Unsupported PCs won't be able to test Windows 11 Insider builds anymore

Windows 11 Logo
Windows 11 Logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Some Windows Insiders will have to switch their PCs from Windows 11 to Windows 10.
  • PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements for Windows 11 will not receive Windows 11 preview builds going forward.
  • Microsoft announced that this would happen when it announced Windows 11.

Windows Insiders with PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11 will have to switch their devices back to Windows 10. Testers in both the Dev and Beta channels are starting to see a message regarding their PC being incompatible with Windows 11. Back in June 2021, Microsoft specified that this would be the case, but the message is starting to appear for Insiders now since the OS is approaching general availability.

The warning from Microsoft (via BetaWiki) that appears in Windows update reads:

Your PC does not meet the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. Your device is not eligible to join the Windows Insider Program on Windows 11. Please install Windows 10 to participate in the Windows Insider Program in the Release Preview Channel.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

While some Windows Insiders will be disappointed to have to bump back down to Windows 10, this isn't a surprise or a change from Microsoft. Back on June 24, 2021, Microsoft explained what would happen to unsupported PCs when it comes to testing Windows 11. A chart from the company explains that some PCs will have to go back to Windows 10 before Windows 11 reaches general availability on October 5, 2021.

Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc pointed people back to the Windows Insider blog post from June.

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If people are determined to have their PCs run Windows 11, they'll be able to manually install Windows 11 onto devices even if they don't meet the minimum requirements for the OS. If upgraded this way, PCs will not be officially supported and might not receive further updates.

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).

  • So all those overly-keen users who just HAD to get Win 11 early have now got to re-install their OS
  • Not really. It will just be less secure if they forcefully block updates until the next ISO comes out. I will try to update manually which will probably work anyway.
  • No I don't, I have installed Windows 11 on a second hard drive, I am going to get rid of it anyway, I need the drive space.
  • I usually do a clean install with each major release anyway, so big deal.
  • This is why I installed it on my surface book which doesn't have anything important on it.
  • I have a Surface Go running Windows 11. It was originally in the Dev channel but I recently switched it to the Beta channel. It gave me a yellow warning message about possible bugs and issues but not the red one about having to install Windows 10. We'll see how it goes but once my desktop and two Surface Pro devices (one personal, one work) upgrade to Windows 11, it won't be so important to have it on the Go. Mind you, it might be hard to go back to Windows 10 on that device after using Windows 11 so much on the others.
  • This whole thing has been kind of dumb. I've got devices that are less than a few years old saying they aren't eligible with no obvious reason why.
  • I got that message yesterday saying that my PC that is not supported had been booted out of the program. Lucky I have a dual boot system. Easy to go back to Win 10 and install Linux on the old Win 11 partition.
  • I know it's only my backup laptop but Nah it go stay on 11 .