Upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported computers

Windows 11 was released in October 2021 under stringent compatibility conditions. There were quite a few core family processors that turned out incompatible. Not many options were available for people running incompatible processors. TPM 2.0 requirement and processor requirements were the two major factors that resulted in many processors being marked incompatible. Some of the major processors that are incompatible with Windows 11 are:

  • i7 7th generation processors.
  • i5 7th generation processors.
  • i3 processors below the 8th generation.

Initially, these processors were considered incompatible. Microsoft had suggested that if you were to install Windows 11 or upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported systems, you will not have access to security or product updates for Windows 11. That did put off a lot of small businesses from upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10. However, as of today, Windows 11 is being upgraded to on unsupported systems. And, such unsupported systems are also receiving Windows Updates as part of the normal Windows Update process. We look at the ways you can move to Windows 11 on unsupported PCs.

How can I upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported computers?

So, Microsoft does not stop you from upgrading to Windows 11 on unsupported computers. Since the upgrade happens on unsupported systems, Microsoft does not assure you about the availability of security updates, feature updates, and product updates as part of the Windows 11 update process.

To upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported computers, you will need to disable the TPM 2.0 checks and processor compatibility checks through registry entries. As part of the installation or upgrade process, Windows 11 will not consider the TPM and processor eligibility requirements. You, essentially, are bypassing the eligibility requirements for installing Windows 11 on the unsupported computer. Microsoft does not suggest using this approach though.

Let us review the steps needed to clean install Windows 11 or upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported computers:

  • 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.

By creating this registry entry, you are bypassing the eligibility requirements of TPM 2.0 and CPU eligibility requirements. As part of the setup process, Windows will not check if your system is compatible with TPM 1.2 standards or if your CPU comes from a supported generation of processors.

It is recommended that you must restart the computer after making the registry changes. Also, do note, that Microsoft does not recommend this approach to installing or upgrading to Windows 11.

How to upgrade to Windows 11 after registry bypass?

Once the registry entry for bypassing Windows 11 eligibility requirements has been created, you can follow the standard process to upgrade to Windows 11. Or, you could consider performing a clean install of Windows 11 on the unsupported computer.

Microsoft offers you the following options to install Windows 11 or upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported PCs:

Upgrade to Windows 11 using installation assistant:

  • You can use the installation assistant on the PC to initiate the process of upgrading to Windows 11.
  • The installation assistant acts as a virtual assistant. It will walk you through the upgrade to Windows 11.
  • As part of the upgrade process, all user data is retained. The underlying operating system does upgrade without causing any changes to the user data.

Upgrade to Windows 11 using ISO image of Windows 11:

You can also upgrade to Windows 11 by downloading an ISO image of Windows 11 installation files. You can create a bootable media to help you through the installation. This step will help you install Windows 11 or perform a clean install of Windows 11 on an unsupported PC.

When you do a new install or clean install of Windows 11 on an unsupported computer, you will lose all the data. So, we do recommend taking a backup of user data before initiating a clean install or reinstall of the operating system on your computer.

Upgrade to Windows 11 using Windows 11 installation media:

You can create an installation media on a USB drive or DVD for performing installation or clean installation of Windows 11 on an unsupported computer. You can use the ‘Media creation tool’ from the Microsoft website to create installation media that will run through the installation process.

You can download the media creation tool from the Windows 11 download page of Microsoft. ISO image and installation assistant can also be downloaded from the Windows 11 page on the Microsoft website – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows11.

Things to know before upgrading to Windows 11 on unsupported computers

There are a few things you ought to be aware of before upgrading or clean installing Windows 11 on unsupported computers.

  • Take a backup of user data before initiating an upgrade or clean install of Windows 11 on an unsupported computer.
  • Do understand that the PC will remain unsupported after the upgrade to Windows 11.
  • Access to Windows Update is not available on unsupported computers. (Feedback from users who have upgraded to Windows 11 on unsupported computers suggests that such systems are getting security updates as of now. This may change anytime.)
  • We still suggest that business computers that are unsupported should not be upgraded to Windows 11. The continued availability of security updates is critical for business operations.
  • For students and hobbyists, upgrading to Windows 11 on unsupported computers may make for an interesting achievement.

Summary

Windows 11 can be installed on unsupported computers by setting a registry entry. This allows the system to bypass Windows 11 eligibility requirements. If you are eager to install Windows 11 on your incompatible PC, Microsoft has offered a loophole. But, at the same time, there is no assurance about the availability of security updates and product updates for unsupported computers.

You may like to read more content related to Windows 11 updates in the following pages: