Microsoft kicks incompatible PCs off the Windows 11 Insider Program

Microsoft Windows 11 devices
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has decided now is the time to boot incompatible PCs from the Windows 11 (opens in new tab) Insider Program. The company had previously allowed machines that didn't meet its stringent requirements for the upcoming operating system to run it in testing, but it's now announced that's all set to come to an end.

Microsoft has received a fair bit of criticism for its strict Windows 11 system requirements. Not the least bit from ourselves, as Wes Fenlon recently positing the question 'How the hell is Microsoft already screwing up Windows 11 this badly?'

Microsoft is determined to stick to its compatible CPUs list (opens in new tab), though. That means most CPUs older than AMD's Ryzen 2000-series or Intel's 8th Gen will be unable to run as intended with Windows 11 installed.

Incompatible machines, however, have until now been able to run Windows 11 as a part of the Insider Program. 

That's soon to be no longer the case, though. Some users are already reporting they're unable to enroll in the Insider Program on incompatible machines, as BetaWiki notes on Twitter, and it appears this will soon be the case for all.

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Microsoft will now recommend users install Windows 10 on incompatible PCs.

So if you're stuck without a compatible PC during a chip shortage (great time for it, eh?), you can still download the Windows 11 ISO (opens in new tab) and install it from there. This is a bit fraught with danger, though, as Microsoft has confirmed these ISO installs will not receive important updates, including security ones.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, however, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.