Windows 11: Most hardware don't fulfill the minimum requirements, Microsoft reveals by-passing trick

Windows[German]Most of the computers currently available in companies do not meet the minimum requirements that Microsoft has made a condition for Windows 11. This is the result of initial analyses on the US market. Microsoft has now revealed a way to bypass the check for TPM 2.0 support and CPU compatibility during Windows 11 setup. However, Redmond advises against using this option.


Most of the devices are not compatible

There have already been heated discussions about the minimum requirements that Windows 11 computers have to fulfill since the presentation of Windows 11 (see Windows 11: Hardware requirements).

  • Processor: 1 Gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • RAM: 4 Gigabyte (GB)
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
  • Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
  • Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9" diagonally, 8 bits per color channel

Microsoft has listed which CPUs from AMD, Intel and Qualcomm are recommended for certain operating systems in the document Windows Processor Requirements. For Windows 11, the list of compatible processors is quite restrictive. 

Following Microsoft's announcement of Windows 11, US firm Lansweeper conducted a survey of the US market to determine how many existing systems in enterprises meet the compatibility requirements. This involved collecting data from an estimated 30 million Windows devices from 60,000 companies in relation to the minimum requirements. Analysis of this data shows that, on average, only 44.4% of workstations are eligible for the automatic upgrade to Windows 11. Conversely, a good 55% of workstations are not eligible for an upgrade to Windows 11.

One point is CPU compatibility, the other aspect concerns TPM 2.0 support. While CPU compatibility is slightly higher than 44.9%, only 66.4% have the required 4 GBytes of RAM. And that is still an optimistic position, because at least 8 GBytes of RAM are required to automatically activate the HVCI security features. The integration of Microsoft Teams in Windows 11 actually makes machines with 12 or 16 GBytes of RAM necessary.

A critical point is also the lack of TPM 2.0 support on existing systems. In this regard, Lansweeper writes in its report that only 0.23% of all virtual workstations have TPM 2.0 enabled. Nor has it been required to date, and although TPM passthrough (vTPM) is available to equip virtual machines with a TPM, it is rarely used.


That means most VM workstations will need to be modified to have a vTPM before they can be upgraded to Windows 11. According to Lansweeper, physical servers passed the TPM test only 1.49% of the time, meaning 98% of virtual machines are unlikely to be upgradeable to Windows 11.

Microsoft's TMP 2.0/CPU check bypassing trick

Microsoft has published another support article Ways to install Windows 11, parallel to the release of Windows 11. There not only the possibilities for the installation of Windows 11 (Upgrade of Windows 10 by Windows update or over the Setup.exe of an installation data medium, as well as new installation from a data medium with installation image) are described. Microsoft also explains there that the minimum requirements regarding TPM 2.0 (at least TPM 1.2 is required) and the CPU family or CPU model are not checked during a new installation of Windows 11 from a booted installation medium.

When upgrading from a running Windows 10 system, on the other hand, Setup will abort the process, if the minimum requirements are not met and will not offer the move to Windows 11. In the support article, however, Microsoft outlines an approach to suspend the check regarding TPM 2.0 and CPU compatibility. To do this, invoke the registry editor regedit.exe with administrative privileges. Then in the registry key:


the 32-bit DWORD value AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU must be entered and set to 1. This entry overrides the compatibility check for TPM 2.0 and CPU during upgrade at the latest after a Windows reboot.

Note: My guess is that Microsoft published this information to discourage people from using third-party scripts that completely delete Appraiser.dll from the installation image.

However, Microsoft advises against using the above trick and installing Windows 11 on non-compatible machines. In another support article Installing Windows 11 on devices that don't meet minimum system requirements, Microsoft addresses this aspect.

Windows 11 Install warning

When trying to install Windows 11 on an incompatible system, the above compatibility warning appears. The user must then explicitly confirm that they understand Microsoft's warnings that the device is no longer supported and that they are no longer eligible for updates. The above approach is therefore at best suitable for systems used to evaluate and test Windows 11. I am curious to see how well this Windows 11 will take off in the coming months until 2025.

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