Windows 11 set to warn users if their PC shouldn’t be running the OS

Windows 11 File Explorer on a PC in an office
(Image credit: TechRadar)

Windows 11 can currently be installed on PCs which don’t meet the official system requirements, but Microsoft doesn’t recommend this course of action – and has taken new steps in a preview build to add a further warning against doing so.

To recap, Windows 11 can be run on a system which doesn’t officially support the OS, but Microsoft has previously cautioned about possible ‘damage’ to a system in this scenario, and noted that vital security updates may not be provided to such PCs either – even though said updates are still delivered to these devices.

But now, Microsoft appears to be getting more serious about letting folks know that their PC shouldn’t be running Windows 11 if it’s not up to scratch regarding the OS requirements. Windows Latest spotted that Albacore, a well-known Twitter leaker and reliable source for Microsoft spillage, tweeted about a new reminder which is in testing for Windows 11.

As you can see, it’s in System Settings, and imparted with the details at the top of the panel. The message lets the user know that the requirements haven’t been met by their PC, with a link to find out more about why this is the case.

Analysis: A hint of stricter enforcement to come?

The appearance of a warning for those actually running Windows 11 on an unsupported machine in this manner – as opposed to during installation – indicates that Microsoft may be tightening loopholes concerning PCs which have been pushed onto the new OS without having the hardware goods to do so officially.

As Microsoft takes more steps like this, it makes us believe that eventually, further moves will be made to ensure PCs that aren’t officially up to spec can’t run the OS fully. The software giant has always said that updates won’t come to these devices, and even though they have been provided up to now – and still are – this is another signal that this will eventually change.

In other words, at some point down the line, security updates will no longer be served to unsupported PCs... and that would be a big problem, potentially leaving these systems open to exploit. Or at the very least, more prominent and intrusive warnings may be introduced to ensure that folks running Windows 11 in this way know they shouldn’t be pursuing such a route for the long-term with their device.

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).