Windows 11 System Requirements – Will Your PC Be Compatible?

Windows 11 System Requirements – Will Your PC Be Compatible?

Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 11, is set to be released later this year. With a redesigned interface and new features, many Windows 10 users will likely look to upgrade their PCs to Windows 11. However, Windows 11 has more stringent system requirements than previous Windows versions, which raises the question – will your current PC be compatible with Windows 11?

Hardware Requirements

Microsoft has outlined specific hardware requirements that PCs will need in order to run Windows 11. The main requirements are:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).
  • RAM: 4 GB.
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device.
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable.
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
  • Graphics card: DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x.
  • Display: 720p, 8-bit per color channel, at least 9″ diagonal.

These requirements, particularly the processor, TPM and UEFI firmware, are stricter than for Windows 10. Many PCs that run Windows 10 today may not meet the requirements to run Windows 11.

Processor Compatibility

The processor requirement is likely the most limiting factor. Windows 11 requires a relatively modern 64-bit dual core or better processor. These include:

  • Intel 8th gen Coffee Lake or newer
  • AMD Zen 2 or newer
  • Qualcomm 7 and 8 series

Older processors like Intel 7th gen or AMD Zen 1 will not support Windows 11, even if the PC meets other requirements.

You can check your PC’s processor in Settings > System > About. Check the processor name against Microsoft’s published list of compatible processors to verify compatibility.

Checking for TPM and UEFI

Two other potential compatibility issues are the TPM and UEFI requirements.

  • TPM (Trusted Platform Module) is a security chip used for encryption. Most modern PCs have a TPM, but you’ll need to ensure it’s version 2.0.

  • UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is a more modern replacement for the legacy BIOS firmware interface.

To check if your PC has these:

  1. Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security
  2. Under “Device security”, click “Security processor details”.
  3. Check that TPM is present and activated, and the Spec Version says “2.0”.
  4. For UEFI, press the Windows key + R and enter “msinfo32” to open System Information. Check that “BIOS Mode” says UEFI, not Legacy.

If either of those say unavailable or incompatible versions, your PC likely won’t support Windows 11.

Using the PC Health Check App

Microsoft has also released the PC Health Check app that can quickly scan your PC and check compatibility with Windows 11.

After installing, open the app and click the “Check now” button. It will only take a minute to run through the checks.

At the end it will report compatible or incompatible, and show which requirements were met or failed. This is the easiest way to determine if your current PC will be able to run Windows 11.

Older PCs May Be Left Behind

With these strict system requirements, many PCs that run Windows 10 today will be incompatible with Windows 11. Older PCs with 7th gen or earlier Intel processors, or 1st gen AMD Ryzen chips may be entirely locked out from upgrading.

Microsoft has stated these requirements are intended to ensure a consistent and reliable Windows 11 experience. However, leaving many existing PCs behind risks confusing users when the upgrade becomes available but their current PC won’t be eligible.

If your PC is incompatible, you may need to consider replacing hardware like the processor or motherboard to meet Windows 11 requirements. Or you may need to do a clean install and keep using Windows 10, which Microsoft says will be supported through 2025.

Either way, be sure to use the PC Health Check tool and verify your system specs, so you know if your current PC will be compatible for the Windows 11 upgrade once it’s released. With some advance planning, you can decide the most cost-effective path to eventually end up on the new Windows version.



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