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You can run Windows 11 on unsupported devices — but will you?

Windows 11 Start Hero Surface Book
Windows 11 Start Hero Surface Book (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What a weekend it's been for Windows 11. Microsoft announced that some Intel 7th-Gen chips will support the new operating system and unveiled an updated PC Health Check app. But perhaps the biggest news about the OS is the fact that people will be able to install it on unsupported systems.

The Windows 11 minimum requirements caused a stir from the day they were announced. Some scoured the web to see if their devices support TPM 2.0 and if they'd be able to upgrade to the new operating system. While PCs will still need to meet the minimum requirements for official support, Microsoft revealed that it won't block people from manually upgrading to Windows 11.

If people would like to, they will be able to use the Media Creation Tool or an official ISO from Microsoft to upgrade PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11. As long as a PC has TPM 1.2 enabled, 64GB or more of storage, at least 4GB of RAM, and a dual-core or higher CPU, people will be able to force it to run Windows 11. While these still set a bar, it's a significantly lower one than the official minimum requirements.

The question is, will people want to do this? After all, there's a reason that Microsoft set the minimum requirements where it did. Even upon further review, the company only added a set of Intel 7th-Gen chips. Microsoft didn't add any additional AMD processors to its list of supported CPUs.

According to Microsoft, PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11 have 52% more kernel mode crashes. In contrast, PCs that do meet the specs are 99.8% crash-free, according to Microsoft.

That may be the case, but many expressed a desire to run Windows 11 on their PCs regardless of what Microsoft recommends. At least in relation to unofficial support, this takes the onus out of the hands of Microsoft and lets people do what they want with their PCs.

This setup could be a compromise that many are happy with. Only people with PCs that meet the minimum requirements will see a prompt to upgrade, while tech-savvy people can force the operating system onto just about any computer that they'd like.

If your PC doesn't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11, will you still upgrade it to the new OS? Let us know in the poll above and explain your thoughts in the comments below.

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).

