Install Windows 11: This is how it works on old PCs

“Secure Boot”, TPM 2.0, only current CPUs: With the system requirements, Windows 11 does not make it easy to get it to run on older systems. How it works anyway and what you have to do without, we show you in the video.

Windows 11 on old PCs: the problem

Microsoft has caused displeasure with the Windows 11 system requirements. Only the last few CPU generations are supported, security measures such as TPM and “Secure Boot” are required. This is by far not the case with all PCs that currently run Windows 10 without any problems. With a few tricks, however, it is still possible to install Windows 11 on old computers.

With Windows 11, the system requirements have increased. Many old PCs with Windows 10 do not meet them (Image: GIGA)

If your CPU is up-to-date and you cannot install Windows 11 only because of the “safe start” and TPM 2.0, both settings can usually be activated in the BIOS. You can find out how to do this here:

If the official installation no longer goes on, you have to create your own installation medium. We use the Rufus freeware tool for this.

Prepare Windows 11 installation medium with Rufus

Rufus is a program with which you can create a USB installation medium. Various operating systems can be “burned” to a USB stick and installed from there. From version 3.16 the program also supports some modifications that enable Windows 11 installation for older PCs.

Screenshot of Rufus with all necessary settings
Rufus has had extended functions for Windows 11 since version 3.16. (Image: GIGA)
  1. First download the “Windows 11 disk image“(ISO).
  2. Includes a USB stick at least 8 GB of memory on the PC.
  3. Opens Rufus and selects under “drive“The USB stick. Attention: All data on it will be overwritten afterwards.
  4. In Rufus click on “selection“And selects the ISO file that has just been downloaded.
  5. Under “Image properties“You can now select the”Extended Windows 11 Installation” choose. The check of the TPM and “Secure Boot” are deactivated here.
  6. Should be the old calculator no UEFI use, also selects “MBR“And as a target system”BIOS (or UEFI-CSM)” out. This is particularly relevant for systems that were built before around 2014. How to find out whether your PC uses a BIOS or UEFI, you can find out here.
  7. Click on “Start” to describe the USB stick.
  8. Once the USB stick has been written to, connect it to the old computer, press the power button, boot from the USB stick and start the installation. Windows 11 should now be able to be installed as a new operating system.
SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64 GB (robust and elegant metal housing, password protection, 150 MB / s read) black

SanDisk Ultra Flair USB 3.0 Flash Drive 64 GB (robust and elegant metal housing, password protection, 150 MB / s read) black

An upgrade is actually not planned on old Microsoft systems – i.e. an installation of a new operating system version without losing your own files. So back up all personal data on another data carrier before the installation; these will be deleted when Windows is reinstalled.

If the USB stick is not recognized by the old computer, you can also go to Rufus in the “Advanced drive properties“Activate a few more tricks so that the system can be started from the USB stick.

Note: If you are using a slow USB stick or if the computer does not yet support USB 3.0, starting the installation can take some time. In our test, we were allowed to wait over 10 minutes until the Windows installation wizard opened at all.

Screenshot from Windows 11, the task manager shows the current processor, a Core2Duo E6850.  (Image: GIGA)
Screenshot from Windows 11, the task manager shows the current processor, a Core2Duo E6850. (Image: GIGA)

Windows 11 on old computers: our conclusion

We have this method on a system with a Intel Core2Duo E6580, a GeForce 8800 GT and Windows 11 build 22000.376. The processor was introduced in 2007. This means that it is far beyond the CPU support provided by Windows 11. Although the system is correspondingly old, thanks to Rufus we were able to install and use Windows 11 without any problems.

However, this method has one disadvantage: Microsoft had announced that Windows 11 would not offer the annual function updates for unsupported systems. So if you really want to keep the latest version of Windows 11, you can start a new installation every year with the latest Windows ISO.
But it also means that Microsoft can always consider new measures to prevent the installation on old systems. So we cannot guarantee that these instructions will still work like this in a few years’ time.

What problems does iOS 13 cause on your iPhone?

You don’t want to miss any news about technology, games and pop culture? No current tests and guides? Then follow us on Facebook (GIGA Tech,
GIGA Games) or Twitter (GIGA Tech,
GIGA Games).