How to Fix It When a PC Can't Run Windows 11

Troubleshoot why Windows 11 isn't working on your PC

This article explains how to find out why your Windows 10 computer isn't working with Windows 11.

Windows 11 doesn't officially launch until the fall of 2021, so these requirements are subject to change. If your computer doesn't meet the minimum requirements of Windows 11 now, it's possible your hardware may be supported in the future.

Why Can't I Run Windows 11?

In most cases, not being able to run Windows 11 is tied to not meeting the minimum requirements of the operating system.

The majority of the Windows 11 minimum system requirements aren't much different from those of Windows 10. In fact, the requirements for GPU and CPU and RAM are very modest, and most computers will meet Microsoft's minimum standard.

However, where it gets tricky with Windows 11 is the feature-specific requirements of the operating system: UEFI, Secure Boot, and TPM 2.0.

How to Fix It When a PC Can't Run Windows 11

While most problems running Windows 11 trace back to not meeting the minimum system requirements, there are a variety of requirements and ways to check if your system is up to the task of running Microsoft's successor to Windows 10.

  1. Check the minimum system requirements, and verify your major components, like CPU, GPU, RAM, and your display, are compatible with Windows 11.

    If you can run Windows 10, chances are high you'll meet these minimum requirements for Windows 11, because in terms of the power of the hardware required for Windows 11 as opposed to Windows 10, not much more is needed.

  2. Make sure your copy of Windows 10 is activated. Without a genuine copy of Windows 10, you won't be able to install and run Windows 11. While Windows 11 is a free upgrade, it's only free to those who have a legitimate copy of Windows 10 installed on a device.

  3. Check to see if your system supports UEFI. Like a BIOS, UEFI is a method of loading up your operating system from a cold boot that's required in Windows 11. Most modern computers support and use UEFI, so it's likely your system supports it, and you can check to confirm if your PC supports UEFI from within Windows.

    UEFI is a feature of your motherboard, so if your device doesn't support UEFI, there isn't a way to simply add in UEFI support. However, if you're using a desktop computer, you can upgrade your motherboard to one that supports the technology.

  4. Check to see if your system supports Secure Boot. Secure Boot is a security feature enabled by UEFI and required in Windows 11, so your system will need to support UEFI in order to use Secure Boot. If your system supports UEFI, it's likely you'll be able to use Secure Boot; however, you will have to enable Secure Boot.

  5. Check to see if your system supports TPM 2.0. TPM support is listed inside the Microsoft's BitLocker application.

    The first TPM chips were introduced decades ago, so TPM 2.0 has become the standard in modern times. While TPM 2.0 isn't backwards compatible with older TPM standards, chances are your device will support TPM 2.0 already.

FAQ
  • How do I make my PC run faster on Windows 11?

    Disable visual effects such as transparency and animation from Settings > Accessibility. You might also want to remove startup programs in Windows 11 to speed up performance. When browsing the web, consider using Microsoft Edge over Chrome and take advantage of Edge's new Performance Mode feature for CPU and RAM optimization.

  • How do I fix the "This app can't run on your PC" error on Windows 10?

    Run the compatibility troubleshooter on the app. Right-click the program > select Properties > Compatibility tab > Run compatibility troubleshooter. If that doesn't fix the error, turn on Windows 10 compatibility mode. On the Compatibility tab, right-click the app > select Properties > Run this program in compatibility mode for > and select the appropriate version of Windows.

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