Windows 11 gets a troubleshooting tool for one of its most controversial spec requirements

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Windows 11 requires the TPM 2.0 security feature (at least officially), but what if you’re having trouble with that particular chip (which remains a controversial system requirement)?

Well, help could soon be at hand, at least going by a new feature spotted in testing – by ever-present leaker PhantomOfEarth on Twitter – with Windows 11’s latest build (25905) in the Canary channel.

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As you can see, the Windows Security app now carries a ‘TPM troubleshooter’ option. As the text for the feature lets us know, this is useful for finding and fixing problems with your TPM 2.0 module.

For the uninitiated, TPM (which stands for Trusted Platform Module) can be a separate hardware chip, or firmware TPM (fTPM) that uses your CPU, and it’s a system that provides tighter security for your PC. (There’s a lot more to it than that, mind, but that’s the gist).

Why is TPM 2.0 so controversial, then? Because a lot of older PCs don’t have it – or even not-all-that-old machines – and people feel that being forced to upgrade (either their motherboard and CPU, or adding a TPM security chip) is an unfair stipulation to get Windows 11. (Windows 10 does not have this requirement, of course).

Microsoft, however, has made it quite clear that beefing up security requires TPM 2.0, and argues that this is something implemented for the good of users, and protecting them against being exploited by hackers.


Analysis: A handy extra to help with TPM woes (we hope)

What might this troubleshooter actually do, then? Well, as Neowin, which spotted the tweet revealing the presence of this feature in testing, points out, it’s possible to encounter odd errors with TPM. For example: “Can’t get TPM information. Contact your device manufacturer.”

That’s not a very helpful error message, and with the new feature, what you’ll be able to do is fire up a Windows troubleshooter to look further into the issue. Hopefully, that might give you further clues as to what’s gone awry (and maybe even solve the problem, with any luck – though Microsoft’s troubleshooters are not always that reliable).

Whatever the case, having some help on-hand is certainly better than nothing (plus there’s another option here to reset your TPM back to default settings, too). Provided, of course, this feature makes the cut for the release version of Windows 11, if it proves useful and well-received in testing. Currently, we’re told that this capability is a limited rollout, so not every Canary channel tester is seeing the TPM troubleshooter.

That’s not unusual, as with many features, Microsoft deploys them to only a small subset of testers to begin with, just to check if there are any major problems, and to monitor early feedback.

Given the controversy around TPM 2.0 – and the fact that it’ll definitely be a requirement for Windows 12 too – we can guess that this troubleshooter is likely to be something that’ll appear in the finished version of Windows 11. Because anything that makes running TPM a smoother experience has to be useful.

This functionality could even pitch up in the 23H2 update, which we’ve just heard some news on – something that makes us think that the Copilot AI, which is rumored for inclusion in 23H2, won’t actually be part of that upgrade due later this year.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).