Intel’s i3 processors of the 7th generation are not compatible with the latest Microsoft operating system – Windows 11. Like most other 7th generation processors, the Intel i3 7th generation processors have not been listed as compatible processors for Windows 11 by Microsoft.
Why are the Intel i3 7th generation processors not supported by Windows 11?
With the exception of processors used in the Microsoft Surface laptops, all the 7th generation Intel processors are not supported by Microsoft for the Windows 11 operating system upgrade. Irrespective of the processor family, all the 7th generation processors are not compatible with Windows 11. These include the processors from the:
- Intel i3 family of processors
- Intel i5 family of processors
- Intel i7 family of processors
- Intel i9 family of processors
Even the processes that are yet to be retired by Intel are marked incompatible with the Windows 11 operating system.
When we say that the Intel i3 7th generation systems are not compatible with Windows 11, it implies that such systems will not have a direct upgrade path from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through the Windows Update program.
On its part, Microsoft has made a couple of passes on the processors in a bid to expand the list of compatible processors for the Windows 11 operating system. However, even after a re-look on the seventh generation processors in the month of September 2021, the list of compatible Intel processors from the 7th generation remained virtually blank.
Publicly, we have not heard of the potential cause of the incompatibility between the Intel i3 7th generation processors and the Windows 11 operating system. There has been no official statement or confirmation from either Microsoft or Intel. The only reason we can fathom is the potential performance issues and higher than the usual crash rates. Microsoft has been very specific about including hardware that gives a good user experience and low crash rates. Aside from the performance issues, it does not appear that there could be any logical reasoning behind blocking all the 7th generation Intel processors from the Windows 11 operating system.
Options for Intel i3 7th generation processors
Intel i3 7th generation computers do not have direct upgrade path from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through the Windows Update program. However, Windows 11 can be installed on the Intel i3 7th generation processor based computers. Clean installation of Windows 11 can be done on the Intel i3 7th generation computers.
It has been suggested that clean installation of Windows 11 can be done on such systems. To perform a clean installation, you may use one of the following methods:
- Download an ISO image of the Windows 11 operating system and install using the ISO file.
- Use Microsoft’s Installation Assistant. The Installation assistant will walk you through the installation of Windows 11 on your computer.
- You could use the ‘Media Creation’ tool to burn a DVD or write a bootable USB drive with the Windows 11 operating system files.
All these three methods involve download of the Windows 11 files from the Microsoft site from the following download link – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows11.
Updates on clean installed Windows 11 on Intel i3 7th generation computers
Microsoft releases a variety of updates for the operating system from time to time. These updates are of different nature. Some are termed security updates, while others fall in the category of quality updates, features updates, and other product updates.
For the non-supported Intel i3 7th generation computers, there is no direct access to the Windows Update program. Microsoft won’t support such installations of Windows 11 on non-supported Intel i3 7th generation based processors. This, as of writing this in November 2021, means that you will not have access to the product, feature, and quality updates from Microsoft for Windows 11. Even the security updates won’t be available. Against this backdrop, running a clean install of Windows 11 on a non-supported Intel i3 7th generation computer is not advisable. Especially, the business computers should stay clear of clean installation of Windows 11 on non-supported Intel i3 7th generation computers.
What processors of the Intel i3 7th generation are non-compatible with Windows 11?
There are 15 processors from the Intel i3 7th generation. All these are incompatible with running Microsoft Windows 11. The list of Intel i3 7th generation processors that are not supported for Windows 11 is mentioned below.
- Intel® Core™ i3-7020U Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7130U Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7100U Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7102E Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7101TE Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7100H Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7101E Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7100E Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7100 Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7300T Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7300 Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7320 Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7100T Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7350K Processor
- Intel® Core™ i3-7167U Processor
Can I continue with Windows 10 on Intel i3 7th generation processor based computers?
For sure, you can continue with Windows 10 operating system on an Intel i3 7th generation processor based computer. Windows 10 goes end of life in October 2025. This means you will have access to the security updates, feature updates, and other product updates for the Windows 10 operating system for another four years.
Continuing with Windows 10 for an interim period could be a good option to buy time, before deciding about buying a computer based on the Windows 11.
I am on Intel i3 7th generation and I need Windows 11 now
We understand that some users prefer to work on the latest operating system or software. For such technology fans, we advise that you may consider buying a new computer that ships with a preloaded Windows 11 operating system.
Alternatively, you may even buy a new computer (outside Intel 7th generation processor) with Windows 10. This will ensure that you get access to the Windows 11 upgrade through the Windows Update as and when it is made available for your computer. This could be a good way to get an automatic upgrade path from Windows 10 to the Windows 11 operating system.
All the Intel i3 7th generation processors are incompatible with Windows 11. You may choose to clean install Windows 11 on such systems. But, you will have issues without the availability of updates through the Windows Update program. Sadly, you are left with an option to buy a new Windows 11 supported computer or buy a new Windows 10 based compatible computer to get a direct upgrade path from Windows 10 to Windows 11.
You may also like to read the related Windows 11 content:
- Android on Windows 11 – This app will not work on your device
- Improve Battery Life on Windows 11
- Intel i5-7500 not compatible with Windows 11
- Windows 11 not compatible with i5 7th generation processors
- i7-7700K is not compatible with Windows 11
- Missing ‘Update’ option for 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.