How to get Windows 11 on an unsupported PCon February 15, 2023 at 13:21 Tech Advisor
Windows 11 was released back in 2021, and all eligible devices will have been offered a free upgrade from Windows 10.
But what if your device isn’t compatible? Microsoft updated the hardware requirements for Windows 11, meaning many older PCs aren’t supported. If you’re not sure whether that applies to your computer, check out our dedicated article: Will my PC run Windows 11?
However, even if it’s bad news, you may still be able to install Windows 11. The lack of a CPU with TPM 2.0 is often the biggest sticking point, but a workaround is available. A very similar method also works if you don’t have Secure Boot or at least 4GB of RAM available.
Just note that this isn’t officially supported by Microsoft, so you proceed at your own risk. You’ll also have to put up with annoying reminders that you have unsupported hardware, such as details in Settings and soon (according to Windows Latest) a permanent watermark on the desktop.
However, if it’s been running fine until this point, that’s unlikely to change. If you really don’t want to keep using Windows 10, here’s how to upgrade to Windows 11 manually.
How to get Windows 11 on an unsupported PC
This method involves setting up a lab-like environment, and you’ll need to make changes to the Registry. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with, it’s worth buying a device that is compatible with Windows 11 or continuing to use Windows 10 until it reaches end of support in October 2025.
But if you’re happy to proceed, here’s what you need to know. Microsoft will allow device manufacturers to disable the TPM requirement on their version of Windows 11 – you’ll be doing the same here:
Head to the official Windows 11 download page to get the new OS now – there are three options to choose fromFollow the step-by-step guideIf it doesn’t meet the hardware requirements, you’ll see a message saying ‘This PC can’t run Windows 11’From this screen, hit Shift + F10 to open the Command Prompt windowType ‘regedit’ and hit enterThe Windows Registry Editor will now open. In the address bar, type ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMSetup’ and hit enterYou should now see a ‘Setup’ key. Right-click it and choose New > Key
You’ll now be prompted to give it a name. Choose ‘LabConfig’ and hit enterRight-click the new key you’ve created and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) valueGive it the name ‘BypassTPMCheck’ and set its data to 1
Follow the same process for ‘BypassRAMCheck’ and ‘BypassSecureBootCheck’, with the same value of 1
Close this window using the red X in the top-right cornerClose the Command Prompt window by typing ‘exit’ and hitting enterYou’ll now be back at the ‘This PC can’t run Windows 11’ message. Click the back button in the top-left cornerYou should now be able to complete the installation as normal
It’s worth noting that following these steps could affect the performance or stability of Windows 11. Proceed with caution, and try it on a device other than your main PC if possible.
Is it safe to install Windows 11 on an unsupported device?
Not entirely. Windows 11’s hardware requirements are mainly about security, even if many people believe they’re being too strict. Using an operating system that’s not designed to work without a TPM chip or Secure Boot is a risk, although you’re likely to get away with it if your device meets most of the requirements.
The older the hardware is, the more risky it becomes. In any situation, we’d recommend installing on a laptop or PC that’s not your main device. If this is unavoidable, fully backup your device first to ensure you don’t lose anything.
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