Wondering can your PC run Windows 11? Here’s how to tell if your Windows 10 PC can upgrade to Windows 11.
Can my PC run Windows 11? That’s a question many are asking after Microsoft unveiled its all-new operating system. Windows 11 will be one of the biggest updates to Microsoft’s OS in recent memory.
Key features of Windows 11 include a simplified Start menu, a redesigned task bar (which now is in the center of the screen – mimicking the Dock in macOS), and a host of multi-window and multi-monitor features.
But Windows 11 will also include faster and smaller updates – up to 40% smaller update files sizes than previous generations, a new desktop app Windows Store, and the ability to side load Android apps on Windows 11.
All in all, Windows 11 seems like a pretty great upgrade.
But the big question we know you want to know is: can my PC run Windows 11?
There’s two ways to check that: by manually looking at your PC’s spec and by running a special tool built by Microsoft.
Windows 11: Specs & Requirements
Microsoft has a great support document breaking down the specs you PC will need to meet to run Windows 11. However, things to keep in mind is that there are essential two sets of specs a PC must have if it wants to run ALL the features of Windows 11.
Let’s look first at the basic specs any PC must meet to run Windows 11:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC)
- RAM: 4 gigabytes (GB)
- Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
- System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
- Graphics card: Compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver
- Display: High definition (720p) display that is greater than 9” diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
If your PC has the above specs it should be able to run the basic features of Windows 11. However, if you want to run ALL the features of Windows 11, your PC will also need to meet the requirements for the advanced features.
Many of these features aren’t critical to your everyday computer usage, but if your PC meets these hardware requirements you’ll get more benefit out of Windows 11. We’re only copying and pasting SOME of the advanced requirements for the most common advanced features. Fr the full list check out Microsoft’s support document:
- 5G support requires 5G capable modem.
- Auto HDR requires an HDR monitor.
- DirectX 12 Ultimate is available with supported games and graphics chips.
- Snap three-column layouts require a screen that is 1920 effective pixels or greater in width.
- Spatial Sound requires supporting hardware and software.
- Touch requires a screen or monitor that supports multi-touch.
- Two-factor Authentication requires use of PIN, biometric (fingerprint reader or illuminated infrared camera), or a phone with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
Again, that’s not a full list, so check out the Microsoft support document to see all the advanced requirements.
Windows 11: Use This Tool To See If Your PC Can Run Windows 11
As you can tell, manually checking your PC for the above requirements can be a hassle. That’s why Microsoft has released an updated tool that will tell you if your Windows 10 PC can upgrade to Windows 11.
The tool is called the PC Health Check app and can be downloaded here.
Once you’ve installed the PC Health Check app, do the following:
- Launch the PC Health Check app from the Start menu.
- At the top of the app you’ll see a special Windows 11 section. Click the “Check Now” button.
- After the app scans your PC one of two windows will appear: “This PC Can Run Windows 11” or “This PC Can’t Run Windows 11.” Depending on which window you see, you’ll know if your PC can run Windows 11.
Windows 11 isn’t the only big operating system updated this year. Apple is releasing macOS Monterey, iOS 15, watchOS 8, and iPadOS 15, and Google is releasing Android 12. And be sure to check out How To Run Windows On M1 Macs!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is Windows 11 free?
Yes. Windows 11 will be a free download for compatible PCs.
Q: When will Windows 11 be released?
A public beta of Windows 11 will be released in July 2021. The final version will be released during the holiday 2021 season.
Q: Can Windows 11 run on a Mac?
At this time, Windows 11 will not officially be supported to run on any Mac via Bootcamp. That could change in the future, however.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.