Microsoft announced in June that the new operating system could only be used on systems with a recent processor, namely the eighth generation Intel chips and younger. These Coffee Lake chips came on the market at the end of 2017. Windows 11 supports AMD chips from the 2018 Ryzen 2000 series.
The tech company is now abandoning this requirement, Microsoft tells The Verge: Users who manually download the new operating system will be able to install it on older computers. They only need a 64-bit 1 GHz processor with more than one core for that, in addition to 4 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage.
Microsoft previously hinted that the requirements formed a ‘soft lower limit’. At the time, the company said that users who tried to install Windows 11 would receive a warning.
If you try to download Windows 11 from Windows 10, you will still get a message that the chip is too old for that, according to Microsoft. But the company won’t stop a manual download via an .iso file.
This is a cumbersome detour that probably few users would think of, but it means that many PCs can still use the new operating system. In addition, Microsoft also slightly lowers the requirements: Intel’s Core X and Xeon W chips will also work with the new operating system.
Other chips, such as AMD’s Zen 1 series, are still out of the game.
Required to ensure system operation
According to Microsoft, the requirements are necessary for the security of a system, and to guarantee that drivers and other system software work properly under Windows 11. Systems that do not meet the chip requirements are said to crash 52 percent more often.
Microsoft plans to support Windows 10 at least until October 14, 2025. An update for this version of the operating system will follow later this year.