Yes, you really can run Windows 11 on Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation)
Audio player loading…

Microsoft caused outrage when it announced the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 (opens in new tab). But as it turns out, the new operating system runs on Raspberry Pi (opens in new tab).

A Windows 11 preview build is now available to download for members of the Windows Insider (opens in new tab) early-access program. However, the Windows 10 (opens in new tab) successor sports a demanding list of hardware requirements (opens in new tab) that has left many eager users in the lurch.

Surprisingly though, multiple testers have posted videos (opens in new tab) and tutorials showing that the Windows 11 preview can run on the puny little Raspberry Pi 4 (opens in new tab).

Officially, Microsoft’s only operating system for the Pi is Windows 10 IoT Core, which isn’t a full-fledged desktop operating system, designed instead to power low-cost appliances.

But that hasn’t stopped intrepid tinkerers from getting the full Windows desktop experience on the RPi.

Windows 11 on Raspberry Pi

Tom’s Hardware has a detailed tutorial (opens in new tab) on getting Windows 11 (or indeed even Windows 10) to boot on the Pi. 

In broad strokes, the process involves fetching an image of the Arm64-bit version of Windows 11 and writing it to a microSD card (opens in new tab) or SSD drive (opens in new tab) with the help of the Windows on Raspberry Pi (WoR) utility.

Even more surprisingly, Tom’s Hardware and others report that Windows 11 performs adequately well across all the usual desktop tasks, including browsing the web with Edge (opens in new tab).

While we don’t expect Microsoft to officially support the full fledged Windows 11 release on RPi, the experiments should bring a smile to the face of people with hardware that doesn’t meet the official minimum requirements for Windows 11.

If you still can’t get Windows 11 on your desktop, take comfort knowing that you can always run it on the cheap little RPi.

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.