Microsoft Admits Pushing Windows 11 Upgrade Offers to Ineligible PCs

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has admitted that it has erroneously been offering Windows 11 updates on ineligible devices. The software and devices maker’s newest OS has a long way to go to catch up with Windows 10, so it is keeping the pressure on with promotions, ads, and upgrade offers. However, in its efforts to boost Windows 11 adoption, it seems that Microsoft has been mistakenly dangling the upgrade carrot in front of owners of ineligible systems. Thankfully, Microsoft’s above described Windows 11 upgrade offer issue has now been fixed.

“Some hardware ineligible Windows 10 and Windows 11, version 21H2 devices were offered an inaccurate upgrade to Windows 11,” wrote Microsoft in the most recent update to its known issues and notifications portal. “These ineligible devices did not meet the minimum requirements to run Windows 11. Devices that experienced this issue were not able to complete the upgrade installation process.”

Affected systems were running Windows 10, version 22H2; Windows 11, version 21H2; Windows 10, version 21H2; and Windows 10, version 20H2. Microsoft says it first became aware of this upgrades issue on Thursday, and pats itself on the back for putting a sticking plaster on this self-inflicted wound “on the same day.”

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Breaking down a user’s will enough that they submit to the Windows 11 upgrade process, then snatching it away, isn't ideal. Moreover, this process could have wasted some considerable time for end users, chaperoning them through the upgrade process only for it to be unable to complete. We don’t know exactly how far the upgrade process progressed before it was halted, and whether the previous installations were in any way impacted, potentially causing even greater inconvenience. However, one Windows user reported that the sizable updater files started downloading in preparation for installation.

According to the latest StatCounter figures measuring website visitors worldwide, Windows 11 users account for approximately 18% of desktop Windows users. Windows 10 users make up 69% of users, and some people are still holding tightly to Windows 7 ( 9.5%), but hardly anyone now uses Windows 8.X or Windows XP and is active on sites StatCounter monitors. Pondering over the StatCounter chart for the last year it looks like the point where Windows 11 eventually passes 10 is still a long way off.

(Image credit: StatCounter)

Microsoft must hope that compelling new devices with Windows 11 preinstalled and the end of support for Windows 10 Home and Pro in October 2025 will accelerate the changing of the guard. Windows 11 might have got off to a rocky start but it gained some important tweaks in December, when it was reported its gaming performance issues had at last fully been addressed.

In other recent Windows 11 news, we reported that the OS is soon going to get a proper search box on the taskbar. However, Microsoft was again ruffling feathers with its decision to show watermarks on systems running Windows 11 despite not meeting all the hardware requirements.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • ohio_buckeye
    Can confirm this. Saw this a day or so ago on an older desktop I was doing a reinstall on.
    Reply
  • Amdlova
    With computer market down... Microsoft will have to let install windows 11 on older computers. Come on Microsoft let me install on the xeon potato I have.
    Reply
  • wbfox
    Admin said:
    Microsoft has admitted that ineligible devices were being offered Windows 11 upgrades. Those that accepted the upgrade invite couldn’t complete the process.

    Microsoft Admits Pushing Windows 11 Upgrade Offers to Ineligible PCs : Read more
    Hold on there, are you telling me that Microsoft capriciously EoL'd a massive chunk of desktop hardware for no reason? I mean they are a software company. Why would they cut off all of that mostly just fine hardware? It's like they were directly working with someone at the time that was in desperate need of a massive sales boost and had an angle Microsoft could use, but why? Not like Windows 11 has ads in it or tracks everything you do Na, MS wouldn't do that and we know Intel is above such things. I didn't mention Intel earlier? Oops. AMD had to kill off all the non-pro Threadripper cpus and only sell their gpus to crypto miners so that they would remain on the same level of sleeze once they found out they had been left out of the new cool club.
    Reply
  • Sluggotg
    I have many, many of my old computers. Some back to DOS/Win3.1. I don't expect support on those. I also have 6, i7 machines, (Skylakes, Haswells etc) running Windows 10Pro. Microsoft is trying to force us to throw out all that perfectly good hardware, (these machines have a 2080, 2 have 1080s, 2 have 980tis and one is using a 1660Super). The work great and play great.
    I have multiple new builds based on Alder Lake and Raptor Lake. They all are Win10Pro. One of them will be Win11Pro. Microsoft heavily pushes, "Switch to the Dark Side.. Oh wait, I meant Switch to Windows 11". I am not impressed. I have always bought Legit copies of Microsoft Products. They should learn not to punish honest customers.
    Reply
  • Math Geek
    wbfox said:
    Hold on there, are you telling me that Microsoft capriciously EoL'd a massive chunk of desktop hardware for no reason? I mean they are a software company. Why would they cut off all of that mostly just fine hardware? It's like they were directly working with someone at the time that was in desperate need of a massive sales boost and had an angle Microsoft could use, but why? Not like Windows 11 has ads in it or tracks everything you do Na, MS wouldn't do that and we know Intel is above such things. I didn't mention Intel earlier? Oops. AMD had to kill off all the non-pro Threadripper cpus and only sell their gpus to crypto miners so that they would remain on the same level of sleeze once they found out they had been left out of the new cool club.

