How-To

How to Install Windows 11 on a PC with Unsupported Hardware

Windows 11 will be released this fall and as an Insider, you can check it out now. If your PC doesn’t meet the hardware requirements, we’ll show you a workaround to install it anyway.

Last month, Microsoft officially announced Windows 11, which will be released in the fall. Compared to the upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, the minimum requirements for upgrading to Windows 11 are more strict, and not all machines meet these requirements. However, if you have a computer that does not meet these new requirements, you can still try out Windows 11 with a workaround and/or a virtual machine (VM).

Note: This workaround is only effective while Windows is being tested. Once Windows 11 is released, if you have unsupported hardware, you’ll have to either upgrade your PC, buy a new PC, or go back to Windows 10 by doing a fresh installation. We recommend installing the Windows 11 preview on a PC that isn’t your main production machine or running it in a VM using software like VirtualBox, VMware Workstation, or Windows 10 Hyper-V.

Windows 11 Hardware Requirements

The main issue with running Windows 11 is the lack of Trusted Platform Module version 2.0 — or TPM 2.0 support on PCs running Windows 10. For more, make sure to read our article on how to check if your PC has TPM support for Windows 11.

TPM isn’t the only requirement to install Windows 11 on existing PCs. The other requirements include:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
  • 4GM RAM
  • 64GB or larger storage
  • UEFI, Secure Boot capable system firmware
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
  • >9” with HD Resolution (720p)
  • Microsoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home

This workaround will allow you to bypass Windows 11 hardware requirements then download and install Windows 11.

How to Sign Up for the Windows Insider Program

If you haven’t already signed up for the Windows Insider Program, go to https://insider.windows.com/en-us/register and click Sign in now.

Sign in to the Windows Insider Program

On the Register tab, use the same Microsoft account you use for other services, like Office or email, to register for the program. If you’re already registered, the blue button will tell you that.

Register for the Windows Insider Program

How to Turn on Optional Diagnostic Data

To allow your computer to stay in the Windows Insider Program and manage the program’s settings, you need to turn on optional diagnostic data.

Go to Start > Settings.

Open Settings in Windows 10

Click Update & Security.

Click Update & Security in Windows 10 Settings

Go to the Windows Insider Program screen and then click Go to Diagnostics & Feedback settings to turn on option diagnostic data.

Go to Windows 10 Diagnostics and Feedback settings

Select the Optional diagnostic data option. Then, use the back arrow in the upper left to go back to the Windows Insider Program screen.

Turn on Windows 10 Optional diagnostic data

How to Get Started with the Windows Insider Program

Go back to Update & Security > Windows Insider Program in the Windows Settings.

Click Get Started.

Click Get Started for the Windows Insider Program

How to Pick Your Microsoft Account

Click Link an account on the Pick an account to get started popup dialog.

Click Link an account for Windows Insider Program

Click Microsoft account on the Sign-in dialog and click Continue.

Sign in dialog for Windows Insider Program

Enter the email for the same Microsoft account you used to register for Windows Insider Builds. Then, click Next.

Enter Microsoft email for Windows Insider Program

Enter your password and click Sign in.

Enter password for Microsoft email

Click Next.

Use this account everyone dialog

How to Pick Your Insider Settings

On the Pick your Insider settings popup dialog, select Release Preview Channel and click Confirm.

Select the Release Preview Channel for the Windows Insider Program

Click Confirm again.

Confirm Windows Insider Program signup

Click Restart Now to finish signing up for Windows Insider Builds.

Restart to finish signing up for Windows Insider builds

How to Change the Registry Settings to Join the Windows 11 Dev Release Channel

Now, we’re going to change the registry to join the Dev Release Channel instead of the Release Preview Channel.

Important: The Registry Editor is a powerful tool that can render your system unstable or even inoperable if misused. This procedure includes a simple change, and if you follow our instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. But make sure you back up the Registry and back up your computer before making changes. You should also make a System Restore Point before continuing so, if something goes wrong, you can always roll it back.

Once your computer has rebooted, press Windows key + R to open the Run dialog.

Type: regedit in the Open box and click OK.

Open the Windows Registry Editor

In the Registry Editor, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\UI\Selection

Then, double-click UIBranch on the right. If you don’t see UIBranch in the list, see below to create it.

Double-click UIBranch key in registry

If you need to create the UIBranch key, right-click on an empty area in the right pane. Go to New > String Value.

Create new string value in Windows registry

If you’re creating a new UIBranch key, type: UIBranch in the Value name box. If this key already exists, the Value name will already be there.

Type: Dev in the Value data box and click OK.

Make sure the ContentType key is set to Mainline and the UIRing key is set to External. If you don’t see these keys, create them as described above.

Edit String dialog for UIBranch key in registry

Next, navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability

Double-click on the BranchName key and change the Data value to Dev. Also, make sure the Data value is Mainline for the ContentType key and External for the Ring key.

Again, if you don’t have these keys, create them as described above.

Double-click BranchName key in Windows registry

Close the Registry Editor and reboot your PC.

How to Install the Windows 11 Insider Preview

Once your computer reboots, you should be all set to receive Windows Insider Preview builds. To check this, go to Start > Settings > Windows Update > Windows Insider Program.

You should see Dev Channel under Pick your Insider settings.

Dev channel set in Windows Insider Program settings

To install the Windows 11 preview build, go back to the Windows Update screen in Settings > Update & Security. The update should automatically start downloading.

Once rebooted, you should be all set to receive Windows 11 Insider Builds. You can also navigate to Windows Insider settings to check if your system is enrolled into Dev ring.

Windows 11 Preview build downloading

After going through the initial setup process, you’ll have Windows 11 installed and running on your computer. Have fun!

windows-11-preview-builds

For more information, see our article on why your PC won’t run Windows 11. You can also find out what items are being removed or deprecated from Windows 11.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bob

    This did not work. It allowed me to select the dev channel and start the download however at the 8% downloaded mark i got a prompt stating “This PC cant run Windows 11” and the download stopped completely. Microsoft must be on to the registry edit bypass.

  2. Jennifer Window

    Why are we getting all these Windows 11 tips and hints when no one has it yet. Seems a bit ass backwards if you ask me.

  3. Mike

    Thank you very much for this detailed tutorial! It gave me confidence to try installing Windows 11 on my laptop which does not meet the CPU requirements (i5 7th generation; 8th generation required). The installation went well and Windows 11 is now up and running! The computer performance on Windows 11 seems to be the same as Windows 10.

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