- Hardware requirements for Windows 11
- Test compatibility with PC Health Check
- Test compatibility with WhyNotWin11
- Check for the presence of a TPM module
One of the great strengths of Windows 10 is its broad compatibility with a large number of PCs. Computers with a good ten years on the clock – an eternity in the field of computing! – can run Microsoft’s operating system, with varying degrees of ease. On the other hand, Windows 11, its successor, which will arrive on new PCs on October 5 and later in the year as a free update for others, will be much more restrictive. And many PCs may be left on the sidelines, condemned to run with Windows 10, until its retirement, scheduled for 2025 …
Which PCs are Compatible with Windows 11?
On paper, however, the minimum configuration required to run Windows 11 is quite light. According to Microsoft, the computer must have a 64-bit processor, with at least two cores and a clock speed of at least 1 GHz. It must be supported by at least 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage space, a DirectX 12 compatible graphics card or circuit with WDDM 2.0 driver, a UEFI-compatible Secure Boot BIOS, a screen larger than 9 inches with an HD display (720p) and an Internet connection. It will also be mandatory to have a Microsoft account for the Home version.
So far, the number of machines concerned is rather large. But to these requirements, Microsoft has added a significant detail that has caused a nice skimming. The motherboard of the computer must include a TPM 2.0 module (for Trust Platform Module). This is a chip integrated into the motherboard that stores encrypted data that can be used in authentication phases for example. Unfortunately, this component is not present on all machines, especially older PCs and especially desktop computers. And to add a little spice to the matter, Microsoft has changed its requirements and restrictions since the presentation of Windows 11 on June 24. It is therefore advisable to consult the lists of officially compatible Intel, AMD and Qualcomm processors that the publisher has published on its site. These lists are very restrictive and have changed little over the summer, dampening the hopes of many users…
While waiting for the official release of the final version of Windows 11, you can already evaluate if your PC has the minimum required. Microsoft has published a verification tool that will tell you immediately if your computer will be able to run Windows 11. If the result is negative, you can also check if your motherboard has the famous TPM feature and activate it. Indeed, it is not always active by default. And since the first version of the Microsoft tool did not give any details on the reasons for incompatibility, independent developers have created a parallel utility – also free – that goes much further. This is an opportunity to perform a double check.
Check Compatibility for Windows 11 Using PC Integrity Check Tool
Microsoft has taken the lead in preparing for the big migration to the new operating system by developing a free tool to test the compatibility of a PC with Windows 11. At the end of June, after its official announcement, the editor offered the PC Health Check application for this purpose. Unfortunately, this tool was particularly frustrating in that it gave no explanation in case of incompatibility, thus preventing users from understanding what was wrong and considering possible hardware upgrades to make their PC compatible.
In fact, after only a few days, Microsoft withdrew its tool from circulation, while it improved it. Good for it, but it was only at the end of September that the editor put a new version of its verification application online, renamed PC Integrity Check. A much more accomplished application that finally gives explanations.
- Start by downloading the PC Integrity Check application to your PC by clicking on the link below.
- Once you have retrieved the file, open the download folder on your PC and double click on the WindowsPCHealthCheckSetup.msi application to start the installation.
- When the installation is complete, leave the first box checked and click on Finish.
- The application will launch immediately. Click the Check Now button in the Windows 11 Overview section.
- The verdict is in. If your PC meets Microsoft’s requirements, the tool displays a message with a green checkmark indicating that Windows 11 will be available as an update soon.
- If your PC doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, the tool tells you so in an alert message, pointing out all the problem areas. Click the Show All Results button to see all the tests, including the positive ones. To get more details about a particular issue, click on the Learn more… link in the verdict note: your default web browser will open to an explanation page from Microsoft.
Check Compatibility for Windows 11 Using WhyNotWin11
The first version of PC Integrity Check gave no explanation of why a PC was incompatible with Windows 11, which was particularly frustrating. To go one step further than Microsoft, developers have created a free tool aptly named WhyNotWin11 that gives more details, making it possible in some cases to upgrade a PC to be compatible with the new operating system.
- Start by downloading WhyNotWin11 to your PC and installing it.
- Once the file is downloaded, right click on it and choose Run as administrator.
- Skip the Windows warnings if any alerts appear: normal, as the software examines sensitive PC components.
- WhyNotWin11 opens in a – rather ugly – window and immediately starts testing.
- Wait a few seconds for the verdict. The compatibility of all essential elements (processor, RAM, Bios, TPM, etc.) is indicated with a color code (green, yellow, red) and a brief explanation. All in English, but it is enough to know what is compatible or not.
How to Check If a TPM Module Is Present in the PC?
If your PC meets the basic requirements for updating Windows (processor, memory, graphics circuitry, etc.), it may be that the Secure Platform Module (TPM) is missing or disabled. Check if your PC has the right hardware.
- Click in the Windows search box. Type tpm.msc and validate.
- The Secure Platform Module Management window on the local computer is displayed and can present three cases.
The TPM module is present and active
- In this case, displays the information about the TPM module. Check the Secure Platform Module Manufacturer Information section at the bottom of the window for the specification version. If it is version 2.0, the module is compatible with Windows 11. If it is version 1.2, the module is not compatible with Windows 11… for the moment. Microsoft could review its copy during the summer.
The TPM module is missing
- In this case, there is nothing to do. The TPM module is not integrated to the motherboard of your computer. Your PC should not be able to host Windows 11.
The TPM module is present but inactive
- If this is the case, you can start this module by going through the UEFI settings of your PC. Restart the computer and then press the button to access the computer’s firmware. For this, read our PC practical sheet: how to access the BIOS or the UEFI.
- Once in the settings, look for a Security section and then locate a TPM, fTPM (on computers with AMD processors) or PTT option (for computers with Intel processors). Switch the option to active mode. Save your settings and restart the computer.
- Run the Health Check app or the WhyNotWin11 software again to check if the problem of incompatibility with Windows 11 was indeed caused by the TPM module. If necessary, try again in a few weeks when Health Check will have been updated with, hopefully, lowered ambitions from Microsoft.