Microsoft Steps Up Nagging To Win11 Upgraders

John Lister's picture

Microsoft is testing another new way to nag users running Windows 11 on unsupported devices. It's another development in the company's dilemma over user upgrades.

As we've previously covered, the upgrade requirements for Windows 11 have proven a sore point for many users. Many relatively recent machines that run Windows 10 fine don't make the cut, even though the changes in Windows 11 are largely about the user interface.


Trusted Platform Module Required for Windows 11

In particular, many machines "fail" the upgrade requirements because they don't have a security hardware feature called Trusted Protection Module (TPM). Critics say its an arbitrary decision of Microsoft to make that mandatory as it means excluding computers that are perfectly technically capable of running the system.

Rather than choose between strictly enforcing the requirements or dropping them, Microsoft settled on a middle ground by which users can use workarounds to install Windows 11 on "incompatible" machines. One involves editing the Windows registry so that it doesn't check for the TPM, while another involves tweaking the files used to install the upgrade from a DVD or USB stick.

Desktop Cluttered By Warning

The problem is that Microsoft seems to want to have it both ways and discourage users from taking advantage of this workaround. It's previously warned those users they might not get all security updates for Windows 11, though that's not been the case so far.

Recently it began testing a warning message that appears in the settings menu and reads "System requirements not met" with a link to "Learn more."

The latest test is a much more visible warning. It's a "watermark" that appears in light text on the Windows desktop itself, just above the time and date in the bottom-right corner. It simply reads "System requirements not met." (Source:

Anti-Piracy Message

If that sounds familiar, it's similar to the warnings that appear on "unactivated" copies of Windows and are designed to deter piracy. Those copies usually have other limitations such as not being able to change the appearance of some Windows features, though in this case it seems Microsoft will just be displaying the message. (Source:

As with the settings menu warning, it's not certain this will be rolled out to all users. Microsoft is likely testing both the reaction to the very visible warning as well as whether it prompts any users to roll back to Windows 10.

What's Your Opinion?

Are these warnings a sensible approach? Should Microsoft simply ditch the workarounds and fully enforce the system requirements? Should it relax the requirements and let more people upgrade without obstacles?

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glen's picture

I pulled the hard drive from my dead Toshiba laptop and installed it into an HP laptop that had been running Linux. This copy of W7 which was on the hard drive had always been there since I purchased the Toshiba new (OEM)! I now get these irritating messages on the HP that the copy of W7 isn't a legal copy! If MS was as capable of getting things right as they are at irritating customers, we'd all be better off!!

philipreeves46's picture

I know what Microsoft wants; to sell more computers. It thinks it needs more revenue.

buzzallnight's picture

Basically M$ is very similar to the Mafia,
they are organised crime!!!!!!!!!!
M$ should be sued for all damage caused by
their crappy software!

Chief's picture

What's with these authoritarians?
Simply because some module isn't extant?
How about securing the system, which most of us do anyway?
The parallels between this and the past two years is eerie.