Windows 11 is now available as a free upgrade from Windows 10. But before you hit that update button to get all the new and exciting features, you’ll need to ensure that your PC meets the minimum system requirements for running the updated OS. This is because Windows 11 comes with specific hardware requirements, and if your machine falls short, you’ll be forced to stick with Windows 10 for the foreseeable future.
In this article, we’ll walk through the Windows 11 system requirements and how to check if your PC is compatible.
Before you update to Windows 11
As many PC gamers may already know, Windows 11 is an enhanced version of Windows 10 that comes with increased minimum system requirements and recommended specifications for optimal software performance. First, however, let’s focus on the absolute essentials you’ll need to run Windows 11:
- CPU: Your PC should have a 1 GHz or faster processor with 2 or more cores. It should be a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).
- RAM: You’ll need at least 4GB of RAM for Windows 11 to run optimally.
- Storage: Ensure that your PC has a minimum of 64GB of storage space. This allows for the installation and smooth functioning of the operating system.
- System firmware: Windows 11 requires UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) and should be Secure Boot capable. UEFI provides enhanced security and better compatibility with modern hardware.
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0 is an important requirement for Windows 11. TPM is a security feature that ensures the system’s integrity and protects against unauthorised access.
- Graphics card: Your PC’s graphics card should be compatible with DirectX 12 or later and have a WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) 2.0 driver. This ensures proper display rendering and performance.
- Display: Windows 11 requires a high-definition (720p) display that is greater than 9 inches diagonally, with 8 bits per colour channel. This ensures a vibrant and visually appealing user interface.
- Internet: For Windows 11 Home edition, internet connectivity and a Microsoft account are required to complete the device setup on first use.
PC Health Check
Now that you know the system requirements, it’s time to check if your PC is compatible with Windows 11. Microsoft provides a tool called “Windows PC Health Check” for this purpose. You can follow these steps to check compatibility:
- Visit the official Windows 11 page and download the Windows PC Health Check app.
- Once the app is installed, open it and locate the Windows 11 banner at the top of the page. Click on “Check Now” to initiate the compatibility check.
- The PC Health Check app will immediately inform you whether your PC can run Windows 11 or not. In addition, it provides a breakdown of each individual requirement, helping you identify any specific areas that may not meet the criteria.
Trusted Platform Module
One requirement that may confuse users is the Trusted Platform Module (TPM). TPM is a security feature commonly found in business laptops and desktop machines. It enhances the security of Windows PCs. The PC Health Check app will indicate if your PC has an active TPM. However, the absence of TPM detection doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have one. Some motherboards may have a TPM that is not enabled, and certain manufacturers have released firmware updates to ensure compatibility with Windows 11, even if not officially supported.
If your PC doesn’t meet the requirements
If, however, your PC does not meet the system requirements for Windows 11, you still have a few options. First, you can continue using Windows 10, which offers a stable and familiar experience. Alternatively, you may consider upgrading your hardware components to meet the Windows 11 requirements. This could involve upgrading your CPU, adding more RAM, or increasing your storage capacity.
Before making any decisions, it’s important that you evaluate whether the benefits of Windows 11 outweigh the cost and effort of upgrading your hardware. Windows 11 brings several new features and a refreshed interface, but if your current setup meets your needs and runs smoothly, sticking with Windows 10 may be the more practical choice.
Windows 11 introduces exciting new features and a modernised interface, but ensuring that your PC meets the minimum system requirements is crucial before upgrading. The Windows PC Health Check app provides a convenient way to check compatibility, and additional resources are available for checking TPM status and enabling it if necessary. Remember that Windows 10 remains a reliable and widely used operating system, and upgrading hardware should be carefully considered based on your specific needs and requirements.