Yes, Windows 11 can run on Intel i3 processors. Not all i3 processors will support Windows 11 though. Microsoft has listed 50 processors from the Intel i3 family of processors that are compatible with the installation of Windows 11 operating system.
A simple rule to understand if your i3 processor based computer supports Windows 11 is to find if the processor is older than the eighth generation of Intel processors. If you are running on an i3 processor that is older than the eighth generation Intel processors, then your i3 processors is unlikely to be supported by Microsoft for a Windows 11 installation through the ‘Windows Update’ program.
Having said that, Microsoft has released a registry hive entry that can be used to bypass Windows 11 hardware eligibility requirements. We are sharing the process to bypass TPM 2.0 and processor requirements for Windows 11 installation on incompatible systems.
How to bypass Windows 11 hardware eligibility on incompatible Intel i3 processors?
Currently, we can see that there are 50 processors from the Intel i3 processor series that are compatible with Windows 11. These systems can upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through the suggested process of ‘Windows Update. Such systems will continue to received periodic Windows 11 security and maintenance releases from Microsoft.
To bypass TPM 2.0 and processor requirements for Windows 11 on Intel i3 based computers, please follow the process below:
- 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.
Once you have created the registry entry, the unsupported computer can be upgraded to Windows 11. We suggest doing a clean install of Windows 11 on these systems.
But, there are a few things you need to be wary about upgrading a non-supported Windows 11 computer to Windows 11:
- Microsoft does not recommend using the registry bypass process to go around the hardware eligibility requirements.
- There is no clarity about availability of security updates, servicing stack updates (SSU) and the monthly cumulative updates on unsupported computers.
- You are, basically, on your own if you still want to proceed with installing Windows 11 on unsupported computers. The risk is all yours.
Our take on the situation is that the registry bypass method may be used on non-business or non-critical systems only. It is not worth taking a chance with business and other important personal computers.
Intel i3 Processors compatible with Windows 11
The 50 processors from the Intel i3 family that support upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11 are mentioned herein:
The list of processors clearly suggests that Intel i3 processors that are older than the eighth generation of processors are not supported for a Windows 11 upgrade from Windows 10. Although Microsoft has suggested that such unsupported systems can install Windows 11 through an ISO image file or a DVD/USB drive, there is no clarity of such systems will continue to receive product updates from Microsoft for the Windows 11 security and maintenance releases.
The non-compliance on the Intel i3 processors stems out from the fact that the Windows 11 operating system requires UEFI and Safe secure features to augment hardware based security.
There have also been reports that suggest that the actual cause of non-compliance may be on account of a higher than average crash rate on the unsupported Windows 11 computer systems. The exact cause of non-compatibility of Windows 11 with the Intel i3 processors can be found through the Windows 11 PC Health Checkup app.
Microsoft has, however, released steps to bypass hardware requirements for installing Windows 11 on incompatible systems. We have already shared the detailed process above.
Things have simplified quite wee bit over the past 12 months. Systems that are incompatible with Windows 11 are able to install Windows 11 through the registry bypass process. So, you could use the process involving the registry to install Windows 11 on unsupported system.
But we do strongly advise against using 3rd party apps or tricks to beat around the restrictions imposed by Microsoft for installing Windows 11 on unsupported systems. Hardware based security features of Windows 11 are designed to ensure that malicious payloads cannot compromise the boot sequence of Windows 11 based computers.
If your i3 processor is compatible with Windows 11, you can be reasonably sure that you will continue to receive Windows 11 updates until October 2025. You could keep your current system, until the time when you decide to buy a new system with Windows 11 operating system.
I3 Intel processors older than the eighth generation are not compatible with Windows 11 installation. Such systems will not get automatic updates from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through the Windows Update program. However, you could use an ISO image of Windows 11 that has been made available by Microsoft to install Windows 11 on an unsupported PC.
You may like to read the following Windows 11 content
- i7-7700K is not compatible with Windows 11
- Missing ‘Update’ option for Windows 11
- Can Windows 11 be installed on computers without TPM 2.0?
- How to find compatibility with Windows 11 without PC Health Check App
- Can Windows 11 run on Intel 7th generation processors?
- i7 6700K cannot run windows 11 – incompatible with Windows 11
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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.