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Here's what will happen to Insiders on unsupported PCs running Windows 11 over the coming weeks

Windows 11 Update Checkforupdate Light
Windows 11 Update Checkforupdate Light (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Unsupported PCs in the Dev channel will receive Cumulative Updates until Windows 11 hits general availability.
  • Once Windows 11 hits general availability, PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of the OS will be asked to downgrade to Windows 10.
  • Microsoft has not specified what will happen to unsupported PCs that aren't rolled back to Windows 10.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc clarified what will happen to unsupported PCs currently running Insider builds of Windows 11. We already knew that PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of the operating system will be asked to roll back to Windows 10. Now we know that these PCs will continue to receive cumulative updates until the general availability of Windows 11 but won't receive any new builds. Microsoft hasn't shared what will happen to these PCs if they aren't rolled back to Windows 10.

LeBlanc's comments appear in a thread about the recent news of unsupported Insider PCs being rolled back to Windows 10. A debate on Twitter occurred regarding the exact timeline of PCs being opted out of Windows 11 Insider builds. Leblanc states, "Our blog post from June 24th still holds true to the statements made - PCs in the Dev Channel that were given an exception will just not receive new builds from the Dev Channel going forward."

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Contentions arose because Microsoft is opting PCs out of new Windows 11 Insider builds now rather than waiting until the day of general availability. This move is likely due to the fact that the Dev channel is moving to another branch soon. As a result, Microsoft wouldn't have anywhere to put unsupported PCs, as explained by XDA's Rich Woods.

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This is somewhat of a "straining at gnats" situation. Windows 11 reaches general availability on October 5, 2021, which is just over one month away. Until then, unsupported PCs on Windows 11 will receive Cumulative updates but won't see any new builds. These PCs will then be asked to roll back to Windows 10. It's unclear what will happen to any of these PCs that are not downgraded.

LeBlanc summarizes the situation, "The PCs given an exception will no longer receive any new future Insider Preview builds from the Dev Channel but will still get Cumulative Updates for Windows 11 leading up to GA. As I said, there is a distinction between new builds here."

Dev channel builds of Windows 11 have received Cumulative Updates since July, so it's unsurprising that they'd continue to receive them until people have to downgrade to Windows 10.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

6 Comments
  • I already received the message to reinstall windows 10 from windows 11 on my one unsupported device. But them kicking you off win11 was already known months ago. Nobody should be surprised by this.
  • Sure, but I have to re-install Win 10 on my Insider PC. Then on Oct 5 I can re-install Win 11 on my PC. There is the 'threat' of no updates. What's the point of this? Is MS really going to allow numerous unprotected Win 11 devices float around on purpose. When they are compromised, the headlines aren't going to say Win 11 on unsupported hardware has been hacked. They'll just say Win 11 has security holes.
  • Question is. Will there be access to these future updates and security patches for those that manually upgraded to win11 after being kicked off from it. If that's the case then upgrading on unsupported devices is fine, if not its simply unsafe.
  • The reason it should surprise you is that MS told journalists that unsupported PCs could stay in the insider program and be treated the same as unsupported PCs that had had windows 11 installed via iso. Why the hell does Microsoft seem not to know what is going on? This is going to go down as the worst messaged software ever.
  • They NEED to get the Windows 10 build with WSLG out, that's the biggest demand for going to win11 unsupported as I have no clue how to get the latest build that was beta prior to win11 on these pcs... Make an ISO for those folks or if there is one, write a blog on how to get it/install it.
  • Terrible rollout. This could've been handled better.