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How to Know if Your Computer is Windows 11 Compatible

How to Know if Your Computer is Windows 11 Compatible

Windows 11 is the latest version of Microsoft's operating system, bringing many new features and improvements over Windows 10. The new OS improves upon many of the features we love from Windows 10 while introducing entirely new features aimed at helping businesses and individuals alike.

You don’t need a factory-new computer to benefit from Windows 11 — many existing PCs and laptops will be compatible and can take advantage of the free upgrade. Of course, anyone buying a refurbished PC should check for Windows 11 compatibility before making a purchase.

Is your PC compatible? What’s new in Windows 11? Should you even upgrade to Windows 11? Keep reading to learn more about compatibility requirements and new features of the latest incarnation of Windows.

Windows 11 Compatibility Requirements

Is your computer Windows 11 compatible? Microsoft details the following minimum requirements — compare them to your current PC:

  • Processor: Your processor must be 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster with 2 or more cores on a compatible 64-bit processor or System on a Chip (SoC).
  • RAM: At least 4 GB of RAM.
  • Storage: 64 GB storage available.
  • UEFI: Your PC must have a UEFI firmware.
  • Secure Boot: Secure Boot must be supported.
  • Trusted Platform Module (TPM): Your PC must have a TPM version 2.0.
  • Graphics card: Your graphics card must be compatible with DirectX 12 or later with WDDM 2.0 driver.

Many refurbished laptops and PCs, including factory new models, will be compatible with Windows 11.

Additional Tips to Ensure a Problem-Free Upgrade

Remember that even if your computer meets the minimum requirements, it's still a good idea to check for compatibility and performance considerations, as the user experience can vary based on hardware capabilities.

Let's discuss a few more tips to ensure you can upgrade without any issues.

Use Microsoft's PC Health Check Tool

Even if your PC meets the minimum system requirements, it may not run Windows 11 smoothly. To help you better understand future performance and baseline compatibility, Microsoft released a tool that allows you to check if your PC meets the system requirements for Windows 11.

You can download and run the "PC Health Check" tool from the official Microsoft website. This tool will scan your system and let you know whether your computer is compatible. Follow the below steps to use the PC Health Check app:

  • Open the Microsoft Store app.
  • Search for "PC Health Check" and select the app from the results.
  • Click on "Get" to install the app.
  • Once the app is installed, open it.
  • Click on "Check now" to scan your PC for compatibility.
  • The app will then display a message letting you know if your PC is compatible with Windows 11.
  • If your PC is incompatible, the app will also explain why.

If you are concerned about performance, you may want to wait until later to upgrade to Windows 11. Windows 10 will still receive security updates.

Check BIOS/UEFI and TPM Settings

Ensure that your computer's BIOS or UEFI settings are configured correctly. The BIOS/UEFI should have Secure Boot enabled, and you should also have TPM 2.0 enabled. These settings are often found in the security or advanced settings of your BIOS/UEFI.

Check documentation from the manufacturer for more details on how to access and change these settings for your specific PC. If you're unsure about making these changes, consider consulting with a computer technician or expert for more personalized advice.

Check Graphics Compatibility

Ensure your graphics card supports DirectX 12 and has a compatible WDDM (Windows Display Driver Model) version. You might need to update your graphics drivers to ensure compatibility. Your graphics card manufacturer likely has instructions for updating drivers if needed.

Check Windows Updates

Regularly check for Windows updates, as Microsoft might release updates that improve compatibility with Windows 11. It’s possible that the minimum specifications may be lowered in the future, so a PC that isn’t compatible now may be in the future.

Check Online Resources

Visit the official Windows 11 website or Microsoft support forums for the latest information on compatibility and requirements. Remember that these resources may change over time, so make sure to use the latest information available.

Why Should You Upgrade to Windows 11?

Is it even worth upgrading to Windows 11? The answer won’t be the same for everyone. Let’s break down the key changes to help you decide if upgrading is the right choice for you.