    this is the same thing they did with windows vista. you may or may not recall but anything and everything ran win xp for a long time. then vista came out and all of a sudden 95% of the world's pc's were all of a sudden "not good enough". i wondered aloud back then what massive kickbacks they got from the OEM brands for that. just the same as you are wondering now.

    there is no real world reason for what they are doing other than forcing people to upgrade for literally no advantage vs what they already have. so i ponder aloud yet again the same thing you are saying. just how much are they getting in kickbacks to make most of the world's pc's all of a sudden not good enough for no real world valid reason??
    Reply
  • ohio_buckeye
    Of course Microsoft “accidentally” putting that upgrade out, could that be a test run for if the economy goes south and they don’t feel enough people have newer systems, would they then say oh we patched some things and let it out to 6th and 7th generation Intel cpus for example just to get people on it to sell more services etc.
    Reply
  • criticaloftom
    ..."They should learn not to punish honest customers. "
    No an honest customer should be honest with themselves and honestly not put up with a company that fails to learn from it's many costly mistakes like anti competative behaviour.
    It's quite obvious microsoft has chosen it's own obselescence and the only thing holding back the market is this 'industry standard' mentality.
    Switch to linux and get actual change or keep thinking the sociopathic monolith will suddenly grow a heart; we all know what you will choose.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    Amdlova said:
    With computer market down... Microsoft will have to let install windows 11 on older computers. Come on Microsoft let me install on the xeon potato I have.

    Sluggotg said:
    I have many, many of my old computers. Some back to DOS/Win3.1. I don't expect support on those. I also have 6, i7 machines, (Skylakes, Haswells etc) running Windows 10Pro. Microsoft is trying to force us to throw out all that perfectly good hardware, (these machines have a 2080, 2 have 1080s, 2 have 980tis and one is using a 1660Super). The work great and play great.
    I have multiple new builds based on Alder Lake and Raptor Lake. They all are Win10Pro. One of them will be Win11Pro. Microsoft heavily pushes, "Switch to the Dark Side.. Oh wait, I meant Switch to Windows 11". I am not impressed. I have always bought Legit copies of Microsoft Products. They should learn not to punish honest customers.

    While I get MS has to have some standards in regards to hardware requirements for new OSes but like the Vista debacle Windows 11 is a little to restrictive on the PC's it leaves out of the fold. I feel like MS would have been better served just choosing architectures that are 10 years old or less roughly. For AMD go with a Bulldozer or maybe Phenom II and Intel go with Core gen 2 or even gen 1 as these PCs would still be fine for most office work and in the case on Intel, still capable of gaming at reasonable frame rates. I would know I just upgraded from a Ivy-bridge based Xeon that ran a rtx 2080 Ti with solid FPS and my wife was still on a i7 970 for desktop til she got my old CPU/GPU platform...her AM5/RTX 4090 build is coming in April. Point being despite upgrading...these 'old' CPUs are still quite capable for a lot more than most folks realize even in gaming.

    I think it is obvious to most 'informed' users on Toms that Windows 11 requirements are a move by Microsoft to force PC and component sales. Its planned obsolescence that is less in your face about it than in mobile phones yet much worse than we are use to in the PC space. Software and hardware companies in general have been testing what they can get away with a lot as of late. Whether its the pricing or naming of GPUs (RTX 4080 12GB axed after outrage, GPU pricing in general, price to performance dropping, etc), software devs like Filmora trying to void lifetime licenses (they did reverse course after backlash), or MS trying to axe as much hardware as possible from their user base...it's a trend that is hard to miss if your paying any real attention to the PC space. Only online user outrage and voting with your dollars are the avenues I see that any of us have and in the case of voting with your dollars...even that can be difficult particularly in the GPU space where we have so few players to choose from and where companies like Nvidia have such a lead in features, performance and driver cadence, even at cheaper prices it can be difficult to justify going AMD or Intel for example.
    Reply
  • USAFRet
    atomicWAR said:
    I think it is obvious to most 'informed' users on Toms that Windows 11 requirements are a move by Microsoft to force PC and compentent sales
    Curiously, MS does not sell a lot of PCs and components.
    Reply
  • atomicWAR
    USAFRet said:
    Curiously, MS does not sell a lot of PCs and components.

    A lot no of course not. Their surface line a small fraction of PC sales. But they do have a lot of lucrative contracts with OEMs that do sell a lot of PC and components.
    Reply