Tiny11 Core is a 2GB Windows 11 ISO with 'limited security and NO serviceability' — Here's why you SHOULDN'T use it

Tiny11 Core shrinks Windows 11 to 2GB Generated by AI - Image of Windows 11 shrunk to 2GB
Tiny11 Core shrinks Windows 11 to 2GB (Image credit: Bing Chat)

What you need to know

  • NTDEV compressed Windows 11 into a 2 GB ISO, taking up just 3.3 GB disk space.
  • LZX disk (de)compression was used to shrink the operating system size.
  • NTDEV stresses that Tiny11 core is not a replacement for Windows 11 or even tiny11
  • Tiny11 core has limited security and NO serviceability

The mad scientists at NTDEV have released Tiny11 Core. They were able to shrink the roughly 20GB Windows disk size to an amazing 3.3 GB on disk and a 2GB ISO file. To do this they utilized LZX disk (de)compression to make the file size so small as well as removing several core features. NTDEV says this type of install is great for scenarios where you need to run Windows in a VM or for testing purposes (like testing a driver or an application).

As such, I strongly recommend to exercise increased caution if you're trying to use tiny11 core on production systems, as it has limited security and NO serviceability. It is not a replacement for tiny11! It has a different purpose: to be a quick-and-dirty testbed or development platform.


Why you shouldn't use Tiny11 Core

NTDEV warns that to achieve the dramatic decrease in the file size for Windows 11, they had to make significant cuts. Some of the significant changes that had to be made are shown below, but they also cut more, to see everything changed look at the Tiny11 Core XML

Here are some of the core Windows 11 components that were disabled in Tiny11 Core.

  • Windows Component Store (WinSxS)
  • Windows Defender
  • Recovery Agent 
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Windows Update

Running Windows without Defender or Windows Update enabled in a production environment would be extremely unwise. The only safe way to run this operating system would be in a virtual machine or an air-gapped PC that has a very specific purpose. 

However, while its use cases are limited, the fact that NTDEV has been able to shrink the size of Windows 11 so drastically is exciting for possible future official releases from Windows. Xbox has the chance to make a gaming handheld empire and If Windows can follow some of the size-saving innovations of the Tiny11 core developers it could be extremely useful for the handheld gaming PCs of today and tomorrow. 

Can you think of a use case for Tiny11 Core? Does it surprise you to see Windows 11 reduced to a 2GB ISO? Let us know in the comments. 

Colton Stradling

Colton is a seasoned cybersecurity professional that wants to share his love of technology with the Windows Central audience. When he isn’t assisting in defending companies from the newest zero-days or sharing his thoughts through his articles, he loves to spend time with his family and play video games on PC and Xbox. Colton focuses on buying guides, PCs, and devices and is always happy to have a conversation about emerging tech and gaming news.