Microsoft allows you to run Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, but if you do, be prepared to be prompted for it. Recent Windows Insider previews marked as release candidate will add a watermark to the desktop, alerting you that you’re using unsupported hardware along with the appropriate note in the main app window Install, as detected by Windows Latest.
Microsoft drastically changed the hardware requirements for Windows 11 — requiring users to have an ultra-modern CPU, Trusted Protection Module, etc. — and announced the changes in a catastrophic fashion. Things got so confusing that we ended up writing an article titled “Windows 11 hardware failure keeps getting worse” in exasperation. Fortunately, Microsoft declined and eventually allowed users to install Windows 11 on unsupported hardware (although there were still some limitations).
Obviously that’s not what Microsoft wants. Shortly after introducing the workaround, the company warned that PCs running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware might not receive updates, including security patches — a huge bug. strong, although things are going badly so far. The company also kicks users running unsupported hardware out of the Windows Insider preview program (which makes sense, to be fair).
This latest move continues to put pressure on upgrading to newer PCs with more modern security features, which is clearly Microsoft’s goal. If your Windows 11 PC isn’t officially updated, you’ll see a watermark in the bottom-right corner of your screen that says “System requirements not met. Go to settings to learn more. It’s similar (though less direct) to the watermark you’ll see when running Windows without activating it first.
Previously, running non-activated versions of Windows resulted in feature limitations such as not being able to personalize your system or wallpaper. Microsoft is unlikely to introduce the same heavy-handed measures with this Windows 11 watermark — a good thing, as users who took advantage of Microsoft’s solution to get the new operating system on top of their old hardware still have to pay for their copy of Windows.
Key point? The new watermark might annoy you, but there’s nothing to fear…. That said, if you’re running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware, you’re doing it at your own risk and things could eventually break. Instead of rolling the dice, consider sticking with Windows 10 for now. It’s still working fine with support planned for 2025, and you still shouldn’t be upgrading to Windows 11.