Can I run Windows 11 on an incompatible PC?

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Now that the Windows 11 PC Health Check app has been re-released by Microsoft, you can know whether your system is incompatible with Microsoft Windows 11. For sure, there would be a lot many users with incompatible computers. What happens to such computers that are incompatible with running Windows 11? What does the incompatibility mean?

Essentially, old systems that are incompatible with running Windows 11 imply that Windows 11 will crash more frequently on such systems. Compared to the support hardware, processor and memory configuration, you can definitely run Windows 11 on unsupported hardware configuration. Microsoft does not stop you from installing Windows 11 on such systems. But, the catch is that you will not a natural upgrade path from the existing operating system to Windows 11. Your luck, as far as Windows update process is concerned, has run out.

So, you will have to take a hard path of downloading Microsoft’s Windows 11 ISO image and installing Windows 11 using the ISO image. You may, very well, be able to install the operating system on your old and unsupported computer. But, whether all the devices will work seamlessly with the Windows 11 operating system stack or not is a question mark for now. Further, such installation is an unsupported installation and Microsoft will not support you in cases where you want any technical assistance. Practically speaking, you are on your own in downloading the ISO image, installing Windows 11 and getting all the peripheral and other devices to work with the Windows 11.

The biggest drawback for installing Windows 11 on an unsupported PC is the lack of Windows updates. You are not entitled to Windows 11 updates. Without updates, your system is prone to security loopholes, uncontrolled threats to the operating system vulnerabilities through the Internet and un-mitigated risks emanating from use of software that have not been tested with Windows 11.

What are the options for someone who does not have a supported PC for Windows 11?

I will say, buy a new Windows 11 system as and when it becomes available. Or, buy a Windows 10 system right away or just before the likely launch of Windows 11. Before making a fresh purchase, you can even check the compatibility of the new system with Windows 11. Use Windows 10’s natural upgrade path to Windows 11 and you should have Windows 11 system running afresh.

In tech, short cuts do not work. Trying to get Windows 11 working on an unsupported PC configuration could have unexplained impact on your time, resources and money. We never suggest that because of unpredictable system performance.

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Rajesh Dhawan

Rajesh Dhawan is a technology professional who loves to blog about smart wearables, Cloud computing and Microsoft technologies. He loves to break complex problems into manageable chunks of meaningful information.