Microsoft may not block installing Windows 11 on PCs that do not meet minimum requirements

Windows 11 laptop

The issue of Windows 11's hardware requirements has reared its head once again, just after Microsoft publicly released an updated version of its PC Health Check compatibility checker. For people with computers that do not meet the minimum requirements, there may be some good news from the last twist in the mixed messaging from Microsoft.

While it was looking rather like installing Windows 11 on incompatible hardware was going to be blocked, now it appears that Microsoft is going to let people go ahead with the installation -- with a caveat. The installation can only proceed on systems that do not meet minimum requirements if users agree to a statement acknowledging the fact that any damage caused by installing Windows 11 on such hardware is not covered by the manufacturer's warranty,

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It was Sean Hollister, senior news editor at the Verge, who first noticed what has been referred to as a "waiver". Up until now, it has been Windows Insiders who have been granted the ability to install Windows 11 on hardware that does not meet the minimum requirement set out by Microsoft. But now it appears that the option has been extended to non-insiders.

Upon trying to install the Windows 11 beta on sub-par hardware, a message appears warning that continuing with the installation is "not recommended" because it "may result in compatibility issues". The installation is not blocked, however:

The full message reads:

This PC doesn't meet the minimum system requirements for running Windows 11 -- these requirements help ensure a more reliable and higher quality experience. Installing Windows 11 on this PC is not recommended and may result in compatibility issues. If you proceed with installing Windows 11, your PC will no longer be supported and won't be entitled to receive updates. Damages to your PC due to lack of compatibility aren’t covered under the manufacturer warranty. By selecting Accept, you are acknowledging that you read and understand this statement.

While this is, apparently, great news for people whose computers did not make the grade, it continues the very mixed messaging from Microsoft about hardware requirements for Windows 11 and how they will be enforced.

We had initially been led to believe that the requirements were the requirements, and any system that did not meet them would not be eligible for Windows 11. But then a combination of Windows Insiders being allowed to install on incompatible hardware, along with news that it would be possible to use an ISO to install Windows 11 on incompatible hardware (albeit with the risk of not receiving security updates from Microsoft). rather muddied the waters.

We'll really just have to wait for the RTM build to be made available so we can see how the installation plays out in the real world. It certainly doesn't seem like any straight answers are coming out of Redmond any time soon.

Image credit: rawf8 / Shutterstock

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