Windows 11 is a significant improvement over Windows 10, and along with all those new tools and features comes a surplus load on the system. This makes it important to check whether your system would be able to handle Windows 11 or not. In this post, we take a look at the minimum and the recommended Windows 11 System Requirements.
Windows 11 System Requirements
A simple test to check whether your system can support Windows 11 or not could be done through the PC Health Check Tool from Microsoft. However, this is a test of the minimum requirements, not what is required to run the system smoothly. Rather, Windows 11 has a lot of additional feature-specific hardware requirements. Let us discuss these in detail.
- Hard Disk Space
- Graphics Card
- System Firmware
- Trusted Platform Module
- Internet Connection.
Windows 11 Minimum Hardware Requirements
There are the new minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. PCs that do not meet the hard floor cannot be upgraded to Windows 11. PCs that meet the soft floor will receive a notification that an upgrade is not advised.
- Processor: 1 GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
- System firmware: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- RAM: 4 GB
- Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
- S mode is only supported on the Home edition of Windows 11. If you are running a different edition of Windows in S mode, you will need to first switch out of S mode prior to upgrading.
UPDATE: Microsoft has tweaked the requirements. They now allow unsupported PC to Install Windows 11, but not Upgrade.
|Processor:||1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)|
|RAM:||4 gigabyte (GB)|
|Storage:||64 GB or larger storage device
Note: See below under “More information on storage space to keep Windows 11 up-to-date” for more details.
|System firmware:||UEFI, Secure Boot capable|
|TPM:||Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0|
|Graphics card:||Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver|
|Display:||High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel|
|Internet connection and Microsoft accounts:||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.
Windows 11 needs a 1GHz processor with 2 or more cores and only supports 64-bit systems. For those who have been working with Windows 10, the main difference would be with 2 or more cores. While a lot of users preferred shifting to dual-core or better computers in the late 2000s, a significant chunk of them and relying on low-end single-core systems. They would miss the bus with Windows 11. Also, those with 32-bit systems would have to stay with Windows 10.
The RAM is usually the limiting factor while judging a system’s performance. Many system manufacturers launched Windows 10 systems with 2GB RAMs when that was barely the minimum requirement (for 64-bit systems). As a result, most users had to upgrade their systems’ RAMs. Now, with Windows 11 pushing the bar to 4GB, you might have to upgrade even further to 6GB or 8GB of RAM for a smooth experience with the operating system.
3] Hard Disk Space
The required hard disk space for Windows 11 is 64GB. This is significantly higher than the 20GB needed for Windows 10 (64-bit). However, keeping the usual buffer, let us suggest you would need at least 100GB of free space in your system for the smooth functioning of Windows 11.
4] Graphics Card
The Graphics Card of the system needs to be compatible with DirectX 12 or later with a WDDM 2.0 driver, and that is quite an improvement over the earlier requirement of compatibility with DirectX9 for Windows 10 users with WDDM 1.0.
5] System Firmware
While this was not a specific requirement earlier, Windows 11 mandates UEFI, Secure Boot capability. Perhaps, this could phase out a lot of older systems after the masses upgrade to Windows 11.
6] Trusted Platform Module
The installation of Windows 11 requires the presence of Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 on the system. A lot of systems did not have this option earlier, even the high-end ones.
Windows 11 has a specific requirement with a display that the monitor should allow a high definition (720p) display and must be 9” inches or greater in size. 8 bits per color channel are important. In the case of Windows 10, the simple requirement was a minimum resolution of 800 x 600.
8] Internet Connection
With Windows 10 and earlier versions, we had an option of installation through ISO and external disks. An internet connection was preferable and needed for updates, but not necessary for installation. This has changed with Windows 11 since the Microsoft website specifically mentions the requirement of an internet connection for initial installation.
Windows 11 Recommended System Requirements
There are additional requirements over time for updates, as well as requirements to turn on specific features, as mentioned by Microsoft:
- Multiple Voice Assistant (MVA) requires a microphone and speaker.
- Snap three-column layouts require a screen that is 1920 effective pixels or greater in width.
- Mute/Unmute from Taskbar requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker.
- Auto HDR requires an HDR monitor.
- BitLocker to Go requires a USB flash drive
- Client Hyper-V requires a processor with second-level address translation (SLAT) capabilities
- Cortana requires a microphone and speaker and is currently available on Windows 11 in select countries only
- DirectStorage requires an NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the “Standard NVM Express Controller” driver
- DirectX 12 Ultimate is available with supported games and graphics chips.
- Presence requires a sensor that can detect human distance from the device or intent to interact with the device.
- 5G support requires a 5G capable modem.
- Intelligent Video Conferencing requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
- Spatial Sound requires supporting hardware and software.
- Teams require a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
- Touch requires a screen or monitor that supports multi-touch.
- Two-factor Authentication requires the use of a PIN, biometric, or a phone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
- Xbox (app) requires an Xbox Live account, which is not available in all regions. Some features require an active Xbox Game Pass subscription.
- Voice Typing requires a PC with a microphone.
- Wake on Voice requires a Modern Standby power model and microphone.
- Wi-Fi 6E requires new WLAN IHV hardware and driver and a Wi-Fi 6E capable AP/router.
- Windows Hello requires a camera configured for near-infrared (IR) imaging or a fingerprint reader for biometric authentication.
- Windows Projection requires a display adapter that supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct.
Windows 11 requirements are a significant jump over the requirements for Windows 10. Most low-end systems might not be eligible for the upgrade and even more, a lot of high-end but older systems would not be eligible for the upgrade either. Though as we progress with technology, it is understandable why Microsoft needs to set minimum stands for safety and performance.