Windows 11 Compatibility Still An Issue

John Lister's picture

Microsoft will soon start telling Windows 10 users directly whether they'll be able to upgrade to Windows 11. It also looks likely machines that don't meet the specifications will be upgradeable but without any support.

Users can already check for compatibility using a dedicated "PC Health Check" tool. However, Microsoft is now using Windows Update to send direct messages to users who are in the Windows test program. (Source:

Specifically the messages are going to those in the "Release Preview" channel, which means they can access new versions of Windows when Microsoft believes they are close to ready for the general public. That suggests Microsoft may start sending out these messages to ordinary users fairly soon.

Many Users Still Miss Out

More users than originally expected will be able to upgrade as Microsoft has added several processors to its list of compatible hardware, including some older Intel chips.

However, there's no word yet on any changes to the biggest obstacle, namely Microsoft's insistence that computers have a security hardware feature called Trusted Platform Module (TPM). That will count out many computers that are otherwise powerful and modern enough to run the system.

Adding a Trusted Platform Module to a computer is technically possible in many cases but isn't an easy task. It remains to be seen if Microsoft will loosen this restriction and how affected users will respond.

Old PC's Won't Upgrade via Windows Update

Meanwhile, Microsoft has confirmed that unsupported computers can in fact get Windows 11, but that it would be a very bad idea in most cases.

That's because the compatibility checks only affect upgrades through Microsoft's Windows Update service. Users can instead upgrade an "incompatible" machine using the media creation tool and forcibly install Windows 11 using a bootable USB drive with Windows 11 install media on it

The big problem is that in this scenario, Windows Update will be disabled moving forward. That means users won't be able to install any new features or security fixes after Windows 11's release, either manually or automatically because the TPM module is missing.

Instead the only option to remain up to date and secure will be to download a new version of the media creation tool after every major Windows 11 feature update, then reinstall Windows 11 (once again) from scratch. It is unclear if the Windows 11 upgrade in this manner will mean a clean install, though that exactly what happens if you try to "upgrade" Windows 10 from bootable media. (Source:

For example: if you were to download the latest feature update of Windows 10 onto a bootable USB drive and then start the Windows 10 installer from the USB, the option for a Windows "upgrade" will result in an error message. In this case, the message would state that the user must perform the upgrade from within Windows 10 itself (after the user has logged into the machine). This leaves the only option for a "custom" installation, which requires installing a new edition of Windows altogether.

What's Your Opinion?

Have you given much though to Windows 11 compatibility? How much effort would you go to upgrade your machine to the new system? Do you think Microsoft will stick to insisting users needed a Trusted Protection Module?

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Average: 5 (8 votes)


ccom45_15145's picture

Very disappointed that my current Processor is deemed unsuitable to run Windows 11. My current system is: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700 CPU @ 3.60GHz, 3600 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s) with 16Gb memory, TPM 2.0, UEFI and I'm currently running Win 10 21H1 OS Build 19043.1165 with no adverse effects at all.

Microsoft's reluctance to "lower" the criteria to allow systems such as mine to run Windows11, smacks of an unholy alliance between themselves and the CPU/Hardware vendors. It appears to be a cynical attempt to get more hardware sold rather than any specific need especially as my current system runs 21H1 perfectly satisfactorily.

Microsoft needs to "come clean" and state why systems will not perform/run with windows 11, when it looks to me as an end-user that this limitation has been arbitrarily created.

stooobeee's picture

By the time people are forced to upgrade their computer systems, most folks will plain run out of money because of how our economy is being degraded. The only ones that will be able to upgrade will be the more financially secure. At the present rate of gas hikes and food shortages, people will be lucky enough just to live. Forget about Win 11.

kitekrazy's picture

To me that's better.

anton_van_wamelen_3476's picture

Hey I wonder when they call a Windows 13, this will give me the creeps...
But seriously, no joking, sometimes I wonder what they really want: Security?
If you use AVG TuneUp, Comodo AV, Trojan Remover all together....what?
Yes I can't upgrade to Wee11, maybe I don't want to, it seems to be a sort W10 EXTENDED.
Like Tonic Wodka..unstirred
They surely know that many users could not upgrade their machines, so what?
Push them to buy new machines?
That's crazy, chip shortages, ore shortages, make this nearly impossible.
So in the end recycle every 10 years or what?
Tell us Microsoft.
That's all folks

randyh2's picture

Permalink, I agree!
Having to buy a new machine to get Win 11 is like
having to buy a new car because the tires are worn out!
I'm running Win 10 Pro version 21H1, OS build 19043.1165
on a Samsung 850 SSD on a 10 year old machine with an AMD Athlon II X4 640,
4 cores activated, and 8 Gb memory.
And it runs just fine.
So I have no interest in Win 11.

randyh2's picture

I just saw that ALL comments are Permalink!
My previous reply should have been to ccom45_15145...