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Windows 11 is Not Supported on My Newer PC — What Can I Do?

The Windows 11 “death sentence”?

Windows 11
(Screenshot: askleo.com)
If Windows 11 is not supported on your computer, there are several options. The best option is to wait.
Applies to Windows: 11, 10
Windows 11 just gave my processor a death sentence.  I checked to see if it would meet the requirements of Windows 11.  I got the message the processor did not meet the requirements. I bought it with Windows 10 Pro 64 and now I can’t upgrade my system????!!!  Windows says it will stop supporting Windows 10 in 2025, so there goes security support. I do graphic work and that is why I bought this Workstation and now it will become a security risk.  There has got to be a lot of other graphic people out there with this kind of machine.  Are we just SOL?

I hear ya. In fact, I hear from a lot of people with similar complaints.

A machine they consider “newish” — generally a higher-end machine purchased for some specific purpose, such as graphic work — is reported as not being able to run Windows 11. As a result, they’re on a spectrum between “annoyed” and “downright pissed off”.

I have opinions. Several of them, as a matter of fact.

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TL;DR:

Windows 11 is reported as not being supported on many “newish” machines. It’s important to realize Windows 10 will be supported for several years, and that updating is not required even after that. Windows 10 can continue to be used with good security software and common sense. It’s also possible that Windows 11 can still be installed on so-called “unsupported” machines manually, but the only way to know right now is to try. A lot can happen in the years before Windows 10 is no longer supported — including Microsoft relaxing the requirements. Patience is the best approach.

Microsoft messed up

I totally agree that Microsoft is botching this big time.

To be clear, all computers will be obsolete at some point. The issue here is that we’re finding that Windows 11 might not be supported in relatively new1 computers.

Not only do many people take offense at that thought, but it’s pretty clear to me that Microsoft did a very poor job on both messaging and timing.

That being said, I do believe many people are overlooking a few things in their anger.

October 13, 2025, is a long time from now

As I write this towards the end of 2021, Windows 10 will be supported for almost another four years. October 13, 2025 — the published end of support for Windows 10 — is a LONG time away, particularly in respect to technology.

So much can change in that period of time. For one thing, some people complaining about Windows 11’s requirements will end up with a new computer for some other reason.

I’ll put it another way: in my opinion, it’s much too soon to be concerned about Windows 11’s requirements for existing machines, as long as you can keep doing what you’re doing in Windows 10.

You know . . . for the next almost four years.

Windows 10 will keep working

Even after the magic date of October 13, 2025, your Windows 10 machine will still work.

Just ask the people still running Windows 7 — and even Windows XP.

Yes, it might require a little more vigilance, but it’s not the disaster some make it out to be. Good security software and good habits go a long way to keeping your machine safe.

The disaster is really only for those who fail to practice the “good habits” part.

Nothing is cast in stone

I’m of the opinion that Microsoft will change its mind sometime before October 13, 2025.

I speculate that a backlash — mostly from corporate and institutional customers, not consumers — will cause them to reevaluate the requirements sometime within the next four years. If I had to guess, I’d say it would happen closer to the last minute, when the true magnitude of the issue is more apparent.

Once again, patience is called for.

Windows 11 may already work

My understanding is that you can already install Windows 11 on many “unsupported” machines.

In this case, “unsupported” really means that Windows 11 won’t be made available using Windows Update. However, for many of those machines, you can still manually download and install it.

I’ve heard of it installing on machines without TPM 2.0 (though possibly with warnings). It would not surprise me in the least if this was the case for some of the supposedly “unsupported” CPU models.

Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure is to try. That means:

That’s the process you should follow even if your machine reports as “supported”.

If it works, it works; if it doesn’t, you’ve got close to four years to watch for the requirements to change.

I believe it’s about security

I truly believe the requirements for Windows 11 — the processors, the TPM, and whatever else — are an attempt to improve fundamental security.2

I think we can all agree that security, and Windows security in particular, can certainly stand improving.

Do this

Rather than getting angry and upset almost four years before you need to, I advise patience instead. As I said, a lot can happen between now and October 13, 2025.

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Footnotes & References

1: “New” is up for interpretation, of course. Some feel that two years is relatively new; others would say a seven-year-old computer should be “new enough”. It really depends on how the machine is being used, as well as your expectations. If I were forced to pick a number, I’d want five-year-old computers to be supported for each new release, and would certainly call two years “relatively new”.

