It’s Official: Intel Atom Clover Trail PCs Can’t Upgrade to Windows 10 Creators Update

Older PCs won’t be able to enjoy the latest feature updates for Windows 10. Find out if you’re affected and how.

Microsoft confirmed this week that devices running Intel Clover Trail (Atom) processors, will not be receiving support for Microsoft’s most recent release of Windows 10, called the Creators Update. Instead, Microsoft promises to support these older processors using the previous Windows 10 Anniversary Update release, version 1607. Microsoft promises to provide security updates until January 2023, which coincides with the end of support schedule for Windows 8.

Certain Intel Atom Processors Will Not Support Future Revisions of Windows 10

So, what does this mean for you? Well, it means, you won’t be able to run the Windows 10 Creators Update or the upcoming Fall Creators Update (1709). The good news is that the still solid Windows 10 Anniversary Update, launched in August of 2016 has a lot of years left in it. The unfortunate part is that the ongoing refinements users look forward to in each Feature Update will be unavailable to these systems.

Microsoft provided a statement to the press explaining its decision to end support.

With Windows 10, we introduced Windows as a Service, a model for continuous value delivery via twice annual feature updates and monthly quality updates. Along with this updated delivery cadence, we adjusted our support lifecycle policies to reflect the Windows as a Service model. Recognizing that a combination of hardware, driver and firmware support is required to have a good Windows 10 experience, we updated our support lifecycle policy to align with the hardware support period for a given device. If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update.

This is the case with devices utilizing Intel Clover Trail Atom Processors1 today: they require additional hardware support to provide the best possible experience when updating to the latest Windows 10 feature update, the Windows 10 Creators Update. However, these systems are no longer supported by Intel (End of Interactive Support), and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact.

We know issues like this exist and we actively work to identify the best support path for older hardware. As part of our commitment to customers, we will be offering the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to these Intel Clover Trail devices on Windows 10, which we know provides a good user experience. To keep our customers secure, we will provide security updates to these specific devices running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update until January of 2023, which aligns with the original Windows 8.1 extended support period. Source: Microsoft

To find out if your system is one of those affected, click Start > Settings > System > About and look at the processor information for details. In my case, I am running an Intel Core i7, so, I have nothing to worry about. If yours says Intel Atom with the designations Z2760, Z2580, Z2560 or Z2520, then you are unfortunately on the “no” list for future feature upgrades.

The Intel Atom was originally launched in 2008 and was specifically designed for what was known as the netbook form factor. Netbooks were all the rage back in the 2008 to 2011 years. It was to the point that Microsoft had to give its Windows XP operating system a reprieve just to support the underpowered processors. The Windows 7 release, launched in 2009, was more optimized for the architecture.

Intel Atom survived into the Windows 8 wave by embracing the new, cheap, 8-inch tablet form factors that flooded the market at the time. Ironically, the same performance scenarios these Intel processors were designed for is what has prevented them from qualifying for future upgrades. This is a reality we have to accept going forward and it’s not necessarily unique to Windows 10. Back into 2012, my Dell Dimension 8300, with its 3.2 GHz Intel Netburst met the minimum requirements, but because of specific security requirements at the processor level, it didn’t make the list.

We are interested in hearing your thoughts about these changes. Will this force you to purchase a new Windows 10 ready device? If so, let us know in the comments.



  1. R. LEECH  

    I got update10 and it is not compatible either. I had to reset my computer to wipe it clean after the
    update. MS promises a fix or update next month. GOOD LUCK!

    • I forgot to mention (because I was so mad) that I just bought a Dell Laptop manufacture date December 2016 with windows 10 installed.
      Windows 10 Creator’s update destroyed my computer.
      Constant crashes and BSOD

  2. ramu kaviyoor  

    My ASUS K55VJ – 3rd gen i5, 2.5Ghz, 8 GB RAM – too had some hiccups after the Creators Update. Microsoft says the notebook is not compatible with Windows 10, but the specs for Windows 10 fits it.

    The website of Asus too confirms that this is not for Win 10. They have not replied to my email.. The hardware was working well. It’s only certain procedures that caused the problem. Microsoft says it is a driver problem which I think is not true.

    What Asus has done is unethical.

    I am back to Win 8.1. Well, heads they win, tails I lose.

  3. Stefan  

    Not true, I have 1703 on my Toshiba tablet

  4. techhead51  

    When win10 was forced onto so many devices, the term was for the life of the device, not when new hardware would emerge.
    As intel and amd are fighting the cpu war, the opportunity to push new technologies equals nothing more than sales for MS, xbox, mixed reality etc.
    So MS revised terms of service(s) is based on what intel and amd are pushing, nothing new.
    My hp laptop can not upgrade not because of hp but because MS decided amd has new stuff, so go buy a new device.
    Not for me, when the laptop does not get anymore updates, I will put steamos or another linux distro on it and this will be done on desktops.
    I will purge all computing devices from the MS, not because the hardware can not run win10, but because MS has fallen back on their original promise.

  5. Marcus Sheker  

    Back in December 2015, on the Microsoft home page, they had the 12-days-of-Christmas, and I purchased an “HP Pavilion x2 detachable PC 10”. Processor: Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU Z3736F @ 1.33GHz; RAM: 2.0 GB; Windows Type: 32-bit OS. I try to get the latest windows 10 version, but it says, you already have the latest version, version 1607; OS build: 14393.1914. If I download the 1709 update, I get an error message, and it won’t install. (The tablet really isn’t that old, but I guess the processor they used is.)

    So, I guess you can add Z3736F to your list of (Z2760, Z2580, Z2560, Z2520).

  6. Tony  

    You can add the Atom 330 @ 1.60GHz to the list as well. This is just an HTPC that doesn’t need the extra functions in the fall update. If it’s nor compatible why continuously try to install the update via Windows Update?

  7. Ilidio Martins  

    I have a intel core i7 Q740 in my Sony CPU speed 1.73Ghz
    OS- 64 bits, but this actualisation doesn’t work. It stop in midle of process and shut down the computer.
    After that when I turn it on the system recover the previous version of win10.

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