Windows 11 has a confusingly high bar for its system requirements and Microsoft hasn’t been abundantly clear about that. Many have been left baffled by the company’s decisions of, essentially, leaving millions of PCs behind, while many are just bewildered as to why. Microsoft has reiterated time and time again that security and compatibility with increasingly demanding apps is the reason behind its decisions.
The system requirements themselves are also somewhat loose. While there is a strict set of hardware requirements, they can be easily bypassed through unofficial methods. And the CPU requirements of having at least 2 cores running at 1Ghz are also pretty much useless as most CPUs that do fall in that category still don’t make the supported CPUs list. So, how do you know if your system will work with Windows 11 or not?
To make things a bit easier for users, Microsoft released the PC Health Check app. The app would run a scan on your system and allow you to figure whether your device is ready for Windows 11 or not. However, the app was not that good at it. Instead of letting you know why your system isn’t compatible with Windows 11, it would just say that it isn’t, leaving the “why” part for you to find out yourself.
After several complaints and widespread backlash, the app was pulled from the release channels in promise of improving it for the future. And that’s exactly what the company did. In the last week of August, the PC Health Check app made its return, but only for Insiders. That meant that it was limited to a very niche audience, one that would likely never need such an app in the first place.
The updated PC Health Check app
However, that changes today as the PC Health Check app returns for a second time, but this time it’s for everyone. The updated app boasts a simple appearance but is much more thorough and, thus, helpful than before. This time, the app actually checks both your hardware and software by cross-referencing it to make sure that it doesn’t miss out on anything.
For instance, before, for even modern PCs that did have TPM support, but it was disabled in the BIOS, the app would show that the system is simply incompatible with Windows 11. Now, the app checks if CPU has TPM support, then cross-references it with the software i.e., checks if it’s enabled in the BIOS or not. Then it gives you a more comprehensive answer telling you if you need to enable TMP (if the system supports it) or if the system is just straight up not compatible with Windows 11.
The app also clarifies many other things, such as if SecureBoot is enabled or not, whether you need a RAM upgrade in order to qualify for Windows 11, or if the CPU you have is simply not supported, and so on. At first, it will give you a summary saying either “yes” or “no” as to whether your PC is compatible with Windows 11. But you can click on “Show all results” to get a detailed audit of your PC. There are also links within the app that take you to relevant webpages where you can learn more.
You can download the new PC Health Check app here. It’s available in three different flavors: 64-bit, 32-bit or ARM, and Windows 10 S Mode so everyone is covered. However, you have to be signed in with a Microsoft account and registered in the Windows Insider Program to be able to download the app. It’s a weird barrier of entry, especially since the app is supposed to be open to everyone, but that’s the only way you can get it right now.
This release was not accompanied by a blog post from Microsoft so we don’t know exactly what, if at all anything, has changed from the version released a few weeks ago. Furthermore, you can check out the official system requirements for Windows 11 here. TL;DR you need a Ryzen 2000-series or Intel 8th generation or above CPU, TPM 2.0 support, a DirectX 12 compatible GPU, 4GB of memory and 64GB of storage to officially run Windows 11.