Windows 11 Hardware and Software Requirements: Upgrade to Windows 11


Windows 11 (codenamed Sun Valley) provides a calm and creative space where you can pursue your passions through a fresh experience. From a rejuvenated Start menu to new ways to connect to your favorite people, news, games, and content, Windows 11 is the place to think, express, and create in a natural way. In this article, you will learn about Windows 11 Hardware and Software Requirements: Upgrade to Windows 11. Please see BitLocker System Partition: Detailed steps to troubleshoot and fix System Partition not available or large enough [Part 2], and How to find your Windows 10 Product key.

So far, Microsoft has only said that Windows 11 will be ready in the fall of 2021. Kindly refer to the following related guides on Windows 10: How to reset and reinstall Windows 10 locally, how to change a desktop icon shortcut in Windows 10, how to Enable or Disable Touch Screen in Windows 10, how to enable or disable BitLocker Drive Encryption on Windows 10 and Virtual Machines, how to link your Android or iPhone to your Windows 10 PC, and how to unlink your Android or iPhone from Windows 10.

The above statement is no longer true has Windows 11 has been made available to users!

Understanding Windows 11 PC Eligibility

Microsoft has currently set the requirements for Windows 11 for previewing with the minimum system requirements with the exception of TPM 2.0 and CPU family/model. Please see How to grant or deny Microphone access on Mac, and how to disable RC4 Cipher Algorithms support in SSH Server.

  • By providing preview builds to the diverse systems in our Windows Insider Program, you will learn how Windows 11 performs across CPU models more comprehensively, informing any adjustments we should make to our minimum system requirements in the future.
  • If you run into Windows 11 Remote Desktop Connectivity issues, the following guide will help you resolve the issue.

Please take a look at the below chart to understand your PC’s eligibility for Windows 11 Insider Preview builds.

Despite setting the minimum requirements for flighting to match what is enforced within the media install experience (ISOs), Microsoft recommends that PCs meet the full hardware requirements for the best experience when using Windows 11 Insider Preview builds.
src: microsoft

How to Upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11

As a Windows Insider, Microsoft has made the upgrade effortless. Please see Windows 11 System Requirements, and how to fix unable to access microphone on Zoom. Also, see how to fix we couldn’t find a Camera compatible with Windows Hello Face on Windows 11, and how to Disable Camera Access in Windows 10.

All you need to do is search and apply all available updates and your device will be upgraded to Windows 11.  

As you can see below, I am now running Windows 11.

Later this year, Windows 10 PCs can be upgraded for free when Windows 11 rolls out.

Once Microsoft makes Windows 11 available to all users later this year (in October), you will be able to download it the same way you would with any new version of Windows. Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and click Check for Updates. If available, you’ll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install

Hardware and Software Requirements

There are new minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 out of the insider program requirement. In order to run Windows 11 (OS) which will be available in the second half of this year, devices must meet the hardware specifications.

The PCs that do not meet these hardware requirements cannot be upgraded to Windows 11. 

There are exceptions and this guide also discusses it: How to Upgrade Windows 11 Pro to Enterprise and vice Versa, and how to Bypass unsupported CPU and Processor by upgrading to Windows 11 via Windows Update.

Processor1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
Memory4 GB RAM
Storage64 GB or larger storage device
System firmwareUEFI, Secure Boot capable
TPMTrusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
Internet connection and Microsoft accountsMicrosoft account and internet connectivity required for setup for Windows 11 Home
Graphics cardDirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
Display>9” with HD Resolution (720p)

Feature-specific requirements for Windows 11

Some features in Windows 11 have increased requirements beyond those listed above in the minimum requirements section. Below are some additional details regarding the requirements for key features.