56 Comments
  • it would be awesome if they provide us with Feature and Security Updates
    We are installing it on unsupported devices at our own risk then Why ban us from receiving updates ? Otherwise i don't have any problem with Official Requirements for Windows 11 they are totally justified with
    Security and stability point of view
  • Because Microsoft will still be blamed in some way.
  • "According to Microsoft, PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11 have 52% more kernel mode crashes. In contrast, PCs that do meet the specs are 99.8% crash-free, according to Microsoft."
    This is ridiculous: 99,7% crash free on "unsupported" PCs versus 99,8% on the good ones? Who cares?
  • Your maths are bad
  • I was going to say. That is some serious bad Arithmetic forget math. Call it typo if want, 99,7% is not the same as 99.7% and you did it twice "PCs versus 99,8% on the good ones?"
  • As you probably may have guessed, I am from a country that uses the french decimal sign, the comma, and not the british, the point. Mathematically 99,7 therefore is the same as 99.7. And when the crash rate of Windows 11 is 0,2% or 0.2% then 50% more is 0,3%. Statistically this is for me insignificant and practically the same failure rate.
  • Your math looks good to me. 50% of .2% is .1%, (.2+.1=.3) so quite small over all. I know it adds up over millions or billions of PCs, but still....
  • I'm surprised they didn't mention it anywhere on this post. I's a big problem, and I don't know if I'll use 11 because of it.
  • Not anymore now microsoft said there's a big chance unsupported devices don't get further updates if you manually upgrade to windows 11. So what the point in upgrading and then be left unsupported and unsafe. With that i think Microsoft needs to be a lot more clearer with everything. Waiting for the media to ask them questions is not the way to do things.
  • As from today. Mine just told me via the Insider Program that I won't get any further updates
  • This TPM is such a fake requirement. So many people will have the minimum requirements apart from this
  • Why is it "fake"? I get it's inconvenient, but doesn't mean it's "fake."
  • Because it's unnecessary, and has nothing to do with CPU/ RAM or anything to do with the actual performance requirements to run Win 11, it's simply there to force people to buy new laptops and that's not cool.
  • It has to do with security. Guess that is unnecessary.
  • The CPU requirment is the main issue, not T. P. M
  • Windows 11 is ugly. No reason to exist just yet. Windows 10 is extremely dated, the tile system along the Start menu design is one of the best components MS ever created. Also, Android apps thru Amazon Store? Funny, silly, and what are we, in 2015 yet? Apps belong mostly on a mobile ecosystem, not desktop.
  • "Apps belong mostly on a mobile ecosystem, not desktop."
    And you said "Funny, silly, and what are we, in 2015 yet?"
  • Huh. Never knew the distinction. Apparently apps are programs that run on small portable electronic devices, and applications are programs that run on larger, generally fixed electronic devices. I always thought apps were just because people were too lazy to type out, or say, application.
  • I would upgrade my laptop or pc to meet the requirements rather than installing windows 11 and not have full compatibility. I have a pc that's got the requirements anyway.
  • I've already figured out how to put Windows 11 on my Surface Go.
    It runs just fine especially seeing that the reason they did not "support" this device is because of 100mhz clock speed on the processor.
  • I have 5 unsupported computers that I would upgrade to Windows 11, but only if Windows Update is going to serve me updates.
  • The same with me, not a single PC or laptop in our household qualifies for 11 but runs 10 without any problems.
  • Same at my place.
  • A lot of people will have this. BAsically they're killing their install base, they no longer care about the whole "X million Windows 10 PCs by some date". I hope this is not the death of Windows because it would be very dumb.
  • This is a long shot conspiracy theory. Are they in Cohort with OEMs? So, they are expecting folks to start buying new devices?
    Also, considering they even mentioned that after working with AMS Ryzen 1000 series will be excluded... AMD worked with them to agree that CPU can not muster Win11. Is there a flaw in the CPU that mot MSFT and AMD know?
  • Same here. For my own part I'm unsure about Windows 11, a new OS which requires higher specs to do exactly the same thing Windows 10 did. Even if it does have a new look about it, I'd sooner have the raw performance than the new desktop bling using up resources. I have about 4 computers which run Windows 10 extremely well, including 1 computer from 2011 which works perfectly fine for everything still from browsing the web, MS Word, design and also gaming including both older and newer titles thanks to Game Pass and Nvidia Now. In fact the only software it won't be able to run now is Windows 11 of all things due to the new requirements, which is a shame as it runs everything else exceptionally well still for a comp from 2011.
  • Yer those higher specs are absolutely necessary to run rounded corners...
  • >if people would like to, they will be able to use the Media Creation Tool or an official ISO from Microsoft to upgrade PCs that don't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11 Dis anyone really doubt?
  • If Windows 11 will be better then I will upgrade, if it's not then I won't. Some stuff I'm not too found of, the start menu looks like a downgrade and the same for the context menus, and those are what I use the most on my PC.
  • Windows 11 is not really better than Windows 10, it seems a bit smoother in use and it looks different, but that is it really.
  • Microsoft is being pathetic to be honest, i don't know why, but they seem to be acting like a child, well you can have it, but we are not going to update it. Fine, I will stay with Windows 10 and I was thinking of jumping ship to Apple on my next hardware update and Ms acting like they have are just pushing me more towards Apple, not that Ms will care.
  • Yeah and Apple never EOLs their own stuff right?
  • I never said they didn't, all manufactures do it, even Google.
    the truth is I am just getting fed up with windows, I have been using it since 1997, I would use Linux, but the software is not there and Linux can be a pain.
    Anyway, it will be a change.
  • I think the bottom line is, if the hardware is designed for last OS, it should be supported by new OS. Now there is none PC built when Win 10 released (actually, 1.5 year after it was released) would be supported by Win 11.
  • I updated yesterday, I meet the requirements except cpu (6th gen). Works great with no problems and have received updates already. I also have a Galaxy Book 1 (unsupported 7th gen cpu) which I updated a week after the first release of Windows 11 and it works great and receives updates as well.
  • If I can do so for free using my current Windows 10 product key, absolutely.
  • Their stance is pretty crappy in not making an OS for everyone. That's all I'm gonna say, my preferences are just anecdotical.