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2: I know Microsoft haters will call me an idiot — or worse — for this opinion.

16 comments on “Windows 11 is Not Supported on My Newer PC — What Can I Do?”

  1. Leo, you wrote:

    “Just ask the people still running Windows 7 — and even Windows XP.”

    My own family has had Windows 3.1; Windows 95; Windows XP, and thence to 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium. :)

    Reply
    • I too have had every version of Windows installed at some point over the years. I still have several of them running in virtual machines, most notably Windows 3.1 w/networking. It took some searching to find drivers for that one.

      Reply
  2. considering windows 10 was supposed to be “the last windows you`ll ever have to buy”
    i can commiserate with the author. i did a DBAN wipe of my optiplex 360 computer. then
    did a clean reinstall of windows 7 ultimate. after the clean reinstall microsoft would not
    allow me to install MSE. i kept getting an error message 80072EFE. when i tried to get help
    with this error, it came back not found. and without MSE MBAM would not install either.
    microsft is really pulling a fast one here. so i broke down and bought a win 11 computer.
    suffice it to say, i am not happy with this OS.

    Reply
    • @ Glen LW ; Depending on what you do with your computer, Linux might be a option (it’s 100% free). I suggest Linux Mint as it’s one of the safer all-around choices for someone coming from Windows to the Linux world. I have been using that since Jan 2019. at the very least you could try it on your older hardware.

      but with that said… it’s likely still possible to upgrade to Windows 10 from a Windows 7 installation using the official ‘Media Creation Tool’ from Microsoft as that still worked the last I knew. so if your Win7 computer works with Windows 10, you can at least stick with that until Oct 2025 if you want to use Windows. otherwise the only other option will be to put Linux on it if you want to be secure online since Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7 in Jan 2020.

      but in regards to the general topic… while I get they are trying to improve security, I think it’s too steep of a price to pay given how much competent hardware they eliminated from working with Windows 11. this reason alone is why I think Win11 will continue the good/bad/good/bad cycle that’s held true with Microsoft since at least Windows 98 to date… Win98(good),WinME(bad),WinXP(good),WinVista(bad),Win7(good),Win8(bad),Win10(good),Win11(? ; but probably ‘bad’).

      Reply
      • i downloaded the free win 10 OS, i wasn`t happy with it so i went back to win 7.
        i could never find a way to get that free download back. ask leo had a few
        suggestions but none of them worked. my old Dell desktop optiplex will be a
        back up now. Thanks for your input ThaCrip.

        Reply
        • On a side note… I got got a hold of “en_windows_7_professional_with_sp1_x64_dvd_u_676939.iso” (sha256 = 3dae1a531b90fa72e59b4a86b20216188d398c8c070da4a5c5a44fe08b1b6e55 ) and used ‘Integrate7’ script from MyDigitalLife forums to slipstream updates to May 2021 a while ago now. basically took a original 3.3GB ISO (the one I mentioned) and turned it into a 5.4GB ISO that’s updated as of May 2021. but currently that same page now shows updates up to Nov 2021. so it’s still possible to get Windows 7 stuff if one MUST have it, but it’s best to avoid it for online usage. but for offline usage that’s a nice way to get a updated Win7 ISO so you can just install it and use it without having to worry about updating it.

          but that Integrate7 script does the following… “It gets Windows 7 ISO image (any language, any architecture), download all post-SP1 updates directly from Microsoft site and create new bootable Windows 7 ISO (with all updates integrated). It also removes all bloatware (Telemetry, Diagnostics, Windows Defender). In short: it turns Windows 7 SP1 DVD into Windows 7 November 2021 edition DVD. And it is fully open-source shell script (no hidden features).”

          I used that on the rare occasion I need to use Win7 on a older computer I got since it saves a bunch of time. but that computer I typically use Linux Mint on it in general since it cannot run any Windows newer than Win7.

          so while I am not recommending one uses Windows 7, what I mentioned above is a good thing to play with if you MUST have Windows 7 ;)

          Reply
        • Since Windows 7 is no longer supported, Microsoft removed the .ISO download. If you have a Windows 7 from a previous installation or you know someone who has one, you can use that. There are copies available on the Web, but I’d steer clear of them as they may be contaminated with malware.

