Windows 11 upgrades will be free, confirmed by system requirement checker

Windows 11 Logo 4 Razerbook
Windows 11 Logo 4 Razerbook (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is holding its Windows 11 unveiling right now.
  • The W11 upgrade checker has been spotted in the wild.
  • It confirms that upgrades will be free.

Though it was expected that Windows 11 upgrades would be free, it's now confirmed via Microsoft's very own health checker that verifies machines meet the requirements for a Windows 11 upgrade.

As spotted by WalkingCat on Twitter, the health check is live and, once you install it and go through the startup steps, it'll bring you to a hub with a big blue banner that reads: "Introducing Windows 11. Let's check if this PC meets the system requirements. If it does, you can get the free upgrade when it's available."

W11 Upgrade

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

If you want to know what those system requirements are, you can check out our post on the subject. But for those of you wondering if you'll be able to jump from Windows 7, 8, or 10 to 11 for free, this is your confirmation.

Given Microsoft's focus on providing its OS and services to as many people as possible, a free upgrade was highly likely from the get-go. The question's just been when it would be confirmed.

That's hardly the biggest news of today, though. So many other items are being announced, be they Windows 11's Chat app and built-in emphasis on Microsoft Teams, or new productivity tools.

No matter what part of Windows 11 you're most excited about, know that we'll be covering it. Before Windows 11 even officially revealed itself, we were covering it via hands-on videos and guides, and we'll continue to cover it as news becomes available.

For now, pat your wallet and get excited for an upgrade on the house, courtesy of Microsoft.

Robert Carnevale

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • NOOOOOOOOO My Surface Go 2 (M2) doesn't meet the requirements. 😭😭😭
  • Wow... damn that's... wow o_0
  • I'm gonna run some Windows updates to make sure I'm not missing anything (I also might be running an old version of DirectX). I'll update after the updates to see if it still says no.
  • Damn, updated everything and the app still says not compatible.  Perhaps others are right and the app is broken.  Guess we'll see.
  • Yeah thats... thats got to be a mistake. I *just* got the m3 Go 2, wtf.
  • What's your next product then?
    Latest Surface aren't performing well when it comes to the battery backup. Nowadays, M1 chip devices performs well and giving at least 60-70 percent of battery backup after full charge.
  • Yeah something must be wrong. I legit have the latest hardware at the top specs and it says I don't meet the minimum requirement. So I can run CyberPunk 2077 smoothly but not windows 11. Hmmm...
  • Couldn't get the Surface Pro X to run the checker
  • I think it's broken. As it says my machine, which obliterates the minimum requirements, apparently doesn't meet the minimum requirements.
  • It must be broken. My laptop, while not the latest and greatest has a 7th Gen six processor Core i7, nVidia GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, 2.5TB SSD and is showing as incompatible.
  • It's broken, obviously. I've checked it on my Dell laptop.
  • My PC is incompatible, even though it has the minimum. Is TPM a requirement as I don't use secure boot?
  • It is, but, I've just learned today that all Ryzens and Intel CPUs since 4th gen Core processors have this built into the CPU. Intel calls it PTT and AMD calls theirs fTPM.
  • Yes, confirmed it myself just now. Compatibility checker said NO at first, then I enabled fTPM, now it's fine. Secure boot is still optional
  • I've been trying to find where that is on my mobo. Edit: found the bugger! Machine now passes the test! I wonder why that feature is disabled by default?
  • Where is it?
  • If Windows 10 will provide security updates for 10 years, then Windows 11 will do it for 11 years?
  • I guess my surface pro 5 will not receive Windows 11. Sad, i bought it 3 years ago. I think its because the processor is to old?
  • It's the TPM requirement keeping you back. I'm failing the test too, but even with my now 5 year old machine, I more than pass spec on everything save for that. Though there is this Do At Your Own Risk way to bypass it, if MS continues to push it as a hard requirement.
  • I'm not surprised my 9-year-old laptop is incompatible. Third Gen i7 is dated. 9 years has been a good life. Went through four versions of Windows (if you count 8 and 8.1 separately). I was planning to build a gaming tower and buy a mid-range Surface this year anyway. At least prices on CPUs and motherboards are starting to come down. Need GPU prices to go down though.
  • If you're running an Intel Core processor, it needs to be at least at Generation 8. Here's the list of supported CPUs:
  • I'm not seeing where that checking app states where the issues are preventing Windows 11 from being installed. It's pretty much useless without details. How does Apple manage to bring forward most devices? Maybe my next PC will be a Mac.
  • Maybe the processor is the issue here. In my case, I have 6th gen Intel processor which isn't in the list. I'm thinking the same about buying Macbook before 2025.
  • Not a fan of you linking directly to the download file. I would rather you link to the Microsoft page that has the download file so I know that it is a trusted download. No offense, but "tech blog" doesn't rank high on my list of approved download sites.