  • 5G support requires a 5G capable modem.
  • Auto HDR requires an HDR monitor.
  • BitLocker to Go requires a USB flash drive (available in Windows Pro and above editions).
  • Client Hyper-V requires a processor with second-level address translation (SLAT) capabilities (available in Windows Pro and above editions).
  • Cortana requires a microphone and speaker and is currently available on Windows 11 for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • DirectStorage requires an NVMe SSD to store and run games that use the “Standard NVM Express Controller” driver and a DirectX12 GPU with Shader Model 6.0 support.
  • DirectX 12 Ultimate is available with supported games and graphics chips.
  • Presence requires a sensor that can detect human distance from the device or intent to interact with the device.
  • Intelligent Video Conferencing requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
  • Multiple Voice Assistant (MVA) requires a microphone and speaker.
  • Snap three-column layouts require a screen that is 1920 effective pixels or greater in width.

Other feature Specific requirements

Mute/Unmute from Taskbar requires a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output). The app must be compatible with features to enable global mute/unmute.

  • Spatial Sound requires supporting hardware and software.
  • Teams require a video camera, microphone, and speaker (audio output).
  • Touch requires a screen or monitor that supports multi-touch.
  • Two-factor Authentication requires the use of a PIN, biometric (fingerprint reader or illuminated infrared camera), or a phone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Voice Typing requires a PC with a microphone.
  • Wake on Voice requires a Modern Standby power model and microphone.
  • Wi-Fi 6E requires new WLAN IHV hardware and driver and a Wi-Fi 6E capable AP/router.
  • Windows Hello requires a camera configured for near-infrared (IR) imaging or a fingerprint reader for biometric authentication. Devices without biometric sensors can use Windows Hello with a PIN or a portable Microsoft-compatible security key.
  • Windows Projection requires a display adapter that supports Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) 2.0 and a Wi-Fi adapter that supports Wi-Fi Direct.
  • Xbox (app) requires an Xbox Live account, which is not available in all regions

Feature deprecations and removals

When upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10 or when installing an update to Windows 11. Some features may be deprecated or removed. Please see below for information regarding some of the key features impacted.

  • Cortana will no longer be included in the first boot experience or pinned to the Taskbar.
  • Desktop wallpaper cannot be roamed to or from the device when signed in with a Microsoft account.
  • Internet Explorer is disabled. Microsoft Edge is the recommended replacement and includes IE Mode which may be useful in certain scenarios.
  • The math Input Panel is removed. Math Recognizer will install on demand and includes the math input control and recognizer. Math inking in apps like OneNote is not impacted by this change.
  • News & Interests has evolved. New functionality has been added which can be found by clicking the Widgets icon on the Taskbar.
  • Quick Status from the Lockscreen and associated settings are removed.
  • S Mode is only available now for Windows 11 Home edition.
  • Snipping Tool continues to be available but the old design and functionality in the Windows 10 version has been replaced with those of the app previously known as Snip & Sketch.
  • Start is significantly changed in Windows 11 including the following key deprecations and removals:
    • Named groups and folders of apps are no longer supported and the layout is not currently resizable.
    • Pinned apps and sites will not migrate when upgrading from Windows 10.
    • Live Tiles are no longer available. For glanceable, dynamic content, see the new Widgets feature.
  • Tablet Mode is removed and new functionality and capability is included for keyboard attach and detach postures.

Taskbar functionality has changed

People are no longer present on the Taskbar.

  • Some icons may no longer appear in the System Tray (systray) for upgraded devices including previous customizations.
  • Alignment to the bottom of the screen is the only location allowed.
  • Apps can no longer customize areas of the Taskbar.

The timeline is removed. Some similar functionality is available in Microsoft Edge.

  • Touch Keyboard will no longer dock and undock keyboard layouts on screen sizes 18 inches and larger.
  • The wallet is removed.

The following apps will not be removed on upgrade but will no longer be installed on new devices or when clean-installing Windows 11. They are available for download from the Store:

- 3D Viewer
- OneNote for Windows 10
- Paint 3D
- Skype

I hope you found this blog post helpful on Windows 11 Hardware and Software Requirements: Upgrade to Windows 11. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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