With Windows 11 arriving at the end of 2021, Microsoft has announced the minimum system specifications required to run the new operating system. Knowing this, you can see if your Windows 10 PC is up to the task. We’ll take a look.
Soon: How to check if your Windows 10 PC can run Windows 11
System requirements for Windows 11
According to Microsoft, if your computer does not meet the following requirements, your device will not be able to run Windows 11. If so, you will need to buy a new PC to run the new operating system.
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor. (Microsoft provides a list of compatible processors on its website).
- RAM: 4 gigabytes or more
- Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device (such as a hard drive or SSD)
- System Firmware: UEFI and Secure Boot compatible
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module 2.0 (common on motherboards made after 2016)
- Graphic card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: An HD display of at least 720p (1280×720) resolution greater than 9 diagonal, 8 bits per color channel
- Internet connection and Microsoft accounts: Windows 11 Home Edition requires an internet connection and a Microsoft account to set up the device on first use. Bringing a device out of Windows 11 S mode also requires an internet connection.
Of all these features, the TPM 2.0 requirement may be the most unexpected reason why your slightly older Windows 10 PC cannot run Windows 11. You can check the TPM version of your system by running tpm.msc in the Run dialog box.
Soon: Windows 11: What’s new in Microsoft’s new operating system
What is the difference between system requirements for Windows 10 and 11?
Compared to System requirements for Windows 10, Windows 11 relies on several new standards and features that could leave your machine out of this upgrade cycle. Here is an overview of each.
- Processor: Windows 10 supports 32-bit processors, while Windows 11 only supports 64-bit processors.
- RAM: Windows 10 requires 1 gigabyte of RAM, Windows 11 requires 4 gigabytes.
- Storage: Windows 10 32-bit and 64-bit only require 16 GB and 20 GB of storage respectively. Windows 11 requires 64 GB.
- System firmware and TPM: Unlike Windows 11, Windows 10 does not require UEFI, Secure Boot, or TPM by default. These are only required if you use features such as BitLocker.
- Graphic card: Windows 10 requires DirectX 9 with WDDM 1.0 support. Windows 11 upgrades to DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0.
- Display: Windows 10 only requires an 800×600 display, while Windows 11 requires 1280×720 or higher.
- Internet connection: Windows 10 doesn’t require an internet connection to set it up for first use, and it doesn’t require a Microsoft account. Windows 11 Home requires an internet connection and a Microsoft account to set up the system on first use.
How to check if your PC can run Windows 11
Microsoft has provided a free PC Health Check app to help you see if your Windows 10 PC is compatible with Windows 11. To use it, download app and install it on your Windows 10 PC.
When you run it, locate the “Introduction to Windows 11” section near the top of the window and click “Check now”.
The PC Health Check application will perform a quick check of your system. After a few moments, you will see the result. If the message says, “This PC can run Windows 11,” then you’re good to go.
If you see a message that says “This PC can’t run Windows 11,” your device doesn’t meet the system requirements for Windows 11. Microsoft says you’ll continue to receive Windows 10 updates.
If your PC unexpectedly failed this test, make sure Secure Boot is enabled in your BIOS, then restart Windows and run the PC Health Check test again. If that doesn’t work, check the list of system requirements above. Good luck!