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Microsoft's PC Health Check app can tell you if your laptop will run Windows 11. Here's how

CNET logo CNET 6/25/2021 Mary King
a close up of a card: Sarah Tew/CNET © Provided by CNET Sarah Tew/CNET

The newly announced Windows 11 operating system should be compatible with the vast majority of PCs on the market, according to a Windows blog post published Thursday.

a close up of a card © Microsoft

But if you're planning to upgrade your current PC, we recommend you make sure the updated operating system will work on your computer. Otherwise, you'll probably need to replace your PC by 2025 as Microsoft phases out Windows 10 over the next several years.

Read more: Should you buy a new Windows laptop now, or wait for Windows 11?

How to check if your laptop can run Windows 11

Video: Ransomware: Prevent your computer from being infected (CBS News)


Follow these steps to test whether your PC meets the system requirements for Windows.

1Download Microsoft's PC Health Check here. Open the file, agree to the terms of service and click Install. Make sure the box is checked that says Open PC Health Check, and click Finish

2. The app home page that pops up says PC health at a glance. At the top, a box says Introducing Windows 11. Click Check now

If your machine is not compatible, you'll get a message that says, "This PC will not run Windows 11." Right now, it doesn't say why, other than that you don't meet the minimum system requirements (see below). But Microsoft may update it to give more specific reasons later. 

If your machine is compatible, you can download the Windows 11 update for free when it becomes available around the 2021 holiday season.

System requirements to run Windows 11

Here's the full list of system requirements for Windows 11, including at least 4 gigabytes of RAM, 64GB of storage and a 720p display larger than 9 inches diagonally.


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