How to install Windows 11 on older, unsupported PCs

Microsoft is not going to mechanically replace unsupported PCs, so customers should take it upon themselves to carry out the process manually. However success requires a easy hack of the method.


Picture: Microsoft

Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that it desires to restrict Home windows 11 installations to sure PCs with applicable {hardware} security measures. Sadly, these necessities block many older, but nonetheless useable, PCs from the Home windows 11 improve. The implication is that customers might want to purchase new {hardware} to accommodate Home windows 11 sooner quite than later.

Nevertheless it does not should be that method. With slightly ingenuity and a few sleight of hand, customers can set up Home windows 11 on lots of their older private computer systems regardless of Microsoft’s said necessities. The secret is to combine key elements of the Home windows 10 ISO file with recordsdata from a Home windows 11 ISO file.

SEE: Home windows 11: Tips about set up, safety and extra (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

A caveat: This process is NOT SUPPORTED by Microsoft. Whereas firm weblog posts counsel the corporate is conscious of customers taking these drastic steps, they haven’t but taken counter steps to dam them, and so they do not at present have plans to take action—however that does not imply that they will not. This isn’t a process it is best to use on manufacturing methods or different methods very important to enterprise operations. Proceed at your individual danger.

The way to set up Home windows 11 on older, unsupported PCs

To guarantee we’re all on the identical web page, the next process will replace an current unsupported Home windows 10 PC to Home windows 11. On qualifying {hardware}, this improve is carried out mechanically as a part of the usual safety replace course of. On {hardware} failing to fulfill the necessities, the set up have to be carried out manually.

You will need to word that profitable Home windows 11 installations will nonetheless require TPM 1.2 or higher and UEFI boot functionality. This may even solely work for the 64-bit variations of each working methods. These necessities are immutable.

The rationale Microsoft created such a brief checklist of accepted CPUs and such a protracted checklist of CPUs that didn’t make the grade was due to VBS and core isolation necessities. Older CPUs don’t comprise the subsystems essential to effectively run VBS protocols, which suggests these PCs will see a noticeable lower in total efficiency except VBS and core isolation are disabled.

For instance of unqualifying {hardware} that might run Home windows 11 with VBS disabled, think about my media PC bought in 2016. It has an Intel Core i7-6,700K CPU and was as soon as my main gaming PC. It makes use of an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 GPU, so it’s nonetheless highly effective sufficient to play informal video games and show a number of sporting occasions on the similar time. It has no delicate information, so I really feel assured in operating it with core isolation disabled. There are quite a few different examples of such succesful and helpful PCs deemed too “outdated” for Home windows 11.

SEE: Cybersecurity Consciousness Month: Why have not you up to date your safety insurance policies? (TechRepublic Premium)

To begin the replace course of, obtain the ISO recordsdata for each Home windows 10 and Home windows 11 from Microsoft. When you may use the Media Creation Instrument to create USB drives with these recordsdata, it will likely be simpler if you happen to simply obtain each ISO recordsdata to the PC you want to improve.

Now, that you’ve got the 2 ISO recordsdata, mount the Home windows 10 ISO by double-clicking the file identify. As you possibly can see in Determine A, you will note a brand new drive (E:) with a number of recordsdata and sub folders.

Determine A


Create a brand new folder, for example in your desktop, identify it “Windows11_Special_Install,” and replica the contents of the mounted Home windows 10 ISO to this new folder. This may create a modifiable model of the mounted ISO file.

Unmount the Home windows 10 ISO by right-clicking the drive (E:) and choosing “Eject” from the context menu.

Now, mount the Home windows 11 ISO file by double-clicking it. Navigate to the “sources” subfolder and scroll all the way down to the file named “set up.wim,” as proven in Determine B.

Determine B


Copy the Home windows 11 model of set up.wim to the Windows11_Special_Install/sources folder, changing the Home windows 10 model of that file.

Unmount the Home windows 11 ISO file by right-clicking the drive and choosing “Eject” from the context menu.

At this level, it is best to flip off VBS and core isolation safety in your soon-to-be-updated PC, whether it is nonetheless on.

Now, run the setup.exe app from the Windows11_Special_Install folder and observe the prompts to reinstall Home windows 10. After all, you will not be putting in Home windows 10, you can be putting in Home windows 11 with out the traditional testing for licensed CPUs and different necessities.

When the set up and replace are full, you ought to be operating an official Home windows 11 working system on a PC with an unsupported CPU. You’ll be able to copy the contents of your Windows11_Special_Install folder to a USB thumb drive and use it to put in Home windows 11 on different succesful however unqualified PCs as nicely.

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