Image: Microsoft

Microsoft has spent a great deal of time convincing Windows users that its next OS will only be compatible with select, modern hardware configurations, but apparently, that’s no longer the case.

According to a report from The Verge, Microsoft won’t stop anyone from installing Windows 11 on any decent system, including outdated ones that don’t fully meet its recommended hardware requirements. The only caveat is that users will need to download an ISO and install the new OS manually; upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 through Windows Update will not be possible for systems that have been deemed unworthy.

Microsoft won’t be recommending or advertising this seemingly unofficial and discouraged method of installing Windows 11, but this is excellent news for Windows users who are stuck on older rigs and wish to see how well the latest OS might run on it.

The decision isn’t too shocking, as limiting the installation of Windows 11 to a relatively narrow range of devices would work against Microsoft’s interest in getting the OS on as many devices as possible.

Despite the news of Microsoft allowing Windows 11 installations on older systems, the Windows Team has confirmed that it has added a small number of additions to the compatible processor list. They include Intel Core X and Xeon W CPUs, as well as select Core 7820HQ devices. First-generation Ryzen processors are still excluded following a careful analysis in partnership with AMD.

Microsoft has also released an updated preview version of the PC Health Check app today that “expands the eligibility check functionality with more complete and improved messaging on eligibility and links to relevant support articles that include potential remediation steps.” The final version will available in the coming weeks for users who would like to see how well their systems line up with Microsoft’s official requirements.

For those who are using a PC that won’t upgrade, and who aren’t ready to transition to a new device, Windows 10 is the right choice. We will support Windows 10 through October 14, 2025 and we recently announced that the next feature update to Windows 10 is coming later this year. Whatever you decide, we are committed to supporting you and offering choice in your computing journey. If you want to see the full Windows 11 minimum system requirements, you can visit this page.

Sources: The Verge, Microsoft

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