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Windows 11 requirements: Microsoft says there’s no getting around them

Windows 11 system requirements
(Image credit: AMD/Intel | Remix by Nick Bush)

You won’t be able to outsmart the Windows 11 system requirements when trying to upgrade from Windows 10, Microsoft staff have claimed.

Officially, Windows 11 will only work with specific CPUs, though some hopeful PC users have floated the possibility of modifying their Windows 10 Group Policy to make the eventual Windows 11 update available on unsupported machines. In a Microsoft Q&A video, however, it was made clear that you won’t be able to cheat the requirements like this.

Microsoft program manager Aria Carley said “We know it sucks that some aren’t going to be eligible for Windows 11, but the great thing to remember is the reason we’re doing that is to keep to devices more productive, have a better experience and, most importantly, have better security than ever before.”

“Group Policy will not enable you to get around the hardware enforcement for Windows 11. We’re still going to block you from upgrading your device to an unsupported state since we really want to make sure that your devices stay supported and secure," Carley said.

Microsoft will actively check that your hardware is compatible before you can install Windows 11, so unless some enterprising computer whizzes find an alternate way around them, that seems to be that. And even if it does become possible to cheat-install Windows 11, you’d be entering a very questionable area both for software support and probably Microsoft’s own terms of use.

At least anyone who is eligible to upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, which will be free in 2022, can choose when exactly to initiate the switchover — despite Windows Update’s reputation for forced-through installations, you will be able to move to Windows 11 at your leisure.

Again, though, you’ll need to meet those hardware requirements. One of the biggest is that you need a processor with a TPM, or trusted platform module; if you’re not sure, see our guide on how to check if your PC has a TPM.

James Archer

James joined Tom’s Guide in 2020, bringing years of experience in consumer tech and product testing. As Audio Editor, James covers headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also covers the occasional spot of computing and gaming news, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.