          Reply
          • @ Mark Jacobs ; True, but it basically boils down to finding a SHA-256 (or SHA-1) hash you trust as a legitimate one from Microsoft. because if you believe that then it would not be possible for someone to slip malware into the ISO as you simply check the hash after the ISO is done downloading.

            but short of that, I would straight up avoid the downloads online given potential malware as it would be easy for someone to modify it and simply claim they are unmodified. so the obvious safe suggestion for us to tell that user… use Windows 10 etc or switch to Linux since you can get ISO’s from a source you can be sure are legitimate.

            for the record… the Windows 7 SP1 Pro x64 English one I am using I am confident is legitimate as I basically had it since at least May 2015 etc (see below). but I have been on Win10 (on my primary computer) since I think Dec 2015 until Jan 2019, which is when I switched to Linux Mint.

            but a post on the MyDigitalLife forums from April 2015, who’s a admin there, in Windows 7 section says… “The following are official Windows 7 ISO’s that were originally published by Microsoft. They all include the KB2534111 update.” ; but like I say, it boils down to who do you trust and since that’s not a official Microsoft site it boils down to whether you trust them or not.

            but their SHA-256 hash matches the ISO I am using except their ISO is named “X17-59186.iso” which is ‘Windows 7 SP1 Professional x64 English’. but the sha hash is more important than naming as naming means nothing.

            I also see a random user over on the linustechtips forum from Aug 2015 claim that SHA-1 hash of “0bcfc54019ea175b1ee51f6d2b207a3d14dd2b58” (which is the same as the ISO I have) is legit as he said in response to someone looking for a legit Win7 SP1 ISO… “I double-checked against mine, which was downloaded from DigitalRiver BITD, so I’m 100% certain that it is an official one.”

            so if your Win7 SP1 Pro x64 ISO matches the hash (either the SHA-256 or SHA-1) I posted, chances are it’s legit. but like say this is only for the Win7 SP1 Pro x64 English ISO as there are quite a few others that would be legit to but with a different hash, but one just has to do a bit of research and try to find a place you trust online with the correct SHA-1 or SHA-256 hash and then you can be confident there is no malware. because just downloading a random Win7 ISO from a sketchy website without looking into the hash info would be risky.

            but at this point in time I don’t really use Windows 7 much anymore as I only use it on a fairly rare occasion. for example… I got a old Microsoft Zune 30GB music player that does not work on Win10 etc, so if I update music on it I got to use Windows 7 (since the Zune software does not work on Windows 10 etc). I generally don’t use that Zune device though since I got easier-to-use devices for music playback nowadays. but this is just one small example of a potential occasion someone would have to use Windows 7.

          • For an advanced user, that’s true, but most of our advice is aimed at the average computer user. There is still a risk involved unless you really know what you’re doing, not to mention the fact that there may be legal issues in downloading software from an unauthorized source.

      • That fact that it makes perfectly good machines stop working makes Windows 11 definitely bad. All those other bad versions, at least, worked. With the exception of Millennium, they all worked fine, but were just confusing as Hell.

        Reply
      • ThaCrip, I have all the below versions of windows ( except Win-Me & Win-8) running on an old Gateway with an Intel 4 core processor using an Orico 6 button switch since 2008. And I have found Win-Vista to be the best of them all. Never could figure out why folks did not like Win-Vista. It does everything I need to do and is plenty fast with an SSD. But then I don’t play computer games. But I absolutely love Win-Mail that came with Vista and have all my important mail I ever sent or received since 1998 stored on that hard drive. Plus over 150K pictures of old cars, airplanes, trips, family, friends and work. Nothing up in the cloud. I use Team viewer to help friends with the older O.S. I also use Linux Mint on a flash drive.
        You said:

        Win98(good),WinME(bad),WinXP(good),WinVista(bad),Win7(good),Win8(bad),Win10(good),Win11(? ; but probably ‘bad’).

