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. 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.
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.
We have suggested in the past that one could wait for Microsoft to announce a final and firm stand on the issue of supporting Windows 11 operating system on computers that are unsupported as of now. There are chances that such non-compliant PCs could be allowed basic access to the Windows 11 security updates. Nothing is clear as of now, 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.
For now, you may be better off waiting for more clarity over the next 6 months. If your i3 processor runs on 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.
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Helen is a geeky nerd who seeks to find and fix tech gaps in the latest gadgets. She is always on the lookout for resolving technical queries of users, and is an avid writer on technical subjects.