There is no doubt that Windows 11 hardware compatibility is both a confusing and frustrating subject. Microsoft seems to be taking a strict policy on some hardware requirements and being more lenient. So, what does that mean for users running the newly relaunched PC Health Check app? Well, your old not compatible CPU may work after-all.
Earlier this week, Microsoft brought the PC Health Check out of preview, allowing all users to see if their device is compatible with Windows 11 or not. One of the criteria is the CPU, with some older silicon being shut out from upgrading to Windows 11.
One of my laptops passed all compatibility requirements apart from the CPU, despite the device being only 4 years old. Clearly I am not alone, with millions of users potentially missing out on Windows 11 only because of their CPU.
However, it seems Microsoft is willing to be more lenient on this requirement than it is on others. We have seen how the company is taking a strict approach on TPM 2.0. Specifically saying devices without the feature will not get Windows 11. Anyone who finds a way to install the platform on a machine without TPM 2.0 will be shut out from feature and security updates.
With the CPU requirement, Microsoft seems to be willing to be more flexible. Not least because the PC Health Check tool seems to be shutting out perfect good CPUs, even some high-end modern ones. Indeed, some users say their machine already runs Windows 11 in preview with an “incompatible” CPU.
So, it seems that it is not that Windows 11 will not run on devices with incompatible CPUs, but rather Microsoft does not want them to. Microsoft said as much to The Verge in August, repeated by the outlet this week. Specifically, the company says it will not block Windows 11 upgrades on these PCs, but it may deny updates.
Unlike the TPM 2.0 no update threat, this one seems more practical. Microsoft will continue to send updates and patches to devices with older CPU, but only if those CPUs do not cause problems.
According to the report, Microsoft is now including a warning message when users try to install Windows 11 on an incompatible machine. This message makes it clear they are using the platform at their own risk and may not receive updates.
Tip of the day: Did you know you can also use OneDrive to save folders and files in the cloud which are located outside the main OneDrive-folder. Check out our step-by-step tutorial to use this practical method also for your Windows 10-PC.