Microsoft has modified its stance on Windows 11 hardware requirements by detailing a technique to go around them – but it warns against doing so and indicates that it will be unsupported and not receive updates.
The explanation was found on the page titled “Windows 11 Installation Methods.” It’s possible that Microsoft intended this all along, but it also comes after a lot of feedback from people who were upset or annoyed by not being able to upgrade to the latest version of Windows.
When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella posted on LinkedIn about the “start of a new generation of Windows,” comments included “My 2015 iPad is capable of running the latest iOS. Meanwhile, Microsoft has chosen to obsolete hardware that’s only 2-3 years old. Ludicrous,” and “This entails a significant effort in production which also comes at the worst time due to supply chain shortages.”
The workaround is simple: “AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU” is a registry setting. Users can utilize the Media Creation Tool to build an ISO after they’ve set everything up. The ISO may then be mounted on the same PC with a right-click and setup performed from there to update while maintaining all installed applications and documents.
There are drawbacks, one of which is the requirement for TPM 1.2, exposing that Windows 11 has both hard and soft requirements.
The warnings issued by Microsoft are harsh. The installation “may cause compatibility issues” and “your PC will no longer be supported and won’t be entitled to receive updates,” according to a disclaimer – though it appears that Microsoft envisions some scenarios in which the bypass is a good idea, as the heading says “not recommended unless instructed by support.”
It’s unclear how this will play out, however some users have reported receiving updates on non-supported systems. Rather than punishing customers with older technology, Microsoft is most likely protecting itself against the likelihood that certain updates would fail. On production systems that run well with Windows 10, or on hardware that is still under warranty, it would be a mistake to ignore the prerequisites.
Because Microsoft’s system requirements for Windows 11 are more concerned with maintaining a secure configuration and appropriate performance than with enabling the operating system to function, this registry bypass key works. Many of the security features seen in Windows 11 are also accessible in Windows 10, however they are frequently unconfigured.