Windows 11 has strict system requirements, but there are ways around them. For example, it requires at least an 8th Gen Intel, AMD Zen 2, or Qualcomm 7 or 8 Series CPU, but you can install Windows 11 on PCs with older CPUs.
Should you upgrade to an unsupported PC?
First, let’s be clear: if you’re undecided, we recommend that you don’t upgrade an unsupported PC to Windows 11. Windows 10 will be officially supported with security updates until October 2025.
Windows 11 doesn’t have huge features that make it a necessary update, and Microsoft warns that unsupported PCs may have bugs. In fact, Microsoft warns that it may eventually stop providing security updates for unsupported PCs running Windows 11.
However, if you are interested in running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, we will help you.
Updated 09/21/22: These methods still work with the Windows 11 2022 update as well.
Whatever you do, we recommend that you back up your important data first. It is always important to have a backup, especially when upgrading to a new operating system and especially when the new operating system is not officially supported on the hardware.
Suggestion: In some situations, you can make your PC officially supported with one or two configuration tweaks.
RELATED: How to force update and update Windows 11 immediately
How to see why your PC is not supported
You can check if Windows 11 supports your PC by downloading and running Microsoft’s PC Health Check app.
If your PC is supported, upgrading to Windows 11 is easy. You can do it in just a few clicks.
If Windows 11 does not officially support your PC, the PC Health Check will say it “does not currently meet the Windows 11 system requirements” and will tell you why. If the tool reports that your PC is not supported, the process you need to follow will depend on the reported issue. You may need to change a setting in the PC’s UEFI firmware (the modern replacement for the BIOS) to support the PC, or the process may be more complicated.
How to enable TPM 2.0
Windows 11 officially requires TPM 2.0. (However, there is an easy way to install Windows 11 if your PC only has TPM 1.2, which we’ll cover below.)
If the tool reports that your computer does not have TPM, it is possible that your PC has TPM, but it may be disabled by default.
To check and enable TPM 2.0, you’ll need to enter your computer’s UEFI firmware settings (the modern replacement for BIOS). Look for an option named “TPM”, “Intel PTT”, “AMD PSP fTPM” or “Security Device”. You can find it in the main UEFI settings menu or in a menu called “Advanced”, “Reliable Computing” or “Security”.
For more information, search online for your computer model name and “enable TPM” or review its official documentation. (If you made your own PC, search for your motherboard model name instead.)
You may also need to install a UEFI update for your computer or its motherboard. Manufacturers have implemented updates that enable TPM 2.0 by default or add support for it. It may also be possible to upgrade from TPM 1.2 to TPM 2.0 with a firmware upgrade on some PCs; depends on the hardware and system manufacturer. Check with your computer (or motherboard) manufacturer for more information on updates for Windows 11.
After enabling the TPM, run the PC Health Checker tool again. You should be able to update normally if this was your only problem.
How to enable Secure Boot
If PC Health Check reports that your computer is not using Secure Boot, you should also look for a “Secure Boot” option in the UEFI firmware settings and enable it if possible.
You may have disabled Secure Boot to install Linux or it may have been disabled on your motherboard. Modern Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Fedora run on PCs with Secure Boot enabled, so you don’t need to disable this security feature to install Linux.
If you are able to enable Secure Boot, re-run the PC Integrity Checker tool. You can now upgrade normally, assuming Secure Boot was the only problem.
How to fix No UEFI (MBR instead of GPT)
Windows 11 requires UEFI. Some older computers offer both modes: UEFI firmware or a traditional legacy BIOS. If you are currently using a “traditional” MBR partitioning configuration but your PC offers UEFI as an option, you will need to switch to a GPT partition table to use UEFI.
There are several ways to do this. Microsoft’s MBR2GPT tool may allow you to convert a drive from MBR format to GPT format. Microsoft warns that you should only do this if you know your PC supports UEFI and that you may need to change settings in your PC’s firmware to have it boot into UEFI mode rather than legacy BIOS mode at a later time.
If this is your only problem, an easier way would be to do a clean install. First, make sure you back up your files (we recommend that you back up your files before upgrading anyway). Then, use Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool to create bootable Windows 11 installation media on a USB drive or DVD. Now, use the installation media to perform a clean install of Windows 11, wiping the drive – you may need to put your computer’s firmware into UEFI mode first. Windows 11 will wipe your Windows 10 system and configure the drive in GPT mode.
Registry hacks for unsupported CPUs and / or TPM 1.2 only
If your only problem is that your computer has an unsupported CPU and / or that it only has TPM 1.2 instead of TPM 2.0, this is the easiest problem to get around.
If you choose, you can get around this restriction with a simple modification of the Windows registry. By making this change, Windows 11 will ignore the CPU version check and installation even if only TPM 1.2 is present. However, this will not eliminate other checks, for example, if your computer does not have a TPM, this registry change will not allow you to upgrade.
Warning: The Windows registry is complex and you should be careful about what you add, change, or delete in it. You could cause problems with the Windows installation. If you are not comfortable editing the registry, you may want to avoid updating. However, if you follow our advice here, you shouldn’t have any problems.
To get started, open Registry Editor. You can press Windows + R, type “regedit” and press Enter, or type “register” in the Start menu search box and click the “Registry Editor” link.
Type the following address into the address bar in the Registry Editor window (or navigate to it in the left pane):
Right-click in the right pane, select New> DWORD (32-bit) Value and enter the following text as the name:
Double-click the “AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU” value here, set it to “1” and click “OK”.
Do you want to skip the registry editing process? Download our registry hack Enable Unsupported Updates to make the change in just a few clicks.
This downloadable ZIP file contains two REG files: one that enables unsupported PC updates (Enable Unsupported Upgrades.reg) and one that undoes the change (Undo Enable Unsupported Upgrades.reg). Just double-click the “Enable unsupported updates.reg” file and agree to add the information to the registry. If you want to undo the change, double-click the Undo file.
These files work the same way as the registry hack above – they simply set the “AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU” value to “1” (to enable unsupported updates) or “0” (to restore the default).
To make sure the change takes effect, restart your PC before continuing.
You can now download and run the Windows Setup Assistant tool from Microsoft’s website to upgrade your PC to Windows 11, just as if it had a supported CPU or TPM 2.0. You’ll just have to accept a warning first.
Grade: Note that this only does two things: it causes Windows 11 to ignore the CPU requirements, and it allows Windows 11 to be installed with TPM 1.2 instead of TPM 2.0. It will not bypass other requirements. For example, if your PC doesn’t have a TPM at all or only has a legacy BIOS instead of UEFI firmware, this registry setting won’t help.
PC with no TPM, no UEFI or other major issues
If the above tips and registry hacking aren’t enough for your PC, now things are starting to get risky. If your computer doesn’t have a TPM at all, for example, it is truly not supported.
What does it mean? Well, Microsoft provides an official way to install Windows 11 with older CPUs and TPM 1.2 chips, for example. You just have to flip a registry setting. It’s not supported, but Microsoft helps you do that.
There are reportedly ways to install Windows 11 even if you don’t have TPM 1.2 or UEFI. But this is truly unsupported: You are even more at risk of encountering bugs and not receiving future security updates if you manage to bypass even these entry level requirements. We have also seen mixed reports of success from people following these tricks. While it works for you, an update in a few months could result in your computer blue-shielding, breaking your operating system, and forcing you to reinstall Windows 10.
We advise you not to follow any of these extreme tricks – you are bracing yourself for trouble. Windows 10 will work flawlessly until October 2025, and you’ll probably want a new PC by then if your current PC is too old even for TPM 1.2.