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Updated: 22 Jun 2022

Windows 11 requirements: check if your computer is compatible

Use our free Windows 11 compatibility tool to see if your PC meets Windows 11 requirements.
Michael Passingham

Checking for Windows 11 compatibility? Whether you want to find out if your current computer is compatible with Windows 11 or you want to see if a new, refurbished or second-hand model has the right specs for it, we take you through everything you need to know to be ready for Windows 11.

First things first. If your computer is less than four years old and runs Windows 10, it is highly likely it will work with Windows 11. You should still proceed with our step-by-step guide below to be sure, but you can start with confidence. 

Whatever your budget, our lab tests reveal which models are worth your money and which aren't. See our expert pick of the best laptops for 2022.

Check for Windows 11 compatibility 

To use our Windows 11 compatibility tool, below, you don't need to download anything. All you need is the name of your computer's processor. We have listed more than 1,400 processors that have launched since 2014, and have provided an indication for each as to whether it will work with Windows 11.

Even if your processor is listed as compatible, make sure you also check your computer's specs. You'll need at least 4GB of Ram and 64GB of storage.

Not sure what processor you have? Jump to our easy how to check your processor instructions to find out.

  • Tip: Don’t worry about typing the manufacturer of the processor. Simply type the model code, such as 8265U, in our Windows 11 compatibility checker above and you will find the processor you’re after.

(Data based on AMD.com and Intel.com processors launched since 2014. Processors indicated as working with Windows 11 based exclusively on Microsoft’s official list of compatible processors. The list was last checked on 9 May 2022. An indication either way is just that: an indication. Check with your computer’s manufacturer to confirm whether your model is likely to work with Windows 11.)

Tell us: is your computer compatible with Windows 11?

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Windows 11 requirements

One of the main reasons why Windows 11 is only compatible with certain, newer computers is due to some of the security enhancements Microsoft has added to the software. The bolstered security makes certain demands of the components in your computer, so only newer processors with the right bits and pieces conform to those expectations.

The other reason a computer might not work with Windows 11 is that it doesn’t have good-enough specifications. The minimum required specifications for Windows 11 are:

  • Processor: 1GHz with at least two cores (in addition to the security features mentioned above)
  • Ram: at least 4GB
  • Storage: at least 64GB (although it's likely you'll have to make space on your hard drive if you only have this much - see how to free up disk space)
  • Security: Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) and Secure Boot (we'll explain more about both of these below)

Windows 11 compatibility: how to check your processor

The criteria most laptops will fall down on is the processor (also known as the CPU). If your processor is too old, it won’t work with Windows 11. 

To find out what processor you have, click the Windows Start Menu in the bottom left of your screen. Type in View processor info. Click the button that says View processor info

View processor info windows 10

Then, under the Device specifications list, look for Processor. You will see something like ‘Intel ® Core ™ i5-8265U’ (highlighted in red below). 

Device specifications for Windows 11

When you’ve found the name of your processor, type the model name in our free check for Windows 11 compatibility tool.

If you’re shopping for a new, refurbished or second-hand computer, you’ll have to go by the listed specs and should still use our Windows 11 checker for the processor.

Windows 11: how to check your other specs

If you’ve already made sure your processor is compatible with Windows 11, there are further checks you need to make to ensure its other specs and security settings are good to go.

To find out how much Ram you have, head back to the ‘View processor information’ window you used before (click Windows Start Menu, type View processor info) and look for Installed Ram (highlighted in blue in our image, below). If you have 4GB or more, your computer still meets the criteria. 

To see how much storage you have, stay in the same window and click on Storage on the left-hand side. This will tell you how much storage is on your device - you need at least 64GB. You may need to clear space before installing Windows 11 as it takes up a lot of room.

Checking how much storage you have

Finally, to check your laptop's security, in the Windows Start Menu type Device security and select Device security.

Checking laptop security

Here you'll see Secure boot - if that's switched on, you'll see a green tick. To check whether your computer is using TPM 2.0, click on Security processor details and check that the Specification version is '2.0'. 

What if I don't have the computer yet?

Buying a new laptop? Look for the processor name in the product listing (you'll need the specific model code, as explained above), and how much Ram (also sometimes listed as ‘memory’) and storage is supplied. 

Some of the bigger retailers, such as Currys, may state on the listing itself whether the laptop is due to get a Windows 11 upgrade.

Need a new laptop or desktop? Our independent lab tests will help you choose the best model for your budget - see our expert laptop reviews and desktop PC reviews

What if my computer isn’t compatible with Windows 11?

No need to panic. Windows 10 will still get security updates until October 2025. So if you’re using an older computer running Windows 10, you can keep going for a few years yet before needing to upgrade. 

If you’re thinking of buying a laptop not compatible with Windows 11, consider whether that is a shrewd purchase or if perhaps it’s worth spending a little more on something that will be supported long into the future.

On a tight budget? Check out our expert pick of the best cheap laptops.