You’ll be able to load Windows 11 on old hardware but you’ll have to get old school with it

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Since the announcement of Windows 11, there has been a lot of confusion around the system requirements of older devices and whether they’ll be able to run Microsoft’s new OS.

Initially, Microsoft gave everyone the impression that, if they’re running Windows 10, they would be able to upgrade to 11 no problem. Then they released a full list of supported AMD and Intel CPUs and a useful ‘PC Health Check’ app. Users could run the app on their PC, and it would tell them if it met the requirements for Windows 11, which it did.

However, if your device did not meet the requirements, the app wouldn’t tell you why. Not very helpful. Microsoft has since been working on the PC Health Check app and has taken it off its website. The app is currently only available to Windows Insiders from the software download page on its website. Microsoft said it would release the app in full in the coming weeks.

Windows 11 throws it back to the bootable ISO days

In a blog post on Friday, Microsoft said it would only enforce a restriction to install the new OS when upgrading from Windows 10 to 11. Users with older hardware would still be able to install Windows 11, but they’ll have to create a bootable drive with an ISO file.

Presumably, this is Microsoft’s way to dissuade those that aren’t familiar with creating bootable drives from installing the new OS on unsupported hardware. Another important thing to note, Microsoft said that users who install Windows 11 from an ISO on unsupported hardware might miss out on updates, including those for security and new drivers.

If all of this sounds like too much trouble for you or you are adverse to change, then don’t fret, Microsoft said it will continue to support Windows 10 until 14 October 2025. 

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I've been interested in tech for as long as I can remember. A few facts about me; I learnt how to code when I was 5, I helped Mark Shuttleworth develop Ubuntu when I was 9 and now I write for a tech publication. Only one of those facts is true. I also have a drama degree, hence the writing.

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  1. Pingback: In a surprise to no one, Microsoft won't support Windows 11 on Apple hardware » Stuff

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