On top of being unnecessarily confusing, the new system requirements announced for Windows 11 by Microsoft might create a cluster of underlying problems for people looking to skip the line and upgrade to Microsoft’s new operating system.
If you’ve tried installing the Insider Preview of Windows 11 or you tried to use tools like PC Health Checker and you were greeted by the ‘This PC can’t run Windows 11‘ error message, don’t despair.
There are quite a few potential workarounds that will allow you to install Windows 11 on hardware that is deemed incompatible with the new operating system from Microsoft.
Here are just a few of the potential workarounds that community members have confirmed to be effective in allowing you to install Windows 11 on an unsupporting PC:
- Bypass the TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot Requirements
- Perform an In-Place Upgrade
- Use the WinPass11 Guided Installer
- Use a Registry Edit hack
Note: Keep in mind that these workarounds are prone to become ineffective as Microsoft releases new builds and patches the current exploits that the community has discovered. If any of the methods below are not working any longer, please let us know in the comment section below.
Bypass the TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot Requirements
This method involves using the Microsoft Media Creation Tool to build a bootable Win 10 USB stick and accessing the Sources folder of the installation media in order to delete the install.esd or install.wim (whichever one is there).
After you do this, you’ll need to mount the Windows 11 ISO and copy the install.wim file that you find inside before finally mounting the Win 10 once again. This method will allow you to install Windows 11 by tricking your system into believing that you’re actually installing Windows 10.
If you’re looking for specific instructions on how to do this, follow the instructions below:w
- You need to start by producing a bootable Windows 10 USB disk. To do this, you can either use the Media Creation Tool or you can use a 3rd party tool like RUFUS to make a bootable Windows 10 stick.
- Once the Windows 10 USB disk is created and successfully mounted on the USB disk, open the directory and delete the install.esd or install.wim (you’ll only find one of them inside).
- After the install file is removed from the Windows 10 installation disk, go ahead and mount the Windows 11 ISO, go to the same Sources directory and copy the install.wim file to your clipboard.
- Return to the Windows 10 USB stick and paste the install.wim file that you previously copied from the Windows 11 ISO.
Note: When asked to confirm by the UAC (User Account Prompt), click Yes and wait until the operation is complete.
- Finally, boot from the altered Windows 10 USB stick and proceed with the installation to effectively install Windows 11 and bypass the security requirements.
If this method was not effective in your case or you’re looking for a less intrusive approach, move down to the next potential fix below.
Perform an In-Place Upgrade
If you’re trying to upgrade an old computer to Windows 11 and you the PC Health check deems that your PC is not capable of supporting the new OS, you might be able to install it on the old hardware by forcing an in-place upgrade.
NOTE: As a lot of users have reported, if your Windows 10 PC is running the latest build available, some security checks (related to secure boot and TPM 2.0) will be bypassed while performing an in-place upgrade procedure.
If you’re looking for specific instructions on how to perform an In-Place upgrade from Windows 10 to Windows 11, follow the instructions below:
- First things first, it’s very important to disable or uninstall any 3rd party AV or security program that you have installed on Windows 10. Some of these are notoriously known for interfering with the upgrade to Windows 11.
Note: You can enable them again once the in-place upgrade procedure is complete.
- Next, temporarily disconnect all non-OS hard drives (external and internal) until the upgrade to Windows 11 is finished. This will prevent Windows Setup from installing OS files on other hard drives by mistake.
- Download the most recent version of the Windows 11 ISO file from UUP Dump and wait for the download to complete.
- Once the download is complete, simply double-click on the ISO file and wait until Windows 10 mounts it on your computer.
- Access the ISO file, double-click on setup.exe and click Yes when prompted by the UAC (User Account Control).
- After you do this, the Windows 11 Setup will take over and start preparing the installation.
- You won’t need to do anything else until you get to the Change how Setup downloads updates screen. When you see it, click on Change how Setup downloads updates, then uncheck the box associated with I want to help make the installation better.
Note: According to some users, this is the setting that prevents Windows Setup from checking if your PC is compliant with secure boot and TPM 2.0.
- Next, follow the remaining prompts and select Not right now when you get to the Get updates, drivers and optional features screen before clicking Next.
- Wait until the remaining scans are complete, then accept the EULA and click the Install button to start the in-place upgrade operation.
Note: This is the last Windows 11 Setup screen when you can safely cancel the upgrade.
- Next, you’ll be asked to decide either you want to Keep personal files and apps (default), Keep personal files only or keep Nothing.
- Wait until the upgrade to Windows 11 is finished, then complete the sign-in process and you’re done.
Use the WinPass11 Guided Installer
If you’re using a computer that has no dedicated TPM 2.0 chip, no firmware TPM equivalent, and no Secure Boot functionality, your only option is to ‘fool’ Windows 11’s Setup into thinking that you’re in compliance.
As of now, the only tool that’s capable of doing this (sort of) is WinPass11 Guided Installer. This is meant to help users install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware through a walkthrough process.
Important: At the time of writing this article, the tool is still in BETA and it’s only confirmed to work several unsupported PC configurations.
If you’re looking for specific instructions on using WinPass 11 Guided Installer to install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, follow the instructions below:
- Open your browser and access the release page of WinPass11 Guided Installer.
- Once inside, download the installer executable from the latest available release.
- After the download is complete, right-click on the executable and choose Run as Administrator. When you’re prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access.
- Click next at the first screen of WindowsPass 11 Guided Installer, then click on Clean if you have previously attempted to use this tool (or something similar). Failing to do so will trigger an error down the line.
- Once you’ve ensured that remnants from the old installation have been dealt with, click on Next.
- At the next prompt, click on Apply to enforce the required registry fix in order to bypass the TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot checks.
- Next, follow the instructions to enable the Dev Channel – Specific instructions inside the WinPass 11 Guided Installer window.
- Wait until the installation fails, then return to the WInPass 11 Guided installer window and click on the Replace button.
- Follow the remaining prompts to trigger and complete the installation of Windows 11.
Use a Registry Edit Hack
If you don’t mind doing some registry adjustments in order to avoid using WinPass11 Guided Installer as presented above, you can also opt to build the Secure Boot and TPM 2.0 bypassing mechanisms yourself via Registry Editor.
If TPM 2.0 is not supported on your hardware and your CPU is not able to virtualize the technology via PTT or fTPM, you should be able to bypass the compatibility check by making the following changes:
- Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘regedit’ inside the text box and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open an elevated Registry Editor window.
Note: When you see the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access.
- Once you’re inside the Registry Editor, navigate to the following location using the left-hand side menu:
- Once you arrive at the correct location, right-click on Setup and choose New > Key.
- Name the newly created key LabConfig and press Enter.
- Next, right-click on the newly created LabConfig key and choose New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
- Name the newly created key BypassTPMCheck.
- Next, double-click on it and set the base to Hexadecimal and the Value to 1.
Note: By enforcing this value, you have successfully disabled TPM Check.
- Now to disable Secure Boot check, right-click on LabConfig once again and choose New > Dword (32-Bit) Value.
- Name the newly created DWord value to BypassSecureBootCheck and set its base to Hexadecimal and its Value to 1.
- And finally, to disable the RAM check, right-click on the LabConfig key once again and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value.
- Next, name the newly created value as BypassRAMCheck and set its base to Hexadecimal and it’s value to 1.
- Once you get to this point, every potential check that might stop the installation of Windows 11 in its tracks is bypassed. All you need to do is close the Registry Editor, and restart your PC to allow the changes to take effect before retrying the installation.