Windows 11’s Requirements Make No Sense!


Windows has always been highly adaptable to virtually any hardware! As long as your PC met the REASONABLE requirements!


Windows XP required 64MB of RAM and almost any 32 bit processor. It needed 8MB VRAM for DVD support (as I recall).

Windows Vista required 512MB, an Aero capable graphics card, and a 32 Bit Processor. I

Windows 7, 8, and 10, all could run on the same hardware. Except 8 and 10 needed at least a late Core 2 Duo to run well.


Windows 11 really can’t run on anything! The requirements, are not consistent with the value of Windows (an adaptable OS)! Why is Microsoft doing this?


Does Microsoft actually think they will boost hardware sales? Windows 11 cannot even run on their on Surface Line! The unreasonably high requirements will actually backfire, in that, millions of current PCs will be stuck with Windows 10 indefinitely.


Microsoft still has time to reverse course, and nix the requirements! Microsoft could make Windows 11 the greatest OS to date, if they just listen!

Comments (34)

34 responses to “Windows 11’s Requirements Make No Sense!”

  1. wright_is

    Windows 10 will still be supported for another 4 years, so 11 will come with hardware refreshes for many.

    The problem is, the world has moved forward and we've had bad hardware bugs in microprocessors, especially from Intel.

    Security is more important than ever and ensuring the hardware platform is secure and maintains its integrity against increasingly common and sophisticated attacks is a priority for every operating system. Going to 11 makes sense, if they want to differentiate the hardware requirements.

    The 8th generation Intel Core i processors were the first to include hardware mitigation for Spectre v2 and Meltdown. That means a lot of unnecessary code can be pruned from Windows going forward.

    Of course, as long as Win32 is natively supported, they can only go so far...

    Also, they did the same with Windows 286, Windows 386, Windows 3.0 and Windows NT. They all left some part of the past, in terms of hardware, behind them.

    • polloloco51

      Sorry, I still cannot see any logic or sense in Microsoft's strategy!

      Having everyone on Windows 11, WOULD BE BEST FOR SECURITY, Microsoft, and it's users. There is absolutely no valid, reasonable explanation to arbitrarily cut off, a series of perfectly good processors. The meltdown bug, is not a valid excuse for that, period. Especially when Windows 10 is running on these processors already.

      4th Generation and higher processors, are perfectly capable of running Windows 11. In fact, these processors have security functionality built in, like Secure Boot, UEFI, and Intel PTT. AMD's line of processors, have this functionality as well!

      Microsoft could easily fix all of this, by just easing the requirements and taking notice! Microsoft is really nonsensically cutting themselves at the knees doing this!

      What makes Windows truly great, is it's not Apple, and is adaptable. Windows 11 is the complete antithesis of this!

      • rob_segal

        There are more to processors than cores and speed. There is security to consider also. Spectre and Meltdown hardware mitigation is not in 7th gen Intel processors. If Microsoft wants to make Windows 11 their OS for the future, not supporting the software fixes for these security vulnerabilities is an understandable decision. Same with TPM 2. 4th generation processors do not have the same level of security as 8th generation processors.

        Windows 10 is supported till October 2025, more than 4 years from now. It's not a non-sensical decision to have stricter requirements for the sake of security or user-experience. Upgrading every Windows 10 user to 21H1 or 21H2 and delivering them security patches for 4 years while maintaining a yearly Windows 11 release is perfectly doable for the Windows team. Windows 11 will be the more secure OS and over time, people will upgrade their PC's. 4 years is a lot of time for consumers and for Windows 11.

      • wright_is

        Yes, having everyone on Windows 11 would be best for security - as long as they don't compromise the security in the process. Performance wise, the last decade has brought incremental improvements, but the newer generations also bring new security features and bug fixes.

        It makes sense to call the new Windows Windows 11 and make new hardware requirements. If they had just cut off people from upgrading to the next Windows 10 feature update, it would be outrageous. But they are deliberately leaving Windows 10 alone for existing users and showing the way forward with Windows 11. Assuming they don't blow it by scrapping any security advantages by allowing it to run on insecure hardware.