  • I voted no, but that isn't the whole story. Have three on it now, one supported, two not. Did this via Insider. Remember, it isn't out yet. The ISOs are still beta builds too. When it is released, I wouldn't update a production machine that isn't supported. It is not clear if PCs that aren't supported that stay on Insider will quit getting updates, but those shouldn't be your production machines. Machines that are supported can be up to four years old (Intel 8th Gen is 2017). By the time Win 10 support is supposed to cease, 2025, they will be 8 years old. At that time PCs won't cease to function, they will just quit getting updates, just like the 30% of PCs running Win 7 that haven't been getting updates for the last year and a half. Some people will just keep using what they are using, enthusiasts will do what they are going to do regardless, and complain about it, regardless. Normal folks, and most businesses will have replaced 8 year old PCs some time in the next 4 as a matter of course.
  • I would.
    I tried it on my old 7inch tablet and not only it made it butter smooth, UI, UX & touch works good enough on a small screen device.
    I then tried it on my old SurfPro3, some battery boost I guess?
    Cannot wait to install it on my Aya Neo and other devices.
  • Was it ever said if this was a free upgrade?
  • In a sense, yes. If your device is running Win 10, and the hardware meets the requirements you can, or will, get it free. If you buy a new PC, it is 'free' to you because it is included in the price.
  • Yes, I would! Why not? The new look of the interface looks gorgeous.
  • I hate Microsoft.
  • Me and you both, but, I am staying with their product.
  • I'm going to update the Surface Laptop 1 and I believe it's able to run Windows 11 smoothly. If I encounter problems I will go back to Windows 10. I'd still like to buy a Surface that's compatible with Windows 11. I won't be updating my old Surface Pro 3 to Windows 11.
  • My Surface Go isn't supported officially but it runs Windows 11 just fine and touch has been improved so much over 10.
  • Not sure how that is possible. The new interface in 11 seems less touch friendly than using Tablet mode on a Surface Go. I haven't installed 11 on my Go, but have installed on a 10.5" Dell and certainly seems less touch friendly to me, and the tablet option is gone entirely.
  • First of all, if old CPU has so many issues (insecure, unstable), stay on Win 10 would make anything better? Or Win 11 is designed in the way that old hardware will be even more insecure and unstable? Apparently, this is not the reason you shouldn't upgrade to Win 11.
    The real threat is the report that Microsoft will block windows update for these hardware. That could be the real security problem and make the system less stable (since we can't get latest critical bug fix in time).
    There are so many things we don't know yet, like windows update, whether it's possible to do it manually through command line.
    I would say, if it's possible to keep updated, even manually, l would like to upgrade. Win 10 environment would get worse over time, with new Microsoft apps will not support Win 10 (OneNote), and existing may stop supporting earlier than win 10 deadline as well (Office, VS). System bugs would take longer time to fix, if ever, and services relying on cloud may stop working early as well (one drive, sync between PCs / phone). Win 10 could be essentially dead earlier than announced.
  • I would look at it this way. Staying on Win 10 doesn't make it less secure. (Disregarding what happens after 2025 for a moment) Moving to Win 11 allows the OS to take advantage of hardware features that don't exist in hardware that is not on the supported list. The newer hardware also has security features that don't exist in earlier revisions that both Win 10 and Win 11 take advantage of.
  • There is no way I am upgrading. I have learned to live with Windows 10. Switching to Windows 11 will most likely just make my life miserable for a long time. I have scheduled jobs, PowerShell scripts and everything set up on my PC and I have it configured as a server for many functions. Switching to Windows 11 would for sure make me realize that I had to reimplement half of my stuff again. I for sure will wait a couple of years before considering the switch. Hoping for most limitations (not sponsored by Microsoft but revealed by production use) get lifted by "bug fixes".
  • And you have till 2025 to work through that.
  • I have a Surface Pro 6 and a gaming desktop PC that both qualify but I have misgivings about Windows 11. I tried out the beta on the Pro 6 and performance felt a bit worse, especially the sluggish animations to unhide the taskbar and writing and drawing with a pen. I also do not care at all for the new Start menu. I dislike that it does not account for you using Windows in landscape, forcing you to scroll your pinned apps (it was obviously designed originally for a device that was going to be in portrait mode often). I also dislike that I have far fewer options to organize my programs than in the Windows 10 menu and the icons are smaller touch targets than the current tiles. It just feels clumsy to use with unnecessary extra steps to do what you want to do. The context menu changes are not bad but, again, introduces extra steps to do things that weren't there before. I hope Windows 11 improves but...Microsoft is Microsoft so they'll release first and maybe fix later. If I had an additional unsupported device then, thinking on my experience, I would not bother putting Windows 11 on it as it isn't a very good upgrade imo.
  • Nope. Window 10 will be just fine on my older hardware.
    When that is no longer supported, in 2025, I will move them all to Linux (if I have not wiped and then donated them to a School first.)
    Isn't it odd that the same people who screamed; "You can pry Windows 7 from my Cold, Dead, Fingers!!!" are now complaining about not being able to upgrade to Windows 11?
    If it bugs you that much, LINUX is just a download away (and then you can start complaining on the support sites of whatever flavor of Linux you settle on that "They are ignoring the CUSTOMER!!!!".)
    Good luck with that. By 2025 Microsoft will be pushing WaaS (Windows as a Service) hard.
    Windows 12 will be just a GUI Terminal App that connects to an Azure-hosted back end to actually run the W12 OS. You will be able to run it on just about ANYTHING with 2 cores, 4 GB of Ram, and a 720p or better video card, and WiFi and/or LAN connectivity, since it's just a terminal (a la Chromebooks.)
    There will be several flavors: Home, Student, and Enterprise.
    Home will have full, integrated xCloud functionality built in (Which is enabled by purchasing Game Pass.)
    Student will NOT have any xCloud function, but will be much, MUCH cheaper (and feature full control-ability from a central console.) It will also have a lot of Education additions to it (cheap O365 for example.)
    Enterprise will be the cash-cow (as always) and feature granular control of all aspects of the OS, Networking, CPU Resources, Teams, Shared Folders via OneDrive for Business, Scalability, Extensive Reporting tools, etc.
    That's where it's going people.
    xCloud is just the beginning and a small taste of what is in store in 5 years.
    Will there still be a market for high-powered PCs? Sure, and MS will market something for them too, probably based on their Server products.
  • WaaS as in Windows as a subscription is where it was always going as effectively it's a infinite revenue stream.
  • I have a i7 4790 desktop PC that has ti 1050 with 5GB GDDDR4, 1 TB SSD, 32GB RAM and 500W Silencer power supply. It is still up their with the top 50% of gaming desktops and top 10% of general desktops. I have a good antivirus program too! F Microsoft and all the PC manufacturers. I not taking the bait!
  • Probably. My laptop isn't that old, so it should run the OS fine. Microsoft's processor and TPM requirements are arbitrary.