11, even if it doesn’t meet minimum requirements.
How the loophole works
Microsoft seems to have taken a “use at your own risk” approach for the most part. Those who don’t meet the official requirements can get the update but have to deal with the consequences.
In a social media post, the company said that it wouldn’t stop anyone from installing the free update. But you can’t get it through official channels.
If your older PC doesn’t meet minimal requirements, you can download an ISO version of Windows 11. This comes with a caveat: Microsoft won’t officially be announcing this method, as it is mainly for businesses to test compatibility with their systems.
Microsoft is also warning users that getting Windows 11 this way could be unstable. The company wrote in a blog, “Devices that do not meet the minimum system requirements had 52% more kernel mode crashes. Devices that do meet the minimum system requirements had a 99.8% crash free experience.”
But if you want to try it, check back with komando.com as we get closer to the Windows 11 release date and we’ll post instructions on how to get the ISO version.
If you are unsure if your current setup will run Windows 11, the company updated its self-checker. It is only available to Microsoft Insider members for now but will be rolled out to everyone in the coming weeks.