        None of my PCs are Windows 11 compatible, so I don't say this as a lucky one that can upgrade for free. I'll need to replace all my kit to go forward. But, if that means the platform is more secure going forward, I can live with that. I might wait a couple of years to upgrade, as I can't just go out and replace everything, but I do find the strategy reasonable.

        If we went by your argument, there would still be legacy code for 16-bit processors in Windows, so that you could still use it on an 8088. At some point, you have to make a cut. 4th Gen, for example doesn't have TPM 2.0 or secure core.

        If this really is for added security, as Microsoft state, I'm fine with this cut-off. It is about time and I've been arguing they need to make these sort of changes for nearly a decade - tightening security, sandboxing legacy code etc.

        On the other hand, if it is purely for new PC sales purposes, that is not right and I would seriously look elsewhere.

        I'll wait and see how this evolves, before I get angry about it. I want to see a clarification of the move.

    • StagyarZilDoggo

      Desktop 8th gen CPUs (Coffee Lake - released in 2017) don't have any Spectre/Meltdown HW mitigations. Only 9th gen (Coffee Lake Refresh) does.

      • StagyarZilDoggo

        Also, some Kaby Lake CPUs are 7th gen, some are 8th gen. Neither have Spectre/Meltdown HW mitigations, yet MS will support one but not the other...

    • hrlngrv

      | Security is more important than ever

      Granted, but how does higher baseline hardware address phishing or ransomeware?

      Focusing in on the real problem with computing security, how would 8th gen Intel processors or TPM 2 solve the faulty component commonly found between chair and keyboard?

      • longhorn

        "Granted, but how does higher baseline hardware address phishing or ransomeware?

        Focusing in on the real problem with computing security, how would 8th gen Intel processors or TPM 2 solve the faulty component commonly found between chair and keyboard?"

        I think this gets lost in the debate. For consumers 99 % of all security incidents have been created by themselves and can't be solved by hardware or software. Either the consumer executes malicious code on their machine and it slips through AV detection or the consumer types their credentials on the wrong site.

        Why would a hacker target a consumer unless said individual has $10 million in Bitcoin? Hackers go after data centers and organizations and the hackers are quite effective doing that. haveIbeenpwned lets you check your online accounts. As for Spectre and Meltdown, only state hackers can pull off stunts like that. Unless you are enemy of a powerful state you don't need to worry about Spectre and Meltdown.

        If you are responsible for the security of an organization then the threat model and security approach is vastly different from a consumer/home user. There are bigger threats, but also as an admin you can decide what code is allowed to run on the machines. As with everything else, "one size doesn't fit all". Based on threat model you can decide what users are allowed to do. It has worked for 30+ years. Common sense like decentralization and not putting all eggs in one basket is helpful.

        It seems like some people believe there will be a "secure" system that will work in all scenarios. It ain't going to happen as long as computers are operated by humans.

        • hrlngrv

          | Either the consumer executes malicious code on their machine and it slips through AV detection

          As any NEW malware would.

          | Why would a hacker target a consumer

          Few would if money were the object. However, some malware writers/distributors do so just to screw with people.

          • waethorn

            Because they’re the most gullible.

            • darlingtonpear

              I guess you have not met Karen, in accounts department :)

              • Greg Green

                I remember reading of a white hat hacker who got into a system by calling IT and claiming he was from accounting and needed the password for a particular system. He was apparently persuasive enough to get it.

                this will happen if IT hiring and reward standards aren’t high enough. Treat IT as a nuisance expenditure and bad things will happen.

  2. crunchyfrog

    While I believe that Microsoft will cave to the outrage about the Windows 11 requirements, I completely understand and agree with their push to leave behind less secure technologies. This is something that really needs to happen.

    I recently found and purchased a TPM 2.0 module for my ASUS motherboard to comply with Windows 11 despite the belief that Microsoft will back pedal on this. Overall, setting up my system to be more secure affects us all and is a long term win.

  3. madthinus

    I find it laughable the whole outrage over the PC requirements. This from the crowd that refused to upgrade and claimed Windows 7 as the be all and end all of operating system.

