Assessing Your Computer for Windows 7 Requirements

What you should know before installing Windows 7

If you want to upgrade from Vista or XP to Windows 7, first make sure you have sufficient hardware, capability, and capacity.

As of January 2020, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.

Red Windows 7 logo

To install Windows 7 on your computer, it should meet these requirements for a good computing experience:

  • A Dual Processor (AMD or Intel)—you can use a lower Celeron or Pentium Processor, but you will regret it.
  • 2 GB RAM (operating memory)—you can use less, but you will regret it.
  • 16 GB available disk space and another 20 to 30 GB if you plan on running applications.
  • A Vista-compatible graphics card (DirectX 9 graphics process with WDDM 1.0 or higher).
  • A Vista-compatible sound card.
  • Vista drivers for any other unique hardware you have on or connected to your computer

You should also download, install, and run the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. The information this tool creates can help you avoid other problems. Notice that Microsoft recommends these minimums requirements for Windows 7:

  • 1 GHz or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 GB RAM (32-bit) / 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available disk space (32-bit) / 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Microsoft's recommended requirements are insufficient. These are minimums, which means your experience will be minimal. If you load Windows 7 on a PC that doesn't have enough processing power, operating memory, or hard drive space—and it doesn't have the right combination of video and sound cards—Windows 7 will operate, but at a much lower capability than its optimum performance.