[Update] You’ll be able to install Windows 11 on unsupported CPUs using an ISO

[Update] You’ll be able to install Windows 11 on unsupported CPUs using an ISO

Update (8/28/21 @ 4:17PM): Microsoft has provided further clarification, stating that users who upgrade to Windows 11 on unsupported CPUs using an ISO will not be entitled to updates, including security updates.

Microsoft had some bad news to share today when it announced that it wouldn’t budge on most of the CPU requirements it imposed for Windows 11. The company initially said it was considering adding AMD Zen-based processors and 7th-generation Intel CPUs, but ended up only adding some niche Intel processor families. However, there’s a bit of a silver lining here, as you’ll apparently be able to install Windows 11 using an ISO even on PCs with unsupported CPUs.


As reported by The Verge, while Microsoft won’t offer the Windows 11 update to most of those older PCs, you’ll be able to download an ISO file for the operating system and install it yourself. That means, as long as your PC meets the minimum requirements – a dual-core 1GHz 64-bit CPU, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage – you can actually get Windows 11 all the same.

Forcing you to download an ISO means that, right out of the gate, most people with unsupported CPUs won’t get Windows 11 anyway. It makes some sense considering Microsoft’s reasoning for leaving older processors behind. The company says these processors experience far more crashes on Windows 11, so for the average user, it would be inconvenient to have an unstable PC thanks to an automatic update.

But it also means that, for the people that do want the latest and greatest, there is a path forward. If you go through the trouble of downloading the ISO file and installing the update manually, you know what you’re getting into. However, you may not get security updates if you upgrade unsupported PCs this way.

As for how and when you can download that ISO file, that’s still unknown, but it will probably happen sometime around October. You can always follow our guide to download the latest Insider builds if you don’t want to wait.

About author

João Carrasqueira
João Carrasqueira

Editor at XDA Computing. I've been covering the world of technology since 2018, but I've loved the field for a lot longer. And I have a weird affinity for Nintendo videogames, which I'm always happy to talk about.

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