    8 gen launched in 2018, that is 4 year old processors by the time that Windows 11 launch officially. You will have a supported operating system on your Windows 10 based system, if you bought a 7gen platform for 8 years. If you are still rocking a 8 year old processor, and demand support at the time Windows 10 retires, get real.

    But here is my real question for everyone crying: What is it that you are craving in Windows 11, that you want to so desperately need to upgrade for? All the applications, frameworks will work seamlessly on Windows 10. Project reunion, DirectX 12 Ultimate, all the apps, Windows Store, all will be in Windows 10 as well. And the new features that is exclusive to Windows 11, you need latest hardware for that to work, which you don't have. So please, enough already. Buy a supporting PC or use Windows 10.

    • madthinus

      And before you come for me, You did not want Windows 8, you moaned about being forced into Windows 10 with all the nagware and sneaky silent updates and you hated every single featured added to Windows 10 or every long Feature update installation.

      NOW YOU NEED AND WANT WINDOWS 11? Give me a collective break.

      • Greg Green

        Nonsensical blather. Most PCs aren’t ready for the Win 11 standards. That means MS is only helping 25% to 40% of existing PCs. Why not protect most rather than least?

        quit worrying about what people were whining about yesterday and pay attention to the mistakes MS is making today.

        • madthinus

          The notion that most PC's is not ready I think is irrelevant. We have 4 years before Windows 10 expires. In a way, that is some of the longest overlaps we ever had between versions while being actively supported. By the time Windows 10 gets to EOL, those PC's will also be EOL. The other counter to this is that Windows 10 and Windows 11 is modern systems. Windows 10 is actively being supported and I think it is safe to say it will be actively supported until it retires.

        • bkkcanuck

          The 'higher security' development will rely on hardware for improved security. For those with 'older' hardware -- you will still receive security patches to fix issues that are discovered... in Windows 10.

  4. waethorn

    Your description of “running” on all of those minimal system requirements is laughable.

  5. geoff

    Microsoft could help this discussion by clearly stating the reason for blocking 7th gen Intel processors.

    Is it security?

    Is it performance?

    Is it some other specific capability introduced in 8th gen Intel processors (a new instruction, for example)?

    I think 'performance' can be struck off the list.

    Microsoft could simply insist on:

    "Four or more cores for 7th gen Intel, 2 or more cores for 8th gen and newer" (if it's about CPU performance).

    "Discrete GPU for 7th gen Intel, or integrated GPU for 8th gen and newer" (if it's about GPU performance).

    As Microsoft hasn't done that, it clearly isn't a performance discussion.

    So what is it?

    I'm 100% happy to have this cut-off (and 2 Surface Pro 4's in this house will miss out), and I don't agree that Microsoft should support 'everything, forever'. That's nuts.

    But I'd like to have the logic behind the decision explained.

  6. waethorn

    Do you really want another "Vista Basic" certification for security this time around?

  7. lvthunder

    None of us were in the meetings where this was discussed. So none of us know why Microsoft made those discissions. The version of Windows 11 we have now is not complete and we don't know what they have planned in the future.

    I think they will end up letting the 7th gen Intel processors in though since they are still selling the Surface Studio 2 with a 7th Gen Intel in it. I'm not sure if they will cave with TPM2 or not.

    • navarac

      "The version of Windows 11 we have now is not complete"

      I think we'll find that Build 22000.xx will essentially, in fact, be the final build - I think it is done. All we'll see until October (only 3 months away) are incremental .xx builds as Cumulative Updates.

  8. epguy40

    my bro's HP Spectre x360 15 2020 laptop is eligible for a Win11 upgrade, which has an intel i5-10510u [10th gen Intel core] cpu

    came pre-installed with Win10 Home edition v1903

    oh btw, I can run a 32bit Win7/Win8/Win10 OS on an old hyperthreaded Pentium 4 (either Prescott or Cedar Mill series) system with 2gigs of RAM

    • jordan_meyer

      A Pentium 4 cannot run Windows 8 or Windows 10 because it doesn't have the NX Security bit. I've tried. So in a way, microsoft has done this before, but it was for processors that were past 10 years old not a 2015 Surface Pro 4 with TPM 2.0 and UEFI bios. I can understand cutting off Intel Core 1st - 4th gen processors as those 8+ years old but a Skylake+ processor is fine. It has FW mitigated Spectre/Meltdown. Why can't they leave the software fixes in there for the older chips that came before spectre and bypass for newer HW or just wait until Windows 12 in 3-5 years to cut off the 6 year old processors. How much of an outcry would there be if the government mandated that all cars older than 6 years were illegal and couldn't be fixed by a mechanic or dealer. Why don't they try to be secure and reduce E-waste.

