Is Microsoft taking action against Windows 11 updates for unsupported hardware?

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Microsoft is rolling out the 2022 update for Windows 11. So why doesn’t it show up when you check Windows Update?

I’ve seen this question a few times on Windows support forums and in my inbox. It’s usually accompanied by speculation that Microsoft has decided to stop updating hardware that doesn’t meet the strict minimum standards for Windows 11 compatibility.

After some testing I’ve come to the conclusion that there is a much simpler explanation.

Likewise: What’s new in Windows 11 22H2 update?

As with Windows 10 feature updates, Microsoft is gradually rolling out this update, initially offering it to a limited subset of devices. Microsoft executive John Cable, VP of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, explains:

Our launch approach for Windows 11 leverages our proven update systems and processes. The measured and phased rollout will offer the update via Windows Update when data shows your device is ready…

And even if your device is on this short list, the update won’t install automatically. You must decide to download and install it, as this screenshot from Microsoft makes clear.

22H2 update is ready

The version 22H2 update requires that you install it manually through Windows Update.

Screenshot by Ed Bott/ZDNET

So how do you skip your turn and get the 2022 update early?

If the hardware you want to update meets the Windows 11 compatibility requirements, you can download the update and install it manually. The easiest way is to use the Windows 11 installation wizard, which is the first option on the official Windows 11 download page.

22H2 installation wizard

The installation wizard requires a compatibility check.

Screenshot by Ed Bott/ZDNET

As this screenshot makes clear, you must first download and run the PC Health Check app to prove that your hardware meets the compatibility requirements. If you pass this test, you can proceed with the upgrade.

If your PC does not meet the compatibility requirements, the installation wizard will not work. Instead, you have to jump through an extra hoop. It’s documented in a Microsoft support document titled Ways to install Windows 11:

If you decide to install Windows 11 on a device that does not meet these requirements, and you acknowledge and understand the risks, you can create the following registry key values ​​and bypass the check for TPM 2.0 (at least TPM 1.2 is required) and the CPU -Family and -Model.

  • Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMSetupMoSetup
  • Name: AllowUpgradesWithUnsupportedTPMOrCPU
  • Enter: REG_DWORD
  • value: 1

Note that this method bypasses the CPU requirements, but you still need a 64-bit CPU and a TPM of at least version 1.2; You must also meet the minimum RAM and available disk space requirements.

Likewise: This security feature of Windows 11 makes your PC “very unattractive” to password hackers.

After making this change, you can download the ISO for Windows 11 22H2 from the download page linked above, double-click that file to run setup, and then perform an in-place upgrade, giving the option to keep all installed programs and Select Files , and Settings.

I have confirmed this procedure to work by upgrading a 5 year old Surface Laptop with a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 CPU that fails the PC Health Check test.

Likewise: What’s in store for Microsoft’s October 12 Surface launch

Of course, it’s possible that one day Microsoft will decide to strictly enforce its compatibility requirements and block future upgrades, although I doubt that will happen. But for 2022, all supported workarounds are still available.

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