Windows 11 compatibility: check if your PC can handle Microsoft upgrade

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Microsoft will be phasing out support for Windows 10 over the next few years, so it’s important to make sure your device supports Windows 11.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Windows 11 arrived Tuesday (here is our full Windows 11 review) and the big question that worries many PC users since Microsoft unveiled its first major operating system upgrade in six years is, will my computer be compatible? There has been some confusion over device compatibility since Microsoft’s big announcement for the updated operating system earlier this summer. But the short answer is that Windows 11 should work with most PCs, according to a company blog post. However, although its release date has finally arrived, even compatible devices won’t necessarily get the upgrade yet – Microsoft says you may have to wait until mid-2022 for download and install Windows 11.

Read more: Windows 11 review: Familiar but fresh

Unfortunately, Microsoft’s own tool for determining device compatibility – the PC Health Check app – fell short when Microsoft first announced Windows 11 earlier this year (‘not compatible), the company has therefore temporarily deleted the application. But Microsoft’s PC Health Check is now back online and working. The app will tell you if your computer meets the requirements to run Windows 11 and if not, he will tell you why and provide links for further support.


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But that’s not the only way to check if your device will work with the free Windows 11 update. Read on for all of your options for checking Windows 11 device compatibility. Windows 11 release date finally here (remember, however, that it will be a phased deployment), it’s a good idea to check your own computer. If your device does not meet the eligibility criteria, you may need to replace your PC by 2025 like Microsoft is phasing out Windows 10 over the next few years.

Read more: Should you buy a new Windows laptop now or wait for Windows 11?

Option 1: Use Microsoft’s PC Health Check app to see if your computer can run Windows 11

Follow these steps to test if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 11.

1. Download Microsoft’s PC Health Check. Open the file, accept the terms of use and click To install. Make sure the box is checked that says Open PC Health Check, and click To finish.

pc-health-check

Here’s what you’ll see after running the updated Microsoft PC Health Check app, if your device isn’t compatible with Windows 11.

Microsoft

2. The home page of the application that appears reads: “PC health at a glance”. At the top, a box reads: “Introducing Windows 11”. Click on Check now.

If your machine is not compatible, you will receive a message indicating: “This PC does not currently meet the system requirements for Windows 11, “with more information below.

If your machine is compatible, you can free download Windows 11 update. The official Windows 11 release date is today, October 5th, but Microsoft is planning a phased rollout and many devices won’t see the upgrade until 2022.

Option 2: try the WhyNotWin11 app to check compatibility with Windows 11

An open source app called WhyNotWin11 is a good alternative to the PC Health Check app. The Github app, created by a developer not affiliated with Microsoft, has a less user-friendly interface, but it should give you more information and go into more detail on various potential compatibility issues. Here’s more info from TechRadar on how to use it to determine your own device’s compatibility with Windows 11.

Option 3: Check out Microsoft’s list of system specifications for Windows 11

To determine if your current PC will be able to run Windows 11, you can check out this list of system specifications on the Microsoft website or in the table below. If your machine is compatible, you can free download Windows 11 update when it becomes available.

What are the system requirements to run Windows 11?

Here is the complete list of system requirements for Windows 11, including at least 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, and a 720p display that is over 9 inches diagonally.

System requirements for Windows 11

Specification

Requirement

Processor

1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip

RAM

4GB

Storage room

64 GB or more storage device

System firmware

UEFI, secure boot compatible

TPM

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0

Graphic card

Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver

Display

HD (720p) display greater than 9 inches diagonal, 8 bits per color channel

Internet connection and Microsoft account

For Windows 11 Home Edition: Internet connectivity; Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use. For all editions of Windows 11: Internet access to perform updates and to download and use certain features; Microsoft account for some features


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