Microsoft has unveiled the latest version of its iconic Windows operating system: Windows 11.
The software will be available as a free upgrade for existing Windows 10 users. It’s expected to launch later this year.
But it comes with higher basic hardware requirements than its predecessor, so if you have an older computer, you might want to check if it’s compatible.
If your device isn’t up to scratch, you may still be able to install Windows 11. You might receive a warning message during installation, however, according to tech site The Verge.
But Microsoft has said that some devices won’t be able to install the new operating system at all.
The minimum requirements for the new operating system are as follows:
A one gigahertz or fasterprocessor with two or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).
You can find a full list of supported processors — which basically function as your computer’s brain — by scrolling down to ‘Windows 11’ on this Microsoft webpage.
Four gigabytes of RAM (random access memory). RAM chips affect your computer’s speed.
A storage space (usually your computer’s hard drive) with 64 GB or more available space
Secure Bootcapable UEFI system firmware and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0.
You may not be familiar with either of these, but they help improve your devices security. It’s quite likely your device has a TPM if it was made in the last few years, according to Microsoft Director of Security David Weston.
Your device’s graphics card needs to be compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.
It also needs a high-definition (720p) display that’s at least 9 inches diagonally accross, and has 8 bits per colour channel.
Other specific requirements are needed to run certain extra features, like a camera and microphone for Microsoft Teams.
How to check your computer’s specifications
If that’s all gobbledegook to you, don’t worry. If you’re on Windows 10 already, you can use Microsoft’s PC Health Check App to check if your device is up to scratch.
If you’re using an older version of Windows, you can find information about your computer’s processor, RAM and system type — whether it’s 64-bit or not — by loading the ‘System’ section of the Control Panel.
Simply press the ‘pause break’ and Windows keys (the one with the Windows logo on it) at the same time to bring up this menu on XP, Vista, 7, 8 or 10.
You can check how big your computer’s hard drive is in the File Explorer menu in Windows 10 and 8. From there, you can click on the logo for your hard drive (often called OS (C:) by default) to find out how much space is available.
You can find the same information by double-clicking the the ‘Computer’ or ‘My Computer’ icon in Windows 7, Vista or XP.
Once loaded, your hard drive will be listed under ‘Devices and Drives’.
From there, follow these steps:
Right-click on the hard drive icon and press ‘Properties’ to bring up information about its total and available storage.
If your drive is big enough, but doesn’t have enough space, consider deleting some unnecessary files or defragmenting your hard drive.
You can find out more about your graphics card in Windows 8 by loading the ‘Device Manager’, then clicking on ‘Display adaptors’. This will show a drop-down list of your PC’s graphics cards.
Right-click on a card, select ‘Properties’, then press the ‘Details’ tab for more information about that specific card.
In older versions of Windows, you can find this information by right-clicking on the ‘Computer’ or ‘My Computer’ icon, then selecting properties. From there, you can bring up the ‘Device Manager’ menu.
Ending support for Windows 10
If your computer isn’t compatible with Windows 11, you might want to consider investing in a new device.
This won’t stop you using the operating system. But it will leave it more vulnerable to viruses and other security issues.
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