Windows 11 minimum requirements — Your old PC won’t cut it

Many current Windows 10 PC users will have to upgrade their systems before they can update to Windows 11.

Microsoft on Thursday pulled the wraps off its next operating system, which will be released towards the end of the year.

While the update from genuine copies of Windows 10 will be free, the official system requirements of Windows 11 have revealed that not all computers capable of running the current OS will be eligible.

Firstly, there will no longer be a 32-bit version of Windows, although 32-bit apps will still be supported.

While the processor speed of 1GHz has remained the same, it will now require two or more cores on a 64-bit processor or SoC.

The minimum RAM requirement has also been quadrupled – from 1GB to 4GB.

The required storage for installation is now 64GB, where Windows 10 64-bit requires only 20GB. This does not take into account any further space needed for updates.

In terms of graphics, the system’s GPU will have to be compatible with DirectX 12 or later, as opposed to DirectX 9.

In addition, the display must support a resolution of 720p or higher, up from the 600p of Windows 10.

One notable change is the requirement for a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip on the motherboard.

This is a dedicated microcontroller that can secure hardware through integrated cryptographic keys, improving the security and privacy of the user.

Microsoft recommends a system with TPM version 2.0 for Windows 11, although upgrading systems with TPM version 1.2 will also be allowed, provided that Secure Boot is a feature. Microsoft advises against this, however.

The table below shows the differences between the minimum system requirements of Windows 11 and Windows 10.

Minimum system requirements — Windows 11 vs Windows 10
Specification Windows 11 Windows 10
Processor 1GHz or faster with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip (SoC). 1GHz or faster processor or SoC.
RAM 4GB 1GB for 32-bit
2GB for 64-bit
Installation storage 64GB 16 GB for 32-bit
20 GB for 64-bit
Graphics card Compatible with DirectX 12, with a WDDM 2.0 driver. Compatible with DirectX 9, with a WDDM 1.0 driver
System firmware UEFI, Secure Boot capable None
TPM Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0
TPM 1.2 (not recommended)
Display 720p display, 9-inch or greater monitor, 8 bits per colour channel 800 x 600 resolution

Complaints from high-end PC users

Most modern mid-range or high-end PCs should easily meet the abovementioned requirements.

Microsoft also provides a tool, PC Health Check, that can scan a user’s system and detect whether it marks all the spec boxes.

Numerous high-end PC users have been complaining that despite exceeding the requirements, the tool has told them that their computers can’t run Windows 11.

It also doesn’t specify exactly which requirements are not met.

The likely culprit in these cases may be the TPM requirement.

Although most motherboards released since 2016 boast this chip, some may have it turned off by default.

To fix the issue, users have to open up their UEFI/BIOS settings and switch on TPM.

To enter this settings menu, users have to press a button specified by their particular OEM as the machine boots up.

Lifewire provides a comprehensive list of the UEFI/BIOS keys for various manufacturers, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo.

Alternatively, they can get to their system’s UEFI settings through Windows 10’s advanced startup options.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. Click on Recovery.
  4. Under the “Advanced startup” section, click the Restart now button.
  5. Select Troubleshoot.
  6. Click on Advanced options.
  7. Choose the UEFI Firmware settings option.
  8. Click the Restart button.

Now read: Android apps coming to Windows 11

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Windows 11 minimum requirements — Your old PC won’t cut it