Can i7 run Windows 11?

Not all i7 processors are compatible with Windows 11 operating system. In other words, not all i7 processors of the Intel Core family of processors will get Windows 11 as natural updates through the Windows Update program. Having said that, you can install Windows 11 on i7 processors as a clean install of the operating system. Below, we look at the i7 processors that are compatible with Windows 11.

In all, there are 76 Intel i7 processors. These are categorized into 4th to 12th generation processors. i7 processors come in different generations. Processors from the 4th, 5th, and 6th generations are incompatible with Windows 11. Some processors of the i7 7th generation are compatible with Windows 11 (only 3). Largely, the i7 7th generation processors do not support Windows 11 operating system.

Newer generations of i7 processors are compatible with Windows 11. This implies that the i7 8th generation, 9th generation, 10th generation, 11th generation and 12th generation processors are fully compatible with Windows 11 operating system.

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How to install Windows 11 on i7 unsupported processors?

Interestingly, Microsoft has published a registry hive that can be used to bypass the processor and TPM 2.0 requirements for installing Windows 11. When you make use of the registry hive to bypass Windows 11 hardware eligibility requirements, you do understand that the system still remains unsupported.

There is no clarity if you will receive product and security updates for Windows 11. This has been confirmed by Microsoft as well. We look at the registry hive that can be used on i7 unsupported processor based computers.

We do want to tell you that this approach (although published by Microsoft) is not recommended for installing Windows 11. This could work for students and non-critical systems. Therefore, if you are a business, it would be best advised to stay clear of this approach to installing Windows 11 on unsupported i7 processors.

The details of the bypass registry method for installing Windows 11 on unsupported i7 processors is given here:

  • Launch the registry editor using the Regedit command on a Windows computer.
  • Open the registry hive – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup. In the right pane, look for an entry that has the name: AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU. It is of the type of Type: REG_DWORD.
  • Right-click on the entry to modify the REG_DWORD entry to set a value of 1.
  • The Value of 1 for AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU tells Windows to bypass eligibility requirements.

When you implement the changes in the registry, the system will allow installation of Windows 11 on the unsupported computer.

i7 Processors incompatible with Windows 11

i7 Processors that are incompatible with Windows 11 are listed below. You can find the processors based on the generations.

i7 processors from the 4th generation are:

Intel® Core™ i7-4790S
Intel® Core™ i7-4700EC
Intel® Core™ i7-4702EC
Intel® Core™ i7-4650U
Intel® Core™ i7-4770TE
Intel® Core™ i7-4700EQ
Intel® Core™ i7-4770S

All these 7 processors of Intel i7 4th generation are incompatible with Windows 11.

Intel i7 processors from the 5th generation are:

Intel® Core™ i7-5700EQ
Intel® Core™ i7-5850EQ
Intel® Core™ i7-5650U

All these 3 Intel i7 processors of the 5th generation are incompatible with Windows 11.

Intel i7 processors from the 6th generation are:

Intel® Core™ i7-6700TE
Intel® Core™ i7-6822EQ
Intel® Core™ i7-6820EQ
Intel® Core™ i7-6600U
Intel® Core™ i7-6700
Intel® Core™ i7-6700T

All these 6 Intel i7 6th generation processors are incompatible with Windows 11.

There are 13 Intel i7 core processors from the 7th generation. Not all 7th generation i7 processors are compatible with Windows 11. Out of these i7 7th generation processors, only 3 are compatible with Windows 11. The i7 7th generation processors that are compatible with Windows 11 are:

Intel i7-7800X
Intel i7-7820X
Intel i7-7820HQ

All the remaining processors from the Intel i7 7th generation are incompatible with Windows 11. The full list of i7 7th generation processors that are incompatible with Windows 11 are:

Intel® Core™ i7-7567U Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7560U Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7660U Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7600U Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7820HK Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7920HQ Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7700HQ Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7700 Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7820EQ Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7700T Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7500U Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7Y75 Processor

Beyond the i7 7th generation, the processors from the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th generations are compatible with Windows 11. So, you should be able to get Windows 11 as part of the standard update process.

You could also refer to the list of processors compatible with Windows 11 on the Microsoft website.

Windows 11 on incompatible processors

It remains unclear as to why some processors from the i7 7th generation are incompatible with Windows 11. This could be, most likely, on account of the performance issues or hardware crash issues.

However, if you are running Windows 11 incompatible processor, you may still be able to make use of Windows 11. Such systems will, however, remain unsupported from the Microsoft side. The details of the process for installing Windows 11 on unsupported computers has already been shared earlier in the document.

What this means is that your desktop or personal computer will not get any sort of security, monthly rollup, or feature updates from Microsoft. All this is because the underlying hardware on Windows 11 install is unsupported.

You need to understand though, that the Intel processor needs to be compatible with the other processor requirements of Microsoft. In other words, the Intel processor must have:

  • 1 GHz or faster processor
  • At least 2 cores
  • UEFI Secure boot capable
  • TPM 2.0
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 64 GB storage

You can install Windows 11 on unsupported processors as a clean install. For this, you can use either of the following three ways to install Windows 11:

  • Download an ISO image of Windows 11 from the Microsoft website.
  • Run the Windows 11 Installation assistant. It is a sort of virtual assistant that will take you through Windows 11 installation over the web. You will need to download the Windows 11 installation assistant from the Windows 11 downloads page.
  • You can create an installation media that contains Windows 11 files. This can be done through the Microsoft Windows 11 downloads page. The Media Creation tool will help you create a bootable USB or DVD to help you through the installation of Windows 11. The Media Creation tool is also available on the Windows 11 downloads page.

Once again, do bear in mind that this install of Windows 11 will be unsupported by Microsoft. We strongly suggest not using this strategy for your business computers. It will be a nightmare in terms of system security. For hobby and lab computers, you may take a call if you wish to apply the clean install strategy of Windows 11.

Windows 10 and Windows 11 life cycles

Assume that your system is incompatible with Windows 11. And you are on Windows 10 operating system. Windows 10 will continue to receive product, security, and rollup updates until October 2025. So, you may want to keep Windows 10 on your system and continue to work normally.

If you are really fond of Windows 11, consider getting a new SSD drive and installing Windows 11 on the new drive as a separate installation from the existing Windows 10 installation. If you are on a business computer, we suggest getting a new system, laptop, or getting a new custom PC done. That should give you a hassle-free 10 years period of Windows 11 ownership. Windows 11 will work well until October 2031.

Summary

We have seen that the older processors of the i7 core family are not supported by Windows 11. The i7 7th generation processors are largely incompatible with Windows 11. However, the later processors of the 8th generation and newer generations work well with Windows 11.

We do suggest that you should be aware of the fact that Windows 10 will continue to be supported by Microsoft until October 2025. So, there may not be an immediate trigger for you to take any hasty decision with respect to Windows 11.

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