Windows 11 will soon warn users on unsupported PCs

Windows 11 splash screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Microsoft is actively testing two new ways to send warnings to users running Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

The most recent test builds of Windows 11 now include a new watermark on the desktop wallpaper, in addition to a similar warning in the Settings app.

The desktop watermark appears on all pre-release versions of Windows and displays the message "system requirements not met" for hardware that isn't supported. A similar message appears within the Settings app on PCs that don't meet the minimum system requirements for Windows 11.

Twitter user Albacore was the first to discover the Settings warning. “Upcoming Windows 11 builds will include a small reminder about system requirements atop System Settings in case your device doesn't meet them,” they tweeted.

Per reports, the desktop watermark doesn't hinder PC’s performance but informs users of incompatible hardware.

Microsoft’s minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11 have stirred controversy, as the OS only supports PCs that have a TPM 2.0 chip, Intel 8th-gen Coffee Lake, Zen 2 CPUs, or a higher-spec processor.

However, virtual machines are an exception. “Windows 11 does not apply the hardware-compliance check for virtualized instances either during setup or upgrade,” according to a Microsoft document (PDF) describing minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11.

While there are workarounds to install Windows 11 on unsupported systems, Microsoft has issued warnings about potential risks.

“If you choose to install Windows 11 on ineligible hardware, you should be comfortable assuming the risk of running into compatibility issues. Your device might malfunction due to these compatibility or other issues. Devices that do not meet these system requirements will no longer be guaranteed to receive updates, including but not limited to security updates,” stated Microsoft on its support page.