June 13, 2024


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Windows 11 compatibility: WhyNotWin11, PC Health Check app and how to tell if your PC will work


Microsoft has a tool to help you figure out if your device will be able to run Windows 11, but it’s temporarily offline. Here’s how to check another way.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The new Windows 11 operating system should be compatible with the vast majority of PCs on the market, according to a Windows blog post published after the announcement of Microsoft’s first major software upgrade in six years. But if you’re planning to upgrade your current PC instead of buying a new laptop, we recommend you make sure the updated operating system will work on your computer. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to replace your PC by 2025 as Microsoft phases out Windows 10 over the next several years.

While Microsoft was first directing Windows users to download its PC Health Check app to test whether your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 11, many people reported that it was not giving enough detail as to why their device was not compatible. The company temporarily removed the tool and said in a blog post that it plans to address the feedback and get it back online sometime before Windows 11 becomes generally available in the fall. 

You can still figure out if your device will run Windows 11 a few other ways, though. Here’s what to do. 

Read more: Should you buy a new Windows laptop now, or wait for Windows 11?


A new, open-source app called WhyNotWin11 could be a good alternative to the PC Health Check app, especially while Microsoft’s official tool is offline. The Github app, created by a developer not affiliated with Microsoft, is a less friendly interface, but it should give you more information and go into more detail about various potential compatibility issues. Here’s more information on how to use it to determine your own device compatibility with Windows 11.  

How to check if your laptop can run Windows 11

To determine if your current PC will be able to run Windows 11, you can check out this list of system specifications on Microsoft’s website, or in the chart below. If your machine is compatible, you can download the Windows 11 update for free when it becomes available around the 2021 holiday season. Or, if you’re part of the Windows Insider Program, you can download the Insider Preview build version now

System requirements to run Windows 11

Here’s the full list of system requirements for Windows 11, including at least 4 gigabytes of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 720p display larger than 9 inches diagonally.

Windows 11 Requirements

Spec Requirement
Processor 1GHz or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or system on a chip
Storage 64GB 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 HD (720p) display greater than 9 inches diagonally, 8 bits per color channel
Internet connection and Microsoft account For Windows 11 Home edition: internet connectivity; Microsoft account to complete device setup on first use For all Windows 11 editions: internet access to perform updates and to download and use some features; Microsoft account for some features

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