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Windows 11 Upgrades Are Free: Here Are the System Requirements

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Today, Microsoft announced Windows 11, it's next operating system. It will release this holiday and will be an free upgrade for Windows 10 PCs.

"The free upgrade will begin to roll out to eligible Windows 10 PCs this holiday and continuing into 2022," Windows and Surface head Panos Panay wrote in a blog. "And next week, we’ll begin to share an early build of Windows 11 to the Windows Insider Program – this is a passionate community of Windows fans whose feedback is important to us."

Microsoft also released the minimum system requirements for Windows 11.

Windows 11 Minimum System Requirements

CPU1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System-on-Chip (SoC)
Graphics CardCompatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
RAM4GB
Storage64GB
Display720p display that's greater than 9 inches diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
System FirmwareUEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPMTrusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Internet ConnectionWindows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use. Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.

Windows 11 requires a 1 GHz or faster CPU with 2 or more CPU cores on a 64-bit processor; 4GB of RAM; a 64GB or larger storage device; system firmware that supports UEFI and secure boot; Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0; DirectX 12 compatible graphics; a display greater than 9-inches with a resolution of at least 720p and an internet connection.

Microsoft told Tom's Hardware that all Windows 11 PC's will require TPM - even if they were built by the user. Additionally, the company has published three lists of supported processors: one each for Intel, AMD and Qualcomm. Notably, it cuts off at 8th Gen Intel Core processors and 2nd Gen AMD, leaving a number of still otherwise good processors out in the cold. It isn't entirely clear if older CPUs that otherwise meet the minimum specification requirements may be allowed to upgrade with a warning.

The free upgrade isn't a huge surprise. Windows 10 was offered as a free upgrade for a while , and licenses are typically sold to PC and laptop OEMs as well as to businesses.

You can also download and run Microsoft's PC Health Check app (this link will automatically download the software) to see where you stand. Those who can't upgrade can stay on Windows 10, which will continue to be supported through October 2025.

Updated June 25, 9:30 a.m. ET, with confirmation from Microsoft that all Windows 11 PC's will require TPM, as well as lists of supported processors.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming. He also keeps up with the latest news. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Kotaku, PCMag and Complex. among others. Follow him on Twitter: @FreedmanAE

  • punkncat
    Pardon but "will release this holiday", is this code for Christmastime? Six months from now?
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    punkncat said:
    Pardon but "will release this holiday", is this code for Christmastime? Six months from now?
    I foresee Windows 11 arriving on ... hmmm, yes ... it's a bit hazy... Ah, there we go! November 11. Too bad it's a decade late for the 11/11/11 release date.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use. Switching a device out of Windows 11 Home in S mode also requires internet connectivity. For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is required to perform updates and to download and take advantage of some features. A Microsoft account is required for some features.
    I guess this means we can still create offline accounts, but only the activation during installation needs internet?
    Reply
  • punkncat
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    I foresee Windows 11 arriving on ... hmmm, yes ... it's a bit hazy... Ah, there we go! November 11. Too bad it's a decade late for the 11/11/11 release date.

    In fairness, I didn't see that in the article and as I was listening to the live stream I honestly think my conscious mind fogged over a bit, so I didn't hear anyone say a date. Is this "like" a funny reply, or srs bzns?

    We are a week out from July 4th which round these here parts is the FREEDOM holiday, so....
    Reply
  • kal326
    People trying to use insider builds are already noting they are being blocked from installing without TPM 2.0 and secure boot. Might be something hammered out or relaxed down the line, but there is already complaining on Twitter about it. Or so another outlet reported.

    1408101708216078337View: https://twitter.com/tomwarren/status/1408101708216078337
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    Their upgrade checker doesn't even work on the latest version of windows 10! LOL
    Reply
  • mikewinddale
    The TPM requirement is strange. I'll be interested in whether Microsoft says this is only required for OEMs.

    However, most Intel and AMD processors have firmware-based TPMs. Intel has PTT (Platform Trust Technology) and AMD has fTPM (firmware TPM).

    My Ryzen 7 2700X has the fTPM enabled in the BIOS, and Windows Security Processor and Windows Bitlocker both recognize it as a TPM.

    So even if the TPM is a strict requirement, a lot of people might be able to just enable the PTT or fTPM in their BIOS. Anyone who has built their own computer shouldn't have too much difficulty.

    Interestingly, with my new ThreadRipper Pro 3955WX + Supermicro M12SWA-TF motherboard, there was nowhere to enable the fTPM in the BIOS, so I bought a hardware TPM from Supermicro. As far as I can tell, the ThreadRipper Pro does support fTPM, but Supermicro's BIOS simply doesn't have an option to enable it.

    If Windows 11 strictly requires a TPM, then perhaps some motherboard makers will release new BIOS versions that make PTT/fTPM more conspicuous in the BIOS, or even enable it by default, for the sake of easier Windows 11 compatibility?
    Reply
  • XxDarkMario20xX
    Changed my PTT on motherboard bios and it worked says i met the specs to run windows 11

    Ibwbzv-GJasView: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ibwbzv-GJas&ab_channel=Technoholic
    Reply
  • danielravennest
    kal326 said:
    People trying to use insider builds are already noting they are being blocked from installing without TPM 2.0 and secure boot. Might be something hammered out or relaxed down the line, but there is already complaining on Twitter about it. Or so another outlet reported.

    1408101708216078337View: https://twitter.com/tomwarren/status/1408101708216078337

    I have an 18 month old gaming system - ASUS Prime X570P/Ryzen 7 3800X/16 GB ram. It says I can't upgrade to 11. Somethings off if a recent high-end system doesn't qualify.
    Reply
  • XxDarkMario20xX
    danielravennest said:
    I have an 18 month old gaming system - ASUS Prime X570P/Ryzen 7 3800X/16 GB ram. It says I can't upgrade to 11. Somethings off if a recent high-end system doesn't qualify.

    Go into your bios and see if you can change PTT to enable and then try again!
    Reply