  9. wbtmid

    I am all for, more security! The requirement for TPM 2.0, Secure Boot and virtualization support have all been explained, along with how they aid security. But so far, neither Microsoft nor anyone else I have read (including on this site) has clearly explained the reasons for the exclusion of the noted Intel and AMD processors, and how this will improve security!!

    The minimum hardware specs For Windows 11 include a 1-gigahertz 2-core 64 bit processor and 4 GB memory.

    It is ridiculous to exclude many MUCH MORE COMPETENT processors from Windows 11 for vague, unsupported "security" reasons! Spectre and Meltdown mitigations are already in the code! Microsoft has not told us WHY good processors will "not be supported." The longer this situation drags on, the more sinister it appears. Who is paying Microsoft to implement these ridiculous, unsupported hardware limitations?

  10. zakand

    The explanation is simple. Microsoft thinks they still have a monopoly with Windows, and can save PC sales by arbitrarily forcing people to buy new PCs to get a flashy but inferior OS. They could not be more wrong, and it will be the death knell for the platform. People are NOT going to choose Win11 over the competition, and MS has now alienated millions of (now former) fans in the process.

    • navarac

      Get beyond the emasculated Windows 11 taskbar, we are left with Windows 10 with some menus altered but a lot that are still Windows 7 or before. I started to move to Linux in Jan 2020 and apart from the Gaming PC, all are now Linux Debian. It runs just fine on older hardware - no need to line PC Vendors (or Microsoft's, indirectly) pockets.

      Microsoft would better to pursue a x-year push to get Windows totally consistent than mess about with eye-candy. They'll certainly need to to persuade users to get Windows 365 subscriptions. By that time, most consumers will have "jumped ship".

  11. jimchamplin

    It runs just fine.

    It won’t install. That’s the right turn of phrase.

    • jmwoods301

      Actually, it will install using the following steps...

      1. Download the current Windows 11 Insider Build (22000.65) from UUP dump.
      2. Build the ISO.
      3. Mount your version of the Window 10 ISO you have currently installed, and copy the contents to a folder on your hard drive.
      4. See if you have install.wim, or install.esd, in the sources folder.
      5. Mount the Windows 11 Insider Build ISO and see if you have install.wim or install.esd.
      6. The install.* extension in Windows 11 must match the one you have for Windows 10, so you may need to convert one to the other (.esd to .wim, or vice versa).
      7. Rename the Windows 10 install.wim (or install.esd)
      8. Copy the Windows 11 install.wim (or install.esd) to the Windows 10 sources folder.
      9. Right-click on setup.exe in the root folder of the Windows 10 folder.

      This installs Windows 11 using the Windows 10 setup as an in-place upgrade, which will keep all your personal apps and data.

      You will be able to run Windows 11 on a system with no UEFI, no GPT, no TPM, and no Secure Boot.

      I was able to do it on a Haswell chip using Legacy boot and no TPM chip.

      • jimchamplin

        It can also be done by booting the unmodified installer, dropping to command prompt and using command line tools. Diskpart, dism, and fixmbr. There's a Chris Titus Tech video talking about it.

        So, fairly said, it won't install without help. ;)

      • jmwoods301

        Step 9 should be "double-click" on setup.exe

        Also, this doesn't require any registry hacks, or enrolling in the Dev channel.

  12. kevin_costa

    I'm running Windows 11 right now on a i7 3770K @ 4.2GHz, buttering smooth, all the drivers working and recognized! Of course, I couldn't install by official ways (because of TPM), so I downloaded an ISO from UUP Dump and, with a registry hack, installed successfully.

    I suspect that the 'RTM' build will run normally even on older PCs than mine (through hacky ways), unless MS code something specific inside the system/kernel that prevents it.