Officially, running Windows 11 requires a newer PC that meets all of the performance and security requirements of the operating system. Unofficially on Windows 11 without It will be possible to meet these requirements, but we don’t yet know much about the details – how difficult it will be to install Windows 11 on these computers, how often they will remind you that you are working on unsupported hardware, and even whether you receive normal Windows security updates.
The edge has discovered a seemingly new warning message in the Windows 11 Setup app explicitly warning users of the dangers of installing Windows 11 on unsupported hardware – you may encounter “compatibility issues”, your PC “will not be allowed to receive updates”, and the “Damage to your PC due to incompatibility is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.” That’s all we’ve heard from Microsoft, but it’s the first time this policy has appeared during the Windows 11 setup process rather than in media reports. As soon as you click your way through this ominous warning message, the installation of Windows 11 is apparently allowed to continue.
I’ve tried rebuilding this screen on several unsupported Windows 10 systems of different vintages and failed, both with builds downloaded through the Insider Program and installations straight from a manually downloaded Windows 11 – ISO file. I also haven’t seen any firsthand reports about it outside of the Verge report. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen – Microsoft keeps handing out different updates to different groups of people at different times – just that I can only speculate about when you will actually see this message and what it means.
I suspect that eventually it is intentional to replace another screen that is currently displayed when attempting a manual installation of Windows on an unsupported system that completely blocks the upgrade if you have the processor, TPM, or Secure Windows 11 does not meet the boot requirements. The only way to bypass this screen and proceed with the installation for recent builds of Windows 11 is to make some registry changes that will disable the system checks. This new screen would keep the verifications in place and allow users to perform the kind of manual, officially unsupported installations that the company reluctantly allowed.
Officially supported or not, there are many PCs released between 2015 and 2017 that should run Windows 11 more or less reliably than officially supported systems. The sixth and seventh generation Intel Core processors and the first generation AMD Ryzen processors are still receiving modern driver updates from Intel and AMD, one of the key factors Microsoft cites when it comes to the stability of Windows 11 newer computers goes. These PCs also remain perfect for almost any modern PC workload aside from high-end gaming or video editing, things that actually benefit from newer CPUs and GPUs with more cores and higher clock speeds.
We’ll cover what it’s like to run Windows 11 on unsupported systems as part of our OS review so that enthusiasts and testers at least have an idea of what they’re getting into. Windows 11 will officially be released on October 5th. An updated version of Microsoft’s PC Health Check app that was recently released can tell you more about whether your system meets the Windows 11 requirements and what (if anything) you can do to fix it.
Offer picture from Andrew Cunningham
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