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Easy way to Install Windows 11 on Unsupported Computers

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Windows 11 is Microsoft’s brand-new operating system. Leaked on June 15th and officially announced on June 24th, the first Windows 11 preview build became available to users on June 28th. Besides having a new look and feel, it also comes with some (very) recent minimum hardware requirements to run.

Microsoft is allowing some unsupported computers to install and run the developer previews, but those computers had to be enrolled in the Dev Channel ring of the Windows Insider Program before the end of June 24th to qualify. If you didn’t manage to enroll before then and your computer is unsupported, you won’t be able to (officially) receive the previews of Windows 11.

Luckily, there are plenty of unofficial ways to update your unsupported computer to Windows 11.

Note: These methods can’t bypass every requirement, and your unofficial Windows 11 install may not work properly.

  • There is no 32-bit build of Windows 11 available, so only computers with 64-bit processors will be able to run Windows 11.
  • The first two methods will still perform basic requirements checking on your device. If you don’t have enough RAM, or your computer doesn’t support Secure Boot, you may not be able to use them.
  • While I have personally tested the third method on a computer with a Legacy boot system (i.e., no Secure Boot), some computers may simply not be able to run Windows 11.
  • On some systems, Windows 11 may be unable to enter sleep mode, or have other driver-related issues.

If you missed the June 24th cut-off date for enrolling in the Dev Channel, you’re not out of luck just yet. Unsupported computers only show the option to enroll in the Release Preview Channel, but it’s still possible to change that to get Windows 11. Here’s how.

Heads up: you’ll need to be logged into Windows with a Microsoft account for this method to work. You’ll also need access to an account with administrator privileges.

Before you start, be warned this method isn’t the most reliable. Windows may set your Insider channel back to Release Preview.

If you run into any compatibility errors during the update, check out Method 3 below, or try the workaround listed at the end.

Make sure you’re enrolled in the Release Preview Channel

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Navigate to Update & security and select Windows Insider Program in the sidebar.
  3. Let the page load, and then click the Get started button.
    Windows 10 Insider page with Get started highlighted
  4. If prompted, link your Microsoft account.
  5. On the Pick your Insider settings page, select Release Preview Channel and click Confirm.
    Windows Insider Program channel select showing only Release Preview
  6. Confirm that you do actually want to be in the Insider Program and reboot when prompted.
  7. Let your computer restart and then log back in.

Now

  1. Open the Start Menu and type regedit.
  2. The first result should be Registry Editor. Click on that to open it. Confirm any permission prompts.
    Registry Editor shown as a result for regedit in the Start Menu
  3. Once Registry Editor is open, you’ll see a bunch of stuff in the sidebar. Use that to navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsSelfHost\Applicability. You’ll see a few things show up on the right.
    Registry Editor navigated to WIP Applicability key
  4. Now you’ll need to create or change a few values, depending on what’s already there.
  5. If you see BranchName, double-click it and enter Dev in the value field.
  6. If you see ContentType, double-click it and enter Mainline in the value field.
  7. If you see Ring, double-click it and enter External.Registry Editor showing needed values for Dev Insider ring
  8. If any of the above values don’t exist, make sure you’re properly enrolled in the Insider Program and try again.
  9. Reboot your computer.
  10. Go to Settings >> Update & security >> Windows Insider Program and you should now be in the Dev Preview ring.

If everything went well, you should now be able to check for updates and install the latest Windows 11 preview.

 

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