What Are Windows 10 Requirements?

You'll obtain better performance if your system exceeds minimum requirements

Windows 10 minimum requirements aren't much more stringent than Windows 7, but there are some aspects that have been modernized to the point of needing a little more hardware horsepower.

Windows 10 Home and Pro Requirements

Windows 10 requirements differ for memory and disk space between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

  • CPU: 1 gigahertz (1 GHZ) or faster processor or system on a chip
  • Memory: 1 GB or more for 32-bit Windows or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Storage Space: 16 GB for 32-bit or 20 GB for 64-bit
  • Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible GPU with support for Windows Display Driver Model 1.0 or later.
  • Display Resolution: 800 x 600 or greater.
  • Internet Connection: Any speed connection is required for authentication and initial device setup. Also useful for applying updates.
windows 10 para tablets y dispositivos convertibles o híbridos
Microsoft

Windows 10 CPU Requirements

The central processor is the main processing brain of your system. It performs the majority of calculations Windows 10 requires to operate.

As a rule, a CPU that not only runs at a faster frequency (that's the GHz bit) but offers multiple cores so it can do more things at once, will yield better performance than a minimum-required CPU. Most modern CPUs are dual-core or better, so two cores is a good place to start, but if you're engaged in computation-heavy work like complex number-crunching or video rendering, you'll still find a benefit to using a quad-core or even a hex-core CPU.

Another important factor is the age of the CPU. For a good rule of thumb, you want a CPU from no earlier than 2010. If you have a chip that's younger than that, has at least two cores, and runs at 2GHz or above, you’ll enjoy a faster Windows 10 experience.

Windows 10 Memory Requirements

Random-access memory acts as short-term-memory for your system, holding information your CPU will need to access quickly instead of through much-slower disk accessing. If you have too little RAM, your system slows down.

Memory requirements in Windows 10 are one of the few factors differentiating the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the operating system. While 1 GB or 2 GB is enough to simply run those respective versions of the operating system, you’ll certainly run into bottlenecks if you perform even basic web browsing with a few tabs at a time.

If you're running or looking to run Windows 10 32-bit, the most RAM you can take advantage of (due to operating system limitations) is 4GB.

If you're running or looking to run Windows 10 64-bit, you can have as much memory as you like. For most use cases, though, 8GB is more than enough.

Hands holding computer hard drive
Getty Images/Daniel Sambraus

Windows 10 Storage Space Requirements

If you don't have enough storage space you cannot install Windows 10. It needs at least 16 GB for the 32-bit version and at least 20 GB for the 64-bit version. That's not a lot by today's standards, with many smartphones having more space than that, but some low-end and especially older devices might be limited to 20GB or less.

If you're looking to run Windows 10 on a desktop PC or laptop, install the operating system on solid-state drive. They’re far more affordable than they used to be and can have the biggest impact in speeding up your Windows 10 experience.

However, should they be outside your budget, a standard hard drive is perfectly adequate. Acquire a drive with double the storage Microsoft recommends for Windows 10. There's no use in being able to run an operating system if you don't have any space to install anything else. Games, videos, and certain applications can require several gigabytes by themselves. Having a spare 10 GB to 30 GB of space will go a long way to ensuring you have plenty of room to work and play with.

Windows 10 Graphics Requirements

You don't need to worry too much about graphics if you have a CPU from the past decade. Although it's worth double-checking, most modern CPUs are equipped with a compatible graphics core that will be more than enough to handle Windows 10. You could also use an add-in graphics card if you want more power for gaming.

The graphics requirements for Windows 10 are much the same as they were when Windows Vista released in 2006.

Photo of an XFX AMD Radeon HD 5450 1GB GDDR3 VGA/DVI/HDMI Low Profile PCI-Express Video Card (ONXFX1PLS2)
© XFX Inc.

Windows 10 Display Resolution Requirements

Screen resolution requirements for Windows 10 aren't stringent—even PCs and monitors of the early 2000s were able to handle 800 pixels by 600 pixels. With that in mind, this is a very low barrier to entry, so if you can, it’s recommended you run a system with a greater display resolution. Videos, websites, and games will look far better and you'll have a lot more screen space to enjoy your Windows 10 experience.

Windows 10 Internet Connection Requirements

Because Windows 10 offers rolling software updates, it requires at least periodic access to the internet to download update packages.