The good news is that if you’re planning to buy a mainstream desktop or laptop or if you’ve bought one in the past four years, it’s probably compatible with Windows 11. But the requirements for the new OS aren’t straightforward. Microsoft made things more confusing with a problematic compatibility checker tool called PC Health Check, which it withdrew just a few days after its release.
The PC Health Check app is back and is significantly improved (find it at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-11—scroll to the bottom of the page). If it detects any incompatibilities with your PC, it will list them individually. But you can also prepare for an upgrade to Windows 11 by checking your PC’s hardware and software capabilities yourself. This approach is especially helpful when you use a home-built PC that may have a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) installed but not enabled. So grab your current PC’s specs and follow along as we go over the extensive lists of requirements that Microsoft has published.
WINDOWS 11 HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS, EXPLAINED
As with any new piece of software, the most important compatibility concerns for Windows 11 are whether your PC has the basic computing resources to run it. Here is what Microsoft requires—at a minimum—for memory, storage, main processor, and graphics processor:
• At least 4GB of system memory (RAM).
• At least 64GB of available storage.
• One of Windows 11’s officially approved processors (CPUs), currently found on three lists for AMD models, Intel models, and Qualcomm models.
• A graphics processor that is compatible with DirectX 12 and Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 or greater.
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