When it comes to my computers not meeting minimum requirements, this is my living nightmare. With the RTX 2080 and Intel Core i9-10900K at the heart of my system – I didn’t think I would ever have to deal with that. Imagine my surprise when I found out my beefy gaming PC can’t run the latest version of Windows.
Microsoft just announced Windows 11, and the new operating system brings Android apps for Windows and several improvements to the Windows gaming experience. Assuming my computer was compatible, I downloaded Microsoft’s PC health check app just to double check and I was quickly informed that my PC doesn’t support Windows 11.
The system requirements of Windows 11 are not very demanding. Compatible devices require a dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM and at least 64 GB of storage. The system requirements also call for Trusted Module Platform (TPM) 2.0 support, which is where my gaming PC apparently stumbled.
And I’m not the only one.
TPM comes from a chip on your motherboard. It’s a dedicated processor that handles the hardware encryption so users can sign in using Windows Hello and use BitLocker on Windows 10. Since 2016, Windows has asked PC makers to put a TPM 2.0 chip in machines running Windows 10, but that doesn’t take the DIY market into account.
Many consumer motherboards do not come with a TPM chip installed. For example, my Asus Tuf Gaming Z490-Plus board doesn’t have one. This has caused a lot of confusion among people verifying that their computer supports Windows 11. It is not immediately clear that TPM is causing the problem, and there is no straightforward solution to enable it.
You can check if you have a TPM chip by pressing Windows Key + R and type in tpm.msc. If you have one, a window will pop up with the details.
Asus and others sell dedicated TPM modules for around $ 50 that you can plug into compatible motherboards. Fortunately, you shouldn’t need to update anything if your components were made after 2016.
Although most consumer motherboards don’t have a TPM chip, they come with TPM firmware. It does this through Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT), which looks and behaves like TPM in Windows. Every motherboard is a little different, but you can enable the setting in your BIOS. Annoyingly, this setting is deactivated on many commercially available boards.
Restart your PC and spam the Clear Key until you enter the BIOS. Unfortunately, there is no telling where to find the TPM setting. Look around for a security or Advanced and look out for a setting related to TPM or PTT. For my Z490-Plus motherboard, I had to change a setting from Dedicated TPM to Firmware TPM by doing Advanced Tab.
After that, I restarted my PC and found that it actually supports Windows 11. As long as you have a motherboard from the last few years, you should be able to enable TPM in your BIOS as well.
As mentioned earlier, every motherboard in recent years should have firmware TPM. If you have a board that doesn’t, there is still a workaround to get Windows 11 at least temporarily. As noted by Arif Bacchus, resident Windows expert at Digital Trends, you can go for the Windows Insider Program to download and install Windows 11 before it starts.
First, sign up for the Windows Insider Program and join the Dev Channel. This will give you access to the first build of Windows 11. Microsoft said these builds allow “limited exceptions” to the full hardware requirements. You must install at least one build by June 24th to continue receiving Windows 11 builds.
However, this is only a temporary solution. Once Windows 11 is officially released, you will either need a motherboard with TPM support (hardware or firmware) or you will need to go back to Windows 10. Hopefully not too many people will stick with this choice.