How to install Windows 11 on unsupported CPUs

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How to install Windows 11 on unsupported CPUs

There’s an easier way to install Windows 11 on computers with older CPUs with no need to reformat your drive, erase your files, or even burn the ISO to an external USB drive.

If you’re currently seeing “This PC doesn’t currently meet Windows 11 system requirements” or “The processor isn’t currently supported for Windows 11,” there’s a Microsoft-approved registry hack that should instantly make it better.

A checklist before you install Windows 11

  • Basic system requirements: 1GHz dual-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, UEFI motherboard, TPM 2.0, DX12 graphics, 720p display
  • UEFI must be enabled
  • TPM must be enabled
  • Secure Boot must be enabled
  • Processor must be on Microsoft’s approved list if you want an in-place upgrade
  • 64GB of free space if you want to dual-boot Windows 11

HOW TO TURN ON TPM

As we discussed in June, you probably already have a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in your PC, built into your desktop or laptop motherboard or your CPU. (If you don’t, there are hacky ways around it, but let’s start by saying you do.)

Once you’re in the BIOS, the TPM setting goes by a wide variety of names. (My desktop motherboard called it “Intel PTT” (Platform Trust Technology), but it might be an “AMD PSP TPM” or simply a “Security Device.”) If you don’t see an obvious place to check, Microsoft suggests looking for a sub-menu called “Advanced,” “Security,” or “Trusted Computing.”

Oh, and depending on your BIOS, you may need to use your keyboard’s arrow keys to move and possibly even the PG UP / PG DOWN buttons to turn things on and off again. (Apologies if you know this, but it’s no longer safe to assume.)

Got it? Great! But don’t leave the BIOS just yet.

If you only have a TPM 1.2 module, not TPM 2.0, you still aren’t out of luck: Microsoft will let you modify a registry key in Windows to allow upgrades “if you acknowledge and understand the risks.” If so, hit Start, type Regedit, search for “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup,” and look for a value named AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU, and set its value to 1. If it doesn’t exist yet, right-click and create a new DWORD Value with that name, then set the value to 1.

HOW TO TURN ON SECURE BOOT

Once you’re in your motherboard’s BIOS, you should likely also be able to locate a sub-menu for Secure Boot. It might be buried in a “Security,” “Boot,” or “Authentication” tab.

Flick it to “Enabled,” if it isn’t already.

How to Install Windows 11 in three easy steps.

  1. DOWNLOAD THE WINDOWS 11 ISO

You’ll need to download the ISO. In our testing, this trick doesn’t work with the Windows 11 Install Assistant, it doesn’t trigger Windows Update, and it doesn’t fool Microsoft’s PC Health Check tool.

On this Microsoft page, scroll down to Download Windows 11 Disk Image (ISO). Open the Select Download dropdown, pick Windows 11, hit the Download button, select your product language from the Choose one dropdown that appears below, hit Confirm, then click 64-bit Download.

Windows 11 Officially Launched as a Free Update

While that 5.1GB image is downloading, let’s move to step two.

2. DIT THE WINDOWS REGISTRY TO BYPASS THE CPU CHECK

In Windows, hit Start and type Regedit, then hit enter to launch the Registry Editor. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup\MoSetup, either by pasting that whole address into the box just beneath “File, Edit, View, Favorites, Help” or by drilling down through the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE and System and Setup and MoSetup folders one at a time.

registry editor1

In the right pane, right-click and pick New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name the value “AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU” minus the quotes. Double-click on the new value you created, and enter 1 into the Value data field. Hit OK and close the registry editor.

3. RIGHT CLICK AND OPEN THE ISO IN WINDOWS EXPLORER AND RUN SETUP

Did the ISO finish downloading? Just right-click on it and pick Open with > Windows Explorer to mount the virtual disc, then double-click the setup file to begin the installation.

That’s it! If the registry hack worked, you should soon see a warning message instead of a rejection message, and be given the option to install Windows 11 without losing your data.