With Microsoft’s very own PC Health Check tool back, you can ascertain if your machine is viable to run Windows 11 to be released shortly. This is accompanied with no shortage of third-party options available to those who’d like a report on a PCs’ compliance with minimum system requirements for Windows 11.

Compute World walks through the system requirements as they stand now, as well as how to use the PC Health Check app and two alternative tools to check a PC’s Windows 11 upgrade readiness.

Windows 11 system requirements

According to Microsoft’s Windows 11 overview page, the following items delineate the basic requirements a PC must meet for Windows 11 to install properly on that machine. At present, Microsoft has relaxed those restrictions, so that out-of-compliance PCs can run Windows 11 within the Insider Program. But when the official release goes out later this year, those machines will no longer be able to upgrade to newer Windows 11 versions.

  • Processor: 64-bit architecture at 1 GHz or faster; Intel: eight-generation or newer; AMD Ryzen 3 or better; Qualcomm Snapdragon 7c or higher
  • RAM: 4 GB or higher
  • Storage: 64 GB or larger storage device
  • System firmware: UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) version 2.0
  • Graphics card: Direct X12 or later capable; WDDM 2.0 driver or newer
  • Display: High-def (720p) display, larger than 9” diagonal in size, 8 bits per color channel (or better)
  • Internet connection/MSA: Windows 11 Home edition requires internet connectivity and a Microsoft Account (MSA) to complete device setup on first use. Switching out of Windows 11 Home in S mode likewise requires internet connectivity. For all Windows 11 editions, internet access is needed for updates, and to download and use certain features. An MSA is required for some features as well.

Just recently the company also relaxed its CPU restrictions to include certain high-end seventh-generation Intel processors found in some of its Microsoft Surface Studio 2 PCs, as well as certain Xeon processors.

Using Microsoft’s PC Health Check

To download PC Health Check, you must be a registered Windows Insider and logged into the associated Microsoft account.

The download is easily accessible as a Microsoft Installer file named WindowsPCHealthCheckSetup.msi. Run this file and the program installs itself.

To run the program, type PC Heal into the search box, then run the app from the Start menu. To run its built-in Windows 11 compatibility check, click the Check now button inside the “Introducing Windows 11” pane at the top of the app window, as shown in Figure 1:


Figure 1: Click Check now in the PC Health Check app to run its compatibility checker. (Click image to enlarge it.)

“>win11 upgrade check 01 pchealthcheck app

Click Check now in the PC Health Check app to run its compatibility checker. 

The program returns one of three possible windows after the compatibility check runs. Those that pass the check get a “meets requirements” message (Figure 2, left); those that fail get a “doesn’t currently meet” message (center); and those from PCs running Windows Education or Enterprise or another Windows version managed by an IT department get a message that reads “Your organization manages updates on this PC” (right) but no compatibility check. I’m running Enterprise on my production PC and have flagged this as an error or problem with Microsoft via its Feedback Hub.


Figure 2: From left to right, passing grade, failing grade, and no grade, respectively. (Click image to enlarge it.)

“>win11 upgrade check 02 pchealthcheck assessment

From left to right, passing grade, failing grade, and no grade, respectively.

Click the See all results button to see more details for both passing and failing PCs. The failing PC is a 2014 vintage Surface Pro 3 that fails because its fourth-generation Intel CPU is not supported. The passing grade goes to a 2018 Lenovo ThinkPad X380 Yoga, which has an eighth-generation Intel CPU and other necessary components. Some of the details for both machines appear in Figure 3.