What you need to know
- It seems likely that Windows 11 will show a watermark on PCs that don't meet the operating system's minimum requirements.
- The watermark previously appeared in limited testing, but it is now showing in the latest Release Preview and Beta builds of Windows 11.
- If your PC doesn't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11, a small string of white text will appear in the lower right-hand corner of your desktop.
Microsoft appears set on showing a watermark on PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11. The watermark was spotted in limited testing back in February 2022, but it has now crept its way onto the latest Release Preview and Beta builds of Microsoft's operating system. Specifically, Windows 11 Build 22000.588 shows the mark in the lower right-hand corner of the desktop.
The minimum requirements of Windows 11 have been controversial since they were first shared by Microsoft last year. While almost all newer PCs meet the requirements, there are still many usable systems that cannot officially upgrade to Microsoft's new OS. It's possible to upgrade an unsupported computer to Windows 11, though you may have to look at a watermark in the near future.
The watermark was discovered in recent Insiders builds by Twitter user Xeno.
Confirmed: 22000.588 introduces the "System requirements not met" watermark.#WindowsInsider pic.twitter.com/RrizjV2g8iConfirmed: 22000.588 introduces the "System requirements not met" watermark.#WindowsInsider pic.twitter.com/RrizjV2g8i— Xeno (@XenoPanther) March 15, 2022March 15, 2022
Windows 11 showing a watermark on unsupported PCs seemed possible when the text was spotted last month, but it seems likely now that the mark is in the latest Release Preview and Beta builds. That being said, Microsoft has made changes based on user feedback before. People complained in the comments of our piece covering the initial appearance of the watermark.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.