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Windows 11 Compatibility Check: How to Know If Your Laptop or PC is Eligible for Upgrade

While Windows 11 is available as a free download, Microsoft has set a baseline of hardware specifications that allows users to take advantage of all its features.

U.S-based software firm, Microsoft Corp. on June 24th, officially announced Windows 11 operating system (OS) that the company believes is their next-generation operating system. While the OS looks clean & smooth, has a redesigned UI, updated window management features, and support for running Android apps, among others, we ought to wait a little bit longer to have to try it out.

After officially announcing the OS at a virtual event hosted by Chief Product Officer Panos Panay, the company did not mention when the new OS would be available for its consumers. Therefore, there’s no official public release date for Windows 11 yet, but all signs are pointing to October 2021. This also means that if the OS is in fact released in October, retailers will likely start selling computers with Windows 11 installed.

Microsoft has promised to make the OS available as a free upgrade in early 2022 to all existing Windows 10 users.

Although Microsoft will be offering Windows 11 as a free upgrade for devices already running Windows 10, this does not mean that your computer hardware configuration will be compatible. In addition to requiring a trusted platform module (TPM) chip, the device will also need to have one of the supported processors.

As part of the new minimum system requirements, Windows 11 will be supported only on 64-bit (x64) processors and only in specific chips from Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm, leaving a lot of older computers without the possibility to upgrade. For example, from Intel, the new version will officially support only the 8th Gen and newer processors and some of the Celeron, Atom, Pentium, and Xeon chips. And from AMD, Windows 11 will support third-generation Ryzen and newer processors, including some second-generation Ryzen 7 CPUs and some Athlon and EPYC processors.

To check whether your processor is supported for the upgrade, there are several quick ways on Windows 10 to confirm if it’s on the list of supported hardware using the Settings app, Command Prompt, or the PC Health Check app.

How to check CPU compatibility using Settings;

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on System.
  3. Click on About.
  4. Under the Device specifications section, check the processor make and model.
  5. Confirm the System type reads “64-bit operating system, x64-based processor.”
  6. If you have an Intel processor, check this Microsoft support page to determine if the chip is on the compatibility list to run Windows 11.
  7. If you have an AMD processor, check this Microsoft support page to determine if the chip is on the compatibility list to run Windows 11.

How to check CPU compatibility using commands;

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to find out the processor make and model and press Enter:
  4. Type the following command to determine if the system is 64-bit and press Enter: wmic computersystem get systemtype
  5. If you have an Intel processor, check this Microsoft support page to determine if the chip is on the compatibility list.
  6. If you have an AMD processor, check this Microsoft support page to determine if the chip is on the compatibility list.

Alternatively, you can also use the Windows PC Health Check app to test whether your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 11, but unfortunately, the app was temporarily removed because many people reported that the app lacked sufficient information. Microsoft said in a blog post that it plans to address the feedback and get it back online sometime before Windows 11 becomes generally available in the fall.

The processor is one of the most consider requirements for a computer/laptop to be eligible for Windows 11 Upgrade. All that is why we looked at it first (as mentioned above). However, to download Windows 11 on your PC or laptop, it must meet the requirements below;

Hardware requirements for Windows 11
ComponentMinimum
ProcessorA compatible 64-bit processor (x86-64 or ARM64) with at least 1 GHz clock rate and at least 2 cores
Memory (RAM)At least 4 GB
Storage spaceAt least 64 GB
System firmwareUEFI
SecuritySecure Boot, enabled by default
Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Graphics cardCompatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
DisplayHigh definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
Internet connection and Microsoft accountsInternet connection and Microsoft account required to complete the first-time setup on Windows 11 Home.
Additional requirements for optional functionality
FeatureRequirements
5G support5G capable modem
Auto HDRHDR-capable monitor
Biometric authentication and Windows HelloIlluminated infrared camera or fingerprint reader
BitLocker to GoUSB flash drive (available in Windows 11 Pro and higher editions)
Hyper-VSecond Level Address Translation (SLAT)
DirectStorageNVMe Solid-state drive and a DirectX 12 graphics card with Shader Model 6.0
DirectX 12 UltimateAvailable with supported games and graphics cards
Spatial soundSupporting hardware and software
Two-factor authenticationUse of PIN, biometric authentication, or a phone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities
Speech recognitionMicrophone
Wi-Fi 6E supportNew WLAN IHV hardware and driver, Wi-Fi 6E capable AP/router
Windows ProjectionWi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct, WDDM 2.0

Microsoft says Windows 10 will be retired in 2025 to give room for Windows 11 —this comes six years after Microsoft last overhauled its operating system with Windows 10, a major update that’s now running on around 1.3 billion devices worldwide, according to CCS Insight.

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