Every Microsoft announcement brings a lot of excitement, expectation, and few intriguing debates. On June 24th, 2021, Microsoft launched the ambitious all-new Windows 11. However, it is still not officially available to install. Though Windows 11’s first preview is available for the users of the Windows Insider Program, it would take almost 6-8 more months for a stable version to come for your PC.
However, since users are eagerly looking forward to Windows 11, Microsoft has provided a way to check whether your current machine is compatible with the Windows 11 or not so that users can upgrade their system accordingly. For that, you can use the PC Health Check application.
While checking the Windows 11 compatibility for their device, many users are getting the error warning “This PC can’t run Windows 11” that tells them that their device is incompatible with Windows 11 because of various reasons.
It is fair that the warning is appearing on the older devices which might not have the hardware capabilities to run Windows 11, such as the device with Trusted Platform Module (TPM) lower than the 2.0 version. However, the thing that is weird and unacceptable is that the error is appearing on comparatively new devices too, which fulfills the minimum system requirements.
This forced us to ponder whether Microsoft wants us to upgrade to the latest Windows 11 or not?
What are the Minimum System Requirements for Windows 11?
Microsoft has officially listed the following Minimum System Requirements:
|Processor||1 GHz or more with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor|
|Storage||64 GB of free storage for installation (more for keeping it updated)|
|Graphics Card||Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module version 2.0|
|Firmware||UEFI, Secure Boot capable|
|Display||High Definition (720p)|
|Screen Size||Greater than 9″ Diagonally|
When I tested one of my Windows 10 PCs using the PC Health Check application, it shows the incompatibility error warning, even though my PC fulfills every official requirement provided by Microsoft. Here are the specifications of the PC, which was certified as incompatible with Windows 11 installation by the PC Health Check app:
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|System Type||x64 type PC|
|Processor||Intel Core i5 6th Generation 2.30 GHz|
|TPM||Trusted Platform Module version 2.0|
|Storage||1 TB HDD|
|Boot Type||Secure Boot enabled|
|DirectX version||DirectX 12|
The PC has clearly surpassed the minimum requirements listed by Microsoft for Windows 11, but surprisingly, the PC Health app is pointing it as incompatible. And it is not just with my PC; many other users with even greater specs have reported this.
But the question is, why is that?
Many tech blogs are claiming that Windows 11 will only be compatible with the CPUs with Intel 8th and higher generation processors. However, Microsoft has never officially mentioned it anywhere. So, why does PC Health Check application is displaying an incompatibility error?
Is Microsoft stopping users from upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10?
The main reason for that can be security. With Windows 11, Microsoft is shifting its focus more on security and privacy, just like Apple. Windows OS are traditionally prone to malware attacks, and with Windows 11, Microsoft is looking for a new beginning to compete with Apple, at least on security and privacy levels. That’s why they don’t want Windows 11 to be installed on the device with old generation processors, even if they meet the minimum requirements.
Another reason could be Microsoft might want to limit the existing PCs to run Windows 11. Since it is a new OS that might contain a few bugs, Microsoft might roll it out for other compatible PCs after it gains initial success. If they roll it out for everyone, many users will experience bugs that can have a negative impact on Windows 11 marketing. Microsoft does not want to repeat the same mistake that ruined the reputation of Windows 10.
There could also be a bigger picture to this. It is speculated that Microsoft is limiting Windows 11 to the latest device and doesn’t want older devices to upgrade to it because they want people to buy new devices with Windows 11 enabled on them. There is a big valid reason why Microsoft might intend to do that. If you upgrade your old Windows 10 devices to Windows 11, Microsoft will gain nothing as Windows 10 users would get a free upgrade to Windows 11. But, if you buy a new device, Microsoft would earn money for the Windows 11 OS installed on it.
If the PC Health Check app shows your device to be incapable of running Windows 11, even though you have recently purchased it, there might be other reasons for that. Ensure that TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot are enabled on the machine. It is also possible that the application is displaying the wrong results because of some glitches. If your PC is a bit older, it is recommended not to upgrade it to Windows 11 forcefully; instead, keep the Windows 10 updated till its end of support in 2025.
Peter is an Electrical Engineer whose primary interest is tinkering with his computer. He is passionate about Windows 10 Platform and enjoys writing tips and tutorials about it.