Can my refurbished laptop or PC run Windows 11?

When the word “Microsoft” is mentioned, this brings up many questions and even more so recently with the latest introduction of Windows 11. Many which are unanswered. Its the strict set of system requirements for Windows 11 which has led to countless articles suggesting that Microsoft is about to make millions of PCs and laptops obsolete. This is turn would then have a knock on effect to the environment as many people would think that the only way to upgrade to the latest Windows would be to throw their used laptop or computer in the bin and purchase another. In this article, we help to explain what the requirements are for Windows 11 and why Windows 10 is still a good option for your next refurbished laptop or PC


Why Windows 11?

Windows 11, the first new version in six years of the world's most popular desktop operating system. The newer version of Windows has rounded corners for all windows, relocated taskbar icons, and more elegant Settings dialogs which makes it a significant visual refinement of Windows 10. An added benefit is that it is also a free update, which means you're probably keen to install it on your existing laptop or PC as soon as it's available.

One very frequent question we get asked at ITZOO – “will my refurbished laptop run Windows 11?”. The simple answer is that in most cases the answer is yes. Before we go into detail on this, we help to explain the new key features of the latest Windows version.

  • Microsoft Teams integration
  • New, clean design, Start menu and Taskbar
  • Separate virtual desktops for each part of your life
  • Integrated Android apps
  • Personalised feed with widgets
  • Snap Layouts, allowing you to split your screen with multiple apps
  • And more.

Windows 11 is a free upgrade to all Windows 10 users, but that minor part about being compatible might become a major hurdle for organisations wanting to upgrade.


How to check if your laptop or PC can run Windows 11

Still looking to upgrade from Windows 10? Here's how to figure out if your current laptop or PC will support Windows 11 and what you need to do to install Microsoft's new operating system on your device.

System requirements for Windows 11 are very low— this being 1GHz CPU, 4GB RAM, and 64GB storage. A 64-bit processor will also be required as there is no longer a 32-bit version of the OS. You’ll also need a computer with a TPM security chip and Secure Boot capability. However, these have been standard on most PCs for the last six or so years. The real limiter is the CPU model of the laptop or PC, which needs to be 8th generation or above in general terms. Windows 11 has officially approved processors (CPUs) which are currently found on three lists for AMD models, Intel models and Qualcomm models.

You can check whether your current Windows 10 laptop or PC meets these minimum standards using two built-in apps. First, open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool by typing dxdiag into the Taskbar search box and pressing Enter. Once the tool is open, you'll see your processor name, maximum RAM amount, and DirectX version listed on the System tab. Make sure the name of your processor is present on one of the three lists above. To check which WDDM version you've got, click on the Display tab and look in the Drivers section.

The final hardware check is determining how much storage your boot drive has. To do so, open a File Explorer window and click on This PC in the left-hand menu. In the Devices and Drives section, you should see the boot drive listed—typically, it's named "Windows (C:)." 

In addition to these basic hardware requirements, Microsoft also notes that you'll need an internet connection and a display at least 9 inches in size (measured diagonally) and capable of displaying 720p resolution or greater. To verify your display resolution, open Settings > System and see the Display tab. The drop-down menu under Display Resolution will show a recommended resolution; as long as it's 1,280 by 720 pixels or higher, you're ready for Windows 11.

Microsoft recently rereleased the tool that assesses your PC's ability to run Windows 11, the PC Health Check app, and the company announced that more PCs will be able to upgrade to it.


Do I need a TPM to run Windows 11?

Once you have confirmed your basic hardware specs for the update, you'll need to make sure your computer has an additional security feature that's a new requirement in Windows 11: Trusted Platform Module (TPM) support. The TPM supplies a unique code called a cryptographic key when you turn on your computer. If everything is normal, the drive encryption is unlocked and your computer starts up.

Microsoft pulled the Health Check app in June because it was generating plenty of confusion and frustration among consumers. Initially, the app simply stated whether a PC was capable of supporting the OS, without stating why or why not. But it also misled people into thinking their PC wasn't Windows 11-compatible when in fact their TPM 2.0 function was just inactive. PCMag UK help to explain how to activate your TPM function. You can also find another helpful article on how to enable the TPM in your PC or laptops BIOS.


What if my PC or laptop can’t run Windows 11?

Windows 11 is the newest version of Windows. However, it is worth noting that Windows 10 will be supported until 14 October 2025 so there is plenty of time to find great use of a refurbished laptop or PC with Windows 10 installed. You could also save money by purchasing a refurbished laptop with Windows 10.

If your PC doesn't meet one or more of the requirements as mentioned in this article, it can't officially run Windows 11. The easiest (and most environmentally friendly option) is to continue using Windows 10 as Microsoft's current operating system is already excellent, and the company has committed to supporting it through at least 2025, which means your Windows 10 PC will continue to get security and feature updates for years to come. Check out our range of refurbished laptops and reconditioned business PCs for a cheap deal on refurbished laptops and PCs whether this be a Windows 10 laptop or PC or even a Windows 11 laptop or PC.

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