Freebie Alert: Windows 11 is going to be free, but there’s a catch

By on June 25, 2021

Announced at a Microsoft press conference yesterday, the software company is making the upcoming revision to the Windows operating system, Windows 11, completely free to download and use if you are already using Windows 10. But there’s a couple requirements you have to meet.

1. CPU Requirements

You will need a 8th Gen or newer Intel Core processor. Or you will need an AMD Ryzen 2000 and newer processor. Here’s the full list of supported Intel processors and here’s the full list of supported AMD processors.

That being said, Microsoft is calling the CPU requirements a “soft floor”. This likely means that any CPU not supported by Windows 11 could possibly still work. But it could make running specific programs problematic and your Windows 11 experience may suffer as a result.

2. You have to enable TPM

You need to have TPM (Trusted Platform Module) turned on in your motherboard’s bios. Before you check your bios, you can use Microsoft’s PC Health App (LINK) to see if your computer is ready for Windows 11. If you are like me, you will see a “not compatible” warning. This means it’s time to dive into your computer’s bios.

Windows 11 requires a TPM capable of at least 1.2 support (most of the newer chips are 2.0), and UEFI Secure Boot. Both are used to help security on Windows PCs.

If you don’t know how to get into your computer’s bios, simply restart your computer and wait for the first splash screen to pop up. It will tell you the key you need to press to get into the bios. For me, it was either F2 or Delete. When you are in, it’s likely that you will need to go into the Advanced settings.

You aren’t looking for something labeled TPM quite yet. Both AMD and Intel have different terms for it, wonderfully confusing. If you have an Intel system, look for the “PTT” settings. On an AMD system, look for “PSP fTPM’. When you find that, flip on TPM. On my AMD system, I had to select “Discrete” to turn it on. Then you simply save and reboot.

Other system requirements for Windows 11 include at least 4GB of RAM, at least a 64GB hard drive, a Direct 12 compatible graphics card and an Internet connection w/ Microsoft account.

About Mike Flacy

By day, I'm the Editor-in-Chief for The CheckOut in addition to being the content manager for Steve's Digicams and High-Def Digest. During my free time, I love to write about pop culture, home theater, digital photography, social media, mobile technology and cool gadgets!

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