Hold On! Gimme A Sec

Windows 11 PCs that aren’t supported are getting updates after all

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Windows 11 just got its first update, and while it’s causing some issues, it gives users with unsupported hardware a ray of hope. Unsupported Windows 11 installations will receive driver and security updates — or at least some of them, contrary to what Microsoft said before the launch.

Microsoft hinted during the build-up to launch day that unsupported Windows 11 installations would not receive critical security updates. Microsoft never made a firm commitment to one side or the other. Instead, we only got a few hints about whether or not unsupported users would be entitled to updates or if they’d be guaranteed.

Windows 11 update page.

We could only assume that unsupported users would not receive updates, given Microsoft’s push to maintain the Windows 11 minimum system requirements — and a frightening waiver about unsupported installations. Imagine my surprise when I booted up my Dell XPS 15 with the unsupported Core i7-7700HQ and installed security, driver, and.NET framework updates like any other Windows 11 machine.

For the time being, it appears that unsupported Windows 11 installations will receive updates. Microsoft’s ambiguous approach suggests that this isn’t always the case; future updates may only be available on supported devices, but we don’t know for sure. For the time being, however, you can install Windows 11 on hardware that isn’t supported and download the first major patch.

When Microsoft announced Windows 11’s minimum hardware requirements, it caused a stir. A Ryzen 2000 or Intel 8th-generation processor is required, as well as TPM 2.0, UEFI Secure Boot, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. The Windows team has provided an upgrade path for unsupported users, but it initially appeared to be a temporary solution — one that Microsoft actively discouraged due to a lack of updates.

It appears that all of my worrying was in vain. I was able to install the first Windows 11 patch on an unsupported system, and according to HTNovo, others should be able to do so as well.

However, this does not guarantee that unsupported users will receive all updates. We can only assume that Microsoft warned users about the updates for a reason: future patches may not be available on machines running Windows 11 that aren’t supported. For the time being, everything is working as it should, even on hardware that isn’t supported.

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