        Reply
        • @ Roger K ; What I said about the ‘good/bad/good/bad’ pattern seems to be the general word with the masses and popularity etc. but I basically agree with you that Vista was not all that bad (except it’s basically just a weaker version of Win7, so there is no real point in using Vista over Win7 at this point in time). but Win8 surely was upon it’s release due to the horrible interface it had (it simply was not suited for proper desktop/laptop use (apparently they fixed the interface at some point but by then the damage was done and people just stuck to Win7 until Win10 came out etc)), which is why it’s the only OS from Microsoft I never had running on my computer at some point (I briefly tested Win8 in a virtual machine and quickly lost interest in it as I could not believe Microsoft made THAT major of a change to it’s core interface/function, which was a show stopper) and I basically started with Win v3.11, which was on my first computer in 1995.

          I have pretty much used all Windows from Win v3.11 on forward with Win8 being a exception due to it’s horrible interface upon release (and currently not Win11 either given it’s hardware requirements limit what hardware it will run on a bit too much). so from 1995 to date I used… Win 3.11/Win95/Win98/WinME/Win2k(not targeted at the common person but it’s the first reliable OS from Microsoft (as in you did not have to reboot often etc and could leave your system on for days/weeks etc) the average person could use even though WinXP was the first one targeted towards the common person)/WinXP/WinVista/Win7/Win10.

          but I agree with you on Vista (as it’s not bad etc) as I eventually used that at some point but it never really took off with the masses, which basically makes it apart of the ‘bad’ group. hell, I think since computers went mainstream (give or take) you could basically say there are three OS’s from Microsoft that dominated… WinXP(support ended April 2014)/Win7(support ended Jan 2020)/Win10(support ends Oct 2025), which basically sums up the last 20 years or so.

          you said, “It[Vista] does everything I need to do and is plenty fast with an SSD”

          off the top of my head I don’t think versions of Windows prior to Win7 have proper SSD support with TRIM function which is important to keep the SSD in good running order. so it’s probably best to avoid Vista especially given you can likely just put Win7 on it if you still want to use Windows on it, assuming Win10 won’t work and you don’t want Linux on it.

          you also said, “But I absolutely love Win-Mail that came with Vista and have all my important mail I ever sent or received since 1998 stored on that hard drive. Plus over 150K pictures of old cars, airplanes, trips, family, friends and work. Nothing up in the cloud.”

          if that data is important to you, ill state the obvious and say… make sure you got backups of that data ;)

          p.s. sorry for the late reply as I just noticed it here a moment ago. by the way, Merry CHRISTmas ;)

          Reply
  3. I’m running Windows 11 on two laptops that are almost three years old. Both came with TPM installed. The PC used by my wife is just over a year old and is capable of running Windows 11. I haven’t upgraded that one yet, as I wanted to see how Windows 11 performs and the other half really, really doesn’t like me making major changes on her machine.
    I’ve done some research on why Microsoft is now requiring TPM 2.0. From what I’ve read on the Microsoft websites and other articles, this requirement is just the first step towards improving security. I expect to see Microsoft requiring changes to driver software, for example, that incorporates TPM.
    I use BitLocker on all my machines. The keys to unlock the drives are stored in TPM. If I try to swap a drive from one computer to another, I would need the recovery key to unlock the drive on the second machine. Without TPM, I’d need to use a password or a USB thumb drive to unlock the drives.
    With all the news about cyber vulnerabilities cropping up, it appears that Microsoft is moving towards a hardware based security environment, as well as software based. I’m just a layperson when it comes this, but people need to remember that Microsoft is primarily aimed at the business community when it comes to making changes, not the home users. I would not expect Microsoft to back down from this approach.

    Reply
  4. “I’d want five-year-old computers to be supported for each new release,”
    By the time Windows 10 end-of-life all computers not supporting Windows 11 will be over 5 years old. Or do you mean 5 years old at the time of the OS release?

    Reply
  5. Sound advice and observation here, Leo. Thank You. Be patient. Four years is a long time… Microsoft is no fool, and as October 2025 comes closer one can just imagine the pressure that Microsoft will incur to provide a path from legacy Windows 10 platforms to Windows 11.

    Reply
  6. Microsoft even published an article on how to install Windows 11 on an unsupported machine. Out of curiosity I tried it on my 4 year old laptop. The results were not good. The machine slowed to a crawl as the CPU was overwhelmed. Even basic tasks took a long time. Oh well. I have a few years to save up some money for a new PC. In the meantime, Windows 10 is running just fine.

    Reply

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