New User Interface

Windows 11 introduced a new, more modern and streamlined user interface compared to its predecessor, Windows 10. The overall look and feel were designed to be more visually appealing and user-friendly. Key UI changes include:

  • Start menu: The Start menu in Windows 11 is centred on the taskbar and has a more modern look. It also includes a new search bar, pinned apps, and recommended apps and files.
  • Widgets: The Widgets panel in Windows 11 provides a personalized feed of news, weather, sports, and other information. Microsoft Edge powers these widgets and can be customized to show the information you want.

Integrated Microsoft Teams

Windows 11 integrates Microsoft Teams directly into the taskbar, making communicating and collaborating easier, especially in remote or hybrid work environments. Everyone won’t use this feature, but this can be a significant motivation for upgrading for those who use Teams throughout the workday.

Microsoft is expected to continue to expand integration with the rest of its Office 365 ecosystem to cater to business users.

Enhanced Productivity Features

Windows 11 was expected to come with productivity-focused features, such as improved window management, virtual desktops, and enhanced multitasking capabilities. These features could help users be more efficient in their daily tasks.

  • Snap layouts and snap groups: Snap layouts and snap groups make organizing and managing multiple windows easier. Snap layouts let you quickly arrange windows in different layouts, such as 2x2 or 3x1. Snap groups let you group related windows together to switch between them easily.
  • File Explorer: The File Explorer in Windows 11 has been redesigned with a new layout and features. The new features include a new ribbon interface, a new search bar, and a new preview pane, all with the goal of helping you find what you need easier.

Performance and Security Improvements

Microsoft typically introduces performance optimizations and security enhancements with new Windows versions, and Windows 11 is no exception. These improvements can improve overall system responsiveness and a more secure computing experience.

  • Enhanced security: Windows 11 includes many enhanced security features, such as a new security chip called the Pluton chip. The Pluton chip helps to protect your PC from malware and other threats.
  • Task Manager: The Task Manager in Windows 11 has been updated to better manage performance with more details and options. You can now see more information about each process, such as CPU, memory, and disk usage. You can also end processes more quickly and manage startup programs.

Gaming Enhancements

Windows 11 includes DirectX 12 enhancements for gamers, which helps create a better gaming performance and improved graphics quality. Microsoft also focused on creating a better gaming experience with features like Auto HDR. Additionally, Windows 11 includes a new feature called DirectStorage, which can significantly improve loading times for games.

Compatibility with New Software

As time goes on, software developers tend to optimize their applications for the latest Windows version. Upgrading to Windows 11 might ensure better compatibility with new and upcoming software releases.

On top of the expected PC apps, Windows 11 also rolled out support for Android apps via the Amazon App Store — you can now run Android apps on your Windows PC. Check out Amazon’s App Store before you upgrade to make sure the apps you want are available.

Long-Term Support

Windows 11 will receive regular updates and support from Microsoft, including security patches and new features. This long-term support provides a stable and secure computing environment, as expected from Windows.


Eventually, Microsoft might phase out support for older Windows versions, making it necessary to upgrade to receive ongoing security updates and compatibility with new technologies.

You don’t need to upgrade right now, but you’ll likely need to upgrade at some point to make sure you keep getting security updates to protect your PC.

Find a Windows 11-ready Refurbished Desktop Today

Ultimately, the best operating system for you depends on your needs and preferences. Windows 11 is a significant update over Windows 10. Remember that upgrading to a new operating system should be based on your individual needs and preferences.

If you are looking for a new operating system that is modern, user-friendly, and secure, then Windows 11 is a good option. However, if you are happy with Windows 10 and your PC is compatible, there is no need to upgrade immediately.

Is it time to buy a Windows 11 PC or laptop? is an industry-recognized refurbisher with a wide range of options for everyone. Shop refurbished Windows products from today.

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