How to upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2.0 (and why you shouldn't)

Are you wanting to upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2.0? We walk you through every step, plus explain the risks that this can pose to your PC

Back view of a man using a laptop with Windows 11's Microsoft Store app open
(Image: © Foxy burrow / Shutterstock / Microsoft)

If you're wanting to upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2.0, you're definitely not alone. There's been a fair bit of controversy surrounding the decision Microsoft has made to restrict access to their new OS to machines that support TPM 2.0, but this new requirements isn't as ironclad as it first appears.

While Microsoft are recommending that you only make the switch from Windows 10 to Windows 11 if you have a device that has TPM 2.0, you can actually still upgrade without it. Granted, it's a bit more labour intensive, but for the time being, there are several workarounds that can help you make the transition. 

For those of you who have one of the best computers or best Windows laptops and you purchased it after 2014, then there's a good chance your PC or laptop is already equipped with a TPM 2.0 chip. If you have a model that was created before 2014, then it's guaranteed not to have one, which is where this guide will come in handy as we'll walk you through how to upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2.0 in way that's easy to understand. 

Although the vast majority of modern computers will have TPM 2.0, this important security feature isn't always turned on, so if you know you have a PC or laptop that has TPM 2.0, be sure to check out our guide to how to enable TPM 2.0 for Windows 11 to do just that.

In terms of doing an upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2.0, it's worth noting that the steps you'll find below apply to modern Windows computers that can't go down the typical upgrade route due to the lack of TPM 2.0. For those of you that do have this chip, check out our guide to how to download and install Windows 11. If you can’t make the jump up to the newest Windows OS due to TPM, then continue on with this guide.

TPM 2.0 explained

Before Windows 11 was announced, not many people really took notice of TPM, which is short for Trusted Platform Module. What is TPM we hear you ask? Well, let's take a look. 

Basically, it's a physical chip included in many modern PCs (or built into their processors) which is a "secure crypto-processor" that is designed to make your device more secure by preventing malicious software to be run.

It's quite a handy feature, and one that you shouldn't even know you need. However, Microsoft has insisted that Windows 11 can only run on devices with TPM 2.0. This has caused a lot of people with reasonably powerful and recent PCs to find that they cannot upgrade to Windows 11, despite the rest of their hardware meeting Windows 11 system requirements.

While some people are able to enable TPM support via their BIOS, or even purchase a TPM module to install in their machine, there are ways to upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2.0 support.

Install Windows 11 without TPM

To install Windows 11 without TPM, head to the Windows 11 download page (opens in new tab) and click 'Download Now' under the 'Windows 11 Installation Assistant' section.

This will download the Windows 11 installer. When you run it, you'll get a message that "This PC can’t run Windows 11."

When that happens, press the Windows Key and R to open up the Run dialogue box. Type in:

regedit

Press return, and this will open up the Registry Editor. This is a powerful tool which should only be used by people who know what they are doing, so if you're not feeling confident, skip ahead for another way to do this.

In the text box at the top of the window, type in:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\Setup

Screenshot of the Windows 10 registry editor

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Press Enter on your keyboard. In the menu on the left-hand side, you should see 'Setup' highlighted'. Right-click it and select New > Key.

Screenshot of registry editor in Windows 10

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Name the new key 'LabConfig' (without quote marks), then press Enter.

Right-click the LabConfig key you just made, and select New > DWORD (32-bit) value. Name it 'BypassTPMCheck' and set the 'Value data' to 1, then click 'OK'.

Do the same for BypassRAMCheck’ and ‘BypassSecureBootCheck’, and make sure those keys also have 'Value data' set to 1.

Then, close the Registry Editor and return to the Windows 11 installation tool. Click 'Back', then try to install Windows 11 again. It should work this time.

If this sounds a bit too complicated, you could try a script that does roughly the same thing – but automatically. It's called Universal MediaCreationTool wrapper (opens in new tab) , and while you just need to run it before trying to install Windows 11, you should always be a bit wary about running other people's scripts that change things in your PC.

Should I run Windows 11 without TPM 2.0?

So, it is indeed possible to upgrade to Windows 11 without TPM 2.0 – but should you? While it is understandably very frustrating if you have a decent PC, but it's unable to upgrade to Windows 11, you should only try this workaround if you're absolutely certain you want to force the Windows 11 upgrade.

For a start, there will be a good reason why Microsoft is insisting on TPM 2.0 for Windows 11, so if your PC doesn't have that, it'll miss out on those security benefits.

Microsoft has also issued a Windows 11 warning that mentions possible ‘damage’ to unsupported PCs.

Microsoft also notes (opens in new tab): “Your device might malfunction due to these compatibility or other issues. Devices that do not meet these system requirements will no longer be guaranteed to receive updates, including but not limited to security updates.”

So, even if you get Windows 11 to run without TPM 2.0, you may find that you no longer get any updates in the future, which could put your security at risk.

For most people, then, we recommend you don't force the Windows 11 upgrade on a PC without TPM 2.0. Sure, it's frustrating, but Microsoft will continue to update and improve Windows 10, and you won't be putting yourself or your PC at risk.


Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.