Heres Why Your Work Laptop Wont Get Windows 11 Any Time Soon

Windows 11's light and dark backgrounds.

Windows 11 arrives on October 5, 2021. Dissimilar the large Windows x upgrade offering that felt impossible to avert, Microsoft isn’t encouraging everyone to upgrade this time. In fact, Microsoft is recommending many PC owners not upgrade. Here’s what you need to know.

How the Windows 11 Upgrade Will Work

Windows 11 will exist a free upgrade for PCs running Windows 10, merely every bit Windows x was a free upgrade for PCs running Windows 7 and Windows viii.

However, this time, Windows 11 isn’t designed for all those PCs. Windows eleven officially supports only very contempo hardware: In addition to requiring TPM two.0 and UEFI with Secure Boot, Windows 11 only supports certain relatively recent CPUs.

Specifically, PCs with Intel processors must have an Intel 8th generation or newer processor. AMD PCs must be running at least AMD Zen two. ARM PCs must have Qualcomm 7 or viii Series hardware.

Microsoft refuses to explain exactly why only these CPUs are supported, but nosotros have some theories.

How to Check If Windows xi Supports Your PC

Non sure what hardware your PC has and whether it volition support Windows 11? Microsoft offers an official “PC Health Bank check” app that volition tell you lot whether your PC can officially run Windows 11. If not, the PC Health Bank check will tell you what the problem is

Yous tin can download the PC Health Check app from Microsoft’s website. The large blueish “Cheque Now” push will tell yous whether your PC tin can officially run Windows 11.

However, the tool won’t tell you the full story: Even if your PC can run Windows 11, you might not want to upgrade even so. And, fifty-fifty if your PC doesn’t officially support Windows xi, yous can upgrade anyway.

Microsoft's PC Health Check app.


How to Install Windows eleven on an Unsupported PC

Windows x Is Supported Until October 2025

Before we continue, it’s worth noting that Windows ten will be officially supported for years to come. Microsoft volition continue supporting Windows x with security updates until October 2025, which is iv years after Windows 11’south release.

If you don’t want to upgrade immediately, you can wait. If your PC can’t run Windows 11—well, in that location’s a good chance you’ll want a new PC within the next iv years, anyhow.

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Microsoft isn’t rushing you to upgrade to Windows 11.

Reasons You Might Not Want Windows 11 (Yet)

Overall, Windows eleven feels like Windows 10 with a new sail of paint. Windows x’s strange conditions widget has transformed into a whole Widgets pane, the new Shop now includes desktop apps, there are new modern themes and icons, and many apps have been rethought and modernized, including the Settings app.

However, there are a few missing features that may touch certain workflows. For example, Windows 11’south taskbar is missing some features that were found in Windows 10’s. Windows 11’s taskbar is glued to the lesser of your screen, and you can’t drag and drib files and other items to taskbar icons, every bit y’all could on Windows 10. If either of these features is of import to yous, y’all might want to wait to upgrade: Microsoft already appears to exist working on drag-and-drop back up for the taskbar, and so Windows 11’s taskbar may get an update that makes it more capable in vi months or a year after release.

Drag and drop failing on Windows 11's taskbar.

People who have workflows that depend on context menus in File Explorer might too be annoyed. Microsoft has modernized File Explorer’south context menus, and information technology now takes 2 clicks to find the quondam Windows context menus. Applications can add themselves to the new context menu, but most developers oasis’t done the work yet to do so. If this kind of thing is going to be a problem for your workflow, you may want to hold off.

There may be other issues, too. Windows 11 may take odd bugs here and there, or specific hardware devices may non work perfectly with it at launch until drivers are updated. If yous accept a mission-critical computer that you need to “just work,” you may want to hold off on the upgrade, even if your PC is supported.

If Yous Upgrade at Release, You’re an Early on Adopter

Microsoft has said existing PCs may not exist upgraded until early 2022, then the standard upgrade process will exist slow and gradual even for existing PCs. This will allow Microsoft to gradually test the update and ensure information technology performs well on PCs like yours before it’s automatically offered to you.

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There’s no need to get out of your way to get the upgrade if you aren’t excited about running Windows 11 yet. If you lot look a few months until Windows Update offers your PC the update, y’all can exist certain at that place’s less breakage.

If you cull to seek out the update on your PC at Windows 11’s release, yous’re an early adopter.


How to Force the Windows 11 Update and Upgrade Immediately

If Windows 11 Officially Supports Your PC

All the same, if yous’re excited about running Windows eleven, don’t let us cease you! Despite a few missing features (we actually want to movement our taskbars), it’s overall a well-thought-out operating organization. It’due south cracking to see Microsoft taking shine more seriously. Information technology’s also great to see Microsoft finally embracing desktop apps in the Shop.

If Windows 11 officially supports your PC and you’re not too worried about any missing options or potential bugs, experience free to upgrade.

The PC Health Check app saying a PC meets Windows 11's requirements.

If Windows 11 Doesn’t Officially Back up Your PC

If Windows 11 doesn’t officially back up your PC, yous have a more difficult decision to brand. Microsoft recommends against installing Windows eleven on computers that have older CPUs it doesn’t officially support. Nosotros would also recommend against installing Windows 11 on these PCs.

Sure, it may piece of work, but yous may run across bugs—and Microsoft says it won’t guarantee security updates will be available in the hereafter. Exercise you really want to observe yourself reinstalling Windows 10 in a year when Windows 11 stops offer security updates to your PC? After all, Windows 10 will exist officially supported until late 2025.

So that’s our official recommendation: Don’t do it, particularly if y’all use your PC for work or other tasks and you just need it to work.

The PC Health Check app saying a PC doesn't currently meet Windows 11's minimum requirements.

If the simply trouble is that your PC needs TPM ii.0 enabled, you may exist able to enable TPM in your PC’s UEFI settings.

Yet, if you actually want to get your easily on Windows 11 and all y’all have is a PC that isn’t officially supported, feel free to install the upgrade anyhow. But know what you lot’re getting into. That’s why Microsoft makes you hold to a waiver full of legalese before you install Windows 11 on such a PC.

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Be set up to encounter bugs—this is easier if y’all’re not installing Windows ten on a PC you lot use for work and other mission-disquisitional tasks. Yous should as well exist prepared to reinstall Windows 10 in the futurity if you encounter problems. (Deport in heed that you lot may not encounter problems right after Windows 11’due south release, only you might run across bugs in six months or a year as Windows 11 gets futurity updates.)

Y’all Can Try It and Downgrade Within 10 Days

If you’re on the fence about Windows 11, you tin can install it and give information technology a try. For the first x days after you lot upgrade, you will have the option to downgrade back to Windows 10. (It’due south at Settings > Organisation > Recovery. Click “Get Dorsum” under Recovery options. If the selection is grayed out, it’southward no longer available.)

Afterward x days, the option to downgrade will silently vanish as Windows eleven will delete your old Windows x files from your organization bulldoze to gratuitous upwardly space. Also, carry in mind that, if you run a cleanup tool like the ane under System > Storage or in the Disk Cleanup app, y’all may delete your erstwhile Windows 10 installation and be unable to downgrade, even within the first x days.

This tool should work, but we ever recommend having a backup of your of import data anyway, just in case anything goes wrong.

After the get-go x days, you can even so downgrade a PC running Windows 11 dorsum to Windows 10. However, you’ll take to perform a full reinstall of Windows x, then you lot’ll accept to reinstall all your applications and gear up everything up from scratch afterward.

Heres Why Your Work Laptop Wont Get Windows 11 Any Time Soon