Microsoft might not deliver Windows 11 updates to PCs with old CPUs

You might have to upgrade your hardware to get patches.

Sponsored Links

Windows 11 Insider Preview with widgets
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Microsoft might let you install Windows 11 on PCs with older processors, but that doesn't mean you'll get the full experience you'd find on newer machines. The company told The Verge that PCs with unsupported CPUs aren't 'entitled' to get Windows 11 updates, and might not even get driver or security upgrades. You may have to get more recent hardware just to keep your system secure, in other words.

We've asked the company if it can comment further, although it declined to elaborate when The Verge asked for more details. It previously said it would let people install Windows 11 ISOs on older CPUs to help businesses test the new platform.

This wouldn't be a completely unexpected move. Microsoft could get into legal trouble if it offers updates to unsupported hardware — it might not want to risk bricking your PC with a patch, or leading you to believe you're guaranteed technical support. This approach lets the company court enthusiasts (who can install new ISO images instead of relying on patches) without widening its compatibility and introducing other headaches.

You'll still get an inferior take on Windows 11, though, and it's evident Microsoft's core message remains intact. The company wants you using a relatively recent computer with Windows 11, even if that means having to wait until you can justify a PC